I have been reading sailnet for a good year or two but have yet to post. Hello everyone.
I have a couple questions, mostly relating to weather helm.
I currently own (fully now) and live on a 1971 Cheoy Lee Offshore 27. I spent the whole summer tearing off the teak decks, replacing the wood core on the foredeck, refibeglassing the gaping hole, filling in screw holes with epoxy, sanding and repainting the decks. The infamous Cheoy Lee deck problem has been somewhat fixed if you ignore the other soft spots. Shhh. Here are some general interest pictures:
After installing new marine plywood:
Final product with primer:
Picture of the boat today:
Out of the water:
Moving on. The boat suffers from a relatively annoying and potentially serious case of weather helm and I'm trying to address the problem in steps. My first step was going to be installing a boomvang however I am concerned about the structural integrity of my boom in withstanding the pressures of a strong wind while beating. The boom is made of Sitka Spruce. I was planning on installing a D-ring to the boom with a 4:1 purchase block to the mast. Feelings? Worth the effort, risk? Right now I just hitched some webbing on the boom and tried to bring it down that way but I can't get enough friction. Worth a try I guess.
My sails are pretty old and the main has three large burn holes that have been hand patched from an embarrassing accident that would require another post. I have heard (accurately?) that an investment in new sails would reduce weather helm. That is an investment I currently can't make right now but feedback on the issue would be appreciated.
I think part of the reason for the extra weather helm is also due to the general design of the boat. She is really narrow with low freeboard so I generally have to reef at a relatively low wind strength, generally around 12-15 knots. I am not totally used to this yet so perhaps I should expect to reef earlier and stop reefing when the rail is in the water.
Any suggestions/comments? I've read the posts about weather helm and figured there might be advice relevant specifically to the Cheoy Lee.
Thanks and Hello,