I had my first sail on a boat that is available to me for the summer. It is a 25 Catalina, I think. (Could be CAL?)
It has a control problem. Steering is difficult and sometimes it totally will not respond to the helm. Specifically, when sailing to windward, it want's to head uncontrolably to wind. Not possible to completely fill the sails then sailing to windward. An attempt to fall off a bit to remove the luff results in an uncommanded turn to wind, even with full rudder.
I inspected the keel and rudder, and as best I could tell it "feels" straight and normal.
It will sail to windward with a bit of luff in the sail, but will not respond to tiller commandt to fall off a bit to fill sail completely. Instead, it turns uncontrollably into the wind. Downwind it is controllablbe but "mushy" requiring a lot of steering.
My guesses include poorly stepped mast (it worked fine last year), loose rudder to tiller connection (not likely) or might have something to do with a new mainsail made specifically for this boat and which "appears" to fit perfectilly.
I'm no engineer, but I do know that balance is important and if it's out of balance it's not a little, but WAY out.
Stepping the mast is a guess, but I don't know how to do it, or how to tell it's not properly stepped.
HELP! Any ideas will be gratefully accepted. I have plans for this boat next week, and hope to get this information in time to fix it.