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post #10 of Old 02-02-2012
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Sail SHAPE is the predominant factor affecting 'weather helm', followed by rig tension ... and lastly mast rake.
In that vein, its simply amazing that most cruisers never bother with sail 'shaping' to affect a near neutral 'helm pressure', heeling effort, etc. ... even for 'safety concerns'. Yes, CLR vs. CE is important ... but that 'really' only applies when hove-to, not sailing with dynamic or aerodynamic effects acting on the sails.

To remove 'weather helm' one must use 'tell tales' (such as described in and other sources who use that work as their 'root source', etc.) and perform the 'sail shaping' (via monitoring the full set of tell-tales) needed to get good/efficient aero flow across the sails ....... instead of futzing-around with mast rake, etc.
When one begins to 'study' tell tales and their usage, one has to totally forget & discount the erroneous 'crap' that has been taught for nearly a full century in US high school science classes ... and simply adjust and 're-shape' to what the tell tales are indicating.

For the most part even the worst of sailboat designer will have the 'balance' already designed-in or close ... all it takes is correct sail 'shaping' and tell tales usage to tweak that helm balance for the boat to be 'safe and fast', etc.

So, how much 'weather helm' ... about 3 of rudder angle, so that also the keel can generate 'lift' when beating... otherwise youre dragging the rudder through the water.
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