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Old 05-11-2011, 20:56   #46
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

Great summary Tim. Years ago I was taught that you never turn your engines on when picking up a MOB that you have in sight. Heave to and pick him up. There was another post entitled MOB several months ago. I explained this method (the heave to) for MOB retrievals. Everyone wanted to drop the sails and start the engines. Don't. I would like to reiterate what I think is the most important thing Tim said. In a heave to the boat stops now and there is NO CONFUSION, just calm. Calm is important, particularily in the MOB situation. I don't care for the figure 8 as much. You invariably end up too far away from the MOB. MOB are very hard to see at night and in heavy seas.
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Old 06-11-2011, 18:05   #47
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

My wife and I heave to whenever we catch a fish. She's really good at slowing/stopping the boat and stabilizing everything while I get to play. It may sound silly but she has become excellent at the helm; dumping wind, pinching, sailing at 2 knots in 20 knot winds with full sails up, back-winding the jib and heaving-to when the fish refuses to cooperate. All the same skills come into play if/when you get caught with way-too much sail up.

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Old 09-11-2011, 02:47   #48
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

run with it ,if no land around or rocky bits you can hit. now im going to get shouted at for this i think, when you know a storm is due get out into and practic what you will heaving to , running, storm sail hard in but practice , practic, practice, it will let you know how she behaves in a sea way also it will give you confidunce in your boat
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Old 30-12-2011, 07:59   #49
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

forget heaving to on a cat, i tried it on different types, in bad weater go with flow first then against wave system under power. The small sea anchor/drogue for resting in good weather with lots of seaspace works great
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Old 30-12-2011, 09:05   #50
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

Well said Quirimbas, I found my old Prout would hold her position off shore against an f6 with a sliver of genoa. About 2 knots in very choppy water gave steerage way and that was enough not to drift downwind, the keels doing their bit.
With room (I didn't have any) running downwind would have been easier, possibly adding a drogue or rope astern off one hull to allow the boat to ride the waves and keep the speed under control.
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Old 30-12-2011, 12:27   #51
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Originally Posted by Factor
Heaving to - no jib - for a seawind 1000/xl/xl2

To hove-to your Seawind completely furl the Jib, it plays no part. Set the Main Traveler fully out with Main Sheet on. Head the Main Sail directly into the wind, stop the boat and lash the Helm on full lock. Head to wind will be around 40 degrees off the bow. The vessel will drift backwards until the Main Sail drives the boat forward at around 60 degrees. The rudders will then turn the vessel into the wind and stall at around 20 degrees off the bow. You are now fully under control in an active hove-to position.
To hove-to effectively, sufficient Main Sail needs to be set to drive the vessel forward. In Gale or Storm conditions this is definitely 3rd Reef but in Squall conditions the technique is effective with 2nd Reef also. Of course you need sufficient sea room to drift down wind at around 1 Knot.
Hi factor
Could you do a little more detail? What do you mean by lock the helm? To windward? If locked then how do the rudders turn as you state later or I guess they don't and you mean they just turn the boat.
My boat has a 28' paratech anchor that we have used twice in 50k and 70k winds the second time with 30-40' seas. Very calm and stable for the full storm A full description is in Multihulls 2000 or 2001. Never had a wave come across the bow. We had the bridal/rode straight off the bows 300'.
I wish I had known about this heave too as I had a situation off Cape cod in late Oct 2010 where we could not use the sea anchor so we ran with triple reef main no jib at 22k in 10 ft seas 40k wind, over loaded with water fuel 6 crew and food for 2 months. Heave too would have been much better to maintain our position. I had always been told you can't heave a cat. Wish I had seen this thread. Cannot wait to try this out next season.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:32   #52
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by quirimbas View Post
forget heaving to on a cat
Have to disagree. We hove to easily while waiting for a large low pressure system (Force 8, 4-5m seas) to move past. From bashing away verly uncomfortably, we were suddenly silent, easily riding the swells and making 1-2kn SOG (in nearly the right direction as well!) for 13hrs before the front passed and we were able to move on. It was quick and easy and really helped everyone on board to take a breather.
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Old 03-01-2012, 13:26   #53
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Have to disagree. We hove to easily while waiting for a large low pressure system (Force 8, 4-5m seas) to move past. From bashing away verly uncomfortably, we were suddenly silent, easily riding the swells and making 1-2kn SOG (in nearly the right direction as well!) for 13hrs before the front passed and we were able to move on. It was quick and easy and really helped everyone on board to take a breather.
Please describe exactly what you did to heave to. Was it the same as Factor described?
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Old 03-01-2012, 15:31   #54
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by Teeto View Post
Please describe exactly what you did to heave to.
We can't now recall the exact sail configuration. but it would've been whatever was the manufacturer's recommendation for the winds at the time. So it was probably something like 50% genoa and triple-reefed main.

Going from a close-hauled position on a port tack, we tacked to starboard, but did not tack the genoa. Then as the vessel came round to the mainsail on starboard tack, we reversed the rudder hard to starboard, i.e. effectively trying to reverse the tack just taken, and locked the rudder in that position. The vessel then just stalled and settled comfortably (incredibly so by comparison to our previous efforts beating ahead!) at 30degrees starboard tack, with the genoa in a back-winded position. The process is simply reversed from the other tack, of course, but it's perhaps worth mentioning here that we actually did that as well, to ensure that our 1-2kn 'drift' was in the direction we wanted to go!

So for us, the genoa definitely played a part...and thus it was not the process described by Factor. We've been meaning to try Factor's process (just in case there was a problem with the genoa, as happened to us in an incredbly awkward and even life-threatening situation on a Beneteau 50' awhile back when the genoa reefing line parted in Force 9 conditions...) but we haven't done so yet.
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Old 03-01-2012, 16:03   #55
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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The vessel then just stalled and settled comfortably...at 30degrees starboard tack, with the genoa in a back-winded position.
Oops...just found a video filmed at the time and the instruments show we were actually settled at ~40-50degrees AWA.

The sail configuration suggested in our last post was accurate, viz. ~50% genoa and triple-reefed main.
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Old 03-01-2012, 16:39   #56
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

I've seen a number of posts on this forum which flatly state "you cannot heave to on a cat". This is simply not correct (as is true of most absolute statements). I have thousands of miles and many years on many different makes/models of both cats and monohulls (and even a few tri's). I have hove-to successfully in many of each (even got a high-performance tri to heave-to nicely once...to my pleasant surprise).

Whether or not a boat heaves to well does not depend upon the number of hulls, but upon other design characteristics of the boat (lateral resistance in particular). There are both cats and monos which heave-to just fine and designs of each which do not.
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Old 03-01-2012, 18:00   #57
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

What wind strength are we talking here?. Most cats will heave-to nicely in flat water and moderate winds.

Going out and testing your survival strategies in a gale for pure entertainment is probably not going to happen, so you need a few up your sleeve in-case the heaving-to one doesn't work out as you expected .

The wind-age of the modern cat along with the mast stepped fwd (more windage forward) to maximize accommodation space makes heaving to a real problem in most production cats, under main only, in conditions where one may need to slow the vessel (ie a gale +). One moment the sail is stalled and your surfing backwards the next the bows are knocked off to leeward and the boat is leaping off waves.

These are conditions where storm jibs on inner forstays and drouges pay for themselves. A tripple reefed main is a lot of sail for a small cat in 35 to 40 knots.

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Old 03-01-2012, 18:52   #58
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

can't heave to on a catamaran? rubbish. Pure and simple. We practiced heaving to at noon every day for a week to fix lunch on a Leopard 42 down in the BVI during our ASA cert courses. There were only three of us on the boat. La Gringa and I, and our instructor. It was one of the most useful new things we learned. and this was during 30 kt. Christmas Winds in December. NOT flat calm.


We had to come up with our own MOB drill, too. The book version doesn't work when 100% of your crew falls overboard.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:00   #59
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by catty View Post
What wind strength are we talking here?. Most cats will heave-to nicely in flat water and moderate winds.

Going out and testing your survival strategies in a gale for pure entertainment is probably not going to happen, so you need a few up your sleeve in-case the heaving-to one doesn't work out as you expected .

The wind-age of the modern cat along with the mast stepped fwd (more windage forward) to maximize accommodation space makes heaving to a real problem in most production cats, under main only, in conditions where one may need to slow the vessel (ie a gale +). One moment the sail is stalled and your surfing backwards the next the bows are knocked off to leeward and the boat is leaping off waves.

These are conditions where storm jibs on inner forstays and drouges pay for themselves. A tripple reefed main is a lot of sail for a small cat in 35 to 40 knots.

Regards.
I have successfully hove-to on modern cats in 40-65 knots of wind and moderate seas (6-12ft) many times. Typically to ride out a particularly intense squall -- heave-to for 30 minutes or so and then get back underway (running with it, as mentioned in other posts, is also a very effective technique). The sail configuration I have most often used is a reefed jib (about storm jib size for the given boat) and main eased so that it will luff when the boat is at a close-haul to close-reach angle to the wind (most cats have full-batten mains so they don't flog violently when luffing). If the boat begins to fall off too much then the main will fill, shifting the CE aft, and round her back up to windward (same technique will also work on many monohulls). In this configuration, you can fine tune your angle to the wind by using the main like a giant trim tab. This technique also helps keep a better angle to the wind for boats that don't heave-to well.

The key factor which determines whether a vessel (regardless of number of hulls) heaves-to well is it's lateral resistance characteristics. If the boat has a keel which is relatively narrow fore-and-aft and shoal then the boat probably won't heave-to well. A longer (fore-and-aft) and deeper keel (and/or below the water line hull area) will improve lateral resistance and thus increase the likelihood that the vessel will heave-to well. Many modern cats and monohulls have relatively shoal keels that are also short fore-and-aft. Regardless of the number of hulls, vessels with this keel configuration are not likely to heave-to well or go to windward well in moderate to heavy conditions -- both due to inadequate lateral resistance.

Again the key caveat is that it all depends upon the specific boat not the number of hulls. I expect some of the newer cats (like the Moorings 4700 - which looks like an overgrown RV with a mast stuck in it) will be effected by their ample windage, but I have not tried to heave-to in this particular boat yet (although I have captained charters aboard them).
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:52   #60
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I have successfully hove-to on modern cats in 40-65 knots of wind and moderate seas (6-12ft) many times. Typically to ride out a particularly intense squall --
Wow, you are somewhat unlucky with wind speed when sailing to have that intensity many times. 40 to 65 knot winds don't happen too often, even in a squall.

It appears that we know that some multihulls can and some can't. If you own one, try it out. I fully intended to the last time I was out but it turned out to be too good of a sailing day, so we didn't mess around, just enjoyed ourselves. It's probably a good skill to have in the bag but one I personally can't see having or needing to use more then a couple times.
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