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Old 16-04-2007, 11:58   #31
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In theory, when hove-to you want your Center of Effort (sails) to me about the same as the Center of Lateral Resistance (submerged hull shape) when you're about 45-60 degrees off the wind.

If you have lee helm, reduce the CE forward (meaning, move the CE aft); if you have weather helm, add CE forward.

In a keelboat (unlike a centerboard or swing keel), you can't really change your CLR much, so you have to add or reduce sail, usually forward (jib size) in order to locate the CE directly above the CLR.

So I think what you're telling us is that you need a smaller jib. If hank-on, then you need a working jib or storm jib.

Danger of lee helm? Mostly it's heading your bow off, creating excessive heel, when you preferred to head up and spill a bit of that wind, to keep her balanced.

All boats are different on this CE/CLR balance. Don't feel bad if it takes you a lot of experimentation to find yours.

It won't be a straight-line sail, more of a scalloping course--when properly balanced, the jib will head your bow downwind just until the main fills more and becomes the "boss", and heads you back upwind, until the main begins to run out of gas and luff a little, at which point the jib becomes "boss" again and heads your bow back down, til the main fills more and takes over, repeat, repeat, repeat, while you fix a sandwich, read a book, or catch forty winks.

This of any help?
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Old 28-04-2007, 19:18   #32
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I took out our club's Wharram 23 on last Thursday and had a wonderful sail.
I decided to show the crew how to heave to. Just as pretty as you please we just held the jib where it was when we tacked, eased out the mainsheet and then put helm's to lee (tiller toward the boom) when she was stopped. Tied off the tiller and she just sat there moving a little back and forth and slipping sideways. That makes pretty much every boat I've ever sailed (that has a jib) able to heave to. Didn't try a Hobie 16 yet but will in a couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted.

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Old 29-04-2007, 08:17   #33
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Mizzen Heaving To

I agree with the posters who say rig a downhaul and lose the jib when heaving to. If you are falling off you have too much force pushing your bow. the only sail you have to counter that, the main, is already up so drop the jib or sheet in the main more.

A month ago or so I got to pay with heaving to in heavyish weather and was really pleased with the result. (see think this term "play" is descriptive of what one is doing when hove to. You cant just back the jib and off you go to put the kettle on. You have to spend time experimenting and sorting out what works best. Finding what adjustments make the bow fall off or round up will teach you a lot about what to do when the wind gets up or weakens.

When you have a full keel with a cutaway forefoot your boat will want to fall off naturally. Especially when you have the windage of a clipper bow and sprit. Those things along will take the place of your backed jib.

The mizzen, in lighter stuff, will cause you to weathercock straight into the wind because the wind wont be strong enough to push your bow off. Consequently when heaving to in light stuff you might need some jib.

I found that with my double reefed mizzen and the gusty condiitions we were a little undercanvassed. If we had been in bigger seas I would have shaken a reef out to keep us more stable in the hove to position.

I think the theory of lee helm being dangerous is also tied to the fact that not only can you get knocked down but more importantly you could be forced to crash gybe.

That said, for cruising with self steering a perfectly neutral balanced helm is desireable. Any helm strains the self steering and when the boat tries to round up the self steering will steer it off anyway so better to give the vane a break and balance the helm.

Heaving to is my favorite tactic. I once heard someone say they asked the previous owner of their LeFitte 44 how she hove to and the owner said that after 30k miles and two south pacific cruises he never needed to. I pointed out that heaving to doesnt have to be a "need" one might actually want to heave to. Just to have some lunch or take a break. Rather than worrying about what time you get to the harbor just sail there and heave to until dawn or the tidal current is right etc. etc. etc.

I know Warren on Mico Verde writes about heaving to in the south pacific islands frequently and I think it shows great wisdom on his part. Why try and tweak the passage to arrive at a certain time when you can just sail there and relax hove to until the conditions are perfect to make entry.

Anyway enough gushing about heaving to. Good luck to all of you in your heaving endeavors, be they to or fro, hither or yon.

Good luck to all of you
Fair Winds and
Following seas,
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Old 30-04-2007, 21:46   #34
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Just a thot, but perhaps a good place to start is with really evaluating how well your boat balances on a nice day w/ 10-15 knots of breeze. What's her tendency under these conditions... lee helm, weather helm?

Once you get her balanced so that she basically sails herself under ideal conditions, you'll find your efforts at solving balance problems under adverse conditions much easier to solve.

An excellent resource is Lynn and Larry Pardey's Book 'Storm Tactics'.

You may find that some changes to your rigging may help, e.g., 2% aft rake of your mast (on my 60' main mast this amounts to 16" aft rake) may help.

Hope this hasn't been confusing, and kudo's to you for tackling a task that many long-time sailors have'nt. Unfortunately, there's no substitute for experience. Keep up the good work; you'll be well rewarded.

Fair winds, a following sea, and a green flash at sunset to you.

All the Best,

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Old 01-05-2007, 18:39   #35
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Thank you all for the most insightful replies. This forum is so amazing!

Turns out that in lighter air it does heave-to more toward windward, so in heavier air (and when I'm going to *need* it instead of just wanting it) it looks like I'll have to have a smaller jib.

The smallest jib I have is a 110. Is that considered a "class jib" since the clew comes just aft of the mast, or is there something smaller than that but bigger than a storm sail?
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Old 01-05-2007, 22:13   #36
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Originally Posted by dghall
The smallest jib I have is a 110. Is that considered a "class jib" since the clew comes just aft of the mast, or is there something smaller than that but bigger than a storm sail?
a 110 is a lot of jib for heavy going.

Consider the inexpensive route of having a couple of reefs put into your 110. This way you dont have to buy a new jib but you can reef it down to heave to. I imagine it will be much more affordable to have the local sailmaker put reefs in it.

And as far as not going forward if the wind gets up, that isnt so bad, just stay low and always have one hand for the boat and one for you, you can also just sheet in the main and let the boat round up to go forward and bang the reef in. As long as you reef early you shouldnt have a problem with ths setup.

Anyway, I think that is your best way to add a smaller sail to your headsail inventory and not have to buy a roller or sail .

Good luck,
Fair Winds and
Following seas,
Adam Yuret
s/v Estrella
Magellan 36' Ketch
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