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Old 17-11-2012, 08:10   #31
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Maybe it is because I am learning how to handle a "big boat", but I look at mastering how to heave too the same as mastering how to set a reef. It is a skill that a competent sailer must master.

Playing with heaving too or reefing when the winds are 10 kts, is mush more forgiving that trying it the first time when it is blowing 20.

Bill
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Old 19-11-2012, 12:32   #32
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Pointers for a catboat?

I bought a Marshall 22 catboat this year, and I haven't a clue about how to heave to in it. A catboat has a mast way up front and a large mainsail (no foresail on most catboats, like mine, but a few have a smallish jib).

In my old Cape Dory, I heaved to a time or two, with varying success (more forward motion than I wanted, but I probably wasn't pointed upwind enough). But what's the technique without a jib?

Thanks.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:50   #33
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

Great discussion, thanks for participating. Sounds like most of us are comfortable with heaving-to, but I'd love to hear more discussion about the technique as a storm tactic.
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Old 20-11-2012, 13:18   #34
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There are numerous threads on this topic with excellent info fromexperienced sailors

Search under "heave to" or "storm tactics" or "drag device" etc and there should be pages of good info
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Old 20-11-2012, 14:19   #35
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

Interesting to see how many people on this thread see heaving-to as a routine manoeuvre.

I tried to float the notion of heaving to, in situations other than heavy weather, in a thread I started about a different method of heaving to.
This is a method using the main only.

Rather than using centreline sheeting (as usual when heaving to under trysail only, in heavy weather) instead the boom is swung outboard, to the required extent to result in the boat adopting the desired angle with respect to head-to-wind.

Crucially a vang-preventer is then applied (and opposed by the mainsheet) to flatten the sail and stop the boom swinging, so the clew cannot move relative to the boat.

Contrary to intuition, this means the sail cannot flog.

As when heaving to with the headsail aback, the helm is lashed with the rudder trying to round the boat up into the wind.
I gave a number of instances of 'routine' reasons to heave to, in the hope the thread would not be hijacked to discuss heavy weather tactics (nearly as fruitless as anchor discussions IME, at least online)

One instance I gave was to cook and eat a meal.

This single suggestion attracted so much ridicule that the thread was effectively derailed, rather to my surprise.

I'm somewhat relieved, and encouraged, to find a rather different (and to my mind more seamanlike) attitude on this thread.
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Old 20-11-2012, 14:36   #36
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

In regard to the question about storm tactics, others have touched on the important variable of boat size.

My main reservation about heaving-to in bad conditions in small boats would be in situations where the wave crests were high enough to potentially break into the sails.

Obviously on a small boat this is more likely in any given conditions, and other tactics, whether active or passive, are more appealing...

(at least to me. For instance, if you're sailing fast when this happens, and are able to bear away, it's not necessarily going to result in an inversion)

If waves into the sails is not a likely risk, provided the amount of sail is appropriate to the windstrength, I think it's worth considering in winds of storm force, and it's always worked well for me in these circumstances in a variety of boats.

However I think it would be questionable, particularly in smaller vessels, in a true storm - where the mean windspeed stayed in the storm force category, over a sufficient fetch, for long enough for the seas to attain storm proportions - mainly for the reason given above.

In such circumstances the tactic may well become questionable even in larger vessels.
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Old 20-11-2012, 14:40   #37
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

I have a headsail and staysail both mounted on furlers. As its a newish boat, I haven't got up to trying to make it heave to yet. Anyone with this set up like to comment on how they do it. The headsail is a 130% genoa.
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Old 20-11-2012, 15:40   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup
In regard to the question about storm tactics, others have touched on the important variable of boat size.

My main reservation about heaving-to in bad conditions in small boats would be in situations where the wave crests were high enough to potentially break into the sails.

Obviously on a small boat this is more likely in any given conditions, and other tactics, whether active or passive, are more appealing...

(at least to me. For instance, if you're sailing fast when this happens, and are able to bear away, it's not necessarily going to result in an inversion)

If waves into the sails is not a likely risk, provided the amount of sail is appropriate to the windstrength, I think it's worth considering in winds of storm force, and it's always worked well for me in these circumstances in a variety of boats.

However I think it would be questionable, particularly in smaller vessels, in a true storm - where the mean windspeed stayed in the storm force category, over a sufficient fetch, for long enough for the seas to attain storm proportions - mainly for the reason given above.

In such circumstances the tactic may well become questionable even in larger vessels.

This post confuses me! Everything I have read (Pardey, others and CF) and the times I have hove-to in moderate conditions, teaches that the boat will "slide" downwind creating a calm-ish area up wind that will be devoid of breaking water. When conditions are too rough, to hold this skid position,then a para-anchor should be set. On my 33 footer, I do not see the need for a para anchor until see hit over 10-15 feet.

Am I misunderstanding one of my lessons?

Thanks

Bill
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Old 20-11-2012, 16:20   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore
I do not see the need for a para anchor until see hit over 10-15 feet
I don't see the need to even heave to @ 10-15' unless a wind over current situation, this swell size would be very routine on a given passage. Force 10 and even extended force 9 over long fetch will quickly produce 10-15m conditions, I assume this is what you meant?

It isn't the size really that would warrant shifting from heaving to parachute or whatever your weather strategy was, but the change in the state of the waves from swells to white water to breaking that forces a rethink.
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Old 20-11-2012, 16:26   #40
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
This post confuses me! Everything I have read (Pardey, others and CF) and the times I have hove-to in moderate conditions, teaches that the boat will "slide" downwind creating a calm-ish area up wind that will be devoid of breaking water. When conditions are too rough, to hold this skid position,then a para-anchor should be set. On my 33 footer, I do not see the need for a para anchor until see hit over 10-15 feet.

Am I misunderstanding one of my lessons?

Thanks

Bill

Regarding the supposed immunity from waves breaking aboard, conferred by the "slick" effect:

I have to answer a specific question with a general answer, because I don't believe a specific answer exists. It seems to me there are a number of reasons why discussions of storm tactics are generally confusing and lack clarity and consensus.

Firstly, lack of data:

Although I've been in storm force winds offshore more often than I care to remember I've never been in a storm. That's not a very interesting fact ... except that it is is true, I would guess, of most sailors you might find on an online forum especially in these days where major systems are under such close surveillance. Long warning and relatively fast vessels mean it's unusual to be caught by conditions like this.

So most of what is discussed is untried in true survival conditions.

Secondly: abundance of unquantifiable variables:
No two boats respond the same
No two waves behave the same, let alone two storms
Ocean currents can create waves very much unlike what theory and experience predict
The wind is not always constant in direction (potentially a problem if hove to)
etc etc

In respect of heaving to, there are very many variables:

Hull form
Keel position, area, and aspect ratio*
Rig position
Rudder size and location
etc etc

(* full keels attached to deep-draft canoe bodies, dragged sideways, presumably have much greater tendency to redistribute energy, causing the 'slick' to be much more influential: I'm guessing this is partly why this tactic used to be more popular than it is now)

And the interactions between variables are consequently highly complex and unpredictable. Hard and fast rules are consequently unreliable.

For instance, consider the energy distribution in the cross section of a wave/swell combo you get when unlimited fetch is combined with long duration of storm force winds from a consistent direction. This is of an entirely different scale and depth from anything normally encountered, and I would be surprised if it took much notice of the 'slick' from anything short of a large superyacht with a full-length keel.

Returning to the sort of combinations which are more realistic, it seems to me that what works well for a full keeled cutter in a hard gale whose direction remains 'true' to the wavetrain may not work at all for a fin keel cutter in a true storm in the Agulhas
.. and what works for a fin keel sloop in a small tropical revolving storm many not work for an identical boat in a four-day winter gale in the North Atlantic
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Old 20-11-2012, 16:35   #41
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

IN my experience, with almost exclusively modern boats, I do not consider it a storm survival tactic , Im much more of the Dashew camp then Pardeys. In my experience in light up to heavy airs with regular seas, most boats will heave to, allowing that cup-of-tea time. In confused seas, Ive always found that the boat gets thrown through the wind and sails off, Or sits with too much beam exposed. Im not convinced.

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Old 20-11-2012, 17:16   #42
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
All the time!

No sailor should be without heaving-to in his bag of tricks.

Just a few of the occasions on which I heave to:

1. Take a break in rough weather. Especially, to cook a meal if everyone is tired of fighting the conditions, and the motion makes cooking (and/or eating) difficult.

2. Give a break to someone who is experiencing severe seasickness. Works like a charm -- violent motion in bad weather is suddenly turned into something like calm.

3. Stop to let a ship go by.

4. Stop and calm down the motion if something needs to be done on the foredeck, in rough conditions.

The Pardeys recommend it as a storm tactic and claim that it is miraculous. I have never used it for this, but I can believe that it is true, considering what a remarkable difference it makes to boat motion in rough conditions.
+1!!

Know how to make your boat heave-to BEFORE you need to do it.
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Old 20-11-2012, 18:27   #43
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

I don't heave to. I don't like it. I certainly know how to do it, and have done it. First, I don't like the side load the headsail sheet puts on the shroud (in a blow). Second, I don't like becoming unmaneuverable.

Reefing is trivial while sailing to weather. I would rather be maneuverable when avoiding a ship.

Have done it very briefly to lower a headsail onto the foredeck. But not long enough for the boat to stop.

Fin keel boats heave-to just fine. But a fast one will still be moving forward downwind at significant speed.

Broad reaching under shortened sail is my preference. When that gets unreasonable a series drogue.
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Old 20-11-2012, 18:37   #44
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
Second, I don't like becoming unmaneuverable.
I find that my boat skittles up to speed the moment I blow the headsail and sheet it in on the leeward side. Some boats accelerate better than others of course, but I'm having a hard time seeing this as a problem.

Whenever we heave-to inside the bay, I try to initiate the maneuver from port tack so that I'm finally hove-to on starboard tack. That way I remain the stand-on vessel in most crossing situations.
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Old 20-11-2012, 18:47   #45
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

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I find that my boat skittles up to speed the moment I blow the headsail and sheet it in on the leeward side. Some boats accelerate better than others of course, but I'm having a hard time seeing this as a problem.
Not a problem, I just don't like it. The problem is the side loading on the shroud. Very unfriendly to the rig, especially the spreaders on some boats.
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