Join Date: Mar 2006
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I believe most boats are designed with the center of lateral resistance (Clr) forward of the center of effort, (Ce), so that they will have weather helm when they get over powered going to windward. I also believe the keels angle of attack will change as the boat is heeled over resulting in more lift to windward, up to the point it stalls and the boat rounds up. If you loose control of the boat temporarily, I think most would agree its better to do so with the bow to weather. I'd never thought of the differential of lwl between windward and leeward, but it might be an additive factor, though I still believe that most of the turning force is a result of the relationship of Clr and Ce.
Admittedly, my experince is pretty limited, but every boat (Tartan 37, Tartan 40, Oday 322, Catalina 36, Catalina 350, Beneteau 411) I've sailed has demonstrated weather helm when they get to the point of being over powered. This is with the crews paying attention to proper sail trim and focusing on pointing as well as they could.
I think if the boat is showing lee helm going to weather, there is probably a rigging issue that needs to be addressed or a poor design, but I stand ready to be edu-macated by the more erudite members of Sailnet.
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36
Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 12-09-2009 at 08:09 AM.