Lee helm on a lug-rigged PMD?


I have built a PMD with a lug rig and really love it. It sails like a gentleman in light air and like a sports car in a breeze. My question is, since the conversion from sloop to lug rig involves stepping the mast several inches forward has anyone else noticed a preponderance of lee helm in light air? I have. ...and if so, is there a remedy? I'm not really sure how I would move the center of effort aft in order to reduce the lee helm. Perhaps sitting forward of the center seat would move the center of mass ahead of the center of effort... I dunno. Curious if anyone else has experienced this and what they have done about it, if anything.

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RE: Lee helm on a lug-rigged PMD?

Your post reminded me of the pictures of John Harris in the NE dory. He seems to be sitting noticeably more forward when it was lug rigged than when rigged as a sloop. He should be able to explain any variations in trim between the two.

RE: Lee helm on a lug-rigged PMD?

Hello Rich,

I have enjoyed sailing my lug-rigged PMD for the past two seasons. Without question, the location of your "moveable ballast" will have a noticeable effect on the center of effort given the significant curvature of the hull.

Another important variable is the exact location of where your downhaul is located on the boom since it determines how much sail area you have forward of the mast. I had sewn a piece of leather around that area of the boom and am able to shift the downhaul loop along the boom to adjust balance. The leather not only protects the mast and boom and but also provides resistance so that the downhaul loop does not slip slide along the boom.

Note that the designed location of the mainsheet block on the boom is such that it has a tendency to push the boom forward of the mast.

There are a number of pics on my PMD blog to illustrate my set up on the boom. 


In general I have found the PMD to be well balanced under most any conditions. Experiment and you'll find your PMD sweet spot.

Fair winds! 



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