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Old 03-18-2013
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Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

It has a lot to do withe the kind of boat you have. If you have a lot of windage forward (like my Downeaster and a lot of "classic" looking boats have) then you can typically heave-to under reefed main only with the bow of the boat being pushed off the wind and your main and rudder acting to push you toward the wind.

As long as you can balance the two forces, you are hove-to. If you have a little too much main up (not enough reef) then you will creep forward a bit and that's fore-reaching. Fore-reaching is a great technique to keep on a bit of way toward your destination, but you loose that "slick to windward" that people refer to which is vital if you are in a survival situation withe large, breaking waves.
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