Excessive Weather Helm?

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Mark Sutherland
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 1:32 am

Excessive Weather Helm?

Post by Mark Sutherland »

My 2006, 350 is new to me. Just moved up from my '86 C34. I was sailing last weekend in 12-14 knots (true), roller main, 125% Genoa(new), between close reach and beam reach, making high 7's through the water. I was experiencing a lot of weather helm, having to crank the wheel from neutral 12:00 position to around 5:00 position in order to maintain course. During a couple of gusts, I had to turn the wheel even further, perhaps to 7:00 (more than 1/2 a turn). Is this normal? The C34's had a similar issue which some owners were addressing with new rudders, which is not a cheap remedy and I'm not eager to do. I'm also experiencing more heal (20-25 degrees) than I'm used to in such modest winds.
Mark Sutherland,
Dunrobin III
Hull #388 (2006)

markws1852
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:15 pm

Re: Excessive Weather Helm?

Post by markws1852 »

Mark, I have a 2004 (hull 300) 350. I can only say that I have never made anywhere near 7 knots in 12 kts of wind (unless there was significant current aiding my way through the water). Regardless, there is always some weather helm but nowhere near that much in 12 kts. Last weekend we were sailing in about 15-18 kts of wind and made sure that the mainsail was tight with only a small amount of curvature and experienced some weather helm on puffs but not anywhere near what you describe. BTW, our jib is a 135.

Mark Schlussel
Legal Tender III
#300

sv.divine.grace
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Excessive Weather Helm?

Post by sv.divine.grace »

I have experienced significant weather helm on our 2005 C350 (we have a 150 genoa). As you probably know, weather helm results when the force on the mainsail is greater than on the foresail, resulting in greater force aft of the keel, thereby causing the boat to turn into the wind (just physics). In my experience, to decrease weather helm and the amount of heel, I reduce the amount mainsail by putting in a reef. My wife and I like to sail relatively flat at no more than about 15 degrees and in 15kts easily make 6+kts. The theoretical max hull speed thru the water is only about 6-7kts so if you are making 7kts thru the water, you might think about reducing the amount of mainsail.

Alan
s/v Divine Grace

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TBOT422
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:36 pm
Location: Clearwater, FL

Re: Excessive Weather Helm?

Post by TBOT422 »

I was sailing last weekend in 12-14 knots (true), roller main, 125% Genoa(new),
These are the key points. 12-14 knots (true) when the boat SOG is in the
high 7's through the water
implies that the apparent wind is likely in excess of 20 knots if sailing into the wind to some degree. Combine that with a relatively small genoa (125%) then weather helm is likely as the main produces more lateral force than the genoa as noted by Alan.
Gary & Janet
The Best of Times (Hull #422)

Mark Sutherland
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 1:32 am

Re: Excessive Weather Helm?

Post by Mark Sutherland »

We were on a close reach so I would guess apparent wind was around 18 knots. I believe the theoretical hull speed is 7.5.
Mark Sutherland,
Dunrobin III
Hull #388 (2006)

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