Originally Posted by AdamLein
So, those words may refer to sail configurations, but "heaving-to" does not. It happens to be the case that heaving-to often involves backing an appropriately-sized jib
, and doing something or other with the main, and so people have a tendency to use the term to refer to the sail configuration, but that is not correct. If you put your sails in a "hove-to configuration", but you end up making 5 knots of headway with very little leeway, you are not hove-to.
Just to clear up any confusion that may or may not exist: Perhaps you aren't "making 5 knots of headway" when hove-to, but you will be moving slowly forward and to leeward. This is because, to remain hove-to you have to have steerage way.
Without a flow of water over the rudder, with the action of wind and waves, (most) boats won't stay pointing in the same direction to the wind. Since the whole idea is to find a balance between sailing forward (usually on the main) and being pushed back (usually by the jib
), the rudder has to keep the boat pointed at the right angle to the wind.