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Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Heaving-To

Jon , as usual, gives great advise. I'm just learning my new boat and have to agree every boat is different and technique is highly dependent on sea state and wind strength. So far in anything up to 35-40kts just reefing down and sailing the boat at the most comfy angle to the seas seems to be best. Think for most modern boats actively sailing the boat is safest. If the boat is properly reefed and balanced have not had a problem letting the autopilot do the work. Hunker down under the hard dodger with the remote and things are fine. Think one the potential mistakes I see on the way too many modern boats are set up is the absence of a true stormjib. We are fortunate in having had the attachment point for a removable dyneema stay installed when boat was built. Before heading out I can deploy this stay, tension it and leave stormjib hanked but in bag on deck. I have soft shackles for the stormjib it self. Think depending on your rollerfurling head sail (even if its a solent or a staysail on a cutter) may lead to unexpected excitement. The stormjib also moves the center of effort aft. Most modern boats drive on the main. The mast maybe forward of the center of lateral resistance of the boat. Many will sail nicely with just storm jib or jib and triple reefed main. For me the survival technique will be a Jordan series drogue on a bridle aft. The Fastnet was referred too earlier. Boats using this technique all survived.
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