weather helm

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A ship under sail is said to carry weather helm when, due to the balance of the hull and sails, the tiller, or helm, is held a few degrees to the weather side to maintain a straight course. This is a safety factor because, if the helm is released for any reason, the vessel will turn into the wind and the sails will lose their power. A vessel with an excess of weather helm is called hard mouthed, and is also called ardency.

See also gripe, to.

See also gripe, to.

Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.

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