• Welcome to this website/forum for people interested in the Morgan 38 Sailboat. Many of our members are 'owners' of Morgan 38s, but you don't need to be an owner to Register/Join.

Weather Helm

Ernest Ashley

New Member
We have sailed our 383 about a dozen times now in winds up to 20 knots apparent (with one reef in the main). Our typical sail out of Salem, MA is a beam reach out and back. We have noticed a distinct difference in weather helm between starboard (pretty huge) and port tack (much less). We have checked the mast and it is true side-to-side. Of course our sails are not new but although that contributes to weather helm, that should not be the reason for the noticeable side-to-side difference. We wonder if this is caused by our three blade prop? Do other experience this. Also, what is the appropriate gear to put the Hurth transmission while sailing? Neutral?
 

kenk

Ken Kurlychek
Can't say that I ever noticed weather helm being different from one tack to the other but regarding the transmission - - we always put it in reverse. We also have a fixed, three blade prop.
Ken
 
Hard to know.
Just because the mast true side to side doesn't mean it is correct. They could be too loose letting the mast fall off to the side, and the lowers could be out and still allow the mast to be plumb. The port forward and starboard aft might be tighter than the other too, for example.

Even though it is a "beam reach", is the wind angle the same? The wind speed? How is the trim on the main? Jib? As the boat overpowers, the weather helm will go up very quickly, and at 20 kts you might be experiencing to that, even with a single reef in the main. The difference of a few degrees of wind angle and speed could be a significant difference in weather helm if you are overpowered.

What size jib do you have, and how much was it furled? A full 130 is way too much in 20 kts. Even a 100% should probably be partially furled in 20 kts. I would probably have a 2nd reef in the main as well. Weather helm is probably the best indication of when to reef. So my recommendation is to reef way down, and then evaluate the port/starboard weather helm.
 

Ernest Ashley

New Member
Thanks folks. I'll put it in reverse. Regarding our experimentation and assessment of weather helm, we did our best to make sure the conditions were equal, and I think we balance and trim our sails pretty well (former Thistle dingy racers and crew for many one design keel boats). I will check the shroud tension which was set up by the marina where the boat was for 15 years prior to when we got it. They seem fine but a good suggestion. We have noticed the helm most when the wind picked up (max 20 knots apparent, not true). Agreed the genoa is "gynormous" and an issue if sailing closer than beam reach. As mentioned earlier, age of sails is certainly a factor. Rake of mast might be another. I was just curious if others had noted a difference tack to tack. Now y'all will probably check next time you sail! Thanks again for the exchange. I really appreciate the information this forum provides as we get accustomed to our new larger boat.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
We have always thought that our boat likes a starboard tack better then a port tack. It's become a bit of a joke on board. I have made adjustments to the rig tuning, played with the setting of the sheets, Moved the mast as far aft as it can be, etc. All to no avail. It isn't much but I've come down to the realization that the shape of the hull isn't exactly symmetrical. Just a bit of a bulge on the keel might be enough to favor one tack over the other, who knows. The hydrodynamic shape of the hull will have more to do with which side it likes the best then the rig or sails. We just live with it all now, and are happier on a stbd tack.

Jim
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
My Adavida also prefers the starboard tack. And I presumed, as does Jim, that the starboard side mold was just more hydrodynamic somehow. But I suffer no dramatic differences in weather helm one side or the other. I just go faster or slower, depending on tack.
 

dave_a

Dave Ahlers
My boat seemed more "weatherly" on one tack than the other, IIRC it was starboard.
Don't you want to minimize mast rake, (if not lean the mast forward to minimize weather helm? But a smaller jib might be the answer to overpowered and balance better.
I believe the ZF Hurth manual says the shaft can free wheel in neutral. I would pick up 1/2 knot doing so. Here it is:

1625344150847.png
 
If I leave my gear in neutral, it has a whining sound or grinding noise when sailing as it is free spinning. It's not bad but more than I want to hear, just like my previous boat which also had a Yanmar. So, I lock it in reverse when sailing.
 

Tim Eichel

Member
My boat seemed more "weatherly" on one tack than the other, IIRC it was starboard.
Don't you want to minimize mast rake, (if not lean the mast forward to minimize weather helm? But a smaller jib might be the answer to overpowered and balance better.
I believe the ZF Hurth manual says the shaft can free wheel in neutral. I would pick up 1/2 knot doing so. Here it is:

View attachment 8578
Dave, do you have the Perkins 4.108 engine?
 
I am not convinced raking the mast makes a significant difference. It will make a _small_ difference that matters to a racer, who is trying to point as high as possible. It is 90% sail trim. and sail selection. Something everyone needs to practice is steering with the sheets. Mostly the main but the jig too. I can trim the boat on a close reach, and use the main sheet to steer not quiet to close hauled, to a broad reach, without touching the helm. If you can't do that, something isn't right. Either the wrong amount of sail, or bad trim to start with.
 
Top