'Heaving to' in a Sunfish

Thread starter #1
I am attempting to learn how to heave to in a sunfish. Most of the explanations I've come across involve a heaving to with a jib. How do I heave to without a jib, for example, in a sunfish.
 
#4
I've never had to heave to, because the boat has virtually no momentum. I think that if you simply go head to wind, the boat will stop pretty quickly. If you need to stop faster than that, from close hauled or head to wind, push the boom out over the "wrong" side. If you keep it up too long, you'll actually start moving backwards.
 
#5
In Sunfish the trick is staying in a position at an absolutely standstill. This is a particularly useful skill to learn for racing - especially as you get into situations with crowded and too-short starting lines. Once you stake out your spot you might need to hold your position for a minute or more, but where you still want to have enough control so you have 'steerage' and can scoot away immediately.

To practice that, you might come in to where you want to be, close-hauled, then luff the sail (boom) out so you stop, then when you are about stopped turn the hull just a bit away from the wind, but let the boom out at the same time so the sail is still luffing. That way when you want to start up again you just sheet in and take off, and if you still have trouble getting going you can bear off a bit.

Even if you aren't racing the idea is the same, where you are facing off a bit from the wind, not pointing too high, but with the boom out. The key is to always to have control. If you look out at Sunfish sailors between races where they are waiting for the committee to move a mark or something, you will see most of the fleet hove-to somewhere near the committee boat or thereabouts, sitting down in the cockpit with feet on the deck - eating, dozing, chatting - never directly head-to wind or off the wind to much, always in control - and pretty much always while on starboard.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#6
I am attempting to learn how to heave to in a sunfish. Most of the explanations I've come across involve a heaving to with a jib. How do I heave to without a jib, for example, in a sunfish.
What is the reason you want to be able to heave to? In addition to the above comments, if you want to slow down or stop, you can generally just sheet out.
 
#8
The thing about heaving to with 2 sails is that, between going a little downwind and a little upwind, you end up about the same place (Well, a little to leeward.). Minifish 2's technique works great for a minute or so (what you need for racing starts), but if you stop long enough to eat lunch, you'll be a distance downwind dependent on wind strength. In light air, you can also stall your daggerboard, and you'll have to scull vigorously to get off the wind far enough to make way.
 
#9
"We hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'west, boys,
We hove our ship to for to take soundings clear.
In fifty-five fathoms with a fine sandy bottom,
We filled our maintops'l, up Channel did steer."

"We'll rant an' we'll roar, like true British sailors,
We'll rant an' we'll rave across the salt seas,
'Till we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England,
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-four leagues."
 

danpal

Active Member
#11
Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish Ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain;
For we've received orders for to sail for old England,
But we hope in a short time to see you again.
 
#12
Were they talking about the English Channel? That's over a mile deep!


"We hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'west, boys,
We hove our ship to for to take soundings clear.
In fifty-five fathoms with a fine sandy bottom,
We filled our maintops'l, up Channel did steer."

"We'll rant an' we'll roar, like true British sailors,
We'll rant an' we'll rave across the salt seas,
'Till we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England,
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-four leagues."
 

danpal

Active Member
#13
They were. Here's the Wikipedia entry:

Its story is that of ships in fog (and therefore unable to determine their latitude by sighting) trying to find the entrance to the English Channel, between the dangers of Ushant to the south and the Isles of Scilly to the north. The sandy bottom is a good sign - and there is always the added reassurance of the width of the entrance, thirty-five leagues. A discussion in Arthur Ransome's novel Peter Duck notes that the succession of headlands on the English shore suggests a ship tacking up-channel, identifying a new landmark on each tack.
 
#14
"The deep-sea lead-line required the ship to be hove-to, and could measure up to 100 fathoms, being marked with two knots at 20 fathoms, three knots at 30 fathoms, etc. The deep-sea lead-line also had a tallow inset to take a sample of the seabed."

From, http://www.usna.edu/Users/oceano/pguth/website/shipwrecks/logbooks_lesson/logbooks_lesson.htm

Readers of the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian ("Master and Commander" and the 20 others) will recognize this method of deep water measurement. The line would be held in loops by many seamen from the bows to the stern, with each seaman being told to "let go" when his portion of the immensely long line was ready to be dropped.

BTW, the whole of the lyrics for "Spanish Ladies":

http://shanty.rendance.org/lyrics/showlyric.php/spanish

or, for a rousing U.S. rendition:

 
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