skerry mast rake

I have put my unfinished Skerry in the water today to see how she looks. What I noticed is that the mast is pointing forward quite a bit when the boat is empty on the water. When I sit in it (85kg) , on the floor after the middle seat, the mast point up about 90 degrees.

Is this normal en how can I check the rake?

I have built a round mast as per the birdmouth method and it is positioned parallel to the bulkhead near to it. Your answers are appreciated. It is possible that the builhead is leaning a bit forward as well.


Henk Schoenmaker 


4 replies:

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RE: skerry mast rake


The mast does point straight up when the boat is level.

Forward rake is generally not a good thing.   The danger with a sail too far forward is that the boat will naturally point downwind and run.  If you put the sail on does it look like the center of the sail is still over the center of the daggerboard, or has it moved forward?

You may need to adjust your mast step depending on how bad it is - maybe a pic from the side with the boat level would help assess the situation.


- R

RE: skerry mast rake

Small sailboats are tough to tune because the center of resistance changes so much depending on the number of passengers, etc.  Bob is right.  You don't want the mast raking forward while sailing because it causes "lee helm".  If you release the tiller, the boat will turn away from the wind and all sorts of exciting things can happen; the sail can switch sides (jibe) suddenly which could tear away rigging or dump the boat.

If the mast is raked aft, it'll give you a "weather helm".  Turn the tiller loose and the boat will automatically point up into the wind which isn't a bad thing.  Rake it too far aft, though, and it will be more difficult to steer because you'll be constantly fighting that tendency to turn up into the wind.

I've had a lot of small sailboat experience but none with the Skerry.  Maybe a Skerry professional will weight in?

RE: skerry mast rake

Bob -

I saw a post on the sadly defunt Get-Outside site where you described building a hook into your mast to accommodate your lug rig,  This would seem to take care of the need to step the mast a bit farther aft than originally designed, and I suppose makes raising and lowering the sail easier, too.  Can you describe how you built in the hook, or direct us to another site for more information?  Thanks!

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