Join Date: Apr 2010
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Re: Heave To
Iíve never experience more than a gale while out to sea, so will not pretend to have any great wisdom on this. Iíve read and studied much of what has been written on the topic, any my conclusion is that the best tactic depends on sea state, boat, and crew.
IOW, there is no one right answer for everyone (as usual).
From what Iíve read, I think you are bang-on with regard to many (most) modern boats. Those that follow the trend of flatter and beamer, with longer thinner appendages (keel/rudder) seem harder to effectively heave-to, but also seem to do much better running with the seas. Streaming some sort of drogue helps control direction and speed.
Boats like mine (full heavy keel, narrower body, less efficient rudder) donít run well down steep waves, but we do hove-to very well. Iíve seen the slick in action, and it does seem to protect the boat from the worst of the oncoming seas, but Iíve never tested this in anything beyond gale (and hope I never have to).
Guess the only point I want to make is, it really depends on boat and crew, and of course sea state, as to what the best approach might be. Itís good to emphasize that the traditional technique of heaving-to may not be the best option for most newer-designed boats, but for the fleet of good-old-boats that still ply the waters, it remains an effective option.
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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