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Old 23-04-2014, 02:35   #1
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Heaving To

I have seen 'heaving to' alluded to in a few posts on different subjects, and usually followed by something along the lines of that nobody bothers with it much these days or in fact knows how to get their boat to heave to.
Is this true?
Personally I regard the ability to heave to as one of the most useful attributes in my sailing repertoire, and do so quite frequently. Admittedly I have a long keeled boat which aids in the maneuver, but have also had success in fin keeled boats.
Does anyone else appreciate my enthusiasm for heaving to as a good skill to have?
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Old 23-04-2014, 02:50   #2
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pirate Re: Heaving to

Yup.... top of the pops in my opinion for a variety of reasons..
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Old 23-04-2014, 03:03   #3
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Re: Heaving to

Absolutely, most boats I believe can be hove to, its just a matter of working out how to do it.
My last boat a fin keeled Admirals Cup racer would heave to with the staysail and a reefed main beautifully...thank goodness, some years ago on the way from NZ to Tonga we were caught in a squash zone with winds up to 40 knots and huge seas, heaving to twice a day allowed us to clean up, wash, eat...marvellous.
My current Amel Maramu will heave to with staysail and main in moderate weather, or staysail and mizzen (jib and jigger) in heavier weather with no problem at all.
Heaving to is one of the best heavy weather tactics there is when crew is tired and the weather tough - just the silence and lack of motion is enough to rest and then carry on......
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Old 23-04-2014, 03:12   #4
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Re: Heaving to

Yes, we heave to for a bit of respite on uncomfortable passages, or to wait for first light before entering unfamiliar harbours. Even on short coastal hops we will heave to for a bit of a fish over a good spot, or simply just to get the dinghy on deck if the weather gets a bit dicey for towing it.
So, with its many benefits, why is heaving to apparently becoming a lost art, do you suppose?
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Old 23-04-2014, 03:36   #5
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Re: Heaving to

Pick up a copy of Lin and Larry Pardey's book, "Storm Tactics Handbook: Modern Methods of Heaving-to for Survival in Extreme Conditions, 3rd Edition." She has a reasonable explanation for why the procedure lost popularity.
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Old 23-04-2014, 04:34   #6
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Very useful skill to have as far as I'm concerned. There's an old saying: "Any fool can make a boat move, but it takes a sailor to make it stop."
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Old 23-04-2014, 05:10   #7
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Re: Heaving to

In modern boats, heaving to in fine to moderate weather and sea state is a very useful skill and eminently achievable.

In heavy weather, its much more difficult to achieve. Modern boats will forereach off the cabin top alone, hence it has fallen out of favour in contrast to modern active management techniques.

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Old 23-04-2014, 13:36   #8
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Re: Heaving to

I teach it to all the newbies I take out with me and have done so for the last 40 plus years.

The only boat I could not successfully heave to was a Wharram 23 Cat. No matter what I did it just would not stay hove to. Anyone with suggestions about that one?
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Old 23-04-2014, 13:47   #9
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Re: Heaving to

I hove to a lot. I enjoy fishing over the side off the coast, or just relax for a while and have a bite to eat. Don't understand why more sailors don't do it..enjoy the peacefulness.
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Old 23-04-2014, 13:50   #10
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Re: Heaving to

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I teach it to all the newbies I take out with me and have done so for the last 40 plus years.

The only boat I could not successfully heave to was a Wharram 23 Cat. No matter what I did it just would not stay hove to. Anyone with suggestions about that one?
Welp, ask Boaty. He owned one once me thinks.
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Old 23-04-2014, 14:03   #11
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pirate Re: Heaving to

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I teach it to all the newbies I take out with me and have done so for the last 40 plus years.

The only boat I could not successfully heave to was a Wharram 23 Cat. No matter what I did it just would not stay hove to. Anyone with suggestions about that one?
They're to shallow drafted... my 21 would float in 12" and the 26 in 15"... just have to go with the flow and stay well away from lee shores in a blow..
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Old 23-04-2014, 15:55   #12
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Re: Heaving to

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Anyone with suggestions about that one?
Read the Pardey's book.
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Old 23-04-2014, 16:02   #13
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Re: Heaving to

An indispensable technique after beating to windward shorthanded and wanting to go below for a bit of a cuddle safely, as long as you aren't in a fairway or high traffic area. Turn on your radar alarm and some music and all will be right in your world! Cheers. Phil
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Old 23-04-2014, 16:15   #14
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pirate Re: Heaving to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
Read the Pardey's book.
I didn't know they sailed Wharrams...
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Old 23-04-2014, 16:22   #15
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Re: Heaving to

imho, it's one of the essential survival techniques.

Heaving to is up there with anchoring, reefing, dealing with engine problems (blocked CW, impeller change etc), bleeding fuel etc). Stuff like this you may rarely even think about, especially if you're a day sailer, but nevertheless will need one of these days when the poo starts to fly.......

And it's different for each boat, so don't just read Pardeys or a few posts on CF & think you've got it nailed. Experiment in 10 or 15 knots, then in 25+ knots till you have it licked. You won't regret it.

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