Originally Posted by EJO
Rich thanks for the article. This is what I was planning on doing this season using my cunningham (not used last season) and raking the mast slightly.
I'll report back sometime in June with the results.
Dang, you haven't even applied any cunningham yet? Definitely try all of your sail shaping tools before moving your mast around.
Yes, check your pre-bend as Rich says. Luffs are cut slightly curved, and the pre-bend helps get the luff tight. When sailing upwind in a moderate breeze, put your outhaul and cunningham on to get the sail flat and move the draft forwards. Downwind, apply some vang.
If you don't have a draft stripe, you might purchase and apply one. It'll help you see if the belly is moving forwards or not.
Bottom line- Try to pull the belly out of the sail first. It may not be blown out. Hopefully this will lessen your weather helm.
One final thought- Recently followed a thread on another forum about a fellow who had horrendous weather helm. It turns out that his rudder had hit something and the rudder shaft was bent aft a few degrees. It's amazing the difference just a few degrees made. He carefully straightened it and weather helm disappeared.
If you've seen your boat out of the water, then disregard this last part.