Balancing Helm when broad reaching - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-13-2009 Thread Starter
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Balancing Helm when broad reaching

Recently we were sailing (2003 Bavaria 44) in 20knts of wind and found it very hard to balance the helm when beam and broad reaching, we continously had weather a helm.

I had a 2nd ref. on the main, some boom vang and the main all the way out to where it was back winded. I also had our 145% Genoa furled about 3-4 turns.

Any advise?


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post #2 of 12 Old 12-13-2009
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Hard to say with any authority not knowing the boat, and how it balances.

My First thought is that even with 3-4 turns on the genoa, you may still have had too much headsail out, especially on the beam.

Was there a sea running?.3-4's maybe?

On a long broad reach with that much wind, I often just fly a furled headsail, no main...and get there just as fast, with less effort.

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post #3 of 12 Old 12-13-2009
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More headsail rather than less, moving the C of E a bit forward, may have helped the balance a bit. But if you were truly overpowered I'd say headsail only would have been more comfortable, as Tempest suggests.

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post #4 of 12 Old 12-13-2009
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Drop the traveller.
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petmac View Post
Drop the traveller.
Drop the traveller,
..... then, TIGHTEN the halyards. Increasing the halyard tension will cause the sail's point of maximum draft to move forward. Of course if you have a furling mainsail, etc. you can't increase the halyard tension without jamming the furler; but; you can 'reef' to match the balance desired.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-13-2009
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In my experience balancing a boat with wind anywhere abaft the beam is very difficult. I have sailed many miles with the boat unattended on the wind but I don't believe I have ever been able to leave the boat sailing off the wind unattended.

Maybe I just don't know how but I suspect you may find my experience pretty common.


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post #7 of 12 Old 12-14-2009
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How broad of a reach?

Although it seems counter-intuitive, I understand it's possible to get added weather helm from the genny. With a big genny, it's possible that some of the force from that sail is applied aft of your center of lateral resistance.

As an experiment, you could furl your genny a little bit more, and see if the problem gets better or worse.

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Last edited by bacampbe; 12-14-2009 at 12:15 AM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-14-2009
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If you're broad reaching, then you need to tighten the sheet to lessen weather helm. With the main all the way out, you're blocking the headsail, the main is the only thing pulling, so of course you have weather helm. Tighten the sheet to bring in the main, thereby lessening it's effectiveness and pull and allowing the headsail more air and more effect.

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post #9 of 12 Old 12-14-2009
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I also don't know your boat, but several things strike me. First, 20 kts of wind isn't that much for a Bavaria 44 so I'm very surprised you had two reefs in the main. That could be part of the problem as reducing your main moves the center of effort forward - more weather helm. Next, furling a genoa ruins the shape. If it was designed and cut to be a "reefing" furler, maybe 3 or 4 turns is OK, but in general, roller reefing doesn't work well. Finally, as two other responders have said, drop the traveller.

Just food for thought. I wasn't there, after all.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-14-2009
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Its a lot of wind for a 145 genoa

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