Review of Lady Helmsman

Lady Helmsman
Lady Helmsman anno 1978.

Basic specs.

sail specifications
The Lady Helmsman is a large sailboat designed by the Swedish maritime architect Håkan Södergren in the mid seventies. The Lady Helmsman is built by the Danish yard Helmsman Yachts.

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The hull is made of fibreglass. Generally, a hull made of fibreglass requires only a minimum of maintenance during the sailing season.

Note: the boat has also been sold to be self-made/-interiored, which means that the quality of each boat may vary.

The boat equipped with a fractional rig. A fractional rig has smaller headsails which make tacking easier, which is an advantage for cruisers and racers, of course. The downside is that having the wind from behind often requires a genaker or a spinnaker for optimal speed.


The boat is typically equipped with an inboard Volvo Penta MD7A diesel engine at 13.0 hp (9 kW), which gives a max speed about 4.6 knots.

Sailing characteristics

This section covers widely used rules of thumb to describe the sailing characteristics. Please note that even though the calculations are correct, the interpretation of the results might not be valid for extreme boats.

Stability and Safety

What is Capsize Screening Formula (CSF)?

The capsize screening value for Lady Helmsman is 1.62, indicating that this boat could - if evaluated by this formula alone - be accepted to participate in ocean races.

Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed

What is Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed?

The theoretical maximal speed of a displacement boat of this length is 7.5 knots. The term "Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed" is widely used even though a boat can sail faster. The term shall be interpreted as above the theoretical speed a great additional power is necessary for a small gain in speed.

Immersion rate

The immersion rate is defined as the weight required to sink the boat a certain level. The immersion rate for Lady Helmsman is about 171 kg/cm, alternatively 958 lbs/inch.
Meaning: if you load 171 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 958 lbs cargo on the boat it will sink 1 inch.

Sailing statistics

This section is statistical comparison with similar boats of the same category. The basis of the following statistical computations is our unique database with more than 26,000 different boat types and 350,000 data points.

Motion Comfort Ratio

What is Motion Comfort Ratio (MCR)?

The Motion Comfort Ratio for Lady Helmsman is 25.9.

Low High 31% 0 50 100
Comparing this ratio with similar sailboats show that it is more comfortable than 31% of all similar sailboat designs. This comfort value is just below average.

L/B (Length Beam Ratio)

What is L/B (Length Beam Ratio)?

The l/b ratio for Lady Helmsman is 4.51.

Wide Slim 100% 0 50 100
Compared with other similar sailboats it is slimmer than 100% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen a significantly more speedy hull design. This type of design is also referred to as 'needle'.

D/L (Displacement Length Ratio)

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

The DL-ratio for Lady Helmsman is 152 which categorizes this boat among 'light racers'.

Heavy Light 86% 0 50 100
86% of all similar sailboat designs are categorized as heavier. A light displacement requires less sailarea and has higher accellerations.

SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)

What is SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)?

The SA/D for Lady Helmsman with ISO 8666 reference sail is 15.5, with a 135% genua the SA/D is 17.8.

Low High 27% 0 50 100
The SA/D ratio indicates that it is faster than 27% of all similar sailboat designs in light wind.

RSP (Relative Speed Performance)

What is Relative Speed Performance?

The Relative Speed Performance for Lady Helmsman is 18

Slow Fast 18% 0 50 100
The relative speed performance is 18 which means that a it is faster than 18% of all similar sailboat designs.



Dimensions of sail for fractional rig.

mainsail specifications genoa specifications spinnaker specifications

Are your sails worn out? You might find your next sail here: Sails for Sale

If you need to renew parts of your running rig and is not quite sure of the dimensions, you may find the estimates computed below useful.

Guiding dimensions of running rig
Mainsail halyard 33.0 m(108.4 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Jib/genoa halyard33.0 m(108.4 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Spinnaker halyard33.0 m(108.4 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Jib sheet 12.1 m(39.8 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Genoa sheet12.1 m(39.8 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Mainsheet 30.4 m(99.6 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Spinnaker sheet26.7 m(87.6 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Cunningham3.8 m(12.5 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Kickingstrap7.6 m(24.9 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Clew-outhaul7.6 m(24.9 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)

Boat owner's ideas

This section shown boat owner's changes, improvements, etc. Here you might find inspiration for your boat.

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