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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 07-13-2010
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Red face Fin keel and heaving-to

Hi everyone,

Some say that in weather worse than 8 beaufort fin keeled boats can't heave to.
Has someone here tried it or heard about someone who had tried it ?
A related question is how the fact that a fin keeled boat can or can't heave to influence its ability to heave to using a para-anchor in the way advocated by the Pardey's ?
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Old 07-13-2010
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Each boat handles differently, but heaving too in our fin keeler means rolling the genoa in completely and strapping in the mainsail.

We also have a para anchor, but have never had to deploy it-it would have to over about 45-50 knots and expected to last more than 6 hours before I would consider it. The rudder should be tied off amidships on all boats to prevent damage when you surge backwards.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaile View Post
Hi everyone,

Some say that in weather worse than 8 beaufort fin keeled boats can't heave to.
Has someone here tried it or heard about someone who had tried it ?
I have heaved to in Force 7 and it behaved surprisingly well for the half-hour that I watched. Technique for my boat was pretty much text-book. At the time I had in the 2nd reef on the main and a heavy weather jib on an inner (convertible) forestay.

The underwater configuration is a 6'1" fin with a small bulb and rudder supported with a short skeg.
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Last edited by wwilson; 07-13-2010 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010
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It depends on the boat pretty specifically. Are you talking a high-aspect strut and bulb type keel or a more traditional fin keel? Almost all boats can heave-to to some degree, but you may have to do very different things to get that to happen.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Why do you want to heave to when there's wind? Every boat is different, and each skipper has different ideas, equipment, and experience that leads them to different responses to your questions. What the Pardeys do: heave-to & deploy drogues - has worked for them and others - in heavy, full-keeled boats. What the Open 60's do - fly spinnakers- works for them. In bad weather the need to take waves from a one direction rather than another - because of the way the boat is already pointed, or a lee shore you're trying to edge by - may dictate different responses in the same boat. There are lots of variables. Essentially, if a program or routine works, it works. If it doesn't work, you hope the EPIRB does.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Here is some info. It's part of the story of :
Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom - Sailing a Catalina 320 to the Virgin Islands
in a Catalina 320 wing keel

.......
By sunset I was worn out and chilled through. I decided to heave-to, letting her drift where she will as I got some rest to prepare for another day at the wheel. I rolled up the genoa to the size of a storm jib, sheeted it to windward, and locked the wheel a few degrees to leeward. I didn’t expect this skittish wing-keeler to heave-to in the manner of a more traditional hull shape, which would fore-reach at 1-2 knots or drift to leeward leaving a protective slick of calmer water to windward. Still, I was unprepared for the surprising result of this experiment. With backed jib in 30 knot southwest winds she sailed off at 5 knots to the southeast. Without a hand on the wheel she held steady all night, galloping away with ease on the same course I hand steered all day with such drudgery. From despair to ecstasy in one sail maneuver! I dropped into my bunk for a few hours of blissful sleep as Mei kept a weary watch from the companionway.
........
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Old 07-14-2010
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SD, I am talking about the traditional, low aspect ration fin keel.

So fin keeled can heave-to but do they create such a protective slick that forces breaking waves to dissipate before reaching the boat ?
Somehow I feel (assume) that the slick created by a fin keel may be less powerfull and might not have the magical forces that calm the breaking waves
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Yes, a fin keel can heave too. Yes, it will generate a protective slick, but not as large as a full keeled boat would. More of an issue is that most fin keel boats will forereach a bit, and not stay in the protective slick they create.
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Old 07-14-2010
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In my experience, most fin keel boats that I have owned will heave-to about as easily as the long keeled boat that I have owned. This is only to be expected since heaving-to is more dependent on sail balance than the keel shape.

Where keel area and shape comes into play is that fin keels will tend to stall sooner than a long keel and so produce less side force. This means that the fin keeled boat makes more rapid leeway than a longer, more traditional keel. This results in a bigger slick (rather than a smaller one).

Jeff
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Old 07-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff_H
This means that the fin keeled boat makes more rapid leeway than a longer, more traditional keel. This results in a bigger slick (rather than a smaller one).
Does it mean that while heaving-to it is more safe in breaking waves (given the other parameters are identical) ?
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