I agree with the posters who say rig a downhaul and lose the jib when heaving to. If you are falling off you have too much force pushing your bow. the only sail you have to counter that, the main, is already up so drop the jib or sheet in the main more.
A month ago or so I got to pay with heaving to in heavyish weather
and was really pleased with the result. (see http://www.sailestrella.com/voyages/...n2turtle.htm)I
think this term "play" is descriptive of what one is doing when hove to. You cant just back the jib and off you go to put the kettle on. You have to spend time experimenting and sorting out what works best. Finding what adjustments make the bow fall off or round up will teach you a lot about what to do when the wind gets up or weakens.
When you have a full keel
with a cutaway forefoot your boat will want to fall off naturally. Especially when you have the windage of a clipper bow and sprit. Those things along will take the place of your backed jib.
The mizzen, in lighter stuff, will cause you to weathercock straight into the wind because the wind wont be strong enough to push your bow off. Consequently when heaving to in light stuff you might need some jib.
I found that with my double reefed mizzen and the gusty condiitions we were a little undercanvassed. If we had been in bigger seas I would have shaken a reef out to keep us more stable in the hove to position.
I think the theory of lee helm being dangerous is also tied to the fact that not only can you get knocked down but more importantly you could be forced to crash gybe.
That said, for cruising with self steering
a perfectly neutral balanced helm is desireable. Any helm strains the self steering
and when the boat tries to round up the self steering
will steer it off anyway so better to give the vane a break and balance the helm.
Heaving to is my favorite tactic. I once heard someone say they asked the previous owner of their LeFitte 44 how she hove to and the owner said that after 30k miles and two south pacific
cruises he never needed to. I pointed out that heaving to doesnt have to be a "need" one might actually want to heave to. Just to have some lunch or take a break. Rather than worrying about what time you get to the harbor just sail there and heave to until dawn or the tidal current
is right etc. etc. etc.
I know Warren on Mico Verde writes about heaving to in the south pacific
islands frequently and I think it shows great wisdom on his part. Why try and tweak the passage
to arrive at a certain time when you can just sail there and relax hove to until the conditions are perfect to make entry.
Anyway enough gushing about heaving to. Good luck to all of you in your heaving endeavors, be they to or fro, hither or yon.
Good luck to all of you