Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cape Canaveral, FL
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I've been following this thread with interest as I went through the same gyrations several years ago. People responding are correct in that sail shape definitely plays a role in your boat's handling. However, when it comes to weather helm, your reading was correct in that where the tip of the mast is positioned has the greatest affect on weather helm. This is the very first mast adjustment in anyone's rig tuning guide.
Weather helm - tighten forestay
Lee Helm - loosen forestay
I sail with a balanced helm and a surprisingly straight mast. In 15 knots of wind I sail right up to 35 degrees apparent, while maintaining boat speed and this with a 175 genny on my furler.
Oh yeah... I sail a catamaran.
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