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MUS points out the big failing of sea anchors for many boats be they have balanced spades (modern sail and power) or stern hung. That’s when the boat goes backwards the rudder or its fittings break. With warps or drogues the boat continues to move forward (abet slowly). Loading is gradual and no were as severe as with a bow deployed sea anchor. Although there are reports of windvanes being damaged by jsd to my knowledge not rudders. Hence the current use of jsd or the like in the power passagemaking crowd. This group used to use sea anchors given the strength of their bows and large panes of glass as the entrance to down below. Design has shifted and even old Norhavn or kady krogans are set to survive a pooping without down flooding. Take a look at the blog about passagemaking in the artnautica 58. Although a powerboat they carry no sea anchor but rather a drogue. Think about it. Whether power or sail being held stationary and being struck by the waves means more forces on the boat.
 

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Whenever hove to in stronger winds the key is to reduce sail area to minimum, while still maintaining proper position to the waves, and minimum movement.
 

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KC is right. Although limited I do have some experience of being in truly snotty weather in prior small boats (24’-34’). He is correct whatever you do to decrease forces involved is to your and your boats benefit. However, the seas and winds are constantly changing. I avidly read Lin and Larry. They were able to go below hoved to making use of that technique and a sea anchor. I never got the skill down to that point and needed to remain on deck. Found adjusting the jib problematic as if you needed to take in the jib sheet after letting it out and that was difficult. So would use rudder angle and main sheet to keep hove to. Found staying hove to be an active process. Found chafe a major issue making there a need to go forward periodically to adjust chafing gear. (Commonly fire hose or flexible plastic pipe or garden hose that had been split). Gave thought to rigging a block placed so the shrouds wouldn’t rub on the jib sheet but never got around to it. Would suggest that those who intent to use this technique hove to and walk the deck. Stainless steel 1x19 cuts through jib sheets quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
For me one concern with snotty weather for a short handed sailor is hypothermia. You don't need storm force winds to be hypothermic. Any kind of cold wet and windy will do the job. One solution: heave to. If you have a cabin or doghouse. Go inside to warm up. If you don't, lay down in the bottom of the boat with something over you.

Of similar concern: exhaustion. You don't need storm force winds to get worn out. The hot sun is enough to do it, but its also a potential in snotty weather. You need to eat, drink and rest. Heave to.

Seasickness. This is very rarely an issue for me and never to incapacitation. However I have seen people incapacitated by it. Can't sail the boat because you're puking. Heave to.

Need to pee in snotty conditions? Heave to.

My original post showed a 17 ft boat heaving to on Lake Ontario. I was sailing a 23 inch wide unballasted boat in 25 knots of wind and building seas. I can asure that those are snotty conditions for that boat. To sail the boat effectively in those conditions I need a hand on my skeg control and ideally one on my sheet. My goal was to have a drink of water and eat a cliffs bar. In order to accomplish that heaving to seemed like the best option.

Heaving to might be less essential for boats with inboards and autopilots, but for the rest of us, I am pretty convinced its a good strategy for dealing with the effects of snotty weather; eat, drink, warm up, pee, puke, rest.
 

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Hove to is also a good way for big boats to wait more or less in place, for example when arriving at night to an unknown harbor or inlet. Simply dropping sails is often not at all comfortable. Boat motion when hove to is much better. I consider hove to a very useful technique for cruising.
 

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Arcb what you makes perfect sense. Have no disagreement. What concerns me is many people think heaving to is the best option for storms. I have repetitive pointed out I’m speaking about STORMS. I even offered the generally accepted definition of a storm. My concern is that people think heaving to is the best survival technique.
I’ve sailed dinghies but in 25 kts I’m home or on a larger boat. My hat is off to you.
It’s interesting how your mindset changes with cruising grounds. Think for people in SF bay, or Atlantic coast of Portugal or the windwards 25kts is a nice day. 9’ swell is of no concern. Depending upon point of sail and boat maybe first or second reef.
Will say again in heavy weather ( above 10’ seas and 40kts for most boats 35-50’ ) there are other strategies. Was hoping people think about them. Hope people compare use of jsd to heaving to. Look at sources of information from current ocean sailors. Suspect you’ll have less enthusiasm for heaving to as a heavy weather technique.
 

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When i am expecting a mechanical bull ride, i do a stock of food bars and water in the cockpit and set a board in the compaionway..or close it up, so no need to go below.
Pee bottle lives in cockpit.
I am not shy about running engine
 

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In my limited experience most nor’easters last 3 days. Most people can safely helm in storm conditions for a very limited time. Often 1/2 hour is long enough.
Depending upon any technique that requires prolonged active intervention is looking for trouble regardless of number, skills and fitness of the crew.
I have diverted to miss a storm where actively sailing the the boat was required. With 4 aboard change watches to 2 up for 1/2 hour knowing this would be required for 12 hours. This was exhausting. Crew was in 30-40 year old range and experienced.
So think totally passive techniques need to be available. Especially for mom and pop cruisers.

Btw personally favor coke and snicker bars. Caffeine,sugar, electrolytes, water and a bit of protein.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Give the Clif Whey Protein bars a try. No sugar crash. Less of a roller coaster for the body. CLIF® Whey Protein - Peanut Butter & Chocolate Flavour

Since I sail mostly in fresh water (with some exceptions) I can elimnate the need to carry beverages, which saves me a lot of weight. I just scoop it right out of the river and put it through a gravity filter. Went on a 105 km kayak sail this past week end. Left with 2 liters of water, finished with 2 liters water.
Obviously wouldn't work in salt water.
 

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Snickers and coke can remain unchanged and eatable for years and years on a boat. Have storm food in a Tupperware under a saloon settee. Also includes canned soup, ramen, mre , all in aluminum cans or plastic films. Even if immersed in salt or bilge water will keep you alive.
Thanks for the suggestion but although protein bars are aboard for watch snacks they aren’t storm food.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
They are for me, keeping in mind I do long distance endurance racing in small boats and I don't stop because the weather gets dirty. If I am bucking a head wind and chop I will paddle for 10 hours straight- that's 4000 calories burnt. Chocolate snacks aren't going to cut it for me. I need food when I am burning the candle at both ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Here are some nutritional details for the reader trying to decide what to feed themselves when they are stuck hand steering in rotten weather for 8 or 10 hours. I think trail mix; which is basically rasins and peanuts is a good option too. I should add, I think chocolate bars may serve as a good morale boost, but the psychology of working through weather is a whole different topic.

Nutritional details: Mars bar
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Calories 230
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.6g 13%
Saturated Fat 4.2g 21%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Potassium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 35.3g 12%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 30.5g
Protein 2.2g 4%
Vitamin A 0% • Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% • Iron 0%

Clif Whey Protein Bar
Nutrition Facts
Calories 260
Calories from Fat 120
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 3.5g 17%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsat. Fat 3g
Monounsat. Fat 6g
Cholesterol 20mg 6%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Potassium 170mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 19%
Insoluble Fiber 1g
Sugars 5g
Protein 14g 29%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4%
Iron 6%
Phosphorus 6%
Magnesium 6%
Selenium 2%

https://www.feedthemachine.com/product/370/clif-whey-protein-bar

https://www.fitbit.com/foods/Mars+Bar+51g+/728067805

Of course Mike is right about making a hot meal if possible. When I mention snacks, I am just talking about folks who are unable to leave the cockpit for whatever reason.
 

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Arcb this conversation shows how diverse the sailing world is. We are both near opposite ends of the bell shaped curve.
The only time I come even close to your caloric burn is when I’m home and take the sliding seat cf rowboat out. Unlike you that’s for 1/2-1 hour of sweat and burn. Then I go home for a shower.
My concern in weather is to keep myself and crew rested, fed, and hydrated. Want them and myself to be alert and functional when called on.
I want them rested and not burnt so cooking isn’t an option. If you can heat it in its container or place in the sink and pour hot water in it then it’s okay. Beyond that want them in their bunks sleeping or at least resting. Even this limited cooking is done with foulie bibs on. Being scalded by boiling water is no fun. Avoid any real cooking in gales or storms. Even for line squalls put it off until after they go by. Don’t think being hove to changes my thinking on this.
Would note for any kind of passage have taken to cooking 1 and 1/2 times the amount of food needed for expected time at sea. Then cut it up into individual portions. Wrap it and freeze it. Cooking consists of heating it up and adding fresh components.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
If I knew how to I'd heave to when I have to
What kind of a boat do you have? Its not hard. Try it the next time you are out. I will assume you have some kind of sloop.

Just tack the boat without touching the jib sheet. Leave the tiller pointing towards the side the main sail is on. Put a rope around the tiller to hold it.

It really is that simple. Once you have done that, you canmplay around with the set up.
 

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What you must do with the mainsail, on a sloop, can be rather variable, when trying to heave to. I've experienced everything from sheeting it in on a close haul and leaving it there to blowing the mainsheet altogether.

My first attempt would be do keep it sheeted in. If she tries to round up, it needs to be eased off.
 
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As arcb says easy to do. Difficult part is to stay hoved to for several days. He rightly points out exhaustion, dehydration and lack of caloric intake are the enemies. On a pragmatic basis you can survive without food for ~one month, without water for ~ one week. However, your performance deteriorates even more rapidly. After just one day of sleep deprivation you’re functioning like you’re quite drunk.
Arcb is referencing a high intensity but fairly brief activity. I’m speaking of a different scenario. Just moving about the boat is high risk of bumps and falls. Just going to the head is a tiring experience. Being on deck is scary and hard work. Lying to a drogue is big work to setup but then totally passive. Broaching, pitchpoling and being overwhelmed or rolled risks are greatly decreased. Motion is decreased.
I’m curious whether anyone will share their experiences being hoved to in storms (as nautically defined) or gales. Not just for a lunch break or rest in a fresh breeze. I’m particularly curious if if was a totally passive event or required them to be on deck.
 

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What kind of a boat do you have? Its not hard. Try it the next time you are out. I will assume you have some kind of sloop.

Just tack the boat without touching the jib sheet. Leave the tiller pointing towards the side the main sail is on. Put a rope around the tiller to hold it.

It really is that simple. Once you have done that, you canmplay around with the set up.
Sorry, I just wanted to post a funny phrase.. :) I do actually have a pretty good idea, had to heave to in ASA 101.

edit: and FYI I have a 23 ft sloop. Tiller with a tiller clutch, so locking it off is easy. I should practice heaving to next time I'm out, this was a good reminder!
 
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