I own a Pearson 10M. The 10M is a Bill Shaw design.
Was out in it today and want to understand if what I think I have, lee helm, is real or imaginary.
First of all, I don't think a Bill Shaw designed boat has lee helm, but maybe with my boat, for some reason, I have it.
Today's conditions: 5 to 8 knots of wind.
Boat speeds from 2 to 5.5 knots (GPS)
Waves: Minimal 1 to 2 feet
Sails: 135% Genoa, Main - Both pretty blown.
Maximum heel angle: 8 deg , 0 to 5 deg most of the time
Backstay Tension: 1000 psi.
Unfortunately, I didn't have more wind to get the boat to heel more to really see if I had weather/lee helm.
In these light air conditions, I would set the wheel to a neutral rudder, take my hands off, and the boat would sail a straight course for almost 15 seconds without deviation and then start to head down wind. If I turned the wheel so that the rudder had 1 or 2 degrees angle to the weather, i.e. turning a little upwind, the boat would hold the same heading for 25 seconds then start to head downwind.
A few questions:
- Is this true lee helm or nothing really since I didn't really have the boat heeled over?
- If it is lee helm, can inefficient or blown sails be the cause of the unbalance?
- If the one sail is more efficient that the other can that significantly affect the balance.
- Since I can't believe a Bill Shaw designed boat would have lee helm and if I do have it, what can I do to correct it? Would adjustments to the rigging help?