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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 07-23-2006
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heave to question

Hello all, first post.

I have a Coronado 25' I sail mainly on Lake Washington in Seattle. I am a fairly new sailor; this is my second season with the boat. I have been on Puget Sound once so far, to Blake Island.

My question is about heaving-to. I've done it succesfully a number of times with my small jib but yesterday with my genoa in about 8-10 knots I had too much forward movement. I tried hauling in / letting out both sails but no real change.

Is heaving to for small headsails only?
Thanks,
R
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Old 07-23-2006
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Smile Headsail and rudder

Ahoy Rob,

Heaving to is done with the headsail and rudder. You tack to windward keeping you jib sheeted in. The bow will cross the wind and the jib will then be backwinded. Put your tiller to leeward, this will slow you down. The keel will stall the boat slowing you down even more. as this happens move the rudder more to leeward.
Here is a video to help you out.
http://www.videos.sailingcourse.com/heaving_to_wmv1.htm

Fair Winds

Cap'n Dave
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Old 07-24-2006
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Sometimes, with some boats, the genny and the foretriangle are too big for effective heaving-to, as they put the center of effort too far forward for the main and helm-alee to counteract. You may just need a smaller jib, or maybe part-roller furled genny to create the right balance. If you've backed the genny, strapped in the main, lashed the tiller all the way to leeward, and it still won't steady down or headreaches too much, then you may just have too much headsail, and need a smaller jib.

Originally, I think heaving-to was a heavy-weather technique to allow an exhausted short-handed crew to go below and get some sleep, so small sails (like a storm jib and storm trysail) would be the desired sail plan. Light air "heaving-to" with a large headsail is a different breed of cat, and may not work well on some boats/sailplans.
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