Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
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Re: Dinghy Heave to question?
Heaving to can be an excellent way to capsize a small dingy on a gusty day. It is NOT a strong weather technique applicable to unbalasted boats. It works with a keel boat because they will lean but not capsize. Also, it only makes sense when sail has been reduced.
That said, on a no-wind day it can be an excellent way to park and eat a sandwich. Simply tack without releasing the jib, let the main out a bit once you are through, and then when the boat is nearly stopped, push the tiller away and leave it down (the boat will not tack as it is going too slow and the jib is backed). The exact steps and angles depend on the boat.
FYI, there are generally only 3 ways to ride out a bad thunderstorm in a small boat:
* Get on a close reach, sheet the jib in tight and the traveler all the way down and feather. Move only enough to steer. The sails, particularly the main, will flog a bit.
* Take everything down and point down wind.
* Capsize. Not as crazy as it sounds. Just wait until the storm passes (don't try to right her during the storm) and pop her back up. This will also slow your drift. I did this intentionally during one particularly bad hail storm. I was being driven somewhere I didn't want to go (extensive concrete docks and a jetty) and that stopped the drift. This assumes you have strong righting skills.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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