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Old 21-10-2011, 07:01   #16
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

Traditionally para anchor is off the bow on a bridle, on a very long line. Aim is to stay nose to sea and wind. Drouges are used off the stern as small devices aimed to slow the boat rather than stop it.

Try getting a copy of Victor Shanes "Drag Device Data Base" excellent real world experiences of using para anchors.
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:05   #17
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Short answer - its exactly the same as monos, some do some don't, some are easy some aren't. But most can if your search out the process. My cat will heave to exceptionally well under just main alone. And once hove to, there will be far less heaving over the side than on many other boats. My previous tri would do it well as well, but needed some headsail windward sheeted to make it work
Ok, sorry about my ignorance, but how do you get it to heave to under main alone? I thought you needed the backwinded jib to provide the counter balance to the helm.
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:07   #18
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
I haven't had to heave to with our cat, the prior owners have cruised all over in her and had a fairly large paratech sea anchor on board. as well as a small drogue, I do not ever plan on being in conditions to use either but you never know, and I would rather be prepared.
I understand how to attatch and deploy- retrieve, my question is on a cat would you want to attatch these to the stern or bow? I thought I had seen an article that an offshore cat would deploy them from the stern as to avoid constant pounding, the only danger of this is swamping the cockpit with a breaking wave,
Could someone let the inexperienced in on this?
Please do not confuse my inexperience for ignorance... ignorance would be not asking.
The question about using drogues and sea anchors with catamarans is pretty off topic. It's also been discussed to death in the past. If you use the CF Google Search, you'll find maybe 10 long threads about using these specifically with cats.
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:14   #19
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

do tris have similar traits as cats?? friend has one, was wondering.....
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:34   #20
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

For the sake of repetition, and from reading alone, particularly here,
a sea anchor is meant to hold the boat still in the water
a drogue is meant to slow the boat

For a cat/multi they are so much slippier than a mono (mainly because they are lighter and built to slip easily through the water for speed in fair weather) that they run too fast down big waves, particularly in strong winds.
The most comfortable ride for boat and crew is a little off the downwind course but as seas/wind builds the risk of sledging down the wave into the trough and burying a bow or more there becomes more likely. A drogue will control the maximum speed, a tiny little storm stay/jib will help to maintain minimum speed (steerage way) in the troughs and to prevent backsliding on the next climb.
Coming off the true down wind by much just increases the risk of a bow tucking into the rising water ahead. If the storm worsens (predicted or not) then the sea anchor reduces downwind speed considerably but really should be over the bows, strung from both bows , and adjusted to meet incoming breakers dead on the bows. Chafing and even heat burn and cleat failure need to be planned for, they may well happen.
Form my own experience in an old Prout running across the seas is the best way of getting rolled, and cats don't do 360's (40deg of heel is beyond half way to the neutral stability point).
Into wind is an option to maintain some headway or claw off a lee shore, as close hauled as your boat will go but that's unlikely to work in a proper gale.
Downwind with the brakes on (unless you want to go that way of course) but boats and crews vary. Being at the helm and life belted and roped to something solid on the boat (with a knife taped to your thigh to cut the rope if she flips) is the only way to learn.
Most advice is to manage the speed, keeping it generally below hull speed, and between too slow to manouvre in the troughs, and too fast for safety on the down slopes.
Mooring lines required to secure the drogue, fatter the better, and some weight to stop it skipping over the surface behind you (that spare light anchor in the aft locker for kedging off sandbanks would be ideal).
'Maxing Out' has some excellent videos and reports on this sort of stuff. Go check it out.
From what I've read Every One is nervous in a storm for the first day, then just fed up of waiting for Neptune to calm herself down a bit.
Note - All my sailing has been in sight of land, f7 gusting 8 in a shallow bay my worst sailing, and very little at night. I've read and listened a lot to be prepared. All I've learnt is a couple of tricks that might help, and the sure knowledge that it's far worse the first time it happens to you.
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Old 21-10-2011, 10:15   #21
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

I hove to once for food and rest.

12-15 knots

Half furled jib. Full main.

Worked fine except that instead of fore reaching at about a half knot (like I have seen in monos) we were going up to two knots.

Need for experiments a bit more huh?

edit - I was told by a person that sells these boats that it is not a good idea because a fluke can put you about and then off you go at 6-7 knots.
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Old 21-10-2011, 12:10   #22
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
I hove to once for food and rest.

12-15 knots

Half furled jib. Full main.

Worked fine except that instead of fore reaching at about a half knot (like I have seen in monos) we were going up to two knots.

Need for experiments a bit more huh?

edit - I was told by a person that sells these boats that it is not a good idea because a fluke can put you about and then off you go at 6-7 knots.
I was told the same thing
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Old 21-10-2011, 14:33   #23
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On our cat we sort of heave to. Main only sheeted tight but traveller out. Point so sail is almost straight into the wind. The boat will slowly sail (about 1 knot) to windward by the wind action on the hulls but you still have steering control. Excellent for picking up MOB too. Try it.
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Old 21-10-2011, 16:42   #24
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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On our cat we sort of heave to. Main only sheeted tight but traveller out. Point so sail is almost straight into the wind. The boat will slowly sail (about 1 knot) to windward by the wind action on the hulls but you still have steering control. Excellent for picking up MOB too. Try it.

The Gem will not sail to windward with only the main. It will fall off to beam on and stay there till you coax it into forward motion.
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:53   #25
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The Gem will not sail to windward with only the main. It will fall off to beam on and stay there till you coax it into forward motion.
This only works with the traveller out. Hulls are about 30 degrees to the wind but main just works to keep you at that angle, not to actually sail. Different boat shapes behave differently so you just have to try it. This method is recommended by Southern Cross sailing school, Manly, QLD.
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Old 21-10-2011, 18:22   #26
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

Our L440 sat hove-to beautifully with main and jib reefed for the wind, really more for some comfort and rest for the crew and to pause while a front moved past rather than out of any concern we were out-of-control. After beating into 5M seas, we sat remarkably smooth and quiet for 12 hours, rolling easily over the waves...and then, when it was clear the front was moving past, we moved happily on.
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Old 21-10-2011, 20:22   #27
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

The Leopard 45 heaves to just fine. I, too, use it as part of my MOB routine. As a matter of fact, having sailed about forty different types of boats, only one did not like to heave to. But, sometimes it took a fair bit of work to find out how an individual boat likes to do it.

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Old 21-10-2011, 22:27   #28
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

How do you have any control in a MOB routine while heaving to?

I'd still like to also know how you heave to without a jib. What makes the boat fall off?
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Old 21-10-2011, 22:42   #29
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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How do you have any control in a MOB routine while heaving to?

I'd still like to also know how you heave to without a jib. What makes the boat fall off?
Good questions Palarran.

Re MOB, perhaps just takes the way off the vessel, leaving it to set and drift (?) altho CatNirvana still maintained ~1kn while hove to.
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Old 22-10-2011, 00:17   #30
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

Hi Palarran,

It is pretty simple. Let's say you are heading upwind, since that lends itself to the easiest description. When the person goes overboard, you immediately head off, more towards a reach, for a few seconds. The actual time depends upon the boat. The faster it is, and the more momentum it has, the longer and lower you head off. After the time that is appropriate for the boat (you can find this out easily by doing this, once) you do a quick tack without tacking the jib. Point the bow(s) to leeward of the victim. This is very important. When you get near the victim, head up into a hove-to position. The boat will come to a gradual halt, ideally just to windward of the victim. If you need a bit more oomph, just head down for a second or two. I have taught this for almost twenty years, and most students are able to get right back to the victim in under a minute, without ever getting that far away. On a big cat you WILL get farther away, as there is more momentum to kill, but moving more quickly still means you will get back in short order.

If this is too complicated, just heave to the instant the person goes overboard, and you will most likely still stop within about fifty yards of the victim.

Here is the philosophy behind this. When we teach MOB drills in sailing schools, it is not truly a real world situation. In almost every case, the goal is to pick up the lifejacket or cushion or whatever is thrown overboard. These are really good sail handling drills, but the boat often gets too close to the target (sometimes running it down), almost never comes to a stop, and if it does so (and even if it doesn't) depends on either rolling up the headsail or letting it luff, which causes all sorts of violent flogging of sheets and sails. Very unsafe, in reality.

By using the method I described, the sheets never need to be touched, the boat can be stopped, or very nearly stopped, and the sails do not luff. Everything is in relatively calm shape, which is good. It can also be done singlehanded, or with an untrained crew. Why is this important? Most cruising is done by couples, so either person had better be able to do the whole maneuver unaided. And, ask yourself, when you go sailing with a group of people, do you drill them until they can do one of the established maneuvers? No? Join the crowd. So, in reality, if something happens, there will be lots of chaos, the sails will be flogging all over the place, and there is a good chance that the maneuver will fail or take too long.....just look at the statistics.

Finally, when someone goes overboard, in reality they are either in shape to help themselves get back on board or they are not. If they are, not only do you not need to stop right on top of them, but it is dangerous to do so. Much better to come to a stop a half boat length or so away, and they can swim over. They will have only been in the water for a minute, two at the absolute most. But, for this to work, you have to be able to STOP, which you can't do using the regular maneuvers. Sooner or later, the bow falls off and the boat gets going again. And it is safest to have the sails under control, not luffing, and not having required to be rolled up.

If the person can NOT help themselves (let's say he or she is unconscious), then the only alternative is for someone to tie themselves to the boat, and go in. Yes, I know that the book tells you never to do this, but what would you do if a loved one was floating unconscious in the water? Right, you would go in. And, again, the crucial thing is for the boat to be STOPPED and under control. This you cannot do using the other techniques.

To sum it up, most MOB maneuvers never really stop the boat, run the risk of the bow falling off resulting in the boat getting moving again, involve flogging sails and sheets, and need lots of practice, which is why they are great sail training aids in sailing classes. But the most likely number of crew is two, one on the boat, and one in the water. Not a happy situation.

If, on the other hand, you simply heave to, you will not be more than fifty yards away, much closer in the average monohull. It is a simple maneuver, the boat stops, and there is no chaos. Not much need for training, either. If you do the maneuver I described above, you can come right to the MOB. I used to practice picking up coke cans out of the water off the stern of my monohull...that is how close you can get. But, it is better to stop a short distance away, and either wait for the MOB to paddle a few yards to the boat, or be in position to do go in the water. The boat is STOPPED, otherwise you could not reasonably get in. It will not start again, either, until you either steer to leward and gybe around, or let the jib go over to the leeward side and complete the tack. Neither will happen unless you do it. The heaving to can be done without touching the sails, with little practice or training and singlehanded.

You can do this in a cat, or at least in a Leopard 45/47. When teaching ASA 114 (cruising catamaran), I always throw this maneuver in, as well as the normal MOB drills, which students have to demonstrate in order to pass. Guess which one the students always prefer?

Since there are many ways for a person to go overboard, and many situations in which it can happen, and since they are such good sail training drills, you should learn all the classic ways to pick up an MOB. This would included the figure eight and quick stop methods, for starters, as well as some way to come back to the target if you are going down wind with the jib poled out or a spinnaker up, which are the worst situations, by far. And, don't forget that you have an engine (or two). But try making heaving to the method of choice. It is so easy and so safe.

Your other question involved heaving to without a jib. You can often stall a big cat by sheeting the main all the way in, and then heading slightly off head to wind. The boat never gets much way on, and keeps trying to head up and stop. Sometimes a cat will back up, briefly and then move forward briefly. On some boats (including some monohulls), you can get the boat at right angles to the wind, with the main sheeted right in, stalled, and the boat has no drive forward at all, and just slide slips. This is very much a classic heave to, since you are in your own "slick", but if the wave action is significant, you are beam on and "in the trough", which may be uncomfortable and, particularly in a cat, potentially unsafe.

I am sure there will be other methods described. Try them...you will have fun learning a few things about your boat.

Hope this helps. But, do your best to keep everyone onboard!

Cheers,
Tim
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