First of all, it is Larry and Lin Pardey.
Second, heaving to isn't always a good tactic, as it really depends on the boat, the sails, the wind and waves... some boats don't heave to very well. This is often the case with more modern designs, which don't have the keel area to heave to and create the "protective slick" that the Pardeys describe. Modern fin keels often are too small in surface area and often require water moving over their surface to generate lift and prevent significant leeway as well—and don't do much when the boat is heaved to.
What may have worked for the Pardeys in a relatively old design boat, with a full keel, may not be applicable to a different design boat.
There is no one solution.
Originally Posted by griglack
You guys should read "Storm Tactics Handbook" by Lin and Larry Purdy (look for it on Amazon, I couldn't find it on SailNet). In this, they describe a method for heaving to, on almost any boat, as a method for riding out storms. They talk about a number of storms that they have survived in this way.
Of course, before heaving to in a large storm, you reduce sail (you probably would have already done that as the wind started to pick up). You would be on a second (or third) reef and the storm jib before doing this. They also recommend dragging a sea anchor from the forward, windward rail (near the bow) to assist.
You are right, that you would need enough sea room to do this. Also, I think that there is no "one size fits all (situations)" method.
Pearson 30 #182 "Blithe Spirit"
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.