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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All I have an S&S34 built 1979 which has a single spreader short rig

The boat sufferes with weatherhelm

Does any one know the recommended mast rake for this class of boat

I read an article which suggested 8” (200mm)

Any advise greatly appreciated
 

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I owned an S&S design from that era.it tended to develop a lot of weather helm pretty quickly with changes in wind speed. You could pretty easily balance the helm by depowering the mainsail, but it was important that the main sail was not blown out. So question one would be, what is the condition of your sails?

My boat came with two mainsails, one almost new and one that was blown out. I mostly used the new main, but I used the blown out main while the good main was being worked on an the boat had a lot of weather helm that sail adjustment alone could not help.

These boats were also very sensitive to having the right Genoa up for the windspeed. We typically sailed with a 155% Genoa but needed to change headsails down to the 140 around 12 knots, reef around 15 knots, and go to the 125 around 18 knots of wind.

Jeff
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Jeff

Sails 4 years old and as cruising boat main doesn’t see the light of day very often

I can balance boat by pulling in first reef at 15kts

Will now play with head sail furler

Cheers col
 

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When I'm tuning a rig and don't have a "recommended" amount of rake for guidance, I rake the mast at between 3-5", depending on the size of the boat, and then sail the boat in 10-12 kts wind, and take notice of the amount of weather helm. If the weather helm is too light, I'll tilt the rig back a bit more. If it's too heavy, I'll tilt it forward a bit. My preference is for a somewhat lighter weather helm. As I see it, tuning the rig gets the amount of weather helm within an acceptable general range. Trimming the sails fine tunes the amount of weather helm.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your input

I have 4” of mast rake but a truck load of weather helm at 15kts

Unfortunately the furler when installed didn’t incorporate a rigging screw

My options could be

Ease back stay but this causes other issues in to point
Or
Reef main early

Or

Tighten the forward lower stays
Or

Reduce headsail
But as I’m only a Cruising boat it make sense to reef early

Ultimately when I renew the rig I will have a rigging screw inserted.

The present arrangements will get me from Sydney to the barrier reef in good order

Thanks everyone for your help

Col

SV Bullant Rouge
 

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I'm not familiar with that boat, but 8" rake sounds like a lot. I had a 25' boat that made me seriously arm-weary to steer it in a breeze, and discovered that a 3" extension had been placed in the forestay and the mast had been raked back too much. I removed the extension and tilted the mast forward until it had a comfortable weather helm when I sailed it. That resulted in a light weather helm and, in one design racing, the boat was competitive with the best of the competition.

Regardless of the "recommended" amount of rake, I adjust the mast rake to achieve a comfortable weather helm and to optimize speed and pointing when closehauled.

I'd suggest you adjust the rake to 4" and see if that lightens the helm. If it doesn't help, you can always put it back.
 
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