"Heavy Weather Sailing" by what's his face does a pretty good job of demonstrating that it depends on the boat, crew, and conditions.
I even have a video here at my home about heavy weather, and it spends the entire time talking about running before, because "yachts today don't have heavy displacements and full keels, so new tactics are needed."
Which is true if you're my neighbor on the Hunter
, but our HC weighs in at over 14 tons with a nearly full keel
, so if you throw nasty weather at me, I've got a much different boat to work
with than a lighter displacement
/ fin keel
boat like a Hunter
A HC will heave to very well, and with a cutter
we can roll the yankee and reef the boom mounted staysail, making being on the foredeck much less insane (than being on the bowsprit
, as an example).
It also depends on how confused the sea is, your proximity to shipping
lanes and land, and if you're maybe trying to get the hell away from a storm that is only going to get worse.
You'd take much different actions in 35 knots of wind
if that's as bad as it's going to get, or if it's the far outer edge of a full cyclone that you're trying to run away from.
Boiled down though, I think everyone can agree that for a heavy displacement
boat, with a crew who knows how to heave that particular boat to, and can do it well, that is going to fit the bill most of the time that things get quite spooky.