No weather helm


Sep 27, 2008
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
Usually I expect to feel some slight weather helm when sailing my H26. On my first sail of the year I was sailing across our lake (actually a wide river) on a port tack and notices very little or no weather helm. I checked that the keel and rudder were all the way down. The main was fully raised and the jib was fully deployed. I do not change the turnbuckle settings on my forestay and shrouds so even though I raised the mast a few days earlier there is no reason that this should have changed from last year. All the standing rigging appeared to be at normal tension.

The thought occurred to me that given the unusually high water level (about 8-10 ft over end of season levels) there would be a greater current in the river. Could this cause this change in feel? On the return tack (about 180 degrees from previous) the boat seemed to act more or less normal. I only got to pondering this later so did not have the presence of mind to conduct more experimentation at the time.

My question is: Would a water current present itself like this? The wind and current were in approximately the same direction (from the west).