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Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Reducing leeway

The usual prime cause of excess leeway (skidding off to leeward) is due to a too loose forestay - causes the jib/genoa to go draft aft, overdrafted, hooked up leech and the CE operating sometimes many feet to leeward of the boats centerline. Your forestay should be at about 15+% wire tension to match what the sailmaker cut from the luff to match the expected sag in the wire at 15% tension .... any sag greater than what you get with 15% is going to adversely affect 'skid' .... and most helmsmen will erroneously blame 'weather helm'.

Here's how to check and set forestay/backstay tension by visualizing sail SHAPE:

If you have excessive weather helm, the boat will 'mush along' dragging its rudder almost sideways (rudder at much greater than 5° and the slip wake coming off the stern at a visible angle) and that too will cause excess leeway due to the extreme drag on the rudder. Excess 'actual' weather helm typically is due to poor mainsail SHAPE caused by improperly raising a dacron mainsail. Check this out to correct for excess so-called weather helm due to BAD mainsail shape by improperly raising it:

Do you sail into Worton Creek often? If so, you can stop by (Green Pt. Landing Marina) and I can do a quick 'visual' to help get you started if you prefer. A well set up and sail shaped 272 should be able to 'point like a banshee'.

Last edited by RichH; 07-21-2012 at 10:00 AM.
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