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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 06-15-2007
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Lee Helm

I noticed last night while sailing that my boat will turn to leeward if I put the rudder straight, I had to keep the tiller about 20 degrees to go straight. The wind was very light about 2-3kts. Would this be lee helm? and if so how could I go about correcting this? I believe if I adjust my mast rake aft that should help. When setting up the boat it looked as if the mast was perpendicular to the deck of the boat.

It is a Barnett butterfly. A cat rigged dinghy.



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Old 06-15-2007
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That's a pretty boat. Raking the mast back will help. Other things you can do while sailing:
  • move your weight to leeward in light winds, inducing heel
  • trim in the sail and the boom vang
  • ease the cunningham and outhaul to move the curve of the sail forward
  • moving weight aft will have a similar effect as raking the mast back but will also move the CLR back, it depends on how the boat is balanced, sometimes shifting weight forward will correct lee helm

Last edited by CapnHand; 06-15-2007 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 06-15-2007
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Before you rake the mast aft too much, try seeing how she balances in more wind than 2-3 knots. It could be that very light air just doesn't flow all the way aft on the sail. At 5 knots and above, you may find there's more wind flow aft along the leech, the Center of Effort moves aft, and you get a slight weather helm, which is what you're looking for.

Not knowing the Butterfly, I'm guessing, but try it.
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