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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Maintaining head to wind
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-18-2003 01:30 PM
jbanta
Maintaining head to wind

Ron
You got it my friend. Even a small differance in the boat postion to the wind wil cause the boat to be moved with the wind. There are a few ways to maintain a relitive postion to the wind.
1. Hold her there with engin power
2. Heave two
3. Set an ancor
08-18-2003 01:03 PM
RonTrueworthy
Maintaining head to wind

I thought (apparently mistakenly) that letting go all sheets and the helm would cause a sailboat with sails raised to head up and stay in irons.

I gather that the only way to stay in irons is to make headway and steer. Am I understanding correctly?
07-25-2003 10:58 PM
jbr
Maintaining head to wind

Thanks, maxcontax, I appreciate your taking the trouble to look up my boat and give excellent advice. I''ll try it ASAP.
07-25-2003 09:50 AM
maxcontax
Maintaining head to wind

I looked at some pictures of H17''s on the www and can''t see any reason why this would not work. If you go under "seamanship" and "what is slab reefing" I posted a procedure for jiffy reefing that should work on your H17. I note that the mast is stepped in the cockpit and not on the deck, that''s in your favor when scrambling to get the reef tack secured, you''re down lower. Can''t say much more except to try it out. If you capsize and are getting ready to right it, it will be very important to grab the painter and get the bow head to wind before attempting to right it, or indeed, it will try to sail off without you. It''s a very pretty boat, I am sure you''ll get off the learning curve in a hurry and have alot of fun with her.
07-24-2003 10:12 PM
jbr
Maintaining head to wind

I''m sailing a Hunter 170; its a nice planing dinghy but is a light boat with a lot of freeboard so it gets blown around in higher winds even with sails down. The headsail is about half the size of the main and since it has a furling jib I can partially reef it. I''ll try this approach and appreciate the suggestion; two questions though: 1) how much do you trim your jib prior to backing it?, 2) if the boat ends up almost abeam when hove to I would think the battens would still hang up on the shrouds when raising/lowering/reefing (I have swept back spreaders). I do have two line reefing but it wouldn''t be easy to reconfigure for cockpit control (would be nice...).
07-23-2003 08:17 AM
maxcontax
Maintaining head to wind

Not sure what you''re sailing there, but on most dinghies the headsail is about 1/2 the SA of the main, so heaving to should work if you leave the C/B and rudder down without resulting in a capsize. I think you have to try this and be a believer before you can go forward and reef or raise the mainsail. I did this on a Wayfarer 16 and it worked. It will lie almost abeam, but try it. If a puff hits you in this position, the boat just drifts to leeward. Do you have two-line reefing? can it be re-arranged to handle from the cockpit? That''s the ultimate solution.
07-22-2003 10:43 PM
jbr
Maintaining head to wind

I appreciate your input maxcontax. Regarding heave to: My experience with it has always been when all sails are already up (backed jib, eased main, tiller to leward); didn''t know you could do it only with jib up (I assume it''s just a backed jib with tiller to leward)? In my limited experience, heave to worked really well in keelboats even in high winds; its worked well for me in my dinghy in winds up to 12 kts but I''ve been afraid of using in in higher winds in a centerboard boat - is it safe to use in a dinghy in 15+ kt winds? The challenge I''ve faced when reefing and my concern with using heave to during reefing is that if I''m under full sail and winds pick up rapidly so I need to reef even with all sails fully eased the boat can capsize if I move my weight from the rail to the center in order to reef (hence my desire to be head to wind while reefing); reefing in these conditions can be a challenge if heeled; I''m afraid a backed jib/heave to will capsize me? On a related note, I have noticed in moderate winds that if the centerboard is down, rudder is up, and main is up and sheeted in/cleated that the boat vanes reasonably well but occasionally falls off to a close haul. I''ve been uncomforatable trying this in high winds because without a rudder to control feathering I might capsize in gusts if the boat falls off to close haul with a cleated main. I haven''t tried this with both centerboard up and rudder up; maybe it would vane better with both up? Your inputs are appreciated!
07-18-2003 06:50 AM
maxcontax
Maintaining head to wind

singlehanding a little boat: leave the dock with centerboard and rudder down, get searoom, hoist the jib and immediately do a heave-to. When the boat settles down, tie off the tiller and go forward, mainsheet and boomvang slack, and hoist the main. Harden up and sail off. Keep the engine running in case. Heaving to is the key. Reefing: heave to again, reef the clew line first, the tack line second, do the reef ties, and motor on. Again, boomvang and mainsheet totally slack. Have you tried this?
07-17-2003 10:54 PM
jbr
Maintaining head to wind

Thanks to both of you for the good input for raising/lowering sails. Still would like to vane while on the water for reefing and following capsize recovery to make it easier/safer to reboard ...
07-15-2003 09:54 AM
Sailormon6
Maintaining head to wind

I usually like to raise the mainsail before leaving the dock or mooring. Situate the boat so that, if you let all docklines go except the bow line, the boat vanes with the bow into the wind. Raise the mainsail, let go the bow line, push the boom away from you and sail away under main alone.

To raise the jib, I like to put the boat on a course between a beam reach and a close reach. Then I use a tiller tamer (or a bungee cord will do) to hold her on course while I raise the jib.

It sounds like part of your problem is that you have to go forward to the mast to raise and lower the sails. If the halyards are led aft to the cockpit, then you will be better able to raise and lower sails without going forward.
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