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Upwind sailing rudder drag  Bottom

  • Sailing H21se upwind on port tack there seems to be heavy drag on rudder. Not so on starboard tack.
    Both main and Jib sheeted tight. Is there a way to balance boat so not as much drag from rudders while .keeping boat from heading up into wind?
    Thanks for any insight.

    Hobie 21SE Feral Cat
    Upstate NY lake sailing
  • Are you talking about weather helm? Make sure the rudders are locked in the full, upright position, with drink trays stowed.
  • Not quite sure what you mean by heavy drag. It's not uncommon to have slightly more weather helm on one tack than the other. If your boat has a rudder rake adjustment this can easily be corrected.

    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
  • Quote It's not uncommon to have slightly more weather helm on one tack than the other.

    if your rudders are even slightly out of optimal position it can have a dramatic effect on tiller tug.

    mast rake and CE is a part of the equation as well but since your issue is on one tack only, it is most likely rudder angle and needs to be adjusted a bit
  • Check the rake of each rudder. Even if a rudder is back 1/8", it can make a huge difference. Next, check the fairing of each rudder. If the front edge is flattened it could add a lot of drag making the helm feel heavy.


    Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
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  • Rudder rake is definitely a good place to start. Make sure both rudders are fully locking down and the cam system is functioning properly. Rudder rake should be roughly equal on both sides of the boat.

    Also check your rudder toe-in (difference in measurement between leading vs. trailing edges of rudders).

    One thing you can do to help isolate the problem is to kick the windward rudder up on each tack and see if the problem goes away. This will take rudder toe-in out of the equation.

    Make sure the rig is also set up the same on both tacks - shrouds in same hole on the adjusters, mast rotation equal both sides, jib leads same position both sides. Also make sure you don’t have a substantial hull leak in one hull. All of these things could mask themselves as a rudder/drag issue.


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