Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Thanked 470 Times in 444 Posts
Rep Power: 10
If your halyard is fully hoisted, then you need a cunningham to tighten your main luff - it's a cringle in the luff usually 8 - 10 inches above the tack of the sail (below the first reef). You will need at least a 4 part tackle to effectively use this control, and it should be led to the cockpit for easy access. You pull down from here to increase halyard (luff) tension.
Furling the genny actually can make weather helm worse by shifting your overall center of effort aft as you concentrate power in the main. Reefing the main is the better approach.
Having a good, (easy to adjust under all conditions) traveller is the best tool for handling puffs and gusts and easing heavy weather helm. Using the sheet to depower will often result in a more powerful shape due to increased twist. This does not help your situation until the sail is nearly fully luffing.
MANY people sail without an anemometer - and many anemometers that are fitted often do not work reliably - so just getting used to the feel of the boat, the wind on your face and the look of the sea will guide you to sail selection and whether or not to reef (usually sooner than later, right about the time you first wonder "should we")
Keep on experimenting, it will come to you in time.