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Thread: Hove To/ Heave To

  1. #1
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    Default Hove To/ Heave To

    This has been debated before on the SOTP and I really struggled to get my head around this last year as our canoes don't tend to have a Jib sail.

    This is the "Hove To" position that most people will know and understand. The jib is backed off in front of the mainsail shielding the mainsail from the wind. The rudder is turned fully to keep the bow into the wind if it begins to power up, which turns into the wind again and settles everything down.



    While experimenting yesterday, I found that I could put my single sail canoe into a sort of "Hove To" position by placing the sail like this.



    While it might look like I have just allowed the sail to drop downwind to de-power it, I have in fact cleated it off so that it is very slightly powered up. I have put the rudder over in the traditional way so when the sail powers up the canoe, the rudder turns the canoe into wind again, which de-powers the sail once more. The canoe will then stop and the wind will then push the bow to leeward again, turning the mainsail so that it fills again, which powers it up and pushes the canoe forward and the rudder takes over and turns the canoe back into wind again etc. etc.

    The canoe feels a bit like a nodding dog, swinging gently left and right, but it was calm and allowed me to review some video footage and have a drink while other sailing boats skimmed past me at speed.

    I tried to film it, but after two or three seconds, my camera memory was full and all I got was this tiny bit.

    At least it worked and this is another thing I have learnt, which is a big safety break through in my learning curve of sailing these uniqe boats. Thought I would post something about this as I couldn't find a thing about "Hove To" in single sail boats.


  2. #2
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    Good stuff, well done for that. Must admit I blinked the first time with the video and had to replay it!

    Glad you have found for yourself that this form of heaving to actually works.

  3. #3
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    Not heaving to, but sometimes if I need two hands, I'll lock off my push / pull tiller, fine tune to get a straight course and I can usually get 30 seconds or more between small course adjustments. This does not work for me when close hauled or on a close reach, when heaving to is the better option.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
    Not heaving to, but sometimes if I need two hands, I'll lock off my push / pull tiller, fine tune to get a straight course and I can usually get 30 seconds or more between small course adjustments. This does not work for me when close hauled or on a close reach, when heaving to is the better option.
    Similarly I have found myself using my tiller locking clip quite a lot in easy conditions. I've always sought to set up my sailing canoes with really good balance so that the need to steer is minimised for efficiency (as mentioned in another thread). I found this really useful on my first long 1994 trip for mapwork, bailing, sponging out etc. These days I also take pics or video, deal with the GPS etc - I wouldn't quite call it self steering but it's pretty close for short periods. It's really useful for paddle sailing as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    It's really useful for paddle sailing as well.
    My main reason is the paddling of 30-miles of the Caledonian Canal in May. I'm not a strong paddler and my canoe is well known for tracking badly solo with it's very flat bottom. It will be heavy, full of kit so if I utilise the rudder and leeboard (Which is there anyway) to take care of the tracking, I can use two hands to power the canoe along without worrying about the steering too much. We are not allowed the sails up in the canal stretches, so paddle sailing/ normal sailing is not an option!

  6. #6
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    I think your canoe wil track better with a good load in it - more boat in the water. I think I'd be tempted to take a large brolly in case of rain or too much sun - they can useful in all sorts of other ways, too...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    I think I'd be tempted to take a large brolly in case of rain or too much sun - they can useful in all sorts of other ways, too...
    ...and as a fine, upstanding stalwart of the paddling establishment... I'm quite sure Keith had no intention of suggesting the following...


  8. #8
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    What's the big-bad about sailing on a canal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    What's the big-bad about sailing on a canal?
    Most likely aimed at yachts due to control and manoeuvrability. With a canoe - discretion...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    What's the big-bad about sailing on a canal?
    Apparently, according to British Waterways, sailing on the man-made canal stretches is not allowed. Something to do with being in control (100%) of your craft and they do not consider sailing as being in control 100% of the time!!

  11. #11
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    The Caledonian Canal authorities probably take the view that if they let one sail, all shapes and sizes of sailing boat will want to do the same and they don't trust all yotties to sail safely on a canal (understandably in my view). So take this as a warning about misusing brollys Chris.
    Last edited by GavinM; 24th-March-2012 at 01:20 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
    The Caledonian Canal authorities probably take the view that if they let one sail, all shapes and sizes of sailing boat will want to do the same and they don't trust all yotties to sail safely on a canal (understandably in my view). So you've been warned about misusing a brolly Chris.
    Umm..... This was me in 1991!


  13. #13
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    Maverick

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