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Old 04-02-2008, 10:15   #1
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Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
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Study Hall: Correcting Weather Helm

This is an excellent article authored By Gord.

Poor balance (Weather Helm) increases as the “Centre of Effort” moves aft of the “Centre of Lateral Resistance”, and can also be caused by warped rudders, skegs, and keels/centerboards, or even by baggy sails.

Sail trim to move the C of E forward, and reduce weather helm:

Remove mast rake (or even rake slightly forward).

Reduce wind pressure on the main, or increase the pressure on the head sail. This can be done by shaping (trimming) the sails, and dropping the main to leeward. As the wind increases, shape/position become more critical (should be flatter). If you can, tighten the backstay. This helps to pull the fullness out of the main and will flatten the head sail. The idea is to flatten the sails and keep the draft forward.

Tighten the outhaul to flatten the bottom part of the main. At the same time tighten the Main and Genoa halyard to keep the draft(s) forward. Bottom batten should line up with boom, top batten with masthead. Twist at the top of the mainsail will allow wind to spill.

Move the Genoa lead aft to flatten the lower section and twist off the leech.

Dropping the boom to leeward after shaping will reduce weather helm.

Add a boom vang (helps maintain shape when easing out).

More weight aft and windward, less weight in the bow (move anchor, empty the water tank in bow)

Reef (the main more than the jib).
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