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H235 Lee Helm

Discussion in 'Smaller Boats' started by mmhamer, Aug 14, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

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  1. mmhamer

    mmhamer

    Joined Jun 8, 2014
    23 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Lake MaBride
    I noticed this weekend that the helm on my H23.5 is neutral or slowly dives downwind (lee helm) if I let go of the tiller. I know that the boat slowly turning into the wind (weather helm) is best. I’ve confirmed the centerboard is fully down. Should the mast be racked aft? Any thoughts on what changes I should make to correct this problem would be appreciated?
     


  2. Bill Roosa

    Bill Roosa

    Joined Jun 6, 2006
    6,887 posts, 107 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US Harrington Harbor North, MD
    Fore and mainsail balance. Power up the main or power down the jib (or both). 3 degrees of weather helm is considered best as it makes both the keel and rudder resist side slip without introducing too much drag
     


  3. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,165 posts, 196 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    Besides manipulating the sail trim, as Bill recommends, you can experiment with crew position for ballast changes.... allowing the boat to heel a bit will remove most lee helm.

    After you determine that you can't trim the lee helm out... adjust the mast rake aft a few inches. Measure it with a ruler at the base and your mainsail halyard as a plumb bob.

    If you find yourself changing the mast rake on a regular basis, in response to various conditions... it may be advantageous to switch out the slow, inaccurate turnbuckles to quick change pin hole stay adjusters.
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  4. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,804 posts, 353 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    Take a line and hoist it up on the main halyard on a non windy day or attach a heavy weight to the mainsheet and hoist that up to a point parallel with the goose neck. Then measure how far from the line to the back of the mast and report back your findings.
     


  5. Barnacle Bill

    Barnacle Bill

    Joined Jun 9, 2008
    1,468 posts, 21 likes
    - --
    US -Bayfield
    You should probably rake the mast aft a bit, which increases weather helm.
     


  6. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,804 posts, 353 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    Barnacle Bill; Concur with your thoughts but will depend on what is measured and the original poster measures and get back with us as to what he measures as requested by me.
     


  7. GGordonWoody

    GGordonWoody

    Joined Jun 28, 2016
    296 posts, 61 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Lake Wallenpaupack, PA Paupack, PA
    Good to know. We've sort of noticed this as well. This year we ran out of time at the ramp I didn't get a chance to check it. Thanks for posting.
     


  8. mmhamer

    mmhamer

    Joined Jun 8, 2014
    23 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Lake MaBride
    With the boat in the water, floating on it's line, that measurement is 2".
     


  9. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,804 posts, 353 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    minimal rake. If the mast is up can you take and post a photo sideways so we can see any curvature in the mast as well.
     


  10. mmhamer

    mmhamer

    Joined Jun 8, 2014
    23 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Lake MaBride
    The Lee Helm seems to be only during light air, up wind sailing.
    If the wind is up, I don't notice it.
     


  11. mm2347

    mm2347

    Joined Oct 21, 2008
    162 posts, 10 likes
    oday 222
    US niagara
    My Oday 222 (center board that "swings" down) will also have some lee helm in light air. It helps to make slight adjustments to the center board and to try to heel the boat by adjusting load and by adjusting sail trim. Play with adding power to main sail and mabe even reducing power to jib by adding a little twist .
     


  12. JL Stratton

    JL Stratton

    Joined Jan 13, 2017
    25 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    Un Daleville, Alabama Panama City, Florida
    I'm working on tuning my rig right now as well and noticed significant lee helm in the past. The owner's manual suggests six inches from back of mast to halyard at mast level. This brings me to another question. My boat is on the hard (trailer) and I'm not sure where to check for level (fore and aft) I set a level on the mast base and leveled but the boat is not level along the rub rail. Must I check this with the boat in the water only?
     


  13. GGordonWoody

    GGordonWoody

    Joined Jun 28, 2016
    296 posts, 61 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Lake Wallenpaupack, PA Paupack, PA
    After a full minute in consideration of power, we probably weren't sheeted in enough on main, and our outhaul was likely a bit slack, and I'm sure we weren't vanged down hard. And yes, maybe we needed a tad more rake on the mast. I'm thinking my observation of lee helm wasn't accompanied by a proper assessment of trim. Probably all these things deserve attention. As for leveling the boat, we stick one of the really inexpensive bubble levels right on the mast step. upload_2017-12-5_23-13-34.png
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/30mm-x-12m...258751&hash=item33d7a4d0d4:g:5FsAAOSwPhdVS9S-
     


  14. Bosman

    Bosman

    Joined Oct 24, 2010
    263 posts, 18 likes
    Solina 27
    CA Wabamun, Alberta
    Does the boat have boom vang? How old is the mainsail? Incorrect sail trim and/or sheeting will cause behaviour you are describing.
     


  15. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    588 posts, 147 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH Littleton, NH
    What's to say the mast step is suppose to be level? Measure vertical from boot stripe to bow pulpit. Repeat and match measurement at transom. Pull a monofilament string tight between those two points and use a string level (small light level that hangs on the string at the middle). If the boat isn't level, measure the difference between level and the boat's orientation. Then, you can lay that out on a piece of graphic paper to scale and draw a perpendicular line from the level line that represents the hanging halyard. Draw it to scale (cord length = mast height) draw another line that represents the perpendicular to the actual orientation. Now, draw a line that represents the desired rake of the mast to that line that starts at the point where mast and halyard meet at the top and intersects the line that represents the actual orientation of the boat. Measure, on your scaled drawing, the distance of desired rake to the perpendicular of the orientation line. Then, measure the distance that leaves between the actual plumb (halyard fall) to the raked mast line.
    1512557402759949214765.jpg
    If your schematic is accurate you will find the distance the halyard needs to hang from the mast as your boat sits on the hard. Easier than correcting an unlevel boat. About 10 min to draw and maybe a couple hours to measure.

    Also, it seems obvious, that's why it might get overlooked but, check the lateral step of your mast. With too much tension on port or starboard stay you could also experience a poor helm.
    Bow heavy and your center of lateral resistance moved forward, stern heavy and out moves aft.

    However, the easiest and I think the best way to set your rake is in the water. Rake doesn't matter until then. You retension all your stays when you put your boat back in the water anyhow.
    Good luck and great sailing :)
    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  16. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    588 posts, 147 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH Littleton, NH
    Is that the angle of the rudder to correct your weather helm?
    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  17. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,804 posts, 353 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    I found it was best to fine tune on the water as then the boat would be level. I have seen the hull stripes in the past to be off from the factory and some who put those on. If no hull strips, then mark the water line in the water or let the boat stay in long enough to form a scum line on the hull if planning to take the boat out of the water onto the trailer for tuning.
     


    JL Stratton and Will Gilmore like this.
  18. GGordonWoody

    GGordonWoody

    Joined Jun 28, 2016
    296 posts, 61 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Lake Wallenpaupack, PA Paupack, PA
    But I like bubbles. Beer bubbles, champagne bubbles... Comforting. Besides, my scum line is never on the stripe. Motor tilts everything to starboard. At least I think its the motor. Or maybe it's the stripe. Certainly not I. But a sailboat is never level, so how could something that's never level possibly care about anything that's not level? Except for only when it is. But that means you're probably not sailing. So maybe "level" is only a concept, like "tomorrow". Maybe "level" doesn't really exist... But now I'm going off on a Tangent. I'm with Hunter wanted that un-stayed stick straight up and down to start. I'm sticking to my bubbles.
     


  19. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    588 posts, 147 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH Littleton, NH
    As soon as the wind moves the sail, the hull is pushed bow downward. Not level under sail, level at rest. Got to start somewhere. Why put a rake in to begin with? It helps with backstay clearance, gives shrouds better angle to support mast maybe even makes warping the mast easier. You usually have your main cut for a specific rake.
    Any performance advantages?
    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  20. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,165 posts, 196 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    Since you say it's only on light air days that should tell you that it's a sail trim issue... not a rig tune issue... or else it would be on most all points of sail and wind speeds.
    So.. that means your headsail has too much power and your mainsail is lacking... they are out of balance. Ease out the jib, or depower it by moving the jib lead aft. Power up the main by easing the outhaul, no vang, no cunningham, get those leech tell tales flying...
     



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