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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 01-12-2011
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Forereaching?

What if forereaching? Is a modified heave-to?
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Old 01-12-2011
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No, but it's associated with heaving-to. Ideally when you're hove-to, you should drift slowly directly downwind. If you're not balanced properly, or if you boat is just really not good at heaving-to, then it might make some progress in the direction it's pointed (forward) as well. This is fore-reaching.

The reason you want to go directly downwind is that the water that flows past your keel as you drift forms vortices that don't transport normal sea wave energy very well, so you leave behind a "slick" of relatively calm water, directly upwind of you. Since this is where dangerous waves usually come from, those waves tend to die down a bit before they get to you. Most importantly, they're much less likely to break on you.

If you're fore-reaching, you're effectively constantly sailing out of this slick, and so you lose its protection.
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Old 01-12-2011
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A few weeks ago I waited overnight to enter an unfamiliar harbor, Isla Mujeres in Mexico. The current off Isla Mujeres runs north at 1.5 to 2 knots. I forereached against the current and hardly moved all night remaining on station a mile off the island.

Had I hove-to I would have been swept 10 miles past the island.

Phil
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Old 01-12-2011
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The Pardys, in their book Storm Tactics, go into great detail about how to set a sea anchor while hove-to, to help your boat remain in it's slick. The line to the sea anchor goes from the bow back toward the sterns as it goes out to the sea anchor. They use a snatch block on that line, going to a stern cleat (or something else, can't remember) so you can adjust the angle of your boat relative to the sea anchor to best stay in your slick. ... and minimize your fore-reaching.

Haven't tried it yet.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 01-12-2011
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Brad when you try it, I want you to dive on the chute and take some underwater pics of it in action, k? Be sure to don a warm overcoat or at least a windbreaker when you go.
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Old 01-12-2011
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Whether your boat can actually heave-to or will forereach a bit depends on its design. Some boats can only forereach and won't really heave-to properly. Other boats can do either, depending on how the sails and helm are trimmed.

One advantage of forereaching is that it does keep the boat making slight progress to windward. That is also its primary disadvantage.
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Old 01-12-2011
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I was reading a story about a boat that was forereaching in a gale,,,,it sounded like they were using it as an intentional means to make foward, controlled progress towards shelter. And they had their jib amidship rather than back winded.
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Old 01-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
I was reading a story about a boat that was forereaching in a gale,,,,it sounded like they were using it as an intentional means to make foward, controlled progress towards shelter. And they had their jib amidship rather than back winded.
Very likely, since heaving to might leave them in the storm far longer than forereaching, since the former would leave them sitting still, the latter would make some progress to windward.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Old 01-13-2011
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Quote:
The reason you want to go directly downwind is that the water that flows past your keel as you drift forms vortices that don't transport normal sea wave energy very well
Does this have an effect pronounced enough to disrupt a wave that would otherwise cause a problem (pretty big breaking wave)? I know L and L Pardey describe is as almost miraculous. Or would you consider other tactics if there were breaking waves large enough to roll you?
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Old 01-14-2011
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How would I know? I've never been in survival conditions.

I think that a breaking wave rolls you not because it it's powerful, but because its face is steep. So I don't see any reason why you'd need a particularly powerful effect to disrupt the wave (or at least, the chunk of it that's bearing down on you). Also you don't need make the wave not exist anymore---you just need to make it not break anymore.
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