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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Does your boat heave to, do you heave to, have you been curious about heaving to?


Here is a clip of my boat hove to .

 

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Does your boat heave to?

Never actually tried... I don't think it would... don't know

do you heave to?

Never have

have you been curious about heaving to?

yes as it's supposed to be a good tactic when you can't make way in heavy weather and need to rest in place.
 

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Yes, I have, but only for practice. With our fin keel and spade rudder, I find it hard to believe that severe wave action wouldn't knock it right back out. It's hard to establish in the first place.

I have to significantly reef the genoa, in which case the sheets will chafe on the rigging. Doesn't feel like a great long term strategy for our boat.
 

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Hobie 18, sailing open ocean in high winds and large for me swells, about 5 foot. Don't know why, but i have trouble tacking. The boat just won't make the full turn through the tack. So i back wind the jib and get stuck there with the bow facing directly into the wind and breaking waves for quiet a while. It's really vary comfortable, good time for a beer. Only problem is that i'm trying to tack and can't. The boat is actually drifting backwards, so i turn the rudders hard to each side. Don't remember which way to turn the rudders to get out of the Heave To, but i eventually make the tack. Looking forwards to trying this on the larger boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
^^^ I have had good success heaving to with beach cats too. Like you say, its a good way to get a bite to eat or have a beverage on a small boat in lively conditions. Also a good time to sort out nav problems (where am I lol).

It might be used less on big keel boats with autopilot and big battery banks because the need isn't really there.
 

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Boat is a solent rig. Have fin with bulb and balanced spade rudder. When on passage rig an additional removable inner forestay for a nice bright orange storm jib. So on passage have three forestays.
With the genoa regardless of set up can’t hove to. This is with it rolled sufficiently to not lay on the shrouds.
With solent she’ll fore reach slowly at 1-2 kts. Have tried every angle of attack and main sheet position but still fore reaches. Have had numerous very experienced ocean sailors try it on my boat they do no better. In heavy air( 30+) boat is more comfortable just sailing her.
With storm jib haven’t really tried it. Fortunately haven’t flown it in anger yet.

Through the years have read a fair number of opinions about heaving to as a storm tactic. Seems general consensus that unlike the Bible of the 60s-70s “heavy weather sailing” heaving to may work in fresh breeze to moderate gale conditions it isn’t safe in storm conditions. There are too many reports of boats being overwhelmed to consider it anymore. In storm conditions many have moved on to using a jsd or variant.
I used to hove to frequently on prior full keel boats ( cape dory and tayana ) as well on low aspect fin (PSC) and even high aspect fin (SHE one off-it forereached a bit) but only for lunch breaks or the like. I never used it in heavy weather preferring bare poles, warps, drogues or sea anchors.
Concerning jsd the current recommendation is to not use dyneema/spectra cord. Makes retrieving it very difficult.
 

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Cool video, thanks for sharing.

Yes, I heaved (hove? hoved?) to on an O'Day Mariner, 19 feet, centerboard. We'd do it to take a break, eat, enjoy the sunset, or all of the above.

On the Mariner I found it easier to drop the main and use just the jib.
 

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Sailingfool and I have taught how to heave-to on Colgate 26s. I was taught on a Pearson 26. I have also taught how to do this on a Lippincott 30, a Hunter 33, a Hunter 36, a Hunter 41, and a Hunter 43. All of these boats had a fin keel and spade rudder. On my boat, an O'day 35 with a 135 Genoa, I have found that it works best if I partially furl the Genoa (reef).

Because I'm not teaching this year, here is a free lesson on how to do it;
  1. start from a close-haul (prefered to start from port tack because you will end up on starboard tack)
  2. ensure that the foresail is sheeted in tight
  3. head the boat directly into the wind. DO NOT RELEASE THE JIB.
  4. the boat will slow as the foresail is backed.
  5. the boat will begin to fall off on the opposite tack as the boat slows with the foresail backed. Try to maintain your heading directly into the wind by steering into the wind.
  6. when the wheel reaches its stop, or the tiller reaches the edge of the cockpit, lock the steering in place.
  7. to windward, and aft, you should see a "slick" of flat water that the keel is is being pushed through sideways.
To get out of hove-to would be another lesson. Feel free to PM me with any requests.:laugh

Here are a few other threads on this topic;
https://www.sailnet.com/forums/seamanship-navigation/306162-heaving.html
https://www.sailnet.com/forums/seamanship-navigation/66426-fin-keel-heaving.html
https://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/110346-heaving.html
 

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Adding to my post above: you can adjust the way that the boat lies to the wind by adjusting the main sheet tension. Trimming the main should cause the bow to point more into the wind and the boat to heel, while easing the main should cause the bow to fall off and heel less. Main sheet trim should not cause the boat to speed up or slow down, however.
 

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I heave to a lot when short handed cruising as a way of eating lunch or using the head. I do essentially what eherlihy suggests. I have done it in everything from around 5 knots of wind up to around 25 knots of wind and in flat water or a short chop. My boat has comparatively short fin keel and spade rudder (see drawing below) and the only time that is hard to hove to is in vary light air. I will note that my boat typically makes more than a knot of leeway if there is much of a wind blowing.
Farr 38 Brochure_Page_12 by jeff_halp, on Flickr

I will also say that the hardest boats to hove to was my 1939 Stadel Cutter:
Indian out of water Big by jeff_halp, on Flickr

And my family's Pearson Vanguard:
Windrift 1963-64_001 by jeff_halp, on Flickr

Jeff
 
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I will also say that the hardest boats to hove to was my 1939 Stadel Cutter:
...
And my family's Pearson Vanguard:
Windrift 1963-64_001 by jeff_halp, on Flickr
I'll bet that it would have been easier if you partially furled that big Jenny.

On my masthead rig I find that my Genoa can overpower the rudder (depending on the wind strength) and the boat may gybe. Reducing the foresail to ~100% makes the maneuver easier and more predictable. This was never an issue with the fractional rig on the Hunters or Colgates.
 

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That's heaving-to? Looks kind of like a poorly trimmed/luffing main. I always thought a backed jib was essential to heaving-to.
 

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On my prior boat, an Oday 23, it was fairly easy to heave to, especially when I used a 100% jib. when I switched to a 135 a couple of years later, it became necessary to furl down the genny when there is any kind of breeze up in order to heave to.

On my "new" Catalina 28, I've yet to try to heave to, but this thread reminds me I have to get that down with this boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's heaving-to? Looks kind of like a poorly trimmed/luffing main. I always thought a backed jib was essential to heaving-to.
Thanks for bringing up the misconception that you need a jib/sloop rig to heave to.

As far as I know, the idea is to create an equlibrium between driving forces (sails) and control surfaces (rudders, skegs, boards etc.), resulting in a boat that is a) self steering/self tending and b) presents something other than the most vulnerable part of the boat to breaking seas.

In my video the boat is self steering, self tending, presenting the starboard bow to the breaking waves, not making headway, not making stern way, just gently sliding to leeward. How is that not hove to?

My other boat is also cat rigged (Bay Hen) and heaves to in much the same way. Position of boards is critical in establishing equilibrium on some boats (both of mine).

People were heaving to long before sloop rigged keel boats came along by creating equilibrium by whatever means were at their disposal.
 

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Arch is correct and this points to why some boats are hard to hove to and why it’s a bad storm tactic. Hoving to is dependent upon the balance of the forces above the waterline against those below. When a boat heaves (goes up and down as it rides a wave) the forces below the waterline change. As the boat falls there maybe a sudden decrease in lateral force. Similarly if wave height is sufficient wind forces may vary significantly. Lastly all wind oscillates. The oscillation may vary enough that if the boat lags sufficiently behind the oscillation the jib may no longer be back winded or in a single sail boat the sail may start to draw or be in irons.
This all has little to do with balanced spade rudders but much to do with the entire design of both hull, all appendages, mast position and what sails are up. Even the Pardys required a sea anchor to keep Seraphin hoved to and had to adjust that. I would suggest in appropriate conditions it’s difficult to keep any boat truly hoved to.
I stated my boat hoves to poorly. Actually that’s not true. That’s just a short hand that when hoved to it is easily thrown off that balance and requires active input to remain in the hove to state. We can hove to in a very quiet sea and light air and remain hoved to without active rudder input. However in stronger winds the foils start to work as as lift is developed some forward motion occurs. We do leave a slick but it marches aft. On prior boats have used oil. In order to be really effective a true hove to state is required and only lateral movement permitted. We no longer carry oil nor the releasing containers for that reason.
 

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It's a little hard to see exactly what is happening in this video, and we can't see the rudder. What it looks like to me is that you are still making headway under a partially luffing main. I guess it's just not anything like I've understood and experienced heaving-to to be, and sort of an odd example of heaving-to to use as a discussion starter about heaving-to.
 

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To address Lee's question; In ASA 101 Heaving-To is mentioned on Page 76 of the book;
heaving-to is a great way to take a break. In ocean storms it's an effective way to have the boat more or less fend for itself...
In ASA 103 it is on page 78 under the heading Sailing in Special Situations, and it is described as a way "to ride out heavy weather at sea." It really isn't given much more than a mention (on page 77) in ASA 104. Colgate's Basic Sailing does not mention heaving-to at all!

In practice I address heaving-to as a way to take a break (enjoy the view), have lunch, or effect a repair. Given the choice to be anchored or at a marina or hove-to during heavy weather, especially with new sailors, the marina or anchor win.
 
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FWIW, in variable wind conditions, J/24s heave-to really poorly. If the wind strength increases, you can get enough forward drive to overcome the jib and tack yourself. It's fine for putting a reef in, but I wouldn't want to go below or be more than a few seconds away from the tiller.
 
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