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Old 26-06-2007, 15:58   #1
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Heave to

When Heaving to, the jib is backed, the tiller is leeward, but how should the Main be trimmed?

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Old 26-06-2007, 16:15   #2

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The short answer is: it depends on the boat.

On most boats you can start with the main trimmed as for a broad reach and adjust until you get minimal forward motion.

Some boats will heave to best without the main up at all. If you are heaving-to for a quick stop you might just let the main luff in this case. My ketch will heave to in most winds with just the mizzen sail, no backed jib needed at all.

This is one of those cases where there is not a single magic formula. I hear lots of people say that their boat will not heave-to properly, and in many cases it is because they are slaveisly following a formula they read or were told. On the other hand there are some boats that just will not settle down and heave-to. I should wouldn't want to sail one of those across an ocean shorthanded!


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Old 26-06-2007, 18:03   #3
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"in many cases it is because they are slaveisly following a formula they read or were told"

Amen. We have a 150% Genny and I haven't cracked the code yet. We don't have enough rudder to hold the boat and so far she just swings around. I suspect we will have to furl to 100 or 80% to make the boat stay.
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Old 26-07-2007, 09:14   #4
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I ALWAYS start with the main sheeted in tight, as in beating to windward and adjust from there. It's really quite simple. Generally I like to let the boat lie about 45-60 degrees off the wind. If she points up too much I either add headsail by unfurling a tad or reducing the main, by easing the sheet. If she falls off too far, I either reduce headsail by rolling in some or add more main by sheeting it in some.

More headsail/ less main= fall off more.
Less headsail/more main= pointing up more.

Every boat is different and you must adj and pat attention to what your particular boat is telling you.

My boat is a full keel/cutaway forefoot, keel hung rudder Cape Dory 25D and she heaves to like a champ. I wouldn't even for a second consider going offshore in a boat that won't heave to, especially single handed. It's one of the best, easiest safety factors you could have. Otherwise your only choice is the continue sailing and that's not always a good thing.

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