Hartely 30 with Lee Helm. Helpfull suggestions please

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Andy Turner, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Andy Turner
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    Andy Turner Mr

    Right.
    I have a Steel bult Hartley 30 bilge keeler.
    She is ugly but i love her.
    I have sailer her all the length of the Welsh coast from pembrook to caernarfon where she is now.

    Problem. Lee helm in all but the lightest winds, and in anything more than a 5 she wont point at all, wont tack and is quite alarming and heels like a bi@#ch

    Issue 1.
    Mast originally fitted is somewhat too large and raked forward.
    Question 1. If i extend the forestay and rake the mast back will this help much?

    Issue 2.
    I am no expert but e keels look Way to small and Way to far back.
    Questions 2. Would extending the leading edge of the keels about 18/24 inches forward help? I have some fabrication and welding skills so i can do the job but dont want to make a catastrophic mistake, although being steel if it doesnt work i can just cut it back off again.

    The hull is an unsophisticated sheet steel affair and although the keels have some aerofoil section it would in practise be easy to weld a plate on each side of each keel, extending forward and bring them together with a round section at the front. Not a difficult bit of fabrication and it's hardly as though she has a super aerodynamically designed underwater profile anyway.

    I know she will never be a fantastic sailing boat but she is a lovely boat to be on with loads of character, a homely interior, a dead reliable Bukh 20 and a working rig, albeit a little large for the boat.

    So the issues are, the roller furling main, coupled with the mast being, i think, too large and too far forward, and on top of that VERY small keels a long way aft is causing the Lee helm.

    So can this be helped by raking the mast back and bringing the leading edge of the keels forward?

    I fully expect some scorn to be poured on my obvious lack of knowledge and experience but I am simply here to try to make the best of what I have got and to pick the brains of the collective before lifting her out this autum and setting about her with a grinder and a welder all willy nilly.

    Please feel free to take the piss but if you can make some helpful suggestions along the way that would be great.

    If anyone feels like donating some knowledge and designing my keel extensions that would be even better. I can do the cutting and welding but dont want to screw her up in the process.
     

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  2. Andy Turner
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    Andy Turner Mr

    More images

    I can only seem to attach 1 image at a time so forgive the multiple posts
     

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  3. Andy Turner
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    Andy Turner Mr

    Pic 3

    I will upload more pics tomorrow.
    I also have the original plans so i will try to overlay the plans with a side on pic of the boat to check the keels are in the right place at least and are more or less the right size, but they just looks freekin tiny to me compared with every other boat in the harbour.
    When you see the boats dried out sitting on their keels its actually comical just how small and how far back they are.
     

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  4. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I don't know much about it but the boom looks too short and too high. Like the jib would be the same size or bigger than the mainsail and overpowers the front of the boat, putting the center of effort too far forward.
    Do you ever sail it with the jib reefed or not even used? How does it handle then?
    The two keels look to be a bad design thing to begin with, no matter where they're placed. Too close together to be much advantage on one tack or the other compared to the drag they would create, and it doesn't look like they are wide enough apart or big enough or in the right place to support the boat on the beach when the tide goes out. Why are there two keels?
     
  5. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Raking the mast should remove lee helm. As most bilge keelers I've sailed suffer from excessive weather helm when heeled (including the otherwise well behaved Hunters), you may happily rake the stick. You may have to move the mast itself sternwards too, depending on the whole set up with sails. When you have nice light weather helm upwind in a 2-3 she is most likely at her best balance.

    I don't like lee helm at all, in fact it is dangerous and prevents correct boat handling. Excessive weather helm is bad but usually not quite as difficult to work round. You should expect too much weather helm about the point that the gunwhale reaches sea level in terms of heel angle or slightly before. This is the sign you are over canvassed for those conditions, though if only a local squall you can trim the sails through it. Bilge keel boats seem to much worse than single fins in terms of becoming almost unsteerable, at some critical heel angle.

    Personally I would not change the bilge keels, at least to start with. You may well find that she needs a little speed to get some lift off the keels, so will not point very high coming out of slow tacks. Single fin keel boats behave quite differently and I expect the single fin version is way better upwind. If you have very bad leeway, it might be worth looking at the keels, but get an NA to do this.
     
  6. Andy Turner
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    Andy Turner Mr

    I will upload a pic of the original plans with a side on pic of the boat to compare the keel and mast foot positions of the boat with the original plans.
    We have tried her sailing on just the jib, just the main and every combination of both and it makes a little difference.
    In winds less than a 5 she is quite sailable and managable but when the wind picks up she gets worse.
    She has a habit of going down on the nose when the tide goes out and the only way we have found to remedy this is to put literally eveything at the back, anchor, chain, kit etc and empty the water tank which for some silly reason the builder put under the forepeak berth.

    As far as Lee helm being dangerous, tell me about it.

    Two summers ago we were 15 miles off St Tudwells having come out of Pwllheli.
    The weather picker up so we decided to turn home after what had been a nice daysail.
    Despite numerour attempts to tack she would not come round.
    The wind had picked up to a 6/7 by this time.
    Each time we tried to tack she would lose speed and luff and fall back to leeward.
    I made a huge mistake due to inexperience and not thinking straight and had left the mainsheet blocks apart, so despite the fact that she was sheeting in hard the track was across to leeward which will partly explain why she wouldnt come across the wind.
    On a third or fourth attempt to tack she heeled over dramatically and frightninghly so, i eased the main hoping she would come back up.
    She did straited up but by this time she had turned down and wend into a vicous gybe.
    The boom came across and because i had stupidy left the blocks apast the sail track slammed across.
    I lost my balance and grabbed the first thing i could find to steady myself.
    Unfortunately this was the sail track.
    My index finger was severed to the bone and i nearly lost it spending the next 24 hours having it repaired in Ysbytu Gwynedd (who are amazing by the way).
    It was very frighning as I am a guitarist by trade and came very close to ruining my career.
    So yes i have first hand expereince of how dangerour lee helm can be, but i fully accept it was partly my fault for making bad decisions and simply not thinking stright under preassure. Lesson learnt and i wont do it again.

    That said, i have sailed lots of boats with much better maners and i feel that this incident simply wouldnt have happend in a more well behaved boat.
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Raking the mast forward will increase weather helm, so you're probably "maxed" in this regard. It's probably a combination of things, which is typically the case.

    The first thing to do is find out the rudder deflection, on a close hauled course in modest winds, say 10 knots. You should be 5 degrees or less with appropriate helm feel.

    The Hartely 30 seems to have a reasonably well balanced set of appendages, so I'd be inclined to think it's a setup and trim issue, more so than a sail plan lead issue.

    What are the condition of the sails and did raking the mast forward (it should have about 2 degrees of aft rake) help? Are the appendages (especially the rudder/skeg assembly) stock appearing and in approximately the stock locations?

    What you're describing sounds like a fundamental balance issue (lead), but in light air, your lee helm problem should get worse, not better.

    Simply put (if it is indeed a lee helm issue) you can add lateral area aft or shift sail area forward, either (or both) of which will address lee helm. Worn out sails and other sailing habits can alter this sensation (lee helm) considerably, so check the helm deflection (specific number of degrees the tiller is deflected to windward, close hauled, in 10 knots of blow). Next check out her trim (bow down, etc.) in a static state and again underway (close hauled). With her fine entry, she'd likely get a bow down trim pretty easily, which will decrease lateral area aft and rudder/skeg "bite" will be affected.
     
  8. Andy Turner
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    Andy Turner Mr

    Thanks Par

    Hi Par.
    Thanks for the reply. I don't understand all of what you said but just to clarify incase i have used incorect terms.

    The mast leans forward by a few degrees at least.
    The keels are small and well back.
    The boat goes down on the nose very easily when aground.
    The boat sails well down wind and on a reach.
    When trying to beat or tack the nose gets blown downwind a lot.
    I have to push the tiller away from me, sometimes full throw away from me when trying to sail upwind and easing the main seems to make it worse.

    I have been told that the centre of effort is too far forward in relation to the keels so the solution may be to move the centre of efford aft by raking the mast aft and maybe extending the keels forward?

    Forgive me for my lack of knowledge and understanding of some of the correct terminology.

    All your suggestions ar much appreciated.
     
  9. Andy Turner
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    Andy Turner Mr

    Forward to increase weather helm.

    I may have misunderstod this comletely.
    I have been told that raking the mast forward increeses lee helm and raking it aft increases weather helm? Is this incorrect then?
     
  10. Andy Turner
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    Andy Turner Mr

    The other issue may be the mast foot position.
    The rudder and skeg look pretty stock but the mast and rig were not sourced by the original builder of the hull.

    Basically, someone in the past build the steel tub, skeg, keels and hull and they made a pretty acurate job by the look of the plans which i have got from Hartley.

    Then the boat project got taken on by someone else who did not have the plans to hand.
    They sourced a mast from something like a 40ft westerly and positioned the mast foot where it seemed to fit with the available stainless rigging.
    I havnt checked the mast foot position against the plan but i have a feeling it is a little further forward than it should be.
    In adition they made other mistakes by putting the water tank under the forepeak berth. We have to keep the water tank empty and used bottled water or we wake up in some very funny positions at low tide.
     
  11. lewisboats
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Yes... raking the mast forward pushes the center of effort forward and causes lee helm.

    As the mast is already raked forward, shifting the rake aft will move the CE aft and closer to the CLR so that is what I would do first before attacking anything on the hull. Is the mast deck stepped or keel stepped?

    As to the trim problem... that you will have to do some weight shifting to correct... whether that is going to be easy or hard, you will have to determine. Tankage should be near the center of buoyancy to properly support it, if possible, and should not be out near the ends. It should also be symmetrical around the center line of the boat and baffled to lessen free surface effect (the liquid sloshing to one side or the other when partially filled, to prevent excessive imbalance and heeling).
     
  12. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    In my previous post, I assumed that the mast would be raked aft (or backwards), rather than forwards!, from current position. Quite possible you need to move the tip of the mast towards the stern by 600-1000 mm (2-3').

    The mast, which I assume is deck stepped, should be sitting above a king post or massive cross beam. The heel of the mast is intended to sit within a small margin of the centre of the king post tube or strut. Obviously all the compression loads are lead through to this point. There is normally a bit of fore and aft adjustment possible on the step fitting.

    PAR's comment about sails is also a good one. If the camber of especially the mainsail is way too forward it can give a very neutral helm, or sometimes lee helm.

    Work through it progressively. 1. Try aft raking the mast up to 3 degs backwards. 2. If still lee helm, move heel aft say 25-50mm ensuring it is still supported by king post. 3. Get someone else to assess the sails. 4. Get a NA to lok at the bilge keel arrangement.

    The boat looks like the twin keel version on the Hartley boats site OK. Not having the plans myself it is difficult to guess, but I have yet to go on a boat of this type with the water tank in the bow. Mostly it is just anchor, chain, sea anchor and warps. These are not as heavy as a full water tank. it may be worth getting this changed.
     
  13. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

  14. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    No, I think you have it backwards. Adding sail area forward increases Lee Helm.

    Adding rake moves the sail plan aft and *increases* weather helm. Rake forward reduces weather helm and can create lee helm. This is how a sailboard steers. Mast aft to head up, mast forward to bear off. works the same on any sailing craft.

    You are spot on about the rudder deflection angles.

    Cheers,
    Randy
     

  15. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    You need to measure your boat and compare to the original design.

    Clearly you should rake the mast aft, but rather than lengthen the forestay I suggest moving it back off the sprit and onto the bow (more effective). The original design did not have a sprit so there is no reason to expect balance using it. I suspect that you will find the original reinforced mount in the bow if you look for it. Just looking at the pictures I see forestays for a storm jib, and a downwind sail, but no windward jib.

    The one indication of a more serious problem is that you say the boat has lee helm even on main alone? This is very odd. If you are on main alone and the boat is healed say 10 degrees at least it should have weather helm.

    Just another thought -do you leave all the weight in the stern for grounding, and could being out of trim contribute to lee helm? Maybe you could make a post and mount on that sprit to keep it from falling down, then put the loads where they belong.
     
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