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Old 19-10-2011, 16:54   #1
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How Close to Shore Is Too Close While Hove-to ?

We will not sail if it is foul. Having said that, we may get caught. I have looked, but have not as yet found a formula for being in a hove to with the relation of distace to shore.How many miles out in a 40-50 knot wind do you feel is safe ? We would like to be 20 miles. Is that enough under said conditions for 6 hours ?
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:01   #2
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Re: how far with a hove to

It really depends on a range of factors, the principle one being your drift rate while hove to and another being the direction / movement / speed of the weather system.

FWIW, I have seen some figures that suggest the boat moves between .5 to 1.5 kts but each situation is different.
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:03   #3
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Re: how far with a hove to

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Originally Posted by oldman66 View Post
We will not sail if it is foul. Having said that, we may get caught. I have looked, but have not as yet found a formula for being in a hove to with the relation of distace to shore.How many miles out in a 40-50 knot wind do you feel is safe ? We would like to be 20 miles. Is that enough under said conditions for 6 hours ?
the drift rate depends on whether there is a current (or not) and on the boat . . . but generally yes 20 miles is good . . . generally many cruising boats will drift at under 2kts when properly hove-to. Once you get hove to, your gps will tell you what your drift rate and direction is, so you can check that you are ok.
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:05   #4
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Re: how far with a hove to

That is a great beginning. Can you recall where you saw this. I have yet to ask the right question to get on the right page ? My first take was at 40-50 knots I would drift about 5-10 knots. I see I was way off. If I double/triple your number I can figure the rest, however, I would like to see a more concise formula. I am a little anal.
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:11   #5
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Re: how far with a hove to

This really very good information.Also, is there a general high and low number for the duration of peak winds in a 40-50 knot bad weather ?
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:11   #6
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Re: how far with a hove to

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We will not sail if it is foul. Having said that, we may get caught. I have looked, but have not as yet found a formula for being in a hove to with the relation of distace to shore.How many miles out in a 40-50 knot wind do you feel is safe ? We would like to be 20 miles. Is that enough under said conditions for 6 hours ?

Heaving to is one approach but not the only one. If you're close to shore you should consider starting the engine and moving farther away, because wind direction can shift dramatically in a storm. You want to avoid having the lee side of your boat be the shore side of the land.

So one of the things you have to consider when heaving to is that a boat that size will continue moving. The wind will push the hull. Waves and current will affect its path. My personal opinion is get away from the shore. But you can't put "miles" on it. Heaving to is probably a very good option far out to sea but closer to shore I would be very alert to whatever direction the boat was still moving.

There's no one answer. It's a judgment call.

If neither of you feel competent to make that call, have you considered hiring a captain to accompany you?
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:18   #7
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Re: how far with a hove to

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Originally Posted by oldman66 View Post
Can you recall where you saw this.

I don't know if you are asking this of me or Wotname, but my answer comes from rather extensive personal experience hove-to in all sorts of conditions on all the oceans.

My first take was at 40-50 knots I would drift about 5-10 knots.

hmmm . . . do you really know what it means to be hove-to? The objective is to stop the boat or as close as possible. You balance the sails and rudder to accomplish that. With most full keel ketches you can in fact stop the boat perfectly dead in the water. With a light weight fin keel sloop the boat will oscillate but typically you can get the average rate to under 2kts.

Many cruising boats can't do 5 kts to weather (in ocean waves) even if the owner is trying hard to go upwind and almost none can do 10kts (unless you are talking a very large boat).
.....
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:22   #8
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Re: how far with a hove to

My thinking is to put enough distance in advance so as not to bring the shore into play. No money for a captain at this time.It will be 6 months before spring. This is my window and I have to make a judgement call on whether we can do this. Thanks. Eveything will come together or we won't do it.
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:31   #9
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Re: how far with a hove to

What is the " This" that you're trying to accomplish? Are you sailing such a distance that you would not, with good weather routing and forecasting, be able to avoid, route around..sustained 50 knot winds? ( storms) not squalls.
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:32   #10
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Re: how far with a hove to

I think I understand it be like parking. I am wanting to factor in the drift. The boat is not full keel but a fin. This will make in my mind a less stable drift and somewhat at faster pace. At what difference is there and is it enough to worry about. You seem to hit on that there is some but not enough difference. All input is well taken on my end .Thanks.
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:38   #11
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Re: How Close to Shore Is Too Close While Hove to ?

Good question. We are considering bringing my retirement boat home. We are looking at 15 days for this window of fair weather. If we miss this window I have to wait until spring.The passage is from Maryland to Kehma, Texas.We will motor 1/3 of the way. Wehope to put out to about 20 miles and follow the coast. The hurricane season is past. However, we might get caught. I understand everone does at some time. I am just making all efforts to not be unprepared.
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:44   #12
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Re: How Close to Shore Is Too Close While Hove to ?

So, as I read your various posts, you are going to be on a 41' fin keel sloop. It would be helpful if you would tell us exactly what model sail boat this is. And from where to where you plan to sail. We could perhaps give better advice if we knew those specifics.

I see in another post that you have seen the pardey heavy weather video. Please realize that the pardey approach and philosophy has been heavily driven by their particular style of boat (very full keel, short but wide hulls, shallow inefficient barn door rudders and no roller furling). These boats happen to heave to extremely well while running in waves very poorly. If your vessel is a more typical modern fin keel it will likely run much better than the pardey's and heave-to less well. Our experience with many modern fin keel boats is that they are happier forereaching than fully hove-to.

But coming back to your question about drift rate, if I were you I would plan on 1.5 kts, and you can check/confirm this with your gps in the specific situation (current wind and waves) if/when you are actually hove-to. DO realize that 1.5 kts will probably NOT be dead downwind. The boat will probably be making some headway along with some drift so the net course will be more beam reaching than dead down wind.

edit: "Maryland to Kehma, Texas" ok that's helpful. Looks like about 1600 miles. A 41'er might average 125/day, excluding any days ducking weather in harbour. So, that's about 2 weeks of sailing. Coming down the east coast you (will probably stay inside the gulf stream) should be able to duck into harbour before you get hit by any sustained 40kt blow. I presume you will have a vhf and able to get the marine weather forecasts. From florida to texas you will probably be much further offshore (if you take a rumb line) . . . far enough that the drift rate hove-to will not be any issue. On that leg your strong winds could be either headwinds (in which case you might heave-to or forereach) or tail winds (in which case I would guess your boat will probably run well, assuming you have a storm jib). Will you have any capability to get weather infor if outside vhf range?
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:55   #13
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Re: How Close to Shore Is Too Close While Hove to ?

it took us 10 days to get from ft myers, fla, to slidell, louisiana.
to kemah, texas from ft myers is another week, easily. from md to ft myers is about 2 weeks, isnt it? is this going to fit into a 15 day vacation?
smooth sailing, and fair winds. will be a fun sail, but is the schedule going to harm you?

please be safe and have many GOOD crew members. 4 is good. with 4 crew then the trip can be done faster. shorthanded you get exhausted.
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Old 19-10-2011, 17:57   #14
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pirate Re: How Close to Shore Is Too Close While Hove to ?

I'd suggest you motor the ICW to Moorehead City... run toward Bermuda then South till the E'lys kick in...then head back inshore..
As for the heaving to... its unlikely you'll get an E'ly Nth of Georgia so pick the heave to tack that pushes you away from shore... even with an on-shore wind you can gain quite a few hours picking the right tack...
Should mention... along that coastline 20miles off shore is not necessarily safe...
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Old 19-10-2011, 18:01   #15
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Re: How Close to Shore Is Too Close While Hove to ?

To my mind, the farther off shore the better, and not just because of the danger a lee shore poses. Generally, the farther off shore, the deeper the water and less extreme the waves. That said, you need to have just the right amount of sail set for your particular vessel. Too little and she won't stay riding close to the wind and will be in greater danger of extreme rolling or; too much sail and you could lose your rig.
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