Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Vancouver Island
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Severe weather helm can be solved many ways. Adding more sail forward of the mast is just one way. That can be a bigger headsail, a stay sail, a bow sprit so the existing headsail is farther ahead, whatever. Other ways are to reduce or flatten (maybe recut) the mainsail, Change the mast rake, use the traveller to lower the boom, trim the boat by the bow, etc. The expensive solution is converting to a cutter rig.
That being said, my boat was converted to a cutter rig. It was half done when I bought it. The conversion involved adding 3 tangs on the mast (one for the inner stay and two for the runners), putting a chain plate through the foredeck with sufficient backing to take the load, adding chainplates to take the backstay loads, buying the innerstay, the runners, two tackles to handle the runners, and a new sail. Now, with all that done I have never used the set up because once I raked the mast aft, recut the mainsail, and tuned the boat properly the problems the previous owner thought he was having went away. If I was out in very severe weather the inner stay is there and quick to setup. I would use it. So far I have never had the need. I think the PO spent a lot of money for little gain.
If the boat is properly designed and correctly rigged then you should be able to minimize weather helm by a good tuning. I know Rawsons have had some issues with weather helm but I would try everything else first. It seems like a lot of Rawson's are running around and sailing just fine without spending thousands correcting weather helm. I love the trident on the bow.. That is the strongest headstay setup ever.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
Last edited by Plumper; 04-09-2008 at 10:44 PM.