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Old 09-04-2012, 17:55   #1
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Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

I have yet to attempt to heave to in my Ta Chiao CT34, though this season I have sworn that I will master the technique. Small problem - not sure how to do it with this sail configuration. I have a self-tending boom on the staysail and roller furling on the jib.

I have read and understand the mechanics of heaving to and have watched several videos and I believe I "get it". However, given that the self-tending staysail boom is... well... self-tending, would the technique be to reef down the jib and keep the staysail stowed? I am concerned about the abrasion of the reefed jib against the inner stay if it's backed.

Am I over- (or under-) thinking this? Should I be unconcerned with the chafing of the foresail against the inner stay (yikes)? Are there other heaving to techniques than the "standard" sloop method I've been reading about that would be more appropriate for a cutter rigged in this way?

I'm convinced that mastering this skill (among a long list of others) is essential for the comfort and safety of all aboard. Any advice would be most welcome!

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Rob
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Old 09-04-2012, 18:16   #2
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

You may be over-thinking.

I believe what you need is to go out when it blows like hell and find the right combination.

Often it is the main to the lee and the jib backed with the tiller lashed to the lee (I may be wrong here but I believe it will be the staysail that you will back). Some boats require different combinations while others refuse to properly heave to. We have a long keel boat that heaves to very well in strong wind, less so in lighter conditions.

Once you have your combination sorted out you will refine it in real life situations - e.g. when there is plenty of swell and so the boat will behave differently to (being in) relatively flat water.

It is as simple as they say in the books and once you get the boat to act as you want once, you will have little or no problem adjusting the technique for various conditions.

b.
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Old 09-04-2012, 18:26   #3
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

I was chatting with a singlehander in a cutter-rigged ketch this past weekend. He'd just come down from the PNW, and was sitting out in the sun in Richardson Bay, hand-stitching his main. I was in my kayak at the time. This fellow claims that if he takes all sails down the boat heaves to all by itself. When I asked how this is different than lying ahull, he said the only difference is that when he lies ahull he lays on the galley floor and chants, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy...."
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Old 09-04-2012, 18:48   #4
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

;-)))

One caution to any inexperienced small boat sailor sailor: DO NOT, repeat DO NOT heave to in any small craft in high, steep seas or after the storm develops to the force that you see walls of white water rolling towards you...

And do not ask me how I know.

Love, peace and flowers,
barnie
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Old 09-04-2012, 19:04   #5
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

I haven't tried it yet with the stays'l but my cutter heaves to beautifully with the main & jib. Seems like a self tending stays'l will just flap around and you'll end up taking it down anyway.
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Old 09-04-2012, 19:59   #6
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

If you want to use the staysail just rig a line and barberhaul it to windward.
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Old 09-04-2012, 21:57   #7
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
;-)))

One caution to any inexperienced small boat sailor sailor: DO NOT, repeat DO NOT heave to in any small craft in high, steep seas or after the storm develops to the force that you see walls of white water rolling towards you...

And do not ask me how I know.

Love, peace and flowers,
barnie
Agreed. Heaving to is generally a tactic to get rest and make as little distance as possible AFTER the bad stuff has passed, which requires active helming unless you like the library to attempt to bludgeon you suddenly.

I have a cutter and so far leaving the staysail up and flat so it is only drawing a little, with an offset rudder, seems to do the trick. The boat "crabs" forward, falls off, rounds up and crabs again in a fairly easy rhythm.

Haven't tried it in 12 foot seas, however, and wouldn't in breaking seas. Then I would try to run to the safest quadrant at about 120 degrees AWA so I could steer down wave faces if it came to that.
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Old 09-04-2012, 22:02   #8
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
;-)))

One caution to any inexperienced small boat sailor sailor: DO NOT, repeat DO NOT heave to in any small craft in high, steep seas or after the storm develops to the force that you see walls of white water rolling towards you...

And do not ask me how I know.

Love, peace and flowers,
barnie
Agreed. Heaving to is generally a tactic to get rest and make as little distance as possible AFTER the bad stuff has passed, which requires active helming unless you like the library to attempt to bludgeon you suddenly.

I have a cutter and so far leaving the staysail up and flat so it is only drawing a little, with an offset rudder, seems to do the trick. The boat "crabs" forward, falls off, rounds up and crabs again in a fairly easy rhythm.

Haven't tried it in 12 foot seas, however, and wouldn't in breaking seas. Then I would try to run to the safest quadrant at about 120 degrees AWA so I could steer down wave faces if it came to that.
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Old 09-04-2012, 23:00   #9
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I was chatting with a singlehander in a cutter-rigged ketch this past weekend. He'd just come down from the PNW, and was sitting out in the sun in Richardson Bay, hand-stitching his main. I was in my kayak at the time. This fellow claims that if he takes all sails down the boat heaves to all by itself. When I asked how this is different than lying ahull, he said the only difference is that when he lies ahull he lays on the galley floor and chants, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy...."
I believe that singlehandler maybe has got it right.

It's also the matter of rudder. Needs to be secured and at the proper angle for the particular boat. Also, a heavily-reefed mainsail may be in order and possibly with a small "backed" jib (as in a cutter's staysail). Everything depends on the conditions and the particular boat.
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Old 09-04-2012, 23:12   #10
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

I haven't tried it with the self-tacking staysail on my boat, but reckon to Barber-haul it out to windward if conditions are to strong for my jib.

As it is, she heaves to nicely with staysail furled and jib backed.
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Old 09-04-2012, 23:16   #11
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

Try dropping staysail and jib and heave to under main only. Let the boat stop before you do it and it should not develop enough way to tack.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:54   #12
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Just a small point, the staysail on a cutter is the jib, the forward sail is the Yankee. Breaking seas would indicate the use of a storm jib and maybe a trysail. Heaving to in other conditions is perfectly acceptable.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:01   #13
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana-tenacity View Post
Try dropping staysail and jib and heave to under main only. Let the boat stop before you do it and it should not develop enough way to tack.
I would start here also. Not sure about your boat... does it have a full keel forward like the CT35? If so It might heave to well. Many boats will not when the seas are up, although they do great when practicing in 3 foot chop!
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:33   #14
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

"One caution to any inexperienced small boat sailor sailor: DO NOT, repeat DO NOT heave to in any small craft in high, steep seas or after the storm develops to the force that you see walls of white water rolling towards you...

And do not ask me how I know.

Love, peace and flowers,
barnie"

Barnie has a good point. I have been out in storms with fifteen foot seas, 35 to 40 knots sustained, gusting to fifty or sixty knots. The seas eventually started to break. The difference in my case was that we had a parachute sea anchor. We we generally using it as suggested by Lin and Larry Pardee (sp?) and I must say it worked very well. The parachute sea anchor, combined with the vessel, created a slick effect on the windward side that actually caused the seas to not break on the boat. It was quite amazing to watch. The seas would build and start to break however the slick caused the sea to break on either side of the boat (a Saber 34) but not on us. I watched this over and over over the course of two and a half days.

My experience may be different from others and some have wisely suggested practice first. I did that many times in controlled conditions. On several occasions it was on the Hudson with 25 knots gusting to 40 but the seas were fairly calm due to being on the river. In other cases it was on the open sea but in more calm winds. Practice makes perfect. Good luck with whatever combination you choose.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:49   #15
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Re: Heaving To on a Cutter Rig?

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Originally Posted by dana-tenacity View Post
Try dropping staysail and jib and heave to under main only. Let the boat stop before you do it and it should not develop enough way to tack.
Another vote for this one. We additionally prevent the main out a bit. It might backwind from time to time, but the boat will not tack. Then it is all about adjusting for lowest speed and keeping the slick to windward.

Per the Pardeys: The rolled up Genoa, so far forward, might give enough force/torque to lee.
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