Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Weather Helm/Rudder Design
I have a question about my boat, a 16' Neport 16.
Background: It is a fractional rig and it actually sails OK in decent wind, but in low wind, when pointing, or in gusts it has a strong weather helm. It has a genoa, maybe 130-140%.
Here are my two theories on why that is.
1) The main sail is a little undersized, it could probably stand to be 10% bigger (just a used sail from Bacon sails, loose footed since it is a home made boom at the moment).
2) The rudder is undersized/bad design. OK, so I know a piece of 3/4 oak shelving eased on the front and with a maybe 1 inch taper on the rear is not optimal (obviously) but would this account for the very bad weather helm at times?
I am almost certain the answer is 2 as I am not a complete idiot I'd like to think and I plan on building a new rudder this weekend in any caes (1/8 ply laminated, fiberglass wrapped). I just wanted to throw it out there and see what people thought and maybe get suggestions on rudder shape/sizing.