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Old 12-08-2022, 07:24   #1
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Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

Can such a boat heave to in rough seas and strong winds - and be reliably be kept hoven to?
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Old 12-08-2022, 11:08   #2
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

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Can such a boat heave to in rough seas and strong winds - and be reliably be kept hoven to?
Very few fin keel and spade rudder boats will hove to successfully in high seas or winds. In my experience which is fairly extensive , they will tend to forerezch too fast , or fall through the wind and power away or end up broad side to the wave

They can hove too when you donít need to.
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:48   #3
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

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Very few fin keel and spade rudder boats will hove to successfully in high seas or winds. In my experience which is fairly extensive , they will tend to forerezch too fast , or fall through the wind and power away or end up broad side to the wave

They can hove too when you donít need to.
So what do you do if you need a rest? Use a wind vane and keep on sailing?
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:52   #4
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

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So what do you do if you need a rest? Use a wind vane and keep on sailing?
In sporty conditions I keep going - always preferred speed as a heavy weather tactic than sitting still anyway (especially if it doesn't work well). Keep the AP or self steering on and grab some sleep for 30ish minutes.

Only time I ever heave to is when I want to delay my arrival but that's usually in more favourable conditions.
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Old 13-08-2022, 03:37   #5
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

Can we assume you are single handing, or short handed at least ? If a vessel won't successfully heave to, I would think my next option would be to reduce sail as much as practical and - also if possible - find a heading that gives as comfortable a motion as possible, as long as you have sea room to make it so. Doing this for even a few hours can give you a break.
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Old 15-08-2022, 10:25   #6
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

I was thinking short handling on for instance an atlantic crossing. On any long crossing I would have a wind vane plus auto pilot

I don't trust AP under long enduring difficult conditions - and most surely not enough to retire below when conditions are so poor that I would have liked to heave to.

I've been coastal sailing for +/- 25 years. I am inexperienced with longer crossings, heaving to, wind vanes...
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Old 15-08-2022, 10:36   #7
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pirate Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

You can get them to forereach at 2-3kts at a comfortable angle while you get a break or some sleep.
Like heaving to the best sail balance and rudder angle you'll have to you have to work out for yourself.
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Old 15-08-2022, 11:03   #8
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

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Can such a boat heave to in rough seas and strong winds - and be reliably be kept hoven to?
Yes, fin keel monohull boats heave to beautifully and stay that way for as long as the wind stays mostly at the same strength.

Back winded smallish jib, mainsail sheeted hard and travelled up, helm down. Once you get it stopped it stays there.

Useful when your destination is upwind so you don't want to run off but it's too rough to comfortably proceed (the boat is willing but the crew is not). Our first experience with that was off of New Zealand in a "bomb". We tested heaving to as an option, it worked well, but then we resumed sailing, motor sailing, slowly, because we wanted to continue to make progress towards New Zealand. Five boats were lost in that storm. Two of whom we knew. WINGSSAIL - Cruising Log of Wings - Serendipity 43 - Fred Roswold & Judy Jensen

We also hove too in the Bashi Channel off of Taiwan one Christmas day in horrible conditions, the windvane broke, the autopilot would not handle it, and I got tired of steering, so we hove to until daylight. WINGSSAIL - Cruising Log of Wings - Serendipity 43 - Fred Roswold & Judy Jensen

In 35 years we needed it twice. Twice it worked.

Photo: Hove too off New Zealand. Windvane still deployed but not steering.
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Old 15-08-2022, 19:21   #9
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

having taken multiple modern canoe bodied boats through very heavy weather with expert crew, Ive never seen a modern boat heaving to to the point where you could leave the helm for any length of time.

Quote:
Back winded smallish jib, mainsail sheeted hard and travelled up, helm down. Once you get it stopped it stays there.
Firstly most boats are now equipped with big genoas , These do not lend themselves to reefing well , and in high winds, even a third reef in the main ( if you have it fitted) may leave way to much sail exposed to Heave to properly .

Hence in my direct experience in very heavy weather, its not a technique that can be deployed and the boat left in essence without crew available to steer

Modern boats are light for their length, they can get tossed around by the wave motion, tack and power up , or end up lying too much like beam on and exposing themselves to a rolling motion

Then you typically will have varying wind strengths , anyone is a big seaway knows that wind strengths vary as you top the crest and then fall into the trough

So in light to moderate winds, when it doesn't really matter , you can stop the boat anyway , But in very heavy airs , I have not seen it deployed to the point where you could go asleep below with no crew on deck
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Old 15-08-2022, 19:27   #10
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

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Originally Posted by Gard View Post
I was thinking short handling on for instance an atlantic crossing. On any long crossing I would have a wind vane plus auto pilot

I don't trust AP under long enduring difficult conditions - and most surely not enough to retire below when conditions are so poor that I would have liked to heave to.

I've been coastal sailing for +/- 25 years. I am inexperienced with longer crossings, heaving to, wind vanes...
A modern properly engineered AP , is incredibly reliable, on two atlantic crossing the AP steered for the whole voyage , running continuously for 3 weeks. it arrived with no issues, even though we carried a spare linear drive in one case . Once you add solar the old issue of AP power is relegated to history

Hence wind vanes are almost redundant , certainly if you look at the equipment ARC statistics , over the last 15 years the wind vane is almost completely obsolete

Having done two ocean crossing and many deoo sea journeys over 5 days , Id have no hesitation in relying on my AP. It will always steer better then a windwave anyway , if setup properly with rate gyros etc
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Old 15-08-2022, 19:31   #11
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

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So what do you do if you need a rest? Use a wind vane and keep on sailing?
if you are single handing ( which I have little tolerance for btw!) you can sleep for 20-30 minutes away from sea lanes and the AP will do a fine job, I have 2 couples who did just that on a Atlantic crossing , as she " didn't do night watches "

In extremis , in a modern light canoe body boat , I ,after many years of out of season sailing , am of the view , you must keep actively sailing , either jogging under engine (like the trawlers) or running streaming warps , but its folly to basically abandon the boat to its fate , which is what unattended heaving to is ( or lying ahull as the recent 393 fund to its cost).
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Old 15-08-2022, 20:03   #12
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gard View Post
I was thinking short handling on for instance an atlantic crossing. On any long crossing I would have a wind vane plus auto pilot



I don't trust AP under long enduring difficult conditions - and most surely not enough to retire below when conditions are so poor that I would have liked to heave to.



I've been coastal sailing for +/- 25 years. I am inexperienced with longer crossings, heaving to, wind vanes...
Modern APs will happily steer a boat 24 hours a day (assuming you have the power). I've crossed an ocean on my own with the AP , no heave to and don't think I touched the wheel once.

I've also used it in sporty conditions with 45+ knots for hours and it's coped very well. I do sleep in the cockpit on passage but that's nothing to do with the AP.
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Old 15-08-2022, 20:14   #13
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
having taken multiple modern canoe bodied boats through very heavy weather with expert crew, Ive never seen a modern boat heaving to to the point where you could leave the helm for any length of time.

Firstly most boats are now equipped with big genoas , These do not lend themselves to reefing well , and in high winds, even a third reef in the main ( if you have it fitted) may leave way to much sail exposed to Heave to properly .

Hence in my direct experience in very heavy weather, its not a technique that can be deployed and the boat left in essence without crew available to steer

Modern boats are light for their length, they can get tossed around by the wave motion, tack and power up , or end up lying too much like beam on and exposing themselves to a rolling motion

Then you typically will have varying wind strengths , anyone is a big seaway knows that wind strengths vary as you top the crest and then fall into the trough

So in light to moderate winds, when it doesn't really matter , you can stop the boat anyway , But in very heavy airs , I have not seen it deployed to the point where you could go asleep below with no crew on deck
Not really intending to argue with goboatingnow however his experience is contrary to my own.

I believe that heaving to is indeed a technique that can be deployed and the boat left in essence without crew required to steer, including with fin keeled monohulls typified by modern, light, production sailboats.

I've cited the occasions when we successfully hove to with our modern, light production sailboat. I can point you to the hour by hour log book record of those occasions if you wish. The winds were not light and our boat is not heavy (more closely similar to a modern production cruiser racer). We were never tossed around by the wave motion, tacking or powering up, nor did we end up lying too much like beam on. When hove to we lay quiet and steady. The wind on top of the wave or down in the troughs did not affect us much. Did the wind strength change? Yes, over time as the wind lessened or increased, and then the position of the main sheet needed adjustment to keep us from heading up or falling off. Over a period of hours, not not minutes.

Lying hove to in very heavy weather is not a time for vacation. Watches should still be stood. Sleeping below for the whole crew would be foolish.

Can heaving to be done with a large genoa? Possibly but damage to the sail is possible since it will be backed against the windward shrouds and the mast. I think that partially rolled up it would work but the loads on the furling gear might cause damage. I have not tried that. I recommend that when crossing bodies of water where there is a possibility of heavy weather the light genoa should be struck and a smaller sail set.

I have sailed in heavy weather on several types of boats, but only on exceedingly rare occasions have we ever considered heaving to. But every boat I tried it on was able to perform the maneuver successfully.

There are really only a few salient points to be made here:
  1. Heaving to does work for the majority of sailboats but the technique should be practiced.
  2. If not heaving to, then what other techniques would a skipper choose? (continuing to sail, motoring on autopilot, sailing downwind with a drogue, or sea anchor, lying a-hull?) Or what else?
  3. A sailor should be prepared for heavy weather, both with the proper sails and equipment and with practiced seamanship skills, but the conditions which require it are rare and generally avoidable and fear of them should not prevent one from sailing the seas and enjoying it. Particularly one should not choose a boat for it's supposed "heaving to" capability which might be unsatisfactory otherwise. You would wind up with an unsatisfactory boat 24 hours a day, 365 days a year then possibly find on that one day when the big storm does confront you, that the salesman lied, that boat doesn't do it that well either.
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Old 15-08-2022, 20:27   #14
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

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There are really only a few salient points to be made here:
Heaving to does work for the majority of sailboats but the technique should be practiced.
we shall agree to disagree here, my specific experiences suggest that in any weather where I could keep sailing I could Heave to, but then there's no point

Quote:
If not heaving to, then what other techniques would a skipper choose? (continuing to sail, motoring on autopilot, sailing downwind with a drogue, or sea anchor, lying a-hull?) Or what else?
in moderate airs , proceeding under AP is the typical answer today , in some cases with the whole crew asleep !!. In extremis, having ended up in a few , I'm firmly of the belief that active sailing techniques are preferred. in my case I have experience streaming warps and drogues astern . I don't agree with any mechanism that attempt to stop the boat dead , ie sea anchors , as the forces are huge

This is especially true in breaking wave conditions , you must retain steerage at all costs , Ive been driven under by breaking waves , its not something to experience again !!

Quote:
A sailor should be prepared for heavy weather, both with the proper sails and equipment and with practiced seamanship skills, but the conditions which require it are rare and generally avoidable and fear of them should not prevent one from sailing the seas and enjoying it. Particularly one should not choose a boat for it's supposed "heaving to" capability which might be unsatisfactory otherwise. You would wind up with an unsatisfactory boat 24 hours a day, 365 days a year then possibly find on that one day when the big storm does confront you, that the salesman lied, that boat doesn't do it that well either
many boats end up in heavy weather through miscalculation and often have less then ideal equipment , people tend not to have multiple roller headsails , many masts cannot handle a trisail ( especially in mast ones ) etc etc. There is no point suggesting people have gear that they actually cant use or dont have in practice. There you are in rising winds and seastates, you have precisely what you have and have to decide how to act accordinly , no point wishing you had five headsails at this point !!!

I agree entirely about your last point, people do not buy yachts solely because they are the ultimate heavy weather machine , but thats my point, you have to manage what you have and use your seamanship skills to get you through the rare bad situations . In my case that is to keep actively sailing
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Old 16-08-2022, 14:07   #15
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Re: Heaving to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser?

I don't conscider the ARC as a golden standard for neither "best practice kits" nor exemplary seamanship. I am under the impression that many join the ARC mainly because they lack experience and find comfort in numbers, an organized event, training courses, etc. So, when I hear that no one in the ARC use wind vanes anymore, that is not enough to convince me that it is good practice to go without - especially conscidering the vast ammount of participants who experience critical steering failures in the ARC (more about that in a bit). I'm a inexperienced to really heavy seas and long open voyages, but my common sense tells me that wind vanes are far from obsolete (though AP marketers may tell you different), and that it is way smarter to have a wind vane (and use it) than rely solely on AP. Similarily, I think it is a great idea to learn how to heave to (it is after all completely free).

The AP won't do didley for you if you for instance lose your rudder (a common occurence in the ARC - which I will reveal in a bit).

It is my understanding that some wind vanes can serve as a completely independent steering system, should you lose your rudder - maybe not a great performer without s main rudder, but under many conditions maybe adequate enough to get you where you are going, or at the very least keep you on a safe and comfortable course until you can: repair, jury rig or get rescued.

From what I hear, an AP can work the rudder particularly hard, especially if the boat is poorly balanced and the conditions are rough. The prolonged increased stress on hidden defects in the steering system can increase the probability of steering failure - including loss of rudder (somehow that argument makes sense).

On a crossing, one (or me at least) would probably have the wind vane deployed for most of the passage. Not only would the wind vane take stress off the main steering system and reduce the chances of failure in the first place, but in the event of a lost rudder, the wind vane would allready be deployed - and just maybe make the entire ordeal much less dangerous and easy to deal with? Or maybe it is false security and it is useless - please share experience...

When it comes to heaving to though, it is not something I expect ever having to do. I do want to practice it anyhow. Not only do I think it is good to have the skill in one's "arsenal of last resorts", but I think it could be fun to learn. But, if a production cruiser can't do it, I'm not going to waste I fine weekend trying the impossible. So, I am very delighted now to hear of people who have done so successfully.

In the following I've copied from another post of mine on this forum.

-------



The following is abbreviated from an article found on Kraken Yachts:

Some rudder failures in the ARC


1998 Harlequin, Dehler 41, damaged rudder stock, yacht abandoned

2001 Heya, EC 37, lost rudder

2002 F2, Hunter Legend 450, broke rudder stock

2006 Arnolf, Bavaria 350, broke rudder stock

2006 YNot, Contest 48 lost rudder

2009 Auliana II, JV53, lost rudder, yacht abandoned

2012 Modus Vivendi, Motiva 49 lost rudder

2016 Endorphine II, Bavaria 47, rudder shaft split

2016 Lady Nor, More 55, rudder broke off

2007 Zouk, Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 43, lost rudder, boat abandoned

2010 Elethea, Beneteau First 38, rudder blade came off, boat abandoned

2011 Beneteau Oceanis 45 rudder failure, boat sank

2014 Be Good Too, brand new Alpha 42 catamaran suffered double rudder failure 300 miles off US East Coast. Crew airlifted off. Upturned hull washed up on Scottish island in 2017.

2015 Egret, Sweden Yachts 390, rudder blade snapped off mid-Atlantic

2015 Scarlet Oyster, Oyster 48, rudder stock snapped off in Mediterranean

2017 Dove II, Hanse 52, rudder disintegrated 400 miles east of Barbados. Family of four and one crew member rescued by another yacht.

2018 Hilma, Jeanneau 45, lost rudder

2019 Beneteau First 40 hit a buoy off Cowes, broke off rudder and sank in the Solent. Three crew rescued by lifeboat.

The list is incomplete, there are others, even last year.

According to ARC weather expert Chris Tibbs: ‘Most years during the ARC there are reports of rudder failures. They include rudders breaking away, the shaft bending or breaking, bearings that seize or break away after hitting an object in the water. The shaft can be bent so that the helm is locked in a fixed position.


With a probability of complete steering failure closer to 1% than 0.1% on a three week voyage (also high in my opinion), one ought to think that the ARC demanded that all boats have a much more thorough inspection of the steering system (heat photography or x-ray or the likes), that failure prone parts were exhanged for brand new and the old part carried as spares, and that skippers got educated on a daily inspection and maintenance routine, and that all boats carried a backup independant steering system (energency rudder, wind vane...). Maybe also train on how to balance the boat snd maybe even how to heave to?

If you were to get on an old unserviced bus with a single hydraulic circuit for both the steering and all the brakes - and the driver told you that for the duration of the trip there is a 0.5% chance of losing all control of the vehicle on a steep incline - would you go, would you tell him to go arround the hills, or simply tell him to get the piece of crap sorted and have a second circuit installed and inspected professionally - and while he was st it, learn how to drive the damn thing smoothly and carefully, and do frequent system checks?
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