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Old 01-06-2013, 02:50   #16
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

That boat is like a speedster. Take your foot off the throttle. Power down as said above.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:29   #17
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

It is easy -- don't overthink it.

Just trim for sailing close hauled -- everything sheeted in tight. Then tack just as you usually do. Just don't touch the jib sheet. No need to consciously put the helm to leeward -- just steer the boat as if you were doing a normal tack. Steer as if you're going to head off on the new tack -- don't let the boat fall off. The jib will back and stop you; the main should continue drawing. The backed jib will try to spin you around; counteract with helm and you will find yourself stalled -- in irons, as if. That's all there is to it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:55   #18
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Heaving to is easy...harder to describe in text than it is to do.

Every boat is different so it is a matter of getting to know the boat. The main sail adjustment I suggested falls into this category. Find the trim that works best for your boat and then just set it there in the future. This can help w boats that do not heave to well. Your Ranger should not need much tweaking of the main.

One thing I noticed in the OP...you mention "as if changing my mind about the tack"...implying to me bringing the tiller back to windward...which would indeed cause the boat to do 360s....you push the tiller to leeward to tack (thus the traditional command "helm's a'lee) and you keep it to leeward to heave-to. Just tack slowly so that the boat loses most of its way before putting the tiller down hard to leeward.

Are you bringing it back to windward or did I just misinterpret?

Thus when hove-to the rudder is trying to turn the boat to windward and the head sail is trying to pull the bow downwind.

Keep in mind too that there are several different techniques for heaving to...and that at least two have been described in these posts (main and jib, main only).
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:07   #19
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post

Are you bringing it back to windward or did I just misinterpret?

Thus when hove-to the rudder is trying to turn the boat to windward and the head sail is trying to pull the bow downwind.
Your comments make me think that perhaps there is confusion between being in irons and being truly hove to.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:07   #20
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

I mean lets say I am sailing on a starboard tack. I start my tack so that once completed the wind will come over the port side. But I never complete it.

So in sailing into the wind. It's coming from starboard. I start to tack. Slowly. The jib starts to backwind and to counteract this new force pushing the bow away I bring the tiller to the port side so the bow wants to go back and continue on the starboard tack.

I'm trying to describe as best I can. I want to say left or right soooo bad.

While sailing into the wind the main is sheeting in tight as is the jib. As I start to tack the second that jib becomes backwinded it doesn't matter what the tiller does. The main, though sheeted in gas no power but the jib gets backwinded and immediately spins the boat.

I also should point out I cannot get the boat to point into the wind and be on irons. Previous boats wanted to. This one I cannot. The jib fills either way and either spins me or puts me back on the tack I was on and I have to take action to get the boat from fully spinning and jibing. This also makes it so I can't put the boat in irons like I used to to go on the foredeck and take down the jib. It's good the wind is always light because for me to take down the jib I have seconds before I'm accidentally gybing. If I let the tiller loose and go on the deck I'm spinning. If I lash the tiller in the middle the boat keep sailing for a second and then starts wandering and whe I'm taking down the Jib I'm spinning. It's very frustrating. I don't know how to get it to settle down. I am locked to that tiller. Unless there is decent wind then I can lash the tiller and sail hands free.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:30   #21
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....but to heave-to you DO "complete" the tack in the sense that the bow does cross through the wind...this is the basic definition of a tack...you just dont move the jib.

The boat behavior sure sounds much different than the Rangers I have sailed...they sailed like a lager boat...very well behaved...wonder if there are year model variations? Modifications to this one?
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:39   #22
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I mean lets say I am sailing on a starboard tack. I start my tack so that once completed the wind will come over the port side. But I never complete it.

So in sailing into the wind. It's coming from starboard. I start to tack. Slowly. The jib starts to backwind and to counteract this new force pushing the bow away I bring the tiller to the port side so the bow wants to go back and continue on the starboard tack.

I'm trying to describe as best I can. I want to say left or right soooo bad.

While sailing into the wind the main is sheeting in tight as is the jib. As I start to tack the second that jib becomes backwinded it doesn't matter what the tiller does. The main, though sheeted in gas no power but the jib gets backwinded and immediately spins the boat.

I also should point out I cannot get the boat to point into the wind and be on irons. Previous boats wanted to. This one I cannot. The jib fills either way and either spins me or puts me back on the tack I was on and I have to take action to get the boat from fully spinning and jibing. This also makes it so I can't put the boat in irons like I used to to go on the foredeck and take down the jib. It's good the wind is always light because for me to take down the jib I have seconds before I'm accidentally gybing. If I let the tiller loose and go on the deck I'm spinning. If I lash the tiller in the middle the boat keep sailing for a second and then starts wandering and whe I'm taking down the Jib I'm spinning. It's very frustrating. I don't know how to get it to settle down. I am locked to that tiller. Unless there is decent wind then I can lash the tiller and sail hands free.
Becoming clearer now with the further information....

Seems as though the bow is very tender, and the backwinded headsail spins the boat quite quickly before your skill level allows you the time to adjust your three "Heave to components" Tiller- headsail trim - main trim...

My suggestion is to try with the main and jib sheeted tight, and have the headsail sheet in your hand.... Start your tack, and as soon as you backwind the jib, quickly ease the jib sheet to depower the backwinded headsail... Adjust your 3 components to balance the boat....

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:43   #23
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

What are the waves like when you are trying to heave to? Swell? Wind strength? Does your boat have a full keel or fin keel?

I don't know why you are struggling to heave to with the jib deployed. Get rid of it. When hove to all you need to do in order to fall onto the opposite tack is steer with with your tiller or wheel in the opposite direction. Your boat should slowly fall onto the opposite tack. So, no matter which tack you start out with, you can change to the opposite tack.

Sounds like you have a hank-on jib. If your on a starboard tack, strike the jib. It should come down enough once you release the clutch - if you are using one - to spill the wind, bring the boat upright and slow the boat. Depending upon conditions, you can leave the jib alone until you're confident the boat - with helm to weather - is stabilized. Then go forward to gather in the jib. If you want to be on a port tack, simply steer onto the opposite tack as described below. If conditions are such that you'd rather not go forward - and the jib is flogging - let it flog. You can always repair the damage later. Stay safe by waiting until you are confident of going forward.

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:49   #24
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

One more thing. If the wave and wind conditions prevent you from tacking you can always jibe to get the boat turned onto the opposite tack. Make it a 'chicken jibe' by sheeting the main amidships. Avoid breaking things this way.

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:56   #25
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

I think one thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep some slight forward movement going on the boat until the sails and rudder develop a balanced point and you are heaved to. If you head direct into the wind and come to a stop, you rudder will have no effect whatsoever, and the boat will just spin around in who knows what direction (may even start backing through water before spinning).

Try sort of pinching into the wind to slow boat speed down, then tack leaving jib sheeted (so that it becomes backwinded). Should still have enough hull speed to have some rudder control, and main should have some wind in it to counteract the jib. Keeping this balance headway should continue to drop and boat start moving about 45 deg through water when heaved to.

On my old boat (Dana 24) I would roll up the jib to about 25% of area before trying to heave to. Full jib pulled bow around too hard to heave to.

Just some ideas
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Old 01-06-2013, 16:50   #26
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

"So I should start with a smaller jib for practice purposes and then focus on the main. Try to trim it right to get the boat moving forward and starting the motion until it falls off? Or would you recommend starting to lean to heave to with main alone?"

Learn to heave to with the main alone, see if that works. Then, if the boat won't stay stopped, add in the smaller jib, the 90%. Or, wait for some wind, don't even bother unless you have enough breeze that if you were sailing hard on the wind, the boat is overpowered with way too great a heel angle with the current sail plan, then try your "tack without releasing jib sheet", see how it is. Then drop the headsail and see how that is. Whichever works best for the boat is the one you want to play with and fine tune. A hint, just change one thing at a time, and then pay attention. It's often extremely tempting to change a bunch all at once, but you learn more the other way.

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Old 01-06-2013, 17:41   #27
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pirate Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I absolutely have to learn how to heave to. Working with a ranger 23 with a 90,130,150 jibs. I usually sail with the 130. It is slightly bigger than the mai. The wind here is very light which I think is making hard for me to practice.

130's to big for the job... why don't you get a set of reef rings put in and some reefing cringles then you can reduce to say 75-100% quicker than changing sail.. less work too.. then heave to..
Back yonder BC I only had 2 headsails... a No1 that reefed down to a No2... and a 3 that reefed to a storm sail... saved money... and time on the foredeck..


First off I should tell you that unlike my previous Catalina 22 this boat doesn't really round up into the wind. I sailed the cat in Hawaii and always had good wind, I'm adding that in case that's the culprit but I personally don't think that it. If I let go of the tiller in would round up into the wind and the sails would luff. I took it as a matter of course that's what boats did. If I'm sailing the ranger and let go o the tiller it starts doing what we it wants. Maybe just spinning in circles. 360. I've got to say I don't like it. But I don't know what to do about it. Also did I mention tere never any wind I practice in?

Don't let go of the tiller... you have to tie it over... half to 3quarters over... depending on the boat.. if the rudders not locked over you've no steerage to point you back up as she falls off... so naturally keeps going till she gybes if you don't stop her.

I understand the concept of heaving to in theory although not having done it I don't see how it would work. So I start a tack and right when the jib starts to flatten instead of releasing the line like I would to follow through the tack I keep it locked down tight and keep it flattened on the windward side and move the tiller to the leeward side. As if I were trying to change my mind about te tack and continue on my previous course but since the jib is flattened it tries to push me on a new tack and with old balance the rudder and jib fight each other and the boat points into the wind.

Actually the sequence is.. jib pushes your bow off till main catches the wind to supply forward thrust which feeds steerage to the rudder and drives you back into the wind till the main feathers.. you stall out.. fall off and begin the little arc again... you'll vary between half and 1 and a half knots on your log and travel roughly 45 degrees to leeward of your average compass heading in the direction you choose the tack.... if you want to maintain a general heading free the tiller and go round in a controlled gybe and switch the jib across to the windward side again... great for falling back on a dangerous lee shore with limited 'holes' to duck in.. in a sustained gale you can choose and control your approach this way till the time comes to turn and make the break for shelter

On my boat the second that jib becomes backwinded that boat is spinning. Now I have maybe four seconds before it continues its spin and I've got an accidental jibe happening.
Hope that makes some sense to you...
I didn't understand a word...
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:19   #28
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

Heaving to with just the main is not really heaving to, it's called forereaching, a different technique.

Yes, use a smaller jib, 110 is just about right.

Don't go into irons, go around and then come back up so the jib is backwinded, play the main once the tiller is hard down.

To drop your jib, don't go into irons. Rig a downhaul line from the second hank of the jib back to the cockpit. Sail on port tack close hauled and heave to. The jib will be backwinded with the wind from the starboard bow. Prepare to drop the jib by handing the job halyard and the downhaul. Pull on the downhaul and because the hanks are on that side of the sail, the jib will nicely fold itself down on the foredeck.

Good luck, keep at it, it's almost impossible to do without any wind.
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:57   #29
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

The consensus in this thread is boats do not all heave to equally well and often use different sail configurations to do so. It is pretty clear to me the boat under discussion here does not heave to well, if at all with the main, jib backed combination so many of you swear by.

I've sailed nearly twice around the world. I discovered early on my boat would not remain hove to with the main, jib backed way of doing things. But, call it what you will, I have endured some pretty ugly conditions stopped ( a neutral word here) under main alone, making 3/4 knot over the ground. The exception where speed is concerned was due to the presence of strong current.

If I was 'forereaching', fine - but my brief search of the word on the web says it is another technique used under similar circumstances where one may decide to heave to. In any case it worked for me.

I agree a 130% jib is too big and a working jib would be more appropriate here. It will be interesting to see if it makes any difference.

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Old 01-06-2013, 23:46   #30
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Re: I Haven't Been Able to Heave To

You talk about lashing the tiller amidships. Have you tried KEEPING the tiller to leeward after the tack, (ultimately lashing it there) does the boat eventually settle down?

If not, certainly have a go with main only. If you want to genuinely heave to, though, you will need to prevent the boom from being able to swing, by taking a line from the vang point to the toerail on the lee side at the chainplates. If the boom can swing, the boat will tend to 'forereach', as others have described.

With the boom held static relative to the heading, and the tiller lashed all the way down to leeward, the boat will stay on a constant heading relative to the wind, even in a shifty wind, without tacking and doing a circle.

ON EDIT: BTW, your OP contained one of the best descriptions of how to initiate a Heave-to I have read.
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