The better helmspeeps I've tripped over, in my long years before the mast, made a point of helming from leeward, precisely to watch the jib telltales, etc.
I'd challenge you on that as my experience, it was always the 2nd rate helms who sat to leeward. Why....
Sitting to leeward, the helm cannot see what is going on around the boat, can't see what gusts are coming in, can't see what's happening to the opposition, is sitting in the disturbed flow from the rig etc etc and also means that the helm's weight is in the wrong place.
In old (early 80's older) keelboats, the wheel was so small in diameter and the stern narrower that you couldn't see the luff of the genoa or see beyond the crew sitting on the rail so there was a certain rationale to sitting to leeward rather than directly behind a small wheel.
Going back to double wheels, I first remember seeing double wheels on the 12m's ('83 or earlier) and they were used specifically to give the helm a better view of both the boat/rig and of the area to windward. The helm always sitting to windward.
Results 11 to 16 of 16
Thread: Two wheels...
18-09-09, 17:49 #11
18-09-09, 18:04 #12
Begging to disagree, Mr Garden Shed, a racing helm's job is to steer the boat where he (or she) is told a) by the telltales, and b) by the navigator and c) by the tactician. Last thing you want is helmsman trying to do other people's jobs. My 'owner' steered from leeward when going upwind, and we accumulated a fair few pots in Solent Points, RORC races and Swan Weeks. Of course, he had me telling him where to point the thing.Next time, it'll all be different.
18-09-09, 18:10 #13You never know, I might be right!
18-09-09, 18:42 #14
Yes a racing helm's job is to steer the boat, and no you don't want the helm trying to do all those jobs. However, for communication with the main trimmer and tactician/nav it is far better that they are sitting together on the weather rail.
The helm has to be able to see the telltales, and must be in constant dialogue with the main trimmer based on what he feels though the helm. Going upwind, the "steering" is as much from the main trimmer as it is form the helm moving the rudder (brake) about. This communication is a lot more difficult if the helm is to leeward.
The helm faces forward, legs inboard, and the tactician describes what is going on to weather. A quick turn of the head and the helm has the complete picture. Again, this is much more difficult if the helm is to leeward
Only in light airs when all the crew are to leeward, have I see it consistently successful to have the helm on the low side.
I've also picked up a fair few pots in the last 30+ years not just in the solent.
But hey, whatever works for you!
Getting back to the original post, all of this is much more easily accommodated with 2 wheels rather than one large diameter wheel in a trench. Better still, a tiller and the latest TP52's are all tiller steered. Too extreme for a cruiser/racer.
19-09-09, 02:20 #15
"This communication is a lot more difficult if the helm is to leeward."
Only in a raging gale!Next time, it'll all be different.
19-09-09, 04:31 #16Registered User
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