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Old 07-22-2003
jbr jbr is offline
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Maintaining head to wind

I appreciate your input maxcontax. Regarding heave to: My experience with it has always been when all sails are already up (backed jib, eased main, tiller to leward); didn''t know you could do it only with jib up (I assume it''s just a backed jib with tiller to leward)? In my limited experience, heave to worked really well in keelboats even in high winds; its worked well for me in my dinghy in winds up to 12 kts but I''ve been afraid of using in in higher winds in a centerboard boat - is it safe to use in a dinghy in 15+ kt winds? The challenge I''ve faced when reefing and my concern with using heave to during reefing is that if I''m under full sail and winds pick up rapidly so I need to reef even with all sails fully eased the boat can capsize if I move my weight from the rail to the center in order to reef (hence my desire to be head to wind while reefing); reefing in these conditions can be a challenge if heeled; I''m afraid a backed jib/heave to will capsize me? On a related note, I have noticed in moderate winds that if the centerboard is down, rudder is up, and main is up and sheeted in/cleated that the boat vanes reasonably well but occasionally falls off to a close haul. I''ve been uncomforatable trying this in high winds because without a rudder to control feathering I might capsize in gusts if the boat falls off to close haul with a cleated main. I haven''t tried this with both centerboard up and rudder up; maybe it would vane better with both up? Your inputs are appreciated!
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