Heaving to

Moderator: GreenLake

Heaving to

Postby BananaCollision » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:35 am

I've been trying to heave-to in my Daysailer -- start a tack, but leave the jib sheeted all the way in on the wrong side, sheet in the main hard, and set the tiller pretty far to weather with the tiller tamer.

I've managed the trick exactly once, with the boat sitting just nicely and peacefully in the middle of the lake while the strong wind blustered by and I ate half a sandwich.

But the one time I did manage it, I felt like the boat was very finely balanced on the rudder. If it wasn't juuuuust right, or if I bumped anything, the boat would fall off the wind and start sailing. (With a fully sheeted-in, cleated main, "sailing" means "better uncleat that PDQ or you're going over.")

Has anybody else had better luck? What is your technique?
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Re: Heaving to

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:48 am

I think that you aren't supposed to sheet in the main. Because you don't want any driving force.

Try it next time with the main sheet loose (but not flogging). Then observe as you bring in the main that the drift angle changes.

In fact, you can use a hove-to position to approach a downwind dock (at right angles to the wind), and if you set things up correctly, you can use the main to fine tune where you will touch.


The diagram may show the main pulled in more than it should (I recall something like almost out to the spreaders), and the wind/drift angles are also schematic; the drift angle is theoretically close to 60°, but much depends on your actual setup. As you can see the tiller points to leeward (the rudder is to weather).


I've used this technique once (approximately, would need to practice it a bit more for perfection) to dock downwind in a very small spot between two motor boats.

If you can't get the boat to heave-to because it always wants to turn away immediately, you may have to slow the boat a bit by luffing to take momentum out.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Heaving to

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:02 am

If you haven't found it yet, you might enjoy the previous discussion of this topic.

There are two things mentioned in there that I forgot:
(1) If you have a vang, you can use it to keep the main from flogging.
(2) It's possible to heave-to under main alone.

Now, for (2), from your description it sounds like you were actually balancing your rudder against the main (with the jib adding another counterforce to the main). That may be why you found reaching that balance again so tricky. It's easier to just balance the smaller force of the jib alone (by letting the main out), but then you have to remember to put the tiller down. (For a while I used the mnemonic of putting the tiller loosely parallel to the angle of the jib.

Good luck next time and let us know how it worked out.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Heaving to

Postby Themanfromuncle » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:22 pm

in his initial post he said "tiller to weather". there is a problem
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