That's a valuable piece of information. I'm glad you shared it. It answers a lot of questions on why the boats varied from one another - options from the factory.
I see the anodized mast and boom is an option. So silver aluminum doesn't mean a replacement mast or boom.
My boat didn't come with a spinnaker or it's hardware. It would be nice to know were it was all installed.
Interesting to see that winches were not standard and I don't have the optional jib halyard winch on the mast. How far up from the base of the mast is it mounted and is it the same size as the sheet winches or smaller?
I didn't know a backstay tensioner was optional. Now I know what the U-bolt is for at the top top of the transom. Anyone know what the original set up was like? ratio etc.?
I don't have the Boomvang option either. How fare from the gooseneck was the boom bail installed and what was the block ratio?
I wonder if the gas tank venting option was the two opposed cowl vents?
I wish I had the poptop cover option. David-is your cover an original or a copy of an original?
My boat does have a spinnaker and hardware (except for a spinnaker pole). There's a stainless d-ring loop and block about 2/3's of the way up the front of the mast for the spinpole topping lift. There's also a turning block at the base of the mast and a cam cleat on the coachroof to run the topping lift line back to the cockpit. Then there's a another d-loop on a sliding track (~3') on the front of the mast on the lower 1/3 for attaching the spinpole. Finally, there is a block on each of the stern corners for the spinnaker sheets to be routed to the winches. That's how mine is rigged. Hopefully I'll acquire a spin pole this year and try it out.
I also have a halyard winch on my mast. It's roughly the same size as the sheet winches, though it is of a different make. I do not have the handle for it and therefore do not use it. I've found that both the main and jib are raised fairly easily, though I sometimes wish I had a downhaul for the headsail.
My mast and boom have attachment points for a boomvang, though I don't have the actually vang. You can see the hardware in the picture below (excuse my ratty sails!).
Hello, I am in search of some information regarding a possible purchase of a Helms 25. From my research the Helms 25 has a swing keel- are there any exceptions to this? The current owner swears it doesn't have one but hasn't hauled the boat himself to see.
I can dive the boat to take a quick look but is there any other way to verify the existence of a swing keel. My concern is trailerablity in the future as I am an active duty military member and have to always keep that in the back of my mind.
The Helms 25 has 1650# of fixed ballast in a short fixed keel with a 300# steel centerboard. The centerboard swings up into the fixed keel. With the centerboard up the draft is 20". With the centerboard down the draft is 6'. However, you don't need to sail with the centerboard fully extended. Lowere it just enough to balance the weatherhelm.
Hi Folks, Last year I was given a '76 Helms 25 from a friend to help me get into sailing and not let the boat go to waste. It needs works but is sea worthy. I have a couple issues to solve if anyone can help. First: I have a leak around the bolt/pin holding up the centerboard. Can I simply remove the 4 bolts and nuts going through it, add some gasket material to each end then reinsert the bolts and nuts? Or will the centerboard drop when I remove the bolts? And Second: The rudder is extremely hard to push down and pull up. Is this normal or can I loosen the bolt and nut a bit? Thanks very much!
Thanks for the quick reply. For the centerboard, I have water on the port side of the centerboard bolt/pin which is the only place water could have come from. I had the boat out on Sunday for 4 hours. When we docked I noticed more water on the cabin floor than before we set sail. I had some water in that area throughout the winter months and it stayed at the same level until I took it sailing on Sunday.
For the rudder, thanks. I will try loosening the bolt/nut a bit. I was afraid by doing this that the rudder would come up on its own while sailing.
If it comes in from open hatches, tow eye, hull deck joint it may still settle to that point. I have a 1/4" hole drilled in the stern liner to drain into the lowest point but a 15 deg heel can put water into that little spot fast and it never returns but weeps and seeps.
The bolt pin you refer to is the pin-hige, you'll set free the 300# guillotine blade..I mean center board.
On the centerboard topic. You should have a 2"x2" stainless steel plate over each side of the centerboard trunk. These plates are to give you access to the centerboard pivot pin. The plates have a red colored gasket behind them for a seal and are held on with small stainless steel screws, one on each corner of the plate. Check to make sure these plates are not leaking while underway. Use baby powder or tape paper towels around the plates to see if there is any sign of water coming around the plates. Water from other sources would run below the plates.
Rudder - You need to tighten the swing bolt on the rudder just tight enough that it doesn't swing while sailing, but loose enough to swing up if you ground. Do you have large thick doughnut washers on each side of the bolt? I'm suppose to, but mine are missing. I just use very large fender washers and i tighten mine as hard as i can with a 10" box wrench. It stays put while sailing, but swings up if I ground. If I ground and it swings up, I loosen the bolt and push the rudder down with my boat pole and re-tighten the bolt.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the detailed info. Am I able to remove the stainless steel plates without the centerboard from falling? I'm almost certain that both sides are leaking but I'm not certain that is the only leak.
For the rudder, I don't know about the washers. I'll take a look tonight after work. I think the bolt is too tight and will try loosening it a little bit. I just need enough that I'm not fighting to lower and raise the rudder. At this point, that is the hardest effort needed when I take out the boat.
One last question: what is the size of the mast on the Helms 25?
Thanks very much!
I agree about the plates. You have two more under the winch on either side of the centerboard trunk to inspect the shaft for the cable block that guides the centerboard cable through the trunk. This block can stop spinning and get a groove cut into it by the cable. You can see the block if the boat is hauled out and you lower the centerboard and look up into the trunk.
Air draft is 33'-6". That's the important measurement, as a lot of bridges are 35' at mean high water.