No. 23 - September 1976

HELM

John Charters

 

In light winds, the Tanzer 22 will carry a slight lee helm. The simplest cure is to heel the boat slightly. Helmsman and/or crew should sit to leeward. Many skippers like to sit to leeward anyway.

 

In medium airs, the boat is more or less neutral - perhaps with just a touch of weather helm, which is as it should be.

 

In heavy winds the Tanzer 22 does develop a pronounced weather helm. At what point depends on the sails used. Why does this happen? And what can you do about it?

 

The "why" first. A number of factors all add up to create this condition. Probably the major cause is that, as the boat heels, the centre of effort on the sails moves outboard, or, if you prefer, to leeward. This changes what was a reasonably static, balanced relationship between the centre of effort and the centre of lateral resistance (i.e., the keel). The centre of effort has moved out and away from the hull. You have, in a sense, increased the leverage. What was a slight weather helm at 20° becomes fierce at 300.

 

Another contributing factor, though probably to a much smaller degree, is hull shape. When heeled, the underwater shape is asymmetrical: the windward side is more or less straight; but the leeward side - because the Tanzer 22 is a short beamy boat, presents a very curved face to the water. This tends to "steer" the boat to windward.

 

As an experiment one day you might try the following: Under power, helm lashed, boat trimmed to steer in a straight line, go forward and hike out from the starboard shrouds, as far as you can, to heel the boat. You'll be surprised how quickly the boat turns off to port.

 

A third factor, thought not in itself a cause of weather helm, is the rudder shape. When the boat is heeled, you have less than the usual amount of rudder blade in the water. Less bite, as it were. Result: the helmsman hauls harder and harder on the tiller to hold the boat on course until the rudder stalls out, and the boat rounds up.

 

This is how a non-technical sailor (me) looks at weather helm. If Mike were here he'd draw us up a proper set of diagrams and give a much more accurate explanation. We'd like to have some reader comment on this.

 

Now. What can we do about weather helm?

 

There is only one solution. SAIL THE BOAT FLAT. Pure and simple, that is what you have to do. Get yourself and your crew up on the weather rail. If that isn't enough, ease sheets. Both jib and main. Or, reduce sail. But if you strap everything in tight, spreaders poking the jenny, and you get a puff of 18 or 20 - she'll surely lay over, take water in the cockpit, and round up.

 

The 1/4 Ton rudder (now allowed under our Class rules) will help a little. But it is no magic cure all. If the wind is reasonably constant you may be able to keep the boat flat by feathering up to windward. If you can keep her just on the edge of luffing, you'll go surprisingly fast. (Ed. note: Many skippers like the combination of reefed main and no. 2 Genoa. They say they go like a train.)

 

Watch the top skippers in your fleet. You see them use all of these techniques, in various combinations. Quite often, cross winching the jenny, so the crew is always on the high side, is practised. A traveller on the main helps a lot - as does a flat sail.

 

If you are a cruising sailor: reef your main and use a storm jib. You can sail comfortably in almost any wind if you don't over canvas the boat.

 

THE POOR MAN'S TRAVELLER

John Charters

 

There is no question about it. The dedicated racing skipper will want a traveller in his boat. But it sure cuts up the cockpit - and the wallet.

 

One solution is a sole mounted traveller as described in our last Newsletter by Jeff Creamer. I had a similar set up on Red Baron III and for most conditions it works almost as well as the regular one.

 

When it came time to fit out Red Baron V, I decided to see if one could not get the same results with an even simpler rig. I must confess,the original idea was not mine. Phil Whittingstall (95) jury rigged such a system when he was crewing on Red Baron III, when we first raced her, back in 1971. Doug Bertoia (555) further improved on the method when he got his boat.

 

In Doug' s set up an 8" stainless steel ring, to which is welded two small rings 1800 apart. A 3/8" line is attached to each of the small rings and led through blocks to cleats on the coaming. Two lengths of shock cord attached to the boom, suspend the ring - through which, pass the main sheets. When close hauled, with no. 1 jenny especially, it is impossible to sheet in the main enough to keep it from luffing. To pull the boom to windward, tighten the windward line until you have the boom where you want it. Use lots of vang to keep the boom from riding up.

 

When not in use, Doug unhooks the shock cord, allowing the ring to rest on the cockpit sole, free from the main sheet block. In very heavy winds, Doug experienced some trouble with the clam cleats holding - so, a second, back up, jam cleat.

 

My latest version has a stainless steel 'S' hook - attached to a 3/8" line. To use, hook around the main sheet, as shown, around the windward winch a couple of turns, and jam in the cleat. This takes a few seconds longer than Doug's rig, but has the advantage of being a little less cumbersome. In practice, just prior to tacking, the skipper frees off the 'S' hook, and when the tack is completed, a crew member sets the hook up again on the windward side. When not in use it is stored in a sail locker.

 

While neither of these systems is as efficient as a proper traveller, the cost is fractional (my hook cost only $5), and you have left a cock­pit completely free and open.

 

TANZER QUARTER TON

The Tanzer Quarter Ton is a slightly modified edition of the Fin Keel Tanzer 22 and was introduced solely to permit us to offer a boat that rated l8 under IOR MK III and thus compete in level boat racing at the Quarter Ton level. The standard Tanzer 22 rates about 18.4 under IOR MK III, and in order to lower this rating to l8, some minor changes, principally in the sail plan, were necessary.

 

However, with the introduction, in November 1975, of IOR MK IIIA, which provides an age allowance in the form of a lower rating for yachts designed before December, 1972, such changes are no longer necessary. It is believed that all standard Tanzer 22s will rate at l8 under IOR MK IIIA because of the age allowance and thus, the need for a special Quarter Ton edition of the Tanzer 22 is no longer required. Conse­quently, the Tanzer Quarter Ton as a separate model is being discontinued.

 

MAKE COASTERS WITH YOUR BOAT'S PHOTO

Materials needed: sheet of decor cork (the stuff that comes in squares about l/S" thick, used for putting on walls); clear (transparent) Mac­Tac (Contact paper in the U.S.); White glue - Elmers or Lepages; XActo blades - one for photo trimming and one for cutting cork.

 

1) Trim photos to 3X3" or 3 1/2X3 1/2"

2) Peel backing from a strip of Mac­Tac, and place photos face down on it.

3) Trim MacTac, leaving a margin around each photo, which will be removed later. 4) Place on cork, photo side up, and rub carefully with finger from centre out to remove bubbles and adhere margins to cork. (This will hold everything together while you trim the cork.)

5) Cut cork, using a metal ruler for a straight edge guide. (The Xacto blade will cut plastic or wood.) Cut to exact photo size.

6) Spread thin layer of white glue on cork. Place photo MacTac on glue and press, wiping away ooze with a damp cloth, and keeping hands clean.

7) Weigh down with heavy books for a couple of hours between sheets of waxed paper (in case a bit of glue goes through cork.) Sometimes the cork warps a bit. A permanent cure is obtained by leaving under the books for a day or two. NOTE: Don't try to sub­stitute acrylic spray or varnish for the mactac. Either one combines badly with liquor and photo surfaces. Some photo surfaces don't even need liquor to make a mess of it.

 

HEAD HIDING HINT from Dr. Jean Bertrand (All Orthodontists here sail Tanzers). Order an extra piece of rug from Tanzer (20" x 45") and simply lay over the head when it's not in use. Easy and eye-pleasing.

 

 

Comments