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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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  #21  
Old 01-06-2012
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so you are saying to drop the foresail and bring the main sail center and put the rudder what way?
also, if you have a sea anchor, why wouldnt you just drop all sails, deploy the sea anchor with plenty of rode, batten the hatches and just go to sleep?
why heave to when you have a sea anchor? seems like over kill.
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieg View Post
so you are saying to drop the foresail and bring the main sail center and put the rudder what way?
also, if you have a sea anchor, why wouldnt you just drop all sails, deploy the sea anchor with plenty of rode, batten the hatches and just go to sleep?
why heave to when you have a sea anchor? seems like over kill.
Well, for one, the sea anchor is not easy to deploy and retrieve, but most of all, with a sea anchor you will drift downwind while heaving to will let you make some headway.
Also, it is extremely easy to get going again in seconds when done heaving to.

Deploying a sea anchor also requires going forward for a good deal of time, which would not be my favorite in stormy conditions, while heaving to is done in seconds from the cockpit.
Just my thoughts... Of course every boat, wind and sea condition will be different, as well as distance from shore.
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2012
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The way I've prioritized the use of the sea anchor (and the reason I've never had to use it) is that using the sea anchor should happen only when it is a survival situation; when you can no longer sail safely because breaking waves get big enough to make you lose control and possibly broach/pitchpole. It is after you've made the decision to sit out a storm. This involves some forward planning because you do not want to be up on the bow if there is blue water breaking over it. The way I've set this in my mind is that the procedure is: 1. predict that there will likely be breaking waves higher than your boat can handle. 2. before it is dangerous, launch all the gear, including the snatch block to keep the boat quartered to the sea. 3. Set up an equipment check schedule to periodically check for chafe and to move chafe points/ adjust things. 4. Ride out the storm and then retrieve the chute when it is calm enough to motor up to the trip line to do it easily. The whole procedure says you will not rush to proceed but have decided to allot considerable time for a storm to blow through.

The only other time I would use the thing is in a long singlehanded passage where I had to get some sleep and did not want to make any headway.

I have seen posts that say all the set-up and launching can be accomplished from the cockpit which seems more complicated and prone to screw-ups but does seem entirely doable.

As far as why to have the sails up: without the sails, there may be no way to keep the boat from slewing around from tack to tack on the sea anchor, exposing the boat to coming about uncontrollably. I think this all depends on the boat. I'm sure many can probably maintain stbd or port tack under bare poles but some boats probably cannot.
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Last edited by smurphny; 01-06-2012 at 08:35 AM.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieg View Post
so you are saying to drop the foresail and bring the main sail center and put the rudder what way?
Maybe, or maybe not. Every boat is different. You will have to learn what setup is required to get your boat to properly heave to.

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Originally Posted by mikieg
...if you have a sea anchor, why wouldnt you just drop all sails, deploy the sea anchor with plenty of rode, batten the hatches and just go to sleep?
Most boats will ride more comfortably in a hove-to position than they will dead downwind with a sea anchor only. Again, though, you need to experiment with your boat and see what works for you.

If you are really interested in learning about this stuff, I strongly recommend that you read "Storm Tactics" by Lin and Larry Pardey.
Storm Tactics Handbook, 3rd Ed. | Sailing Blog | Lin & Larry Pardey
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2012
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With some minor preparation you can deploy and adjust a parachute sea anchor from the safety of the cockpit.
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Old 01-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieg
...if you have a sea anchor, why wouldnt you just drop all sails, deploy the sea anchor with plenty of rode, batten the hatches and just go to sleep?
Breaking waves could do damage to the boat.
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  #27  
Old 01-06-2012
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Must be windward as the force on the sail assuming the wind is say 30 deg off the bow forces the boat to round up to windward, and the tiller to windward counteracts this.
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  #28  
Old 01-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieg View Post
so you are saying to drop the foresail and bring the main sail center and put the rudder what way?
also, if you have a sea anchor, why wouldnt you just drop all sails, deploy the sea anchor with plenty of rode, batten the hatches and just go to sleep?
why heave to when you have a sea anchor? seems like over kill.
In the hove-to position, the boat makes a protective slick. I think of it as and area just upwind of the boat where the current is in the direction of the waves, thus keeping the waves from breaking. (The current is produced by the boat's hull as driven by the wind.)

Full disclosure, I've only hove-to in practice, and the winds were not that strong.

Regards,
Brad
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  #29  
Old 01-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c25novi View Post
I sail a C25 and heaving to works best for me with the genny completely furled, the main in tight, boom centered. I like this method better because it saves wear and tear on the head sail and the boat stands straighter. I've done this with the main reefed with the same results.
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Originally Posted by curtcee View Post
But where's the rudder? Hard to leeward? Hard to windward? Centered? Somewhere in between?

Curtis
On my boat, the tiller ends up slightly windward/ rudder slightly lee. It takes a minute or two to balance but with the sail centered my boat wants to round up. Once things have settled down I lash the tiller to a cleat with a cow hitch.

I've never used this technique in a storm so I can't comment on that. I use it for taking a break, cooking dinner and then I get going again.
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  #30  
Old 01-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c25novi View Post
I sail a C25 and heaving to works best for me with the genny completely furled, the main in tight, boom centered. I like this method better because it saves wear and tear on the head sail and the boat stands straighter. I've done this with the main reefed with the same results.
Does the main stay full or does it luff? When I heave-to with the jib aback, it doesn't really move much so I wouldn't expect much wear and tear.
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