SailNet Community - View Single Post - Heaving to at high speed.."the hand brake of the seas"
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post #9 of Old 12-07-2008
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The videos on heaving-to remind all sailors to practice this usful maneuver. I would like to see more vidios sent in to help stimulate discussion on techniques.

I hove-to many times on my solo circumnavigation. Through trial and error, I learned a few tricks that others may want to try when they have sea room on a reasonably calm day.

Check out the second video on Guilietta's above thread.

The lady helmsperson comes about in smart fashion and leaves the jib on starboard so as to backwind it. At the same time, one of the crew lets the main all the way out to port. But then, as you listen to the conversation...something isn't quite right..."We're still moving."

Here is what I found on my Hans Christian to solve that problem. Before tacking over to port, I hauled in on the starboard jib sheet as far as possible because I wanted to keep all of the jib on the starboard side of the mast when I came about. Notice in the video, when they tacked, that a good part of the jib (even though sheeted to starboard), bellies out to port of the mast.This causes one of the problems. The jib is still giving some lift and thus still pushes the boat slowly forward. What we want is no forward motion.

In my own case, looking at the video, I would also not have touched the main when I first tacked to port. Instead I would have headed back up to starboard, toward the eye of the wind.My goal is to slow the boat to almost a stop. Careful not to tack back thru the eye of the wind, I work the bow up to the eye and then back to port several times until I almost put the boat in irons. Allowing the bow to head slightly to port, I then adjust the main inorder to find a balance between the flattened jib tacked down on the starboard rail (wanting to push the bow to port) while I counteract that force by adjusting the main to create enough weather helm so as to push the bow to starboard.

If I get it right, the boat stays put as if anchored at an angle of about 45 degrees off the wind, drifting down wind when its blowing a gale or crabbing slowly forward in light air.

Try it'll like it.

S/V Mika
California's Channel Islands
Hans Christian Traditional
38 feet
S/V Mika Photos on

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