Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
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I think that it is important to separate a few items in the Pardeys take on heaving to in storm conditions.
1. They recommend the use of a parachute anchor to dramatically reduce fore-reaching. There is nothing much wrong with fore-reaching except that you sail out of the slick you are trying to create. This matters if the weather is really narsty. We hove-to off Bermuda last year in benign conditions to wait for first light before entering (I would have gone in at night except the engine had quit and I was afraid of no wind in the cut). We were fore-reaching with lots of sail up at probably 2.5 knots in the general direction of Africa but it was very comfortable. After the right number of hours we headed back to the island - everyone but the person on watch had a good sleep.
1b) Also, for their technique you have the parachute rigged with two heavy duty rodes, one off the bow and a second on a bight of the first taken to a mid-deck chock and jib winch. The idea is to have the anchor at an angle to the bow. The specific angle depends on the boat and conditions but something like 30* as a start. This angle can be changed by tightening or loosening the mid-deck line.
2. The second point is what sails to have up when you heave-to. They like having the main up only (or perhaps storm trysail in really snotty conditions). Other people prefer to have some jib or staysail up. Depends on the boat in particular and less importantly the conditions.
3. Position of the helm - again this varies depending on the boat and conditions
What is critical is experimenting to see what works on a particular boat. Also, what worked well the last time you hove-to may need to be modified for a new situation.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.