Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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I'd always thought of a self-tacking jib as being club-footed, but I guess this is too old-school to be realistic nowadays.
But by definition, your normal sheets won't hold it to windward, since there's only *one* sheet, right? So you have to add an auxiliary "backing' sheet, as others have mentioned.
Also, self-tacking jibs are by definition less than 100 percent of the foretriangle, so maybe not quite big enough to balance the main for heaving-to, unless the main is already reefed.
I've found with heaving-to, there are general rules (jib backed, main eased a little, helm to leeward some or a lot), but the specific rules are specific to each boat, and each wind and sea condition.
It seems to me, in teaching sailing sometimes, you teach heaving-to on the same boat, same sails, but each day the "perfect balance point" is never quite the same, it's always different. So teach the principle, and hope the students understand eventually how to put the principle into practice.