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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 12-13-2011
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Rudder Control

I was given the opportunity to go sailing with a slip neighbor and took it. We motored out of the harbor easily and turned into the very light breeze and hoisted the mail and jib. During the sailing time I noticed that he had to hold a lot of offset rudder to hold a heading and that it also took good forward movement to keep the wind from blowing the boat off heading. It was a 22 foot swing keel boat. Not sure what we were doing wrong. I tried several different sail trim adjustments. I have not had that problem with my boat and being fairly new to sailing something bigger than a sunfish was puzzled.
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Old 12-13-2011
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The rigging might need adjustment.
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Old 12-13-2011
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Was the keel down all the way?
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was all the off-heading in the same direction, meaning the boat always wanted to head up, or always wanted to bear off?

If the latter, the keel could be partway up, meaning further aft than when it's down, gives you lee helm, you have to hold tiller to leeward just to get her to go straight.

If it's weather helm, then the opposite. Maybe the keels too far forward? Well, that's unlikely, so maybe you have too much main force and too little jib force?

Hard to tell from your question
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Old 12-13-2011
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Id start with sailtrim and then check rig tuning. You said a light breeze, how light?

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Old 12-13-2011
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Ease the main.
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Old 12-13-2011
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There are a lot of things that can cause the conditions you describe, some equipment, (old, blown out sails), some technique ( Sail trim, rigging adjustment) some naval archetecture (design of hull, keel and rudder.) Had a swing keel Macgregor 2-22, which behaved like that, sometimes, Usually, it was keel placement, up, down or somewhere in between, or mast rake, which often got set differently from frequent on and off trailer. It was very sensitive to mast rake, and keel position. I'd start there, but figuring out what, and why and how to get better is what being a sailor is about, and will provide a life time of enjoyment and frustration. Do you have tell tales? Best $9.00 you will ever spend!
Lou
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Old 12-14-2011
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Here on a small lake if I hit a swirl in my Cal21, without enough momentum the jib will actually backwind and the main will stay full. Spinning the boat around...it's maddening. There are only a couple spots near the shore where the wind does that and really only in light, variable wind...local knowledge stuff I guess.

I wonder if his 22' is suseptible to that type of thing. Similar length/swing keel boats.
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Old 12-14-2011
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It was a Macgregor 22 and we checked to see that the keel was all the way down, however, even though it felt like it was down it may have hung on something. When we started out and I ask him if the keel was down and the answer was no. I cranked the handle until I felt the cable go slack. His stays were loose and there were no turnbuckles to tighten, just some adjustable holes to bolt through on straps. Also we started with the outboard motor down and after raising it things got somewhat better during course heading changes. I did not have my wind meter with me so I am guessing the wind was calm to 5 and in that lake there are some wind changes depending on wind direction and position on the lake. The jib was a standard size. We started out with the main furled but because the wind was light we unfurled it.

Thanks for the input. Next time I see him I will pass the information along. He is planning on taking some lessons from the PO in the future, however, it sounded like the PO had very little sailing experience, as I do.
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I thought about my first post and realized It is somewhat garbled. To diagnose the problem, eliminate things in a progressive order. I would 1) make sure the bottom, keel and rudder are clean. It was hard to bottom paint the keel on the trailer, and it would pick up a lot of growth, adds a new dimension to sailing. 2) check mast placement and rig tension. As mentioned Macs are very sensitive to keel placement and mast rake. With a tiny bit of forward rake, she would not tack at all! The rigging adjusters are a PITA, and I always needed 3 people to get them right. Even the keel resting against the lock pin vs. the lock pin through the keel would be noticible. 3) Play with sail trim and controls.
On the other hand, the first time I took the Mariner 28 out, with a more experienced sailor, I was tensed up about the "big" boat and the wheel vs tiller and fixed keel vs swing keel. It seemed she had a terrible weather helm and wanted to round up on every puff. Never experienced that again, so I can only assume I paid no attention to sail trim as she is actually a well behaved boat! First sails are funny! Lot of good info on the MacGregor forum.
Good luck and stay in touch.
Lou
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