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 Heave-To in Swing Keel
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myersge1
Deckhand

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USA
15 Posts

Initially Posted - 07/25/2018 :  18:57:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a swing keel and am not able to heave-to. There are many websites and videos of how to heave-to that say your bow should settle at 20-30 degrees off the wind. However, Andrew Evans "book" on single-handed sailing has sketches that show the boat should settle with the wind just aft of the beam. So I have some questions:

1) Can a Catalina 25 swing keel be hove-to?
2) How far off the wind does the boat settle?
3) Some sites say to sheet in the main tight and leave it there. Others say to release the main immediately after crossing the wind. I'm sure they both work with differing results on a standard keel but is one better than the other for a swing keel?

sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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734 Posts

Response Posted - 07/25/2018 :  19:24:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What size jib are you using? Smaller is better?

Try it with the keel up?

A 77 year-old drinking buddy and I tried heaving to by backwinding the main and letting the jib work. We were pushing and holding the boom to windward, so wasn't a long term maneuver. Perhaps a guy line could be run from the end of the boom to the jib tack for a longer term maneuver.

We also sailed the boat backwards doing the same thing, when we dropped the jib, so we could back the boat into a tight spot at a dock. I had suggested we use the motor but he retorted something about sailing ethics.



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/

Edited by - sethp001 on 07/25/2018 19:26:09
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dasreboot
Admiral

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746 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2018 :  05:57:49  Show Profile  Visit dasreboot's Homepage  Reply with Quote
most fin keel boats dont heave to nicely. especially 80s vintage boats with small mains and large genoas. if you have roller furling, roll up the genoa tiny, maybe 50% or smaller. experiment with mainsail trim and rudder angle. you will find it hard to get the backwards falling leaf motion. mostly i get a slow gentle close reach, about 1 knot. different wind speeds will require different trimming. now my old atkins schooner I had, that would heave-to beautifully, but it had a full keel.

Todd Lewis
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
www.mainsailsailingschool.com
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7997 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2018 :  08:40:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ya, the longer the keel, the easier... Also reef the main (double if you have it). The less sail overall, the less the rig will want to drive the boat. The main should be sheeted sorta like a broad reach, and is adjusted until you get minimimum forward drive but enough to balance the backwinded jib.

I've never tried it with a backwinded main, but I've used Seth's technique to back up a boat. I taught myself that on a Sailfish I built as a kid--it liked to go into irons on a tack--not enough momentum... I'd reverse the rudder, push the "boom" over to backwind the sail, back around till I was pointed for the new tack, release the sail, and off I'd go. (My dad couldn't get it.) Since then, I've done it on catamarans that like to get "stuck".

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/26/2018 08:45:28
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JohnP
Master Marine Consultant

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1482 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2018 :  10:55:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Years ago I tried to heave-to briefly a few times and it did not work so I gave up.

Then once I backwinded the 110 jib and adjusted the jib sheet to produce different rotation forces on the boat. When I let the jib out to about a beam reach setting of the sheet, that backwinded jib gave my boat a balanced motion of see-sawing left and right. The mainsheet was released somewhat, to a position also about like that on a beam reach, and the tiller was turned to drive the boat in a tack across the wind. When the main drove the boat up, it would flap, and then the jib drove the boat back down, until the main picked up the wind and the motion repeated.

Since I have permanent preventer lines installed on the boom, I could secure the main in that one position that gave minimal forward progress. Over about a half hour the boat would either heave-to for a while, or else sail around in a circle and then heave-to again, depending on wind gusts or changes in wind direction.

Hauling my 110 jib sheet in tighter or letting it out more than that narrow window I found did not allow heaving to.

I have a fin keel, and the next time I sail on my friend's C25 SR/SK we will try heaving to.

Maybe you should try again!

JohnP
1978 C25 SR/FK "Gypsy"
Mill Creek off the Magothy River, Chesapeake Bay
Port Captain, northern Chesapeake Bay
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jerlim
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1475 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2018 :  12:49:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have a swinger and 150 genny...furl the head sail, loosen the vang, and put the tiller over as hard as possible...works every time...DO NOT raise the keel - should never do that when on the water except once all the sails are completely down/furled.

Jerry
Whisper
C-25, #1672,'80, SR/SK
S. Jamesport, NY
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5164 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2018 :  12:52:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a link to a discussion about heaving to with a C22. Most C22s are swingers, and they should behave similarly to a C25 swinger. Maybe you can find some ideas in that discussion that will help you heave to successfully.

https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/heaving-to-in-a-c-22.34416/

I hove to in my fin keel Cal 25 and my fin keel C&C 35, so it can certainly be done with a fin keel boat. In the above discussion, the problem appears to have been a matter of using good technique, i.e. slowing the boat before heaving to.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7997 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2018 :  20:24:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
JohnP makes an important point: Heaving to does not stop the boat still in its position--a successful heave-to causes the boat to sail up until the main luffs, and then fall back under power of the backwinded jib until the stern swings toward the wind and the main re-fills. The mainsheet is the critical control. Like a falling leaf, over time you will fall off to leeward, maybe also gaining a little ground forward depending on the balance of the sails. As I said before, less of both sails helps. Roller furling helps, as does a deep reef in the main--full sails makes everything more difficult, like trying to back a NASCAR racer into your garage.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/26/2018 20:28:45
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4135 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2018 :  22:49:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It takes a little practice and experimentation to heave to, but once you’ve mastered it, it’s a total lifesaver. I reefed the jib on the furler to about 80-100%, hardened the mainsheet and moved the traveler block all the way to windward, then crossed the wind to back wind the jib then tied off my tiller to leeward Passage drifts downwind at about 1kt without swinging or oscillating. I’ve enjoyed many a lunch or took a potty break while hove to. She’s fine in 10kt-20kt gusts with no rolling or pitching. It’s just amazing!

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT
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stang9150
Navigator

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USA
132 Posts

Response Posted - 07/27/2018 :  09:55:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My 78 with fin keel and a 110 jib, I have no issues. I sheet the main in tight and kick the tiller all the way to the opposite side and tie it off. The boat will just drift with the current. I have had no issues during 2 hours of fishing or a lunch break.
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Dave5041
Former Mainsheet Editor

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USA
3754 Posts

Response Posted - 07/27/2018 :  15:47:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pearl does OK with the genoa reefed to no overlap.


Dave B. aboard Pearl
1982 TR/SK/Trad. #3399
Lake Erie/Florida Panhandle
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Sailynn
Navigator

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USA
151 Posts

Response Posted - 07/28/2018 :  20:18:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a C25 and am a US Sailing and ASA certified instructor. I teach heaving to on my boat as well as several other makes of sailboats that are swing, fixed and wing keeled. All you need is some wind, a sailboat with headsail and mainsail, a tiller or wheel, rudder and keel. The steps to do this maneuver is well document in many textbooks and videos by accredited sailing instructors. You should start by reducing boat speed on a close haul (with sails flattened), with forward momentum reduced significantly by feathering into the wind, tack boat but do not release sheets (main and head sail) After headsail is backed push tiller hard over to the wind. Boat will stall out as backed headsail will push bow one way and tiller hard over towards the wind will make the stern turn opposite to the bow. Boat will eventually yawl port and starboard and slip sideways. Tie off tiller. If yawl and sideward direction becomes too uncomfortable, slack sheets slightly till boat settles down. Boat will still make way to leeward so be aware of drift and obstacles around you. FYI if your boat speed is not slowed down before attempting this, you will end up doing donuts :)

Lynn Buchanan
1987 C25 SR/WK #5696
Sailynn
Nevada City, CA
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myersge1
Deckhand

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USA
15 Posts

Response Posted - 07/30/2018 :  04:35:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the help. It's good to know that it is possible with a swing keel so I can scratch that off. I was out this past weekend to practice heaving-to but winds were only 0-3kts so not much more than drifting and talking. I'll try again this weekend or next and post my results.
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Captmorgan
Navigator

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USA
194 Posts

Response Posted - 07/30/2018 :  17:38:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I tried this Heave to in 10 Knots. I did not have enough jib out. the main overpowerd the jib so it pushed me to go back to the tack. How much Jib can you let out. When it back winds dont you have to worry about it rubbing on the stays etc. Can you let the sheet looser on the back wind and let the jib belly more?

We tried three to 4 times I could back off the tiller and we were defintely only going 1 to 2 knots but I couldnt lock the tiller over or it would have turned.. Also it said to let the main go. How far do you let it go .I had it at about a reach.

"The Gal-Way" 1985 SR/SK Barnegat Bay, NJ

Enjoy Sailing =) Be Safe

Happy Sailing - John




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Edited by - Captmorgan on 07/30/2018 17:39:56
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dasreboot
Admiral

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746 Posts

Response Posted - 07/31/2018 :  07:45:55  Show Profile  Visit dasreboot's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sailynn

I have a C25 and am a US Sailing and ASA certified instructor.



haha so am i! and my boat is only 50 hulls from yours! 5656

Todd Lewis
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
www.mainsailsailingschool.com
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Sailynn
Navigator

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USA
151 Posts

Response Posted - 07/31/2018 :  19:40:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The best situation would be 100 - 110% but have done it with a 150 genoa. Sounds like you let your mainsail out too much and didn't keep the tiller over long enough to let the boat settle down. Be sure the boat no longer has much forward motion before you tack.

Lynn Buchanan
1987 C25 SR/WK #5696
Sailynn
Nevada City, CA
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AlMo
1st Mate

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USA
37 Posts

Response Posted - 08/01/2018 :  13:45:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We just did this exercise last night with a 23' ODay w/Swinger and 135-ish headsail. had the main fairly tight and the headsail backwinded, keel full down of course. We found this a good way to grab dinner when it was finished cooking, GPS had us at about 1.5 kts, so not dead in water; I think headway is critical to the hove-to configuration, as several above pointed out. However, with a "tiller tamer" we had the stick reasonably centered, not pushed against the main, and the boat didn't seem to be pushing the rudder one way or the other. Wind was something like 10-12 kts steady direction on a lake. Hope these factoids help in some way.

1978 C25 "X Lives" #1035
SR/SK
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Captmorgan
Navigator

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USA
194 Posts

Response Posted - 08/01/2018 :  20:09:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sailynn

The best situation would be 100 - 110% but have done it with a 150 genoa. Sounds like you let your mainsail out too much and didn't keep the tiller over long enough to let the boat settle down. Be sure the boat no longer has much forward motion before you tack.


trying to understand this .. I had the main out a little but if I tightened it it would over power the jib. I think here maybe I didnt have enough jib out. I furled in too much. cab your describe what you would do with the main. Keep in sheeted in hard close haul. ?

"The Gal-Way" 1985 SR/SK Barnegat Bay, NJ

Enjoy Sailing =) Be Safe

Happy Sailing - John




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Sailynn
Navigator

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USA
151 Posts

Response Posted - 08/04/2018 :  00:09:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Captmorgan, it depends on getting your boat balanced to wind and water conditions. If your mainsail is fully out, it should have a properly sized headsail out to get proper boat balance to reduce heeling and weather helm. The beauty of having a roller furler is it is quicker to balance your boat to the wind and water conditions. I always start the maneuver with both sails flat, stall forward motion, then tack but don't release jib after the tack and move tiller away from mainsail hard over after tacking. After the tiller is held hard over the boat will act like it wants to go to windward but keeping the tiller over will stop it. You can adjust the mainsail trim if necessary to keep boat balanced but it still will move to leeward with slight forward motion.

Lynn Buchanan
1987 C25 SR/WK #5696
Sailynn
Nevada City, CA
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Sublime
1st Mate

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27 Posts

Response Posted - 08/21/2018 :  21:15:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Modern-ish designs and fin keels don't heave-to as nicely as the older full keel boats. You will still move forward but it'll be 1 kt or so.

It's just about finding the balance and being patient enough to let the boat settle. It's not anything where you pull the boom to such an angle, adjust this or that at this number, etc. Approach it like an artist and just feel it. Make adjustments and wait, see what she does. My last boat didn't want the rudder hard over. I had to find the sweet spot.

You should be able to heave-to with a main that luffs a little. Heave-to is, after all, a very good way to put a reef in the main if you get caught.

Still, fin keel won't make it text book but you should be able to enjoy your lunch.

Be sure to be on starboard tack when you're hove-to.

***This post is made of recycled electrons
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7997 Posts

Response Posted - 08/22/2018 :  07:58:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sublime

...Be sure to be on starboard tack when you're hove-to.

...unless that puts a nearby shore, rocks, shipping lane, or whatever on your port side.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Sublime
1st Mate

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27 Posts

Response Posted - 08/23/2018 :  08:52:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stinkpotter

quote:
Originally posted by Sublime

...Be sure to be on starboard tack when you're hove-to.

...unless that puts a nearby shore, rocks, shipping lane, or whatever on your port side.



Well obviously.

***This post is made of recycled electrons
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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5164 Posts

Response Posted - 08/23/2018 :  08:57:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm curious...other than having starboard rights, is there any other reason to heave-to on starboard tack?

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3358 Posts

Response Posted - 08/23/2018 :  14:41:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well I guess it depends on if it is a right handed boat or a left handed boat

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5164 Posts

Response Posted - 08/23/2018 :  17:18:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by islander

Well I guess it depends on if it is a right handed boat or a left handed boat



Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7997 Posts

Response Posted - 08/23/2018 :  18:02:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Milby

I'm curious...other than having starboard rights, is there any other reason to heave-to on starboard tack?
How 'bout this? You heave to into a starboard tack, and in so doing basically lose way except to drift mostly to leeward. A port tack sailboat is on a crossing course (based on your apparent heading), so he adjusts course to where he presumes you will have left as you cross ahead of him... except now he's on collision course when it might have made more sense for him to cross ahead.

From that point of view, might heaving to into a port tack (burdened vessel) be better? Or does it really matter?

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 08/23/2018 18:03:32
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