"Heaving To"


S/V DoodleBug (SM331) has just completed a 12,000 mile run from
Kemah, Texas to New Zealand. During the passage we "heaved
to" maybe 4 or 5 times, in winds of up to 25 knots – usually
we arrived too early for a reef pass entrance. I had read in the
sailing literature that a ketch will generally "heave to" on
just a
hard sheeted mizzen and an e-mail exchange with another Amel owner
had confirmed this to be true for the Super Maramu. My experience is
that with just the mizzen, the boat will oscillate between 30 degrees
and 60 degrees to the wind – i.e. the "correct" heave to
angle. The
problem is that it then rolls badly in a moderate sea and contrary to
many authors glowing comments about how comfortable the heaved to
position is and how they will cook dinner etc., I have found that the
boat motion is extremely uncomfortable and sailing slowly in any
direction is to be preferred. It was suggested to me that the problem
is that the mizzen is too small to adequately damp the rolling and
that the traditional heave to method of a backed jib plus reefed
mainsail would leave the boat slightly heeled with little or no roll.
Do any other Amel owners have any comments or experience with this?
Has anyone heaved to in order to wait out severe weather on passage?

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