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Fighting the Rudder, Boat Wants to Wind Vane


dn ǝpıs sıɥʇ
I haven't sailed in a few years, and recently got back into Laser sailing. I am now sailing on a lake, versus a bay. It's a lot choppier than what I have experienced in the past, but I am really enjoying it! However, I can't figure out what I am doing wrong while sailing upwind in 12-18mph wind. When I am sailing close hauled upwind (45° to the wind), the boat wants to weather vane directly into the wind. I am fightning it with the rudder, which ends up at a 45° angle instead of straight, which creates a lot of drag and it's really tough to hold it there. I am normally going pretty fast, and if I don't relent, I risk capsizing. What am I doing wrong?

Also, what is the optimal place to sit when in chop? I was always told to stay forward but I'm not sure if pushing the bow into the waves is the best strategy? Thanks!


Well-Known Member
See that your rudder is all the way down, and stays there.
Pull both the vang and cunningham much tighter than common sense would say :D (but leave the outhaul a bit looser).
Hike at the widest point of the hull, and even farther back if the waves keep coming over the bow.
To depower, head up a little in small gusts, and let out plenty of sheet in big ones.
Keep the boat as flat as you can without having your body in the water all the time.
Hike as far out as your muscles can handle.



dn ǝpıs sıɥʇ
Thanks for the advice, I will take a look at those articles, and try out those tips next time I'm sailing!