Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Position Of Mast On Raised Step W32"
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Post: "Position Of Mast On Raised Step W32"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Ralph and Sandra Weiland

When you move the mast position along the boat, you move the center of lateral force of the sails along the boat. When you change the lie of the boat in the water, whether through heel or fore-aft balance, you change the center of lateral resistance of the hull to the force of the sails. So the answer theoretically is, yes you do, because unless these two force centers are completely coincident longitudinally, you will have either weather or lee helm. Now, in a practical sense, does 2" make a detectable difference? Probably not because I'm sure you can get that much difference with only modest heel, for example. The important issue is to eliminate any net fore-aft force from the shrouds (lowers must be balanced, uppers must be correctly aligned with mast in same plane as upper shrouds) because if you don't, you will have a cambered mast. Camber will increase with wind speed and sail area carried because higher wind and sail area increase the tension in the weather shrouds, and put increased bending moment on the mast. As long as you have zero camber, if you find the mast 2" aft or forward causes helm, you can always correct it by adjusting rake, so it's neither the end of the world nor a fatal error. The degree of helm is always changing anyway.

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