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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:42 pm 
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For years, in my 2009 AI, I found myself continuously compensating for weather helm, whenever the wind got a bit fresh. Then, when I got a replacement 2012 hull, with the large rudder, everything changed. Suddenly the weather helm was gone and there was in fact a slight lee helm. I was delighted as I no longer had to furl the sail or ease the mainsheet in stronger winds.
Until - I took it out recently on a really windy day - nudging 30 knots by my estimate. No problem at first - I just furled the sail down to the "H" and away I flew. The problem arose on my way home, when I had to beat upwind. Normally I sit up on my quarterdeck and have little problem tacking, but on this occasion there was so much windage that I kept getting caught in irons. No problem I thought, just drop into the seatwell and pedal through the tacks. This always worked in my old boat, but this time, even pedalling like crazy, I still couldn't get across the wind.
The problem, as I see it, is that in really high winds a little lee helm becomes a lot of lee helm and just as furling the sail is the best way to decrease weather helm, it actually increases lee helm.
In the end, I had to gybe right around to get onto the opposite tack, then I was able to get home by staying on really long reaches, to avoid having to change tack.
Has anyone else encountered this problem?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:48 pm 
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Next time try turning around like on a narrow street. Back down and reverse rudder... then off onto the new tack.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:04 pm 
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I tried backing off the rudder Matt, but to no avail. I couldn't get the bow far enough into the wind, so the wind seemed to be pushing the bow around more than blowing the whole boat backwards. In the end it wasn't such a big deal. Just an observation about the big rudder. I think another alternative might have been to pull the rudder right up, then use the paddle to change direction - paddling backward on the windward side.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:20 pm 
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I'd think the windage is the prime issue. Rudder size won't help if there is not water flowing over it (shouldn't hurt), regardless of size. Unless the balance is neutral and allows you to stall the rudder (turning too hard). That is always an issue on a catamaran too. Start the turns slowly and increase the helm turning as the boat slows... otherwise you are simply dragging the rudder sideways through the water.

Another trick is hitting the wave cycle right. Begin a tack as the boat rises up over a crest. Continue down the back side and as the bow hits the next wave, the wave should assist in pushing the nose on through the tack. All of this requires some boat speed though and in some higher winds... you just can't overcome the windage.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:27 pm 
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Sure Matt, I realised I had bitten off more than I could chew, trying to tack in those high winds. It was not being able to pedal across the wind that blew me away. With the old rudder, the weather helm would point you straight into the wind, so it was relatively easy to complete the tack with the aid of the Mirage drive. On this occasion, I was unable to get my bow anywhere near pointing into the wind.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:32 pm 
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Well explained Chris. I know exactly what you're talking about, even though I've never experienced tacking in 30 knots, and havent yet been caught in irons with the larger rudder. As you're approching your tack could you raise your rudder slightly to reduce its effectivness giving you a bit more WH ?

( In fact, I quite like a good old fashioned gybe ).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Slaughter wrote:
As you're approching your tack could you raise your rudder slightly to reduce its effectivness giving you a bit more WH ?

I wondered about that in hindsight Russ. Trouble is, the rudder gets a lot harder to control as you raise it, but it might be worth a try. I'll let you know, next time I'm silly enough to go out in those conditions.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:44 pm 
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I really like the new rudder design mainly for sailing around the local sand islands. As I'm approaching them, I remove the dagger and uncleat the rudder line so that it's free to raise if it hits any sand. If it does hit, I then cleat the line so that the rudder is just in the water, probably between 10-30 degrees off horizontal, and then start to dolly step with the drive. Mind you, I've never done this in a 30 knot wind :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:58 pm 
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I've been reading this when I realized this happened to me a couple years ago. The winds were probably about mid 20 mph. I had just launched in a shallow bay. The channel thru the bay required that I head out on a starboard tack, and then tack across the wind. I was under full sail. Even with pedaling, it was like hitting a wall, and the bow would go no further. I had just launched and finally got pushed back to where I had started. Embarrassing because there was another group of campers there, and I'm sure they were laughing at my struggles, although one fellow came over and held my boat momentarily. It then occurred to me to reduce the sail; after which, I had no problem tacking across the wind.

Keith

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Slaughter wrote:
I really like the new rudder design mainly for sailing around the local sand islands. As I'm approaching them, I remove the dagger and uncleat the rudder line so that it's free to raise if it hits any sand. If it does hit, I then cleat the line so that the rudder is just in the water, probably between 10-30 degrees off horizontal, and then start to dolly step with the drive. Mind you, I've never done this in a 30 knot wind :lol:

I've tried something similar, releasing the rudder then hooning around sailing right up onto the beach.

Chekika wrote:
I've been reading this when I realized this happened to me a couple years ago. The winds were probably about mid 20 mph. I had just launched in a shallow bay. The channel thru the bay required that I head out on a starboard tack, and then tack across the wind. I was under full sail. Even with pedaling, it was like hitting a wall, and the bow would go no further. I had just launched and finally got pushed back to where I had started. Embarrassing because there was another group of campers there, and I'm sure they were laughing at my struggles, although one fellow came over and held my boat momentarily. It then occurred to me to reduce the sail; after which, I had no problem tacking across the wind.

Keith

Was it with the old rudder or the new one Keith? I found that the more I furled the sail, the worse it got.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:12 pm 
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Mark,
I have experimented in big winds, and I don't even try to do a conventional tack. If the winds are quite strong, momentarily furl the sail and reverse the rudder. As the wind blows you downwind the rudder will steer the stern round until your bow is pointing in the new required direction. Then just unfurl the sail and proceed.

This approach is much less stressful than beating crap out of the pedals in the vain hope of going forward into the wind :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:23 pm 
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double post sorry

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