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I can (and do) heave to in my Catalina 22. It tends to oscillate back and forth, so even with my main sheeted in the boat will often be beam to the wind, so I don’t think I’d want to use the technique in large waves.

I practice on every boat I charter, and some work better than others. I remember one with a deep high-aspect keel that just wouldn’t do it.

So in my limited experience, the shallower and longer the keel the easier a boat heaves to. I’ve never sailed a full keel boat, but I’d guess they heave to like anything, and perhaps that’s why it used to be a popular storm tactic.
 

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Ed do you think in this day and age the ASA manual should be changed?

Had a ASA trained sailor as crew on passage. When a squall passed through he attempted to hove to. Boat tacked and went to a reach putting the rail down. Taught him to just tuck another reef and sail on. All smiles. Don’t like anyone even attempting the technique as with the storm jib stay up the sheet chafes on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
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.
That was the idea :)

The boat doesn't have a rudder. Steering is accomplished with a vertically adjustable skeg. Skeg down turns the boat to leeward, skeg up turns the boat to weather.

So, I posted this vid for this discussion, specifically because it doesnt have a jib, a rudder or a keel and it heaves to pretty well. :2 boat:
 

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Minnie and they were overwhelmed and sank. No, not even for boats that easily heave to would I suggest it as a storm tactic.
 

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So, I posted this vid for this discussion, specifically because it doesnt have a jib, a rudder or a keel and it heaves to pretty well. :2 boat:
Well, ok. I guess I missed that part of it.

Maybe next we can talk about whether a Rocna or Mantus is better ground tackle for such a boat :)
 

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Well, ok. I guess I missed that part of it.

Maybe next we can talk about whether a Rocna or Mantus is better ground tackle for such a boat :)
I believe a craft like that is most securely anchored in depths between 0' and -2' while tied to a tree.
 

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ASA MANUAL?!? - You think there is a manual?


ASA publishes a series of books, a test, and a set of standards on their website. How an individual school or instructor prepares their students to meet the standard, or pass the test, is up to the school or the individual instructor. There is no manual or anything resembling an instructor guide for each course.

Only one of the five schools with which I have had experience has a presentation that all of their instructors use. The use of a common presentation means that the material is taught the same way by all of the instructors in every class, and leads to consistent learning. Unfortunately, this school teaches a lot of "Fast-Track courses" ("go from the couch to the captain's chair in a week"), and does not allow their students to keep a copy of the presentation as a refresher after the course.

In my former life I was a "Training Manager," and I was responsible to ensure that my students retain the information that I was presenting to them. I therefore developed a series of copyrighted presentations for ASA 101, 103, 104 and 106 for my use when I teach. I know that Jack Dale has done the same. My students get a PDF copy of my material to use as a reference after the course.

In reality the certification courses that ASA and US/Sailing offer serve the bareboat charter market. They help to market their affiliated schools to people that want to bareboat charter. What these organizations do in their "Bareboat Certification" courses is certify that the people that show up to take expensive boats for a week have an awareness of the COLREGS (Rule 9 is NOT well presented), know that the engine and transmission need oil & cooling, that batteries need to be charged, and have demonstrated some basic sailing skills in moderate conditions. - That's all. It does not certify common sense, or even familliarity with anything other than a charter boat (Hunter, Beneteau, Jeanneau, and becomming more common Lagoon and F-P Catamarans).

I would NOT allow an ASA or US/Sailing "Certified" sailor take the helm of my boat (which is nowhere as new or complex as an Outbound 46) without my supervision - especially in a blow.
 
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He reported prior passage experience. I contacted his references and they attested to this. We normally stand single watches with a designated second. I try to sleep during the day so available at night without difficulties. All crew are given clear instructions to not change course nor do any evolution ( tacking , reefing, etc. without telling me first even if it means waking me). He got how to keep the boat in trim and to watch point of closest approach on AIS/radar. He thought it would be a brief squall and was being kind not wanting to bother anyone. Explained again I’m there to keep us safe and not hurt the boat so it’s no bother. It wasn’t the first squall we were in and no hoving to for prior ones. Fortunately no harm no foul. 1/2 h to mid 30s max bunch of rain. Sail on.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I believe a craft like that is most securely anchored in depths between 0' and -2' while tied to a tree.
Park it under your jungle hammock :D

With regards to heaving to in heavy weather, I personally like to actively sail the boat when things get snotty. However, there comes a time when you start getting warn down, you need to eat something, you need to drink something, catch a quick nap or throw up over the side a bunch of times. In that case, heaving to seems like as reasonable a way to take a short break as any.

I have nothing against drogues and sea anchors, those who like them, seem to like them a lot. But heaving to takes a minute. I would think recovering a drogue or sea anchor in snotty conditions could be somewhat more of a time commitment.

I guess I would heave to in heavy weather (to take a break) but not necessarily heave to for heavy weather if that makes sense.

By the way, the day I shot that video we covered quite a distance, I think I was in the boat for 9 hours, so I hove to 3 times, but each time was just for a quick break.
 

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I’ve hoven-to with my boat, although never in the face of real storms. Works well with reefed main and slightly furled jib. We’ll ride easy in this arrangement, and I’d certainly use it as a storm tactic should the need arise.

Of course, my boat is the textbook design for this kind of maneuver: full deep keel, heavy displacement, cutter.
 

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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.
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.
That video actually does appear to show the kayak Hove-to but you need to look at through the lens of being a cat ketch with unconventional sails, because that is how it is functioning.

The real sail in the video is the obvious sail. Slacked so it produces minimal drive, combined with the windage of the mast and boom, in its position near the bow is mostly creating a side force trying to pull the bow of the boat to leeward in much the same way as a a back-winded jib pulls the bow to leeward. The other sail is less obvious, and it is badly stalled. That sail is the paddlers body above the coaming of the kayak, which tries to pull the stern of the boat to leeward. The windage of boat, paddler, mast, and sails slows the forward motion in much the same way that the backwinded jib reduces forereaching. The thin long length of the kayak in the water produces is a very low aspect keel that resists these two forces (sail and paddler) to leeward, and so slows leeway. The skeg (and mainsheet) allows the center of lateral resistance to be fine tuned to result in the balance necessary to result in an essentially sideward motion to leeward.

Back to the show in progress,
Jeff
 

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Accordingly to the met

Storm

Winds of force 10 (48-55 knots) or gusts reaching 61-68 knots

Violent storm

Winds of force 11 (56-63 knots) or gusts of 69 knots or more

Please do not heave to in these conditions. History shows there are ways to deal with these conditions more likely to result in survival.

Please read the myriad sources concerning this or even success rate of hove to boats in the fast net in the hopes you change your storm tactics.
 

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Your comment got me searching the old Fastnet findings once again. My recollection was that the principle findings had to do with problematic design issues driving by the IOR, and of course the demand to go fast. The report(s) found that the push to beamy flatter boats, accompanied with weak steering systems, were the principle problems.

The report notes that the worst tactic appears to be passive, and by that they did not mean heaving-to, but lying a-hull with bare poles. Indeed, of the boats that hove-to, only one experienced serious damage.

Full report: http://www.blur.se/images/fastnet-race-inquiry.pdf
Summary: https://uk.boats.com/on-the-water/learning-the-lessons-1979-fastnet-race/
 

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My bad you’re right but if you research this some you’ll see heaving to to is a very viable tactic for gales. However once storm force, violent storm or hurricane force is seen boats heaved to don’t fair well. Rather in many modern boats you’ll fair better fore reaching under heavily reef jib or storm jib alone which allows an easier transition to jsd if winds increase from gale force to storm.
So although I would heave to on prior boats at present have dropped the technique from heavy weather protocol. I have learned to have less confidence in weather forecasting so know although they maybe be in predictions for general conditions for an area they maybe incorrect for what we are experiencing in our hyperlocal area.
Current protocol is reef down to third reef on main with reefed solent. At that point hang and rig the storm jib but not raise it. Do this earlier if prediction is for further deterioration. Then fore reach on storm jib. AP or windvane goes off and hand steer at this point. Once storm force is reached out goes jsd and sails down.
Similarly halved dropped bare poles alone as a technique. Or use of a sea anchor from the bow.
Please look at attainable adventure or any blog of repetitive passage makers and be made aware that for storms many people have moved passed the Lin and Larry thinking of the past.
Lastly people have added the use of the jsd as a storm tactic for vessels passage making power vessels.
 

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I’m surprised that riding a JSD off the bow isn’t the recommended approach. I know (first hand) that parachute sea anchors can pull out of waves faces. Even with a storm sail or postage stamp reefed jib, running downwind (or any point of sail), dragging a drogue, the boat is still subject to a violent shift in wind direction, in a storm. That’s not set it and forget it. Bow into the waves seems more natural, better for the rudder, requires absolutely no attention (other than chafe) and waves dint shift as quickly as wind.
 

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I’ve never experience more than a gale while out to sea, so will not pretend to have any great wisdom on this. I’ve 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 I’ve 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) don’t run well down steep waves, but we do hove-to very well. I’ve seen the slick in action, and it does seem to protect the boat from the worst of the oncoming seas, but I’ve 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. It’s 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
I can't really think of a lot of options other than heaving to to take a break in heavy weather on your typical sub 30 ft boat (I know we are badly under represented on this site, but there really are a lot of us).

Bare poles? Not on my boat thanks. Drogue? I don't know very many boats that have them on board. Under 30 ft, I can think of exactly zero that I know of.

I do actually have a sea anchor. Its been sitting in a bin in a basement collecting dust for years.

Not all boats taken out or disabled by heavy weather are on offshore passages, I have no idea where to look for the statistics, but I suspect a decent percentage are small boats reasonably close to shore. I think for those boats heaving to is a viable tactic.

I know of one single handed sailor this year that hove to in a Sea Pearl 21 (unballasted 21 ft cat ketch) because he was too worn out (and I beleive sea sick) to sail the boat any more.

Its not a tactic I would entirely discount for heavy weather. Some boats may have better options, but a lot don't.

Even the Fastnet race is within 100 miles of shore in either direction and there are numerous other examples of races gone badly relatively close to shore.
 

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I’m surprised that riding a JSD off the bow isn’t the recommended approach. I know (first hand) that parachute sea anchors can pull out of waves faces. Even with a storm sail or postage stamp reefed jib, running downwind (or any point of sail), dragging a drogue, the boat is still subject to a violent shift in wind direction, in a storm. That’s not set it and forget it. Bow into the waves seems more natural, better for the rudder, requires absolutely no attention (other than chafe) and waves dint shift as quickly as wind.
What makes you say 'better for the rudder?" Isn't there a lot of force on the rudder when the boat goes backwards?

Other than that, everything else makes sense.
 

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I have ridden out weather with warps and a pocket handkerchief of a jib. This works up to~10’ seas and gives directional stability. However beyond that the boat starts to surf too fast. The water can run faster or as fast as the boat so there’s no input as you steer at times. . It is not the best solution.
Parachute anchors off the stern or off the bow run risks. Any collapse of the chute, chafe, or breakage of lines or the webbing of the chute can result in total failure. JSD or like devices are TOTALLY passive. All sail is down, helm is lashed, and failure of even multiple cones does not result in catastrophic failure unlike with sea anchors. Loading of the boat or deck fixtures is significant but much less than with sea anchors. Sea anchors are usually cut away as there is no feasible way for a short handed crew to retrieve them. JSDs are retrieved.
Multiple single handed sailors have routinely and repetitively used jsd. You do have to wait until winds are in the thirties but they can be retrieved. Set a block on a strong point at the bow and run a line two and a half times the length of the boat through it. Attach this line to the jsd with a truckers hitch. Pull in one boat length. Undo line and reattach to jsd. Do it again. Repeat until jsd is recovered. The reason not to use dyneema for jsd is it makes retrieving more difficult.
Realize we are talking about storms not gales. In 35 years I’ve been in one storm in a coastal setting. The rest have been brief t-storms, squalls and rare gales. Other than the gales when by myself or with non sailors have simply dropped all sail and turned on the engine. Given the brevity of these events and proximity to land believe this is often safer. I can head a fraction off the wind and the boat rides nice. I can still avoid obstacles and grounding. Thinking about this it’s actually very rare a recreational sailboat will be in a storm. Suspect even less likely in a coastal setting. Gales are more frequent. However, even if looking at a prolonged gale if you aren’t certain it won’t evolve into a storm the jsd maybe the safer option especially if short handed as it is truly passive.
For our 46k boat the jsd is heavy. But even as a fat old man I can carry it up from below and deploy it. In original plans for the boat we made modifications. The aft cleats were moved further aft, backing plates were glassed in, under the cleats smooth ss plates were run to the extreme aft of the boat. There’s no opportunity for chafe nor loading to cause failure. I’m not suggesting jsd for all the average small boat recreational sailors. However regardless of size or coastal v offshore use if there’s a reasonable concern about being in weather it’s another bullet in the gun. We were chatting with a guy on a ancient BCC 28’ in St. Vincent. He had much more experience than I in its use. He had even taken to using it for a sleep break when in unsettled weather although it had yet to reach him. I’ve yet to use mine in a storm and hopefully never will.
Should mention when fore reaching with a jib the jib is reefed back to the point the steerage is maintained. You hand steer or set the AP(depending on sophistication of the device) so broaching is avoided. You aren’t going fast at all. You want to continue the rise as the wave train goes by. You do not want prolonged surfing. Safer than bare poles.
 
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