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snoreky 03-01-2004 12:57 PM

heaving to
The text book defenition of heaving to is " arranging the sails in such a manner as to slow or stop the foward motion of the boat,such as in heavy seas " Ok , I got that,but Im a new sailor with only sawdust for a brain, so my question is, assuming " heavy seas, and or high wind" is there any danger of a knock down in a small, ballasted boat. I would be greatful for an explanition of this maneuver from someone who has experence with it...... thanks for your input

Jeff_H 03-01-2004 07:09 PM

heaving to
In theory the boat is sliding sideways leaving a slick to windward. That slick helps reduce the likelihood of getting over taken by a breaking wave but does not eliminate it. So, yes, there is a chance of a knockdown.

The reality is that there is no one right answer that fits all wind and wave situations and all types of boats. Heaving two is still a very valid way to ''park a boat'' in conditions where the wave height is less than twice the beam of the boat. (Current thinking is that it pretty much takes a wave more than twice the width of the boat to capsize a boat.) As wave heights get bigger other stategies such as towing warps or drougues may make better sense.


snoreky 03-02-2004 03:08 AM

heaving to
Thanks Jeff_H for your answer to my question, sence Im a lake sailor its unlikely I would get a wave twice the width of My compac. My main concern is that with full main if a hard gust could lay her over with the sails arranged for heaving to. my thinking is that if that happened she would stand back up as soon as the wind spilled out of the sails........ thanks again .... snoreky

Jeff_H 03-02-2004 04:08 AM

heaving to
I heave to with a fair regularity when I am single-handing. It provides me a chance to go below and make lunch, use the head, or change clothes. I do this is wide range of windspeeds and have found that on most of the boats that I owned, if you have the correct amount of sail up to comfortably beat to windward, you won''t get knocked down when you hove to. On a boat like the Compac, you don''t hove to in the same way as more traditional boats where a dynamic balance is achieved and the boat lies at a reasonably constact angle to the wind and barely forereaches. In more modern designs there is generally a bit more forward motion, a tendancy to hunt a bit (come up slightly and fall off slightly) and a slightly higher rate of leeway.


snoreky 03-02-2004 02:02 PM

heaving to
Thanks again Jeff, I knew from all my reading on this site that I could count on you for a comprehensive answer. Ive learned a lot from reading your posts to the other members questions....... snoreky

greg9 03-12-2004 07:35 PM

heaving to
Is it possible to heave to on a cat boat?

Jeff_H 03-13-2004 05:44 AM

heaving to
Depends on the catboat, but not usually and not by traditional means.


greg9 03-13-2004 12:28 PM

heaving to
A distinct disadvantage. I went out the other day singlehanded on a Pearson 23C, a cat boat. Nice boat. Easy to tack and jibe singlehanded because you don''t have to tend to jib sheets.

However, I think any advantage of its ease in sailing is outweighed by its inability to heave to, especially if you''re alone.

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