Weather helm on starboard, lee helm on port - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-17-2012
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Weather helm on starboard, lee helm on port

So that's what I'd like to fix on my Catalina 27' Tall Rig sloop.

Tacking up wind, I have a nice comfortable weather helm on starboard tack, and then ~an equally strong lee helm on port tack. This is reproducible, and not do to changes in wind strength as I change tacks.

When I hauled it 2 years ago, the keel appeared nice and straight, nothing obviously wrong with the rudder, (the keep was so loaded up with barnacles it sailed lousy before that haul out, but I don't remember noticing this helm thing until this past summer).

I redid the bow spirit this past Spring, but it appears nice and straight-

And I've done a rough check that the mast is straight without any athwartship lean, just running a halyard to one side, then the other.

What else should I be looking for to correct the lee helm on port tack?

Thanks for your thoughts-
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Old 01-17-2012
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Could it be the jib airflow being different on each tack due to the roller furling? Is this with a fully unfurled jib? Or is it only when the jib is partially furled? If the jib is only partially furled the airflow can be quite affected by the sail that's wrapped around the furler.

My suggestion would be to optimise the jib sheet car position on both tacks carefully, by using the "does the top or bottom of the jib luff first" method. The car position could be slightly different on the two tacks (I know mine is)
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Old 01-17-2012
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The mast is straight when checked at the dock, but your shrouds may be out of tune, allowing more fall off on one tack, than the other. Also, check the symmetry of your jib car positions as MarkSF mentions.

Something is assymmetric about your setup, that's for sure.
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Old 01-17-2012
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Is the rudder straight? When it's hauled out does the keel sit directly in the middle of the boat inline with the mast?
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