Issues with center of force

Thread starter #1
Hello all, I am new to the forum and new to sailing so bear with me but I was hoping someone could give me some advice with an issue I am having.

My issue is that when I am sailing, especially when I am at a close haul, the boat has a strong tendency to want to turn into the wind. I have to put some pretty strong force on the tiller to prevent the rudder from turning over since that is what it wants to do, the faster I go or stronger the wind, obviously the worse the problem gets.

I have come to the conclusion that this is a center of force issue, my center of force must be too far back and thus pushing on the back of the boat to point the bow towards the wind.

Last time I was out on the water (my 3rd time all together) I tried to resolve this by loosening my kicker to release a little of the force on the outside sail edge and then I also pulled down on my down hold to the cunningham. This helped a lot but I was still not getting that light feel on the tiller that I feel I should be getting? Any time I was in a close haul the boat would still want to turn into the wind.

My center of force must still be too far back, I am sitting to the very front of the cabin area, I had my kicker fairly loose, and I had my down hold tight to where the leading edge of the sail was taught.

Can anyone help me to figure out how else to move the CF up or point to something I might be doing wrong, or is the force on the rudder normal? Not only am I sure that force is slowing the boat down but I feel it is more stress on the rudder than should be there.

My next thing to try was going to be to use the clue strap at the end of the sail but keep that loose where the corner of the sail would be about an inch or two off of the boom?

Anyways, curious to see what you all say.

The comments in here should point you in the right direction: How I Reduced My Laser Weather Helm |

There are lots of posts on this forum about Lasers and weather helm. Some people are even making custom rudders that are straight and longer out of Hobie rudders to help this issue (not class legal, but for fun sailing who cares). I believe the designer even said that his regret was not changing the rudder design (but don't quote me on that. And if I got it wrong, I expect to be crucified on here for it, haha).


Just sailing
Sail flat or you can't steer is rule #1 of Lasers. However is this weather helm, or is this more accurately loss of helm due to stalling out the rudder?