Lee helm in light winds

I'm pretty new to sailing, so I apologize if the following doesn't make much sense:

I'm getting lee helm in very light winds (3-5 knots or so). In order to maintain a close hauled course I have to keep the tiller about 30 degrees to lee. This, I think, slows down the boat even more. If I let the tiller go, the boat falls off to a beam reach.

I've read a little bit about Center of Effort (CE) and Center of Lateral Plane (CLP), and how a large lead may cause lee helm. I've also read about tinkering with the mast (basically leaning it back a bit) to correct lee helm. Problem is that I'm renting Flying Scots and I definitely don't want to mess with the mast.

Other than messing with the mast, what can I do to deal with lee helm in light winds? Would raising the centerboard help? What else?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Just thought about this issue some more. I guess raising the centerboard would probably make things worse. While the rollers move forward towards the bow, the centerboard itself (and its weight) would angle aft.

Maybe if I seat further towards the bow?

(BTW, I know this whole thing isn't a big deal at all. I'm mostly trying to figure out if I understand helm balance concepts, and experiment tinkering with these boats).[:D]

I know that raising the rudder creates weather helm. So you may be able to balance the boat by raising the rudder a bit.

I do not like lee helm. I think it can be dangerous as the boats bears away from the wind when you take you hand off of the tiller which is not a good thing in heavy wind.


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try this Friday if I get into light winds.