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Weather Helm #3470
03/22/04 10:45 PM
03/22/04 10:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
San Pedro, CA, USA
G
Geoffrey Turk Offline OP
Forum Newbie
Geoffrey Turk  Offline OP
Forum Newbie
G
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
San Pedro, CA, USA
I have alot of weather helm...suggestions to correct?
Much Appreciated,
Geoff Turk
J30 "Velocity"
San Pedro, Calif.

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Re: Weather Helm #3471
03/23/04 10:57 AM
03/23/04 10:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 485
Chicago, Il. USA
D. Bartley Offline
Governor at Large
D. Bartley  Offline
Governor at Large
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 485
Chicago, Il. USA
What sort of conditions, point of sail?

Lots of things, some of which may help:

- sail the boat flatter, less heel reduces helm

- Drop the traveler down, all the way to leeward if you have to

- Flatten the main... more backstay, outhaul

- use a smaller headsail

- Reduce mast rake (ease the shrouds, tighten the forestay, then bring your shrouds tighter)

- Sometimes, there's just nothing you can do. On a tight reach in a good breeze, a J/30 is a truck.


Dennis Bartley
Planxty, s/n 23994
hull 205
Re: Weather Helm #3472
03/23/04 12:27 PM
03/23/04 12:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
San Pedro, CA, USA
G
Geoffrey Turk Offline OP
Forum Newbie
Geoffrey Turk  Offline OP
Forum Newbie
G
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
San Pedro, CA, USA
Quote
Originally posted by D. Bartley:
What sort of conditions, point of sail?

Lots of things, some of which may help:

- sail the boat flatter, less heel reduces helm

- Drop the traveler down, all the way to leeward if you have to

- Flatten the main... more backstay, outhaul

- use a smaller headsail

- Reduce mast rake (ease the shrouds, tighten the forestay, then bring your shrouds tighter)

- Sometimes, there's just nothing you can do. On a tight reach in a good breeze, a J/30 is a truck.

Re: Weather Helm #3473
03/23/04 12:30 PM
03/23/04 12:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
San Pedro, CA, USA
G
Geoffrey Turk Offline OP
Forum Newbie
Geoffrey Turk  Offline OP
Forum Newbie
G
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
San Pedro, CA, USA
Thanks...Problem occurs going to weather in a breeze.Have tried other suggestions.Guess I'll go to truck driving school.
Quote
Originally posted by D. Bartley:
What sort of conditions, point of sail?

Lots of things, some of which may help:

- sail the boat flatter, less heel reduces helm

- Drop the traveler down, all the way to leeward if you have to

- Flatten the main... more backstay, outhaul

- use a smaller headsail

- Reduce mast rake (ease the shrouds, tighten the forestay, then bring your shrouds tighter)

- Sometimes, there's just nothing you can do. On a tight reach in a good breeze, a J/30 is a truck.

Re: Weather Helm #3474
03/23/04 02:43 PM
03/23/04 02:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 173
Arnold, MD
Joe Ruzzi Offline
Senior Member
Joe Ruzzi  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 173
Arnold, MD
Geoffrey, how old are you sails? Old sails can definitely influence helm. As they age, the draft moves aft and the luff stretches and becomes more full, even when you try to flatten it out with the sail controls. This will result in increased helm.

Do you have any other J/30s in your area? If so, you could check and/or try settings and adjustments? For example you could check how the other boat has its rig tuned (tension and rake). If it was a breezy day, you could do two-boat testing or even try switching sails.

[This message has been edited by jmruzzi (edited 03-23-2004).]

Re: Weather Helm #3475
03/23/04 03:00 PM
03/23/04 03:00 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 148
Princeton Junction, NJ
S Hunter Offline
Senior Member
S Hunter  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 148
Princeton Junction, NJ
Geoffrey... I'll second the opinion to keep her flat. Have you tried 1/2 a ton of friends on the rail?

Re: Weather Helm #3476
03/24/04 10:21 AM
03/24/04 10:21 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 159
grand rapids, mi
311 Temptation Offline
Western Great Lakes District Governor
311 Temptation  Offline
Western Great Lakes District Governor
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 159
grand rapids, mi
I have to admit it; I was pretty surprised at the "weight" of the helm when I first grabbed the tiller.

I can only guess at the causes such as:

* it's a pretty big rudder !

* it' s stern hung which may be a factor

* the chord length of the rudder is long, which means it's got more surface area to present to the direction of flow. A short chord modern rudder would be more efficient, and have a much lighter feel

* my sails are in rather decent shape, and I still have a relatively "heavy feel" regardless of wind strength

* the feel is similar with the spinnaker up too, in terms of "weight"

However, the upside is that you are not going to want to fight a lot of (slow) weather helm, so you will be trimmed at least close to the correct groove. In this regard, I really don't mind. Call it self-instructive.

Also, I don't think you could get away with being an extremely ham fisted racing helmsman. You only need to move that helm a wee bit (fractions of an inch primarily) for best effect. This is true on any boat, and it's just easier to do on the J/30 because this is the range of easy movement. If you move the helm excessively, you get penalized with arm fatigue, so you learn to make small fluid movements, which translates nicely to your helming skills on this and other boats.

But I was surprised at first. It's not what you might think. I do think the J/30 has a sweet natural wide groove that makes it pretty easy to go fast. Except when there is zero wind, 5 foot waves and current, my typical Lake Michigan racing conditions.

Dell


Dell Todd
#311 Temptation
Holland MI
Re: Weather Helm #3477
03/24/04 12:19 PM
03/24/04 12:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 173
Arnold, MD
Joe Ruzzi Offline
Senior Member
Joe Ruzzi  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 173
Arnold, MD
A major factor in the heavy feel of the J/30 helm is related to the fact that it is a transom-hung rudder. The leading edge of the rudder is about 2 inches behind the centerline of the pintles. This gives a substantial negative mechanical advantage. In other words, the rudder is a very unbalanced design ... identical to its older, smaller sister, the J/24. In later designs, like the J/92, the Johnstones brought the leading edge forward below the pintles. This made a less unbalanced design. I know of several cruisers who have built up the leading edge to accomplish the same thing. The question is how much to build up the leading edge. I talked to one owner who did that and said that he put too much material up front. In doing so, he lost helm feel in most conditions.

Re: Weather Helm #3478
03/24/04 12:55 PM
03/24/04 12:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 485
Chicago, Il. USA
D. Bartley Offline
Governor at Large
D. Bartley  Offline
Governor at Large
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 485
Chicago, Il. USA
hmmm... upwind in a breeze I generally have a rather light helm, even with max headstay length.

If you're already using a #3, make it as flat as possible. Tightening the uppers along with backstay on hard may help that.

Twist off the top of the #3 a bit by moving the jib car back.

As a previous poster suggested, old sails may be deeper or draft aft than you'd like, both of which contribute to heel, and therefore weather helm.


Dennis Bartley
Planxty, s/n 23994
hull 205

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