Even after sailing on and off for 40 years I get confused by the various uses of the term "helm". I suspect this may not just be me. An online nautical dictionary defines helm
as the various parts
of the steering
system including tiller or wheel
, and cables
. However, I think most of the time the various phrases seen on this board and in articles actually refer to the position of a tiller.
For instance, I think the very old term "helm a'lee" means one pushes the inboard end of a tiller to the leeward in order to bring the bow up into the wind
. Right? Is that the same as "putting the helm
Here are some other uses of the term that are a bit more confusing.
- In one discussion thread on this board concerning heavy weather
tactics the suggestion is made to "lash the helm slightly to leeward". For those of us who have wheels I assume this basically means steering
in a fashion so that the bow of the boat tends to turn slightly up into the wind
- In other discussions one sees the term used as follows: "the boat has a small amount of weather
helm". My assumption has been that this means if one just lets go of the wheel
bow of the boat will tend to slowly go up into the wind?
Thanks for your help.