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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-16-2012 10:11 PM
Re: Herreshoff Marlin 23 in plastic

A gaff rig would normally move the CE aft and increase weather helm. My sense is that the helm is pretty neutral until the Breeze builds so there is no obvious cure except reef early.
12-16-2012 06:35 PM
Re: Herreshoff Marlin 23 in plastic

Hi all.. I have been looking into the Marlin, one of the most beautiful of small boats in my humble opinion. From what I have read here, the problem with the weather helm has a lot to do with how far forwards the rudder is compared to the size and shape of the main..

As noted, raking a reef in seems to help. Do you think cutting down the main to a gaff rig would help any? I think that, added to Starry Night's small Sprit, would make her a lot more "neutral"

Any thoughts?
01-11-2011 07:02 PM
bow sprit

Hi, I just bought a '61 Marlin and would like to know more about the weather helm thing.....It does not have a bow sprit. If you still have it would I be better to cut the boom? Thanks John Ehlers
01-11-2011 06:47 PM

Hey Brodie78 I'd pay your freight to come down to Shelter Island and comment on how to best restore my Marlin. John Ehlers
05-04-2010 06:32 PM
sailingdog If they aren't, you could always try the manufacturer... Cape Cod Shipbuilding is still in business in Wareham, MA.
05-01-2010 08:02 AM
tonygogo sold my S boat and now just bought a '61 marlin day sailor..are you people still around with your marlins for questions and support??
04-08-2009 10:09 PM

Many thanks, Brodie. I think we'll start with the non-majors!
04-07-2009 05:07 PM
Brodie78 The weather helm is a function of the steeply raked rudder post and old-style rudder shape. There are several quick things you can do to help, and a few more major ones.

Easy things:
Reef/ease/flatten the main before the jib. When it's time to reef, I find the boat behaves much better with a reefed main and full jib than the other way around. I have a furling jib so it's easier to just roll up some of the jib but it usually results in more helm.

If it's windy enough to just use one sail, DON'T try sailing with just the main! The boat won't do it. It will, however, sail just fine with the jib only. You won't point terribly well but it can make for a pleasant sail. Try it on a day when it's not too gnarly to see how the boat does. You'll point better the windier it is, if the wind drops to a speed where you need the main, you'll know because you won't be able to sail upwind at all.

More major things:
Shorten the foot of the mainsail...essentially does what putting a reef in does, as far as moving the center of effort further forward. The standard boat has a very long boom as it is (the foot of my main is 11') boat has a 2' fixed bowsprit to move the jib tack forward. Not exactly an overnight project but certainly not beyond the abilities of a good do-it-yourselfer. I can send you pics of mine if you want. I have not sailed a Marlin without a bowsprit so I can't tell you exactly how much of a difference it makes. I do still have a lot of helm sometimes even with the sprit but never so much that the rudder stalls or the boat rounds up. I just heel a lot and slow down if I don't have the boat trimmed properly with the sails.

I suppose the ultimate fix would be to build a new rudder with a more vertical rudder post and more modern shape, but that would be a serious project. I'd love to see what difference it made, though!
04-07-2009 01:58 AM
eliotrcutler I have nearly completed the restoration of a Marlin that has been in my family since 1960, and I remain stymied by the pronounced weather helm and whether some adjustments in the rigging might address that problem. Any ideas?
09-25-2008 04:19 PM
Brodie78 Hey Cortona, I can't see the pics so I'll wait for the Mrs. to post them. At least you have an engine, my boat has a 2 hp outboard that I try to never use as it is loud and annoying, not to mention undersized. I managed to go all season without using it this year. Asym spinnaker helps get me home on those light air days.

Once I get to that ten post limit I'll put up some pics. Trying to find some posts to reply to!
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