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Old 04-01-2012, 10:12   #61
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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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.
...
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Not so much unlucky as spending a lot of time at sea (as charter captain/sailing instructor/delivery captain/cruiser for almost 20 years now)

Typically in much more sedate conditions, but I enjoy a bit of heavy weather now and then. These are not my typical sailing conditions, but if you spend enough time at sea the odds will get you eventually. And, if you are delivering boats, waiting out a bit of snotty weather is not what you are being paid to do.

Also, I used to teach a hands-on heavy-weather seminar, so we went looking it for it back then. No hypothetical class room discussions -- we had an on-call list for students who wanted heavy weather experience and rounded them up when the forecast winds were over 30 knots. Great fun and lots of heaving-to practice.

Squalls with very intense winds are not uncommon during summer and winter months in two areas where I have logged a lot of time: The Gulf of Mexico and the NW Caribbean.

Currently waiting for cold-front season to subside before heading out for this cruising season...not looking for more heavy weather experience this year.
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Old 04-01-2012, 15:20   #62
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Squalls with very intense winds are not uncommon during summer and winter months in two areas where I have logged a lot of time: The Gulf of Mexico and the NW Caribbean.


.
I was going to say that (sort of)..
Thunder storms here in the summer all pack a pretty good punch at initial arrival. 30 common. Most I have seen is 42. But I don't stay out much if there is one coming at me.
The concern I usually have is "will the anchor drag".
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Old 04-01-2012, 17:11   #63
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

we've seen a number of 50 mph gusts here on a hill overlooking the Caicos Bank during intense Tstorm and squall activity, as measured with one of those Davis weather stations here at the house.
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Old 04-01-2012, 18:08   #64
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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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.
We agree, on both counts.

We tried to attach a 2 min video clip (one of several taken over the 12-13hrs in that position) of our once-only hove-to episode, but it seems the file (an MP4) was too large at ~135Mb. If anyone's interested and can suggest a way to attach the file, we will be happy to do so!
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Old 04-01-2012, 19:04   #65
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

Re: "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."

Heaving-to is a very handy basic sailing skill with many uses other than just riding out some rough weather. For example: reefing or shaking out a reef, making repairs, waiting for even worse weather to pass ahead of your course, lunch break, whoopie break, fighting a good fish, being borded, clearing a fouled prop, watching the sunset, waiting for dawn...
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Old 04-01-2012, 19:11   #66
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

setting a broken arm, clamping a bleeding arterty, searching for a radio channel, stopping a leak, fixing a motor,

In our case, just taking a break and making lunch in 25 kt. winds was really nice. In fact, learning to heave to in that 42ft. cat was one of the most practical sailing tips we learned all week during our four ASA certs. the rest of it is pretty much the same in a Hobie as it is in a Leopard. Sails are not all that complicated. Heaving to, now THAT was neat!
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Old 04-01-2012, 19:14   #67
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

Many times you'll see at the starting line, racing cats hove to. As you sail toward the wind, wind out the main and head up. Your boat will start to stall out and go into irons. You bear off a little to maintain some steerage, but head up to maintain position. This is common technique of catamarans.
I will try the tack-over-and-not-tack-the-jib technique, but my gut says we hold the jib often when we want to spin the boat faster, and afterwards the boat spins more downwind and it's a lot of trouble to get things organised on the new tack. To do this for a MOB seems counterintuitive. I will go out and try it. I really dread MOB, as my boat does not turn on a dime, and predicting where it may end up after maneuvers is chancey.
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Old 04-01-2012, 19:17   #68
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

In the Leopard we just set up as though we were going to tack, and then never loosed the jib sheet. Held the wheel hard over, and that was it. That simple.
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Old 04-01-2012, 20:58   #69
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Heaving-to is a very handy basic sailing skill with many uses other than just riding out some rough weather. For example: reefing or shaking out a reef, making repairs, waiting for even worse weather to pass ahead of your course, lunch break, whoopie break, fighting a good fish, being borded, clearing a fouled prop, watching the sunset, waiting for dawn...
All very valid...and we happily stand corrected!
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:38   #70
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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In our case, just taking a break and making lunch in 25 kt. winds was really nice. In fact, learning to heave to in that 42ft. cat was one of the most practical sailing tips we learned all week during our four ASA certs. the rest of it is pretty much the same in a Hobie as it is in a Leopard. Sails are not all that complicated. Heaving to, now THAT was neat!
Yes, many of my students say the same thing....before teaching them to heave-to, preferably while bashing to windward in a good blustery afternoon sea-breeze, I throw the boat into a heave-to position...everything goes calm...and they are amazed we can do this on a sail boat...then I teach them how.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:48   #71
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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In the Leopard we just set up as though we were going to tack, and then never loosed the jib sheet. Held the wheel hard over, and that was it. That simple.
Same way I teach it.

A couple of key points:

1) Most boats heave-to best with the headsail slightly reduced relative to the previaling wind conditions (meaning: a bit under-canvased). Too much head-sail will push the bow too far off the wind. Reduce head-sail a bit then heave-to (assuming roller-furling).

2) Let the boat stall a bit before you bring the helm back to windward otherwise the boat may come back through the tack. Not typically an issue on larger cats, but on larger monohulls the sheer mass of the boat may overcome the backed jib if you have not scrubbed off enough boat speed first.
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Old 05-01-2012, 13:16   #72
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Same way I teach it.

A couple of key points:

1) Most boats heave-to best with the headsail slightly reduced relative to the previaling wind conditions (meaning: a bit under-canvased). Too much head-sail will push the bow too far off the wind. Reduce head-sail a bit then heave-to (assuming roller-furling).

2) Let the boat stall a bit before you bring the helm back to windward otherwise the boat may come back through the tack. Not typically an issue on larger cats, but on larger monohulls the sheer mass of the boat may overcome the backed jib if you have not scrubbed off enough boat speed first.
Another clear and very useful post. You sound like an excellent teacher!
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Old 05-01-2012, 15:04   #73
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

Our ASA instructor for that week was Tim McKenna. Maybe some of you guys know him. He was working through Fairwinds Sailing School at the time. They had three boats down there that week, we got together in the various BVI harbors with them at night after a day of sailing. There were 6 students on one boat and 8 on another! We got a lot of dirty looks, once they knew we had three people on a four cabin boat. We had two completely empty cabins, and had to politely refuse to take some of the extra students on board with us. It was a little uneasy, but hey, we paid to charter the whole boat. We didn't WANT a half dozen hands grabbing every loose line, giving advice, etc. We really paid the extra money to charter the whole boat because we specifically wanted to know for sure how it would be for the two of us to sail a boat like that without any other crew. We sure learned a lot, because unlike the other boats, we never got spelled on the winches, or wheel, or in the galley. We tacked and sailed all week long, without pause. We were some tired puppies. some photos of that week here if anyone cares about that:
2 Gringos in the Caribbean: The Busman's Holiday...
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Old 05-01-2012, 15:15   #74
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

[QUOTE=belizesailor;852443]
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. QUOTE]

Yes , I think you have covered 90% of modern cats here.
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Old 05-01-2012, 17:57   #75
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Re: Heaving-to in a Catamaran

[QUOTE=catty;853491]
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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. QUOTE]

Yes , I think you have covered 90% of modern cats here.
"...probably won't heave to well" does not equal "won't heave-to".

It's all a matter of understanding how to balance CE vs. lateral resistance (or the lack thereof). Boats with less than ideal lateral resistance just don't necessary heave-to innately well, but you can compensate by adjusting the sail plan a bit as I have described here (using main as "trim tab", reducing head-sail area). This is a much more effective, and safer, strategy at sea than just saying "oh well, can't heave-to in a cat". Sure you can -- sit and watch.

I have sailed modern production cats by Lagoon, Fontain Pajot, Privilege, Gemini, Robertson & Caine, Charter Cats (Wildcat) and Manta. Certainly a representative slice of the market. They will all heave-to...just some better than others.
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