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  #1  
Old 05-08-2012
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Issues with heaving-to

I have been heaving-to quite often recently, mostly for practice but also as a tactic for reefing and for untwisting the jib sheet in stronger (15-25) winds. It is a wonderful tactic, but no matter what I do the boat will always settle within 5-10 degrees of being exactly beam-on to the swells.

I was sailing Sunday in some fun conditions on the bay, about 15-17 knots wind strength with a 3-4' short swell/chop. Had the full main up, with working jib (100%). The wind was blowing against the ~3 knot current, creating the swells. I hove-to several times for practice, and after initially heeling way over the boat balanced into that almost magically calm position of being hove-to. No matter what I did, playing with the mainsheet, traveller, and rudder, I could not get the boat to heave-to in any direction other than almost exactly beam-on to the swells. Now these swells were big enough to surf down when running, and splash us occasionally when beating, but when hove-to the boat was almost completely calm, barely even bobbing. So the technique does definitely work.

BUT... what about in something much bigger than 3-4'? It only takes a breaking wave of about 8' (1/3 loa), beam on, to roll my boat. Being hove-to settled down 4' waves, but would it settle down 8 footers? Or more?

Is there any way to get my boat to heave-to at a 45 degree angle to the swells, or at least closer than beam-on?

PS As many of you may know my boat's a Cherubini Hunter 25 masthead sloop, shoal draft fin keel (no cb) and spade rudder. It will not move under main alone, no matter the wind strength this boat simply won't move without slot effect of the jib. The boat also has far too much weather helm, you have to nearly flog the main upwind to keep the boat balanced and once the wind is over 8-10 knots you still have to keep pressure on the tiller to keep the boat from rounding up. Not sure if this may have something to do with the heaving-to issue...
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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Issues with heaving-to

Do you have a roller-furling jib? You could try furling it a bit and seeing if that points the bow higher.
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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Issues with heaving-to

If you are experiencing significant weather helm in moderate winds, you need to reef the main until the boat is more balanced.
I too have been experimenting with heaving-to on a Pearson 28 but haven't come to any conclusions as to when one needs to go to the next step in heavy weather procedures since I try to avoid such conditions. Seems I always injur myself when the wind gets above 20-25. There must be a balance point where the boat is slow reaching with the waves just off the bow, and it involves the size of the jib, how much main is up at the set of the tiller. From my understanding of your description, I would say you have too much jib up so that it overpowers the rudder.
John
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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Issues with heaving-to

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
No matter what I did, playing with the mainsheet, traveller, and rudder, I could not get the boat to heave-to in any direction other than almost exactly beam-on to the swells.
I always thought that you heaved to by backwinding the jib, putting the tiller/wheel over hard & dropping the main.

Am I missing something??

Bob
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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Issues with heaving-to

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfits View Post
I always thought that you heaved to by backwinding the jib, putting the tiller/wheel over hard & dropping the main.

Am I missing something??

Bob
I use that procedure, except I don't completely drop the main. Rather, I usually either just leave the main up, or reef it if it's really windy. I set the traveller off to leeward (with the mainsheet tight) and keep the jib (a genoa is usually too big) backwinded and sheeted "almost tight". That way the main, along with the rudder, acts to "weathercock" the boat into the wind a bit. If the jib fills and the boat gains a little headway the rudder gets some steerage and swings the boat back into the wind. The main helps by forcing the stern off to leeward as it catches a little wind. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the balance right. The trickiest thing for me was getting the rudder set just right. The rudder should be set to leeward, but not so far that it's always stalled: too much to windward and the boat will start sailing, making too much forward progress; too much to leeward and the boat won't turn into the wind until it yaws way to leeward, resulting in a back and forth yaw that's rather disconcerting.

You want the boat to slip sideways so that your wake is directly upwind. That way the "slick" of your boat's wake helps to prevent waves from capping and breaking directly to windward of your boat. The swell will bounce you around a bit, but without breaking waves things will be a bit calmer.
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Old 05-08-2012
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Issues with heaving-to

I think you need to furl in the jib more. Keep it on the weather sheet, but take it in some. That should let the main point you up a bit more.

A
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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Issues with heaving-to

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
PS As many of you may know my boat's a Cherubini Hunter 25 masthead sloop, shoal draft fin keel (no cb) and spade rudder. It will not move under main alone, no matter the wind strength this boat simply won't move without slot effect of the jib. The boat also has far too much weather helm, you have to nearly flog the main upwind to keep the boat balanced and once the wind is over 8-10 knots you still have to keep pressure on the tiller to keep the boat from rounding up. Not sure if this may have something to do with the heaving-to issue...
Sounds as if somthing is not quite right. Mast rake can effect weather helm. The mast should be raked towards the stern maybe a 1/2 of a mast diameter off vertical. Maybe you should also look at rig tension.

It sounds like you have tried just about everything as far as sail trim. With my mast head sloop, if I have too much main up or jib, I will have severe weather helm. With just the right amount of sail, the boat nearly steers itself with no helm pressure. If I over sheet the main sail I will get heavy weather helm, but ease off just a few inches of sheet and she steers great.

Maybe get a sailboat "racer" to go out with you and see if they can help you look at the rig tune and sail trim.
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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Issues with heaving-to

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
.... I hove-to several times for practice, and after initially heeling way over the boat balanced into that almost magically calm position of being hove-to. No matter what I did, playing with the mainsheet, traveller, and rudder, I could not get the boat to heave-to in any direction other than almost exactly beam-on to the swells. ...
You should be able to adjust the hove-to angle by trimming the main.

when going into hove-to, you should fully release the main (what you do with the traveller then does not matter...). When the boat has hove-to, if you slightly trim the main, the boat should turn closer to the wind. If you trim the main too much, the main will cause the boat to tack.
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Re: Issues with heaving-to

Both of my centerboard boats behave the same way as yours does. They want to lie almost beam-on to the wind when hove-to(jib backed, helm over, main trimmed in or out). But my O-Day 22(shoal keel/centerboard) is entirely different. With the jib backed, helm over and main sheeted in it will lie with the bow about 45-50 degrees off the wind and is extremely stable. You can change the angle the boat lies at by easing or hardening the mainsheet. Perhaps it depends more on the type of keel a boat has rather than anything to do with the rigging.
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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Issues with heaving-to

I would suggest you purchasing a copy of Linn and Larry Pardey's book Storm Tactics Handbook, 3rd Ed. | Sailing Blog | Lin & Larry Pardey It has all the information you'll need and make life a lot safer for you.

Using the information I garnered from this book I was able to easily obtain the needed 50-degree angle to the waves necessary to heave-to in comfort.

Good Luck,

Gary
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