Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Thanked 80 Times in 80 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Helm balance close-hauled and beam reach
This Sunday sailing close hauled in 20 knots apparent I found a sweet spot I haven't before. She was heading up really high, moving nicely, and the helm was totally neutral. In fact I let go of it for a couple of minutes and she stayed right on that point of sail. This was with 100% jib, full main, both sheeted in hard. Two other boats were nearby and weren't pointing nearly as well so we left them behind. Nice!
But then when we had to head slowly down to a beam reach, and despite easing the jib and main, we got quite a lot of weather helm. I tried easing the main till it luffed and the weather helm didn't really go away.
I have taken to setting the solid boomvang, when the main is first raised, by sheeting the main in hard while close hauled, then tightening the boomvang until the slack is just going out of the line. This way the boomvang will come into effect when I bear away.
I have heard contradictory things : that use of boomvang on a beam reach flattens the sail, reducing drag and weather helm, and the opposite - let the boom rise to spill out some air.
So how to use it, and how do I make the helm more neutral on a beam reach? Please bear in mind that I don't have a traveler.
Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
Last edited by MarkSF; 09-20-2011 at 10:05 PM.