Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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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.