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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Heaving-To
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Thread: Heaving-To Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-10-2013 12:31 PM
travlineasy
Re: Heaving-To

The only time I was able to get my Morgan 33 O.I. to heave to properly I had an 18-inch sea anchor deployed from the stern cleat, which brought the boat to a dead stop in 35 mph winds off Point Look, MD in Chesapeake Bay. The waves at the time were probably about 6 feet, I was bone tired and needed a break, so I decided to heave to. I did everything by the book, but the boat continued to slide forward at .2 to .5 knots. When I deployed the sea anchor, the boat stopped all forward motion, a big slick developed on the port side, the waves began to crumble about 50 feet from the boat, and other than the swells, it was almost like resting in calm seas. It was a really neat experience when everything I read in the Lynn and Larry Pardy book came together and for the first time in five hours I felt comfortable. I haven't had the opportunity to try this offshore, but I'm fairly confident it would work equally as well there.

Cheers,

Gary
12-10-2013 11:54 AM
JonEisberg
Re: Heaving-To

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomMaine View Post

But I think this thread was started (from another thread), simply to hear exactly how people do heave-to.

For someone that has never done it. I think what they want to know is; what sail(s), what rudder angle(s), etc., in the wind conditions that they're likely to try it in.

I think even in moderate conditions, this knowledge could save some people from problems that can crop up quickly for coastal sailors(fatigue).

Heaving to shouldn't be thought of as just a storm tactic.
Exactly... I feel with more modern boats, heaving-to has far more utility for other purposes than it does solely as a storm tactic - such as standing off a harbor entrance to wait for daylight, or as a "getting some rest, some decent food prepared, and the boat battened down BEFORE the storm tactic..." :-)

With most boats out there today, once the seas start breaking, all bets are off... Unless one is somehow able to maintain a relative head-to-wind position, and stay within the slick, you can suddenly find yourself in an extremely vulnerable position to a breaking wave strike, and more active measures will have to be taken...

Furthermore, heaving-to is unlikely to remain the preferred tactic for the entire duration of most storms... As a low pressure system passes by or over your position, wind speed and direction will change far more rapidly than the wave train, and it is so often that as the breeze begins to diminish, 'the beginning of the end' of a storm offshore becomes the most dangerous time... A wind shift of 30 degrees, for example, can suddenly place a 'properly' hove-to boat in a very dangerous orientation to the wave train. On the other hand, simply tacking might actually far improve your heading into the seas... But, as a general rule, whenever conditions begin to moderate after a real blow, I think you want to try to get the boat moving or sailing again - even if it's only fore-reaching - as soon as possible...
12-10-2013 11:16 AM
outbound
Re: Heaving-To

It's become apparent two different lines of thinking are operative
1."traditional" boats vrs. high aspect fin/bulbed keeled-balance spade rudder boats
2.heaving to for rest in mild/moderate conditions vrs. as survival technique

Would be worthwhile to acknowledge these different issues. My prior Tayana (full keel) and PSC 34 ( low aspect fin) were both cutters. Both would hove to by just leaving the jib sheet alone and flipping the wheel over and stay put. In storm force winds/seas both would hove to with wheel lashed ( and all crew below) with stay sail and triple reefed main. My current boat fore reaches a bit even with everything tucked down. However, she is extremely comfortable in all conditions if actively sailed and even tracks very well if any attention paid to sail balance to the point the AP suffices. As alluded to before many "authorities" suggest with "modern" boats heaving to is not a good storm tactic. If rest or conditions require a JSD is the tactic of last resort.
12-10-2013 09:21 AM
TomMaine
Re: Heaving-To

[quote=JonEisberg;1205401]I don't think anyone is suggesting that, either... Most people understand the classic meaning of being properly hove-to as being the forward motion of the boat has been stopped, the result being a slow drift of to leeward, but remaining within the protection of the slick to windward created by the boat's drift...



Well said. That's exactly what hove-to means to me. If a little bit of forward motion exists(it often does), that's why the rudder is usually turned to windward, to stop that slight forward motion, turning slightly windward, and continue to drift dead downwind, but with a slight scalloping motion, that will add a few degrees to windward of dead down wind.

But I think this thread was started (from another thread), simply to hear exactly how people do heave-to.

For someone that has never done it. I think what they want to know is; what sail(s), what rudder angle(s), etc., in the wind conditions that they're likely to try it in.

I think even in moderate conditions, this knowledge could save some people from problems that can crop up quickly for coastal sailors(fatigue).

Heaving to shouldn't be thought of as just a storm tactic.
12-09-2013 11:24 PM
capttb
Re: Heaving-To

Quote:
I don't think anyone is suggesting that, either... Most people understand the classic meaning of being properly hove-to as being the forward motion of the boat has been stopped, the result being a slow drift of to leeward, but remaining within the protection of the slick to windward created by the boat's drift...
Very clear Jon, thank you, seems to have been more confusion on this point than I'd expected.
12-09-2013 11:00 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Heaving-To

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
Not sure if I understand you but with all that wind the seas, and the boat is staying in the same place!! An experiment for next time when it gets windy: just before you heave-to, get a fix and write it down. Then stay hove-to for at least 12 hours and take another fix. According to you the two positions should be dead on exactly the same, right?
I don't think anyone is suggesting that, either... Most people understand the classic meaning of being properly hove-to as being the forward motion of the boat has been stopped, the result being a slow drift of to leeward, but remaining within the protection of the slick to windward created by the boat's drift...

However, with most modern fin keelers, especially as winds increase, maintaining the desired 45-50 degree heading into the wind/seas, without either moving forward out of the slick, or having the bow fall off and presenting the boat broadside to the seas, can be extremely difficult/impossible to achieve...

I'd like to meet the guy who could get this boat to 'properly' heave-to, in these conditions :-)


12-09-2013 10:42 PM
SVTatia
Re: Heaving-To

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootnavigator View Post
Saying a boat is hove to while its actually for-reaching is like saying my plane fly's really well it just wont get off the ground A boat is either hove to or it isn't there is no middle ground. For-reaching is not hove to its for-reaching They both serve a very specific propose just like a chainsaw and a butter knife but I wouldn't use a chainsaw to butter my bread
Not sure if I understand you but with all that wind the seas, and the boat is staying in the same place!! An experiment for next time when it gets windy: just before you heave-to, get a fix and write it down. Then stay hove-to for at least 12 hours and take another fix. According to you the two positions should be dead on exactly the same, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I agree, but thers many degrees of hove to. But hove too where you are drifting dead down wind is a tricky and difficult state to get in. Boats dont want to sit still. They don't want to be drifting sidewards to the current. Ive tried it a few times remembering all the different ideas people had... Small main large jib, no job, no main, etc. to get your boat to drift sideways at no speed forwards is difficult. Last t me i practiced it too me more than an hour to do it.... And then if the wind had come up, or drooped a bit, i would have started all over again.

Probably we should be trying to get the boat moving so slowly,and then go for the magic gold of being stationary.

Life helicopter pilots will tell you, hovering is the most difficult... Where we thing hovering should be easy.


Mark
++ 1
12-09-2013 06:08 PM
travlineasy
Re: Heaving-To

Not if you don't want to.

Gary
12-09-2013 05:28 PM
barefootnavigator
Re: Heaving-To

DO I have to answer this?
12-09-2013 05:20 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Heaving-To

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootnavigator View Post
Saying a boat is hove to while its actually for-reaching is like saying my plane fly's really well it just wont get off the ground A boat is either hove to or it isn't there is no middle ground. For-reaching is not hove to its for-reaching They both serve a very specific propose just like a chainsaw and a butter knife but I wouldn't use a chainsaw to butter my bread
Where has anyone said that fore-reaching is identical to being hove-to?
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