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.