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Old 06-07-2012
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Learned a new thing about my boat yesterday

I was out on the Patapsco River yesterday afternoon, and coming back in it started blowing real nice, and I was close hauled. When she takes a good puff she always gets a bit of weather helm, and usually I haul her back into line and don't think anything of it. Yesterday I tried something different.

I let her have her way, and she developed a little sine wave all her own where she'd come into the wind and pick up speed until she started to luff, whereupon she'd fall back off and regain speed until she'd bear up again, and the whole process would repeat. She basically sail a nice line, just making a little s-wave along it instead of a straight line, all without me moving the tiller.

I don't imagine this is anything new in the sailing world, but it was new to me on this boat and was a bit of a comfort to find out what her behavior would be. Gave me one more level of relaxation with her.
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Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Learned a new thing about my boat yesterday

That's the beauty of having weather helm, rather than lee helm. Sailing close-hauled, or even on a reach, with some weather helm results in a negative-feedback system. Try the same thing with lee helm and you'll have a positive-feedback system, with far less desirable results.
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Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Learned a new thing about my boat yesterday

It's pretty neat when your boat sets up that way.. must have been relatively flat water though, in slop it's hard to stay on that 'sweet' track.
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Old 06-07-2012
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Learned a new thing about my boat yesterday

Yeah I've found this too. Going upwind I can usually get the boat in a groove where i tie off the tiller and the boat sails itself better than I can as it reacts to puffs and direction shifts I can't see or feel.
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