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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-02-2009 12:33 PM
lancelot9898 Well Michael I agree with everything you had to say including the necessarity of creating that slick to windward. I've got minimal off shore experience having taken the boat to Florida and then up to Block Island, but most of the crusing has been on the Cheaspeake Bay. I lived aboad my sailboat for a number of years and met many world cruisers who spent the winters at the marina where I lived. One couple from Australia told me about the worse experience they ever encounter and that was about 20 miles south of my marina at the mouth of the Potomac. They took green water over their decks with the wind and current being in oposite directions. It's not like the Colombia River Bar where I've seen some pretty bad stuff, but had the sense not to go out unless in one of those Coast Guard boats with someone at the helm with a lot of experience.

I've been aboard my boat during a Cat 1 hurricane with gusts to 90 knots. My wife at the time and I were anchored in a hurricane hole under a single anchor. The boat was brand new and I guess I was more lucky than smart. The anchor held and the rode did not chafe through, but never again will I stay aboard. I can pick my weather pretty well and avoid most all severe conditions. I do a lot a single handing and one time sailing close hauled in 20 knot winds under full sail was hit by a 50 knot gust putting the rail well under water. It happened so fast that all I had time was to react and not think about it. Standing behind the wheel on the cockpit seats under port tack with my right foot braced against the starboard cockpit "crowning" ?, I looked down and my foot was well under water. I shoved the boat through a tack and into the heave to position. Going to the mast and reducing sail with the now port side rail in the water. It took several minutes going back and forth to the helm and slacking off on the mainsheet some so as to lower the main halyard to the first reef position. By the time the first reef was in and I was beginning to put the second, the wind had moderated and I decided to continue the short journey to the raft up. In a way I was glad I was alone at the time since no time was wasted telling someone else what to do. There are always things to learn and that is what I find interesting about sailing and cruising. I enjoy your website and also many things on this site also. I think I'll start a thread asking for info of a good way to tie the sheet onto the jib. I found something about that a while back and will try to find that thread again.
01-30-2009 03:05 PM

Hey Lance,

The strongest winds in which I hove-to were about 60 knots. I once ran before 80 to 100 knot winds in a nasty squall in the Indian Ocean. It only lasted 45 minutes but blew the sea flat and scared me big time. After all the adrenalin dissipated I felt so exhausted that I went below and slept till dawn.

Before I cut the dock lines to go cruising, I also often practiced heaving-to while day sailing in winds under 20. As you know, both the Tayana and Hans Christian have cut away fore foots which allows them, among other things, to come about easier. When heaving-to, however, the cutaway fore foot allows the bow to fall off faster than say a boat like a Bristol Channel Cutter where the full keel runs straight to the bow. When practicing, I soon learned that back winding my big headsail pushed the boat beyond 50 degrees to the wind. I then learned that the boomed out staysail had to be flattened with the outhaul and tied down to the rail, which I did before tacking and back winding it.

After back winding the staysail and adjusting the main and rudder as needed, I give the boat time to find its neutral spot and then make whatever adjustments needed to reduce as much forward motion as possible. I discovered in lighter air that our boats have a tendency to crab slowly forward in a zigzag course no matter what we do. So don't worry...sounds like you are doing everything right. In wind above 40, I prefer having my trysail up along with the staysail. In heavy weather conditions our boats still swing between 40 and 50 degrees, but average 45 degrees to the wind. What is more important, however, is stopping, as much as possible, all forward progress. When that happens, the boat slides down wind, which, as you know, creates a slick to windward that dissipates breaking waves.

During my seven year solo circumnavigation I hove-to many times…to rest, to make repairs, to check my position, to wait for a tidal change and, in rare instances, to wait out a blow…it worked for me and my full keel cruiser. Fin keel owners and other cruisers need to practice heaving-to in lighter airs to learn how their boats handle. Only then can they decide the best action to take in strong winds and seas.

I hope, Lance, that this is of some help to you.
01-30-2009 09:37 AM
lancelot9898 Thanks Michael for the info. The website is a good one and the heaving to discussion is similar to my thoughts. I know the wind is not the thing to worrying about but rather the resulting waves. Plus the boat is much stronger than a short handed crew. The Tayana is very simular to your Hans Christian and I do carry a storm trysail on seperate track and envision using it along with the backed staysail if conditions warrant. What were the wind speeds that you achieved lying to at 45 degrees angle under try-sail and backed staysail. Have you heaved to under different sail configurations? I have a club boom on my staysail with one reef point and I would probably need to tie the club boom to the windward rail.
01-29-2009 09:18 PM
Heaving to


I have owned Mika, my Hans Christian 38 since 1977. Have had extensive offshore experience. I f you check out FAQ on my website you will find my ideas regarding heaving to...hope this adds to your gathering of opinions.
01-19-2009 11:35 AM
Depends on the boat

I do not have much experience with full keel boats, which I understand will heave-to well, i.e., somewhere in the range of 45 degrees off the wind.

The fin keel boats I sail tend to heave-to on a beam reach. I takes a sone fiddling with the rudder, the main and the foresail to get the bow up in to the wind.

01-18-2009 11:19 PM
captainmidnight What is being described here is not "heaving to"
01-17-2009 12:12 PM
Jhildy I just finished studying the Pardey's on Storm Tactics with the primary tactic being hove-to. I believe they would suggest experimenting with a para-anchor and using a winched in pennant line from the stern to the anchor line in order to adjust the angle of the boat to the wind in order to reach the optimal 50 degrees into the wind. The para-anchor would also reduce your forereaching. This para-anchor was necessary for them in very extreme conditions, which is always a good thing to plan for.
01-17-2009 11:32 AM
lancelot9898 Actually the main is sheeted the same as on a close haul....about 10 degrees or so off centerline. The 90 degree estimate is just that an estimate and maybe I'm lying up to 80, but not much lower. The reason is that I have too much head sail out for the conditions, but I wanted to try to dublicate the boat's behavior under much more severe conditions. I'm doing this in 20 plus knots and that is not much for a heavy full keel boat. I'ld just like to know how others with a simular boat have achieved hove to under a more severe condition. As an aside, I have hove to under 50 knot wind gust in order to reef the main. At the time I was close hauled in around 20 knots under full sail in protected waters. A wind gust hit the boat and water came up to the portholes. It all happened so quickly that I didn't have time to think...just put the boat through a tack and hove to. I spent the next few minutes putting a reef in the main....By the time I had the first reef in, the wind had moderated back to 20 or so I didn't bother to put the second reef in. I hove to under starboard tack so that the halyards and reef lines were all on the starboard side which was easier to work on since the port side rail was in the water. I would not have wanted to do this with large seas running...
01-17-2009 09:16 AM
Originally Posted by wwilson View Post
I am very surprised at the 90-deg to the wind that you experience. Agree, that is not going to be desirable. Yes, my boat hove to ~45-deg (or less) off the wind.
I have a Macgreggor 26x, very light, high freeboard. So when the winds go over 15 it's time to think about going home. That said, any changes to sails can be instantly seen, so I'll throw my $.02 in. As you bring the boom closer to center, the main gets more drive and the rudder brings the boat closer to the wind. I sheet about 30 degrees boom to center.

If you're 90 to the wind the main is out too far.
01-16-2009 12:50 PM
wwilson Lance,

I am very surprised at the 90-deg to the wind that you experience. Agree, that is not going to be desirable. Yes, my boat hove to ~45-deg (or less) off the wind. And, while 40-kt that I experienced seemed pretty "brisk" to me at the time, it does not add up to the, "extreme" conditions that you originally asked about. There was relatively little interference to the boat's orientation from the sea-state (4-6-ft steep chop).

I would think 20-kt would be enough to get the boat to heave to. You of course know your boat better than I, nonetheless I suggest that you reef the main, furl the headsail completely and if the cutter sail is on a furler, reduce its size by 30%.

The idea is to get the centers of force (the two countering sails) over the center of resistance (the keel). Bring the sail force as close to the mast as you can by reefing. You may have to experiment a little with the amount of main vs cutter sail that you use to find the balance "sweet spot" on the Tayana.

With the balance right, the effect of a slight change in orientation of the hull from sea or wind gets quickly countered by "the other" (back-winded) sail. It may be that the cutaway on the forefoot of your keel moves the center of resistance far enough aft that you will need a bit more main and less headsail.

As a side note, we were surprised by the amount of leeway that even a pretty decently performing cruising boat with a relatively deep, 6'2" keel can experience when beating into 40-kt. of wind. In short, heaving to was a welcome relief!

Best Regards,
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