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Old 16-11-2012, 07:52   #1
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Heaving-To, Do you do it?

I recently outlined how we heave-to in this blog post, Give me a Break: Techniques for Heaving-To

I'm curious to know how many people heave-to and in what situations (taking a break, fixing gear, etc.). I'm also interested in hearing thoughts on heaving-to as a storm tactic.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:01   #2
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

We'll heave to before putting in a reef just because it's a more gentle way to get things done than flogging head-to-wind.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:03   #3
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

We tried unsucessfully to heave to in some dicey weather and only emergency tiller steering on our first passage. Despite the kind advice over the radio of another vessel we were unable to get our fin keel boat to cooperate. I too am interested to hear from others, especially those sailing fin keel boats. Please when responding let us know what kind of keel, rudder combo you have as not everyone will know only from the model of boat.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:10   #4
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

I have a full keel and it's fairly easy to heave-to. We've hove-to overnight in thick fog when it wasn't safe to attempt finding an anchorage. We are cutter rigged and heave to comfortably under just a deeply reefed mainsail.

With a fin keel, I would strongly suggest a sea anchor. You can deploy it from the bow with your anchor rode and hook a bridal with a snatch block back to a sheet winch to hold the boat at 50 degrees to the wind.

(Fiorentino Offshore)
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:16   #5
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

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.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:19   #6
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDH View Post
We tried unsucessfully to heave to in some dicey weather and only emergency tiller steering on our first passage. Despite the kind advice over the radio of another vessel we were unable to get our fin keel boat to cooperate. I too am interested to hear from others, especially those sailing fin keel boats. Please when responding let us know what kind of keel, rudder combo you have as not everyone will know only from the model of boat.
Fin-keelers are harder to heave to because of their superior pointing ability. Next time you're out, try initiating the maneuver with the traveler all the way down, so that you can't point as high.

Fraction-rigged fin-keelers are even more difficult to heave to because the backwinded jib isn't always big enough to provide sufficient resistance to the main wanting to tack. If this is the case, shorten sail on the main.

If you still can't get the system to work, dump the jib and forereach on the main alone. It's almost as good a solution.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:20   #7
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

I practice it on my Newport and on every Beneteau we bareboat chartered. All fin keeled and seemed to work well in (almost) stopping the boat.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:21   #8
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDH View Post
We tried unsucessfully to heave to in some dicey weather and only emergency tiller steering on our first passage. Despite the kind advice over the radio of another vessel we were unable to get our fin keel boat to cooperate. I too am interested to hear from others, especially those sailing fin keel boats. Please when responding let us know what kind of keel, rudder combo you have as not everyone will know only from the model of boat.
I've hove to in all kinds of boats, and never experienced one which would not do it. I've done it in long keel and fin keel boats, and never had any particular problems once I found the right settings. I've even done it in a dinghy sailer with a centerboard. My present boat has a bulb keel and heaves-to better than any of my previous boats. It may have something to do with having a large, powerful rudder.

You do have to learn every boat first, however, to know how tight (or loose) to sheet in the main, what rudder angle works. Sometimes you have to experiment -- every boat is different.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:26   #9
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Fin-keelers are harder to heave to because of their superior pointing ability. Next time you're out, try initiating the maneuver with the traveler all the way down, so that you can't point as high.
I never thought of that, but it makes sense. Heaving-to is basically stalling the whole rig with the backwinded jib trying to make you head off, while the rudder is holding you into the wind.

A long-keel boat has a bigger dead zone -- angles to the wind where it won't sail -- than a fin keel boat.

Nevertheless, my previous 37' long keel boat, which had the pointing ability of a square-rigger (or a floating pig, if you like), was not any more stable hove-to than my present boat. It had a relatively small rudder -- I think that makes a difference.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:41   #10
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

all boats should heave to, proper way to do it is with the jib and main sheeted in as going to weather; first tack the boat without touching any sheets and after the jib tacks, turn the rudder back as though changing your mind: again, don't adjust any sheets and you are done. dead quiet! to continue on, release the jib sheet, trim and sail on.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:50   #11
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

I have hove-to several times and they were mostly due to inclement weather (read gales) coming from where I wanted to go. My reasons were to take a break to catching up on zzzz and prevent further equipment stresses.


The point of sail:
However, I have never hove-to while on a reach or run, as coming about and going the other way would be pretty hard on those waves and contrary to plan. Do others feel the same?
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:57   #12
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Fin-keelers are harder to heave to because of their superior pointing ability. Next time you're out, try initiating the maneuver with the traveler all the way down, so that you can't point as high.

Fraction-rigged fin-keelers are even more difficult to heave to because the backwinded jib isn't always big enough to provide sufficient resistance to the main wanting to tack. If this is the case, shorten sail on the main.

If you still can't get the system to work, dump the jib and forereach on the main alone. It's almost as good a solution.
Not sure I understand forereaching on the main alone...I thought forereaching was forward motion while hove-to? Not being pedantic, I am actually interested in what you mean. pete
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:59   #13
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

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Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
Not sure I understand forereaching on the main alone...I thought forereaching was forward motion while hove-to? Not being pedantic, I am actually interested in what you mean. pete
http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/heavingto.pdf
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Old 16-11-2012, 09:03   #14
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

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Seems like just the fine line between close hauled and stalling to me.
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Old 16-11-2012, 09:03   #15
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Re: Heaving-To, Do you do it?

I sail on a large lake and will heave to frequently when single handing. Easy to heave to when I need to do something.
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