What is the best way of heaving to?

Does anyone have any ideas about the best way to heave-to in a Corbin? I don’t think that I have ever really managed to heave-to, though I found I could achieve much of the same effect by attempting a come about with just the staysail. Thanks.” Rob Brady (s/v #174, Summer’s Door)

a. The usual way of heaving to is to reef the mainsail, aim the mainsail into the wind, back the jib or staysail, and tie the rudder parallel to the jib. I did this frequently on my Bristol 29 when singlehanding from New Jersey to Bermuda and in the Carribbean. Once, in a gale for 30 hours, I hove-to with just the main and rudder. Les Helmus (s/v #010, Insouciance) Here’s a link obtained by a Google search, http://boats.com/content/default_detail.jsp?contentid=1284

b. As to heaving to with a Corbin-there are a number of good choices. It can be done in the classic way-mainsail into wind, backwind staysail, rudder parallel to the jib. (the rudder can be overdone). I have not had good luck with the headsail. I like to tie my roller furling off at the bow in gale force conditions. It is not fun having your headsail deploy in a blow. We can heave to with just our main. We have storm sails but have not deployed them. I would go to a lone trisail if I had to heave to in 60+ knots. We prefer to keep the boat moving in winds up to 50 knots. When running in these conditions we will use our staysail only and get the boat on the Monitor windvane. It is faster than our Alpha 3000 autopilot. I have tried bare poles in these conditions but could not steer well. If we are going to weather we use the staysail and main with 3 reefs. We have found that our Corbin will head up and park when we are overpowered by building winds. This allows us to go forward and take another reef without going into a panic. The bottom line is there is no best way to heave-to; it depends on the situation and there are a lot of choices with the friendly Corbin. Richard Bacon (s/v #043, Balmacara) [email from Australia] [Lester note: The #043, Balmacara has a short bowsprit upgrade.]

c. On our last Atlantic crossing from St Martin to the Azores 2010 we hit the edge of a tropical depression hove-to for 13 hours and slept right through it. Had all the lights on and radar and all alarms on. Sustained wing of 48 knots triple reef in the main no other sail. It was very comfortable. So hove to with a triple reef in the main, and backed the main against the helm, and no headsail. This was was our third event when we hove-to – always the main only but this was the only time we used the third reef. Mario Borg, (#198, Maltese Falcon).

Category: SAILS and SAILING