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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 06-04-2010
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Heaving to

Hello, it's me again. Just a question about heaving to. When I go out sailing, I'm basically singlehanding a Rhodes 19 and was wondering about heaving to for short periods of time. In my class, we were told that letting the sails go would be sufficient for short stops, but further reading seems to say that more is required? When I was out on the water in 5-10 kt winds, just letting the sails go resulted in the boat still moving quite a lot, which means moving around the boat to do stuff is difficult. I do realize that this isn't a car with brakes and that the boat will still drift a bit!

So I guess the big question is, what do you guys do to stop your motion in the water?
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Old 06-04-2010
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Heaving to in conditions you're describing (as opposed to during heavy weather) is a great way to slow the boat way down so you can move about, eat a sandwich or just chill for a bit. Start the maneuver close hauled. Initiate a tack, but leave the jib cleated. After you've come through the wind, the jib will be back-winded, and you let the mainsheet run free. Then push the tiller slightly to leeward until the boat comes into something like balance ... on a Rhodes 19 it will be pretty easy to feel. You'll probably oscillate gently between about 30 and 60 degrees off the wind. You'll make some forward progress, but very little. When you find the "balance" point for the helm, tie off the tiller to hold it in that position. To get started again, bring the tiller back to center, release the jib and trim it on the new tack, trim the main, and you're on your way. It's a useful and fun skill to master.

Kurt
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Old 06-04-2010
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When I was learning on a 29' C&C we had to have the wheel all the way over to leeward. Once tied off, the bow would countinuousyl swing left and then back right as the wind and rudder fought. When we saw the swirling water behind the rudder we knew we were good. The swirling helped to keep some of the swells around the boat down. We were good until a boat came screaming at us on auto pilot.
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Old 06-04-2010
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Heaving to is still one of the coolest things I've learned...along with the quick stop.
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Old 06-04-2010
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Yup, so cool it is. I've got to learn to sail backwards with confidence, for those days when I can't luff up to the dock.
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Old 06-04-2010
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Poltergeist is right on the money. You will need to experiment with how far the tiller needs to be to leeward and how much to trim the mainsail. This balance point is critical. This technique works great in all different types of weather conditions.

I used this technique on my C&C 36 quite a bit. Once I figured out the balance point it mad life so much easier. I would use it when I needed a break, while waiting for friends to catch up in their boats, or waiting for daylight outside a new harbor or anchorage.
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Old 06-04-2010
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I've stopped for lunch in 40+ using this technique and the ride was easy, maybe a bit wet, but easy. Just get out there and practice. Sailing backwards out of a slip is cool too. I've done that on Oh Joy twice. Scary but cool.
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Old 06-04-2010
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In calm winds, I have hove-to and fired up the BBQ.


One little piece of advise: heave-to from a port tack. That puts you on a starboard tack and gives some stand-on privileges.

There is a heave-to, sail-to, heave-to method of MOB that can be done alone.

Jack
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Old 06-04-2010
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just a side bar....you don't want to heave-to with a genoa.

So either use a jib..or roll your furling sail up until it clears the mast, spreaders and stays.

I use it for lunch, a quick swim on a hot day, and reefing the main.
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Old 06-06-2010
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Are you really supposed to release the main, though? I though you left it cleated in a close haul position with the jib backwinded.
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