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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > How do you heave to with main sail alone?
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Thread: How do you heave to with main sail alone? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-18-2013 02:56 PM
Argyle38
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

It has a lot to do withe the kind of boat you have. If you have a lot of windage forward (like my Downeaster and a lot of "classic" looking boats have) then you can typically heave-to under reefed main only with the bow of the boat being pushed off the wind and your main and rudder acting to push you toward the wind.

As long as you can balance the two forces, you are hove-to. If you have a little too much main up (not enough reef) then you will creep forward a bit and that's fore-reaching. Fore-reaching is a great technique to keep on a bit of way toward your destination, but you loose that "slick to windward" that people refer to which is vital if you are in a survival situation withe large, breaking waves.
03-18-2013 01:55 PM
Barquito
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

On small cat rigged (one sail) dinghies, the instruction is usually to put everything to leeward. So, on a port tack let the sail luff, when speed has dropped to almost zero start pulling the tiller to leeward, and put your body weight on the leeward rail. The rudder and hull balance will both tend to make the boat head up, the mostly luffing sail will tend to make the bow fall off. This is more of a 'resting position', rather than hove-to.
03-17-2013 10:08 PM
John B
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

I am a novice sailor and I am going to try to heave to this summer.I have read a lot about it ,and appreciate your posts. They are very helpful.
03-17-2013 08:19 AM
brokesailor
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

If you get a copy of Hal Roth's " Handling Storms at sea " there is a whole chapter dedicated to Fore reaching. (No affiliation!)
03-16-2013 07:17 PM
RichH
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

If youre forereaching when hove to only with a deep reefed main ... you'll need to pull the traveller more to windward until you counter balance the forereaching. Too much traveller to windward and you'll start a stern-way, too little and you'll forereach ... slowly drifting forward. .... If 'perfect', you want to be able to develop a 'turbulence slick' in the water to windward which will 'pre-dump' / cause oncoming breaking waves to 'trip themselves' in that 'turbulence slick'.

Yup, a long keeled boat will do better with being hove to on only a deep reefed main than a fin keeler.
03-16-2013 05:03 PM
Sal Paradise
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

I've done forereaching with just the main and you just barely creep forward sheeted tight almost stalled out pointed into the wind. Almost in irons.
03-16-2013 04:32 PM
matthewwhill
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

Brokesailor-
You are probably right... can you explain fore reaching?
03-16-2013 04:22 PM
brokesailor
How do you heave to with main sail alone?

I thought when you use the mainsail alone it's actually fore reaching.
03-16-2013 04:06 PM
Alex W
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

Faster's method is what works well on my Pearson. I haven't had luck heaving to with the jib up, but I haven't tried since having working jib reefing (my previous system couldn't reef).

Fin keel boats with spade rudders generally don't heave to as nicely as a full keel boat, but they can do it. You just need to experiment.
03-16-2013 03:24 PM
matthewwhill
Re: How do you heave to with main sail alone?

I was out yesterday in 15-20 and I sheeted the main hard and let the tiller go and swing freely. I would head up and tack, then weather healm would build up in the other direction, I would tack back... and so on. Back and forth. Seemed to work well. But there wasn't much wave action....
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