Heaving to on Tayana 37 - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-30-2009 Thread Starter
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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.
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-30-2009
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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.

S/V Mika
California's Channel Islands
Hans Christian Traditional
38 feet
S/V Mika Photos on

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Last edited by Cruisingdreamspress; 01-30-2009 at 04:13 PM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-02-2009 Thread Starter
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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.
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