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 Post subject: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 9:23 am 
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I have a question about stopping a cat. I have rick's cat sailing for the 90's and there is constant talk of the "safety position" or putting the boat in "park". I just don't seem to be able to do this at all the boat just wants to round up into the wind and then puts me into irons. My buddy says that cats just don't like to stop or sit still and the best you will probably be able to do is cut the speed WAY down, but Rick seems to think different. So what is the best way to do this?


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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 11:04 am 
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Location: Eagan (St Paul), MN
I think what you want to do is 'heave to'. Basically tack through the eye of the wind but leave the jib in the old position (don't release to post-tack position). Then use the rudders to try to tack back to the side you just came from. Make sure to let the main loose. The net result will be that you ARE kind of in irons: but you are held steady there with the rudders pushing the boat in one direction and the jib pushing the opposite direction (the main is loose and out of the equation). You have to keep the rudders locked/pushed to one side to keep this position stable.

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H17S, Hobie Bravo, A cat
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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Location: Lake Norman NC
Put it dead in the wind and use the rudders to keep the boat pointed as you back up just let both sails luff Emergency stop is to cut the sails and jump in and hold the front of the boat
Former Hobie Admiral Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 9:35 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
pelican wrote:
I have a question about stopping a cat.... So what is the best way to do this?


What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to stop the boat as you approach the start line during a race? Or are you looking to stop the boat to take a break during casual sailing, etc?

For casual sailing, put the boat hove-to by backwinding the jib (sheeting through the windward blocks), pushing the helm to leeward, and completely releaseing the mainsheet. This will cause the boat to slowly drift forward on it's own and you can take a break from sailing (about as close to parked as you can make a Hobie).

If you're starting a race, you definitely don't want to go hove-to as you won't be able to accelerate for the start and you won't have any steerage. Pre-start handling takes a lot of practice and focus. You basically dump both sails, but if the boat starts to round up into irons, you need your crew to quickly sheet in the jib while you turn the rudder to pull the bow down, then as the boat begins to accelerate, you blow the jib and straighten the rudder. It takes a lot of focus, coordination, and practice to maintain position on a crowded start line.

sm


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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Location: Clinton, Mississippi
You don't say what boat you're on, but I use the Rick White method successfully on my H-16....

Travel and sheet out both sails on the same side and slowly round up until they're completely luffed. The key then is to keep the tiller pushed hard over toward that same (leeward) side the entire time. The boat will lose all headway and begin to back up before it points all the way into the wind and is truly in irons. Keep the tiller hard over and the boat will back and turn to more of a reaching angle. Then it will stop backing and begin easing forward as the sails fill. It won't have much momentum though, and will round up, luff, stop, and repeat. By travelling out, the sails will completely luff as you round up well before you've gone high enough to really be in irons. You must keep the tilller hard over.

Perhaps you are going into irons when you are trying to get moving again. The key to that is to travel and sheet in the jib first in order to keep the bow off the wind. When you get some headway (and flow over the rudders so that you can actually steer), then you can travel/sheet in the main. If you travel/sheet in the main first with no headway/steerage, you will be helpless as that big ole' main puts the boat straight into irons like a weatervane.

Some times if the wind is shifty or at a wierd angle relative to the waves, you may unintentionally come about, just travel/sheet out and push the tiller hard over (all on the other side) and you can quickly "park" again on the opposite tack.

I put "park" in quotations because you're hardly ever still...you're "sawing" back and forth. Also, you will actually drift downwind slowly. In the middle of a lake, it's hardly noticeable, but it definitely is so at a crowded race start. I "park" between races, but at the starts I approach the line slowly (but with headway to control the boat)....running mostly on the jib to keep the bow off the wind to avoid going into irons...until it's time to really take off.

Another "parking" tip.....In heavy air, the boom will swing wildly with the wind and bouncy waves. Loosening the downhaul will help settle that down a lot.

FWIW.....I've never even tried to heave-to.

Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:22 am 
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Location: Tri-Cities, WA
Putting the boat into Irons, is the safety position. On my H17Sport, if I want to 'park' on the water, I head into the wind, furl the jib, keep the main tensioned, let go of the rudders and keep your weight fairly centered (though centering weight usually not critical unless in a real blow). You can stay this way for as long as you have nothing behind you that the wind will push you into. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 10:57 am 
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Location: Clinton, Mississippi
fastcat wrote:
Putting the boat into Irons, is the safety position.


Understood, but I believe the "safety position" to which pelican refers is the Rick White technique where you're not "parked" in irons but on a close-hauled-ish heading. Therefore, getting going again doesn't require backwinding a sail or backing the boat. All you have to do is travel/sheet in the jib and straighten the rudders.

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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 11:44 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
Hove-to is really the "safest" position because it essentially locks the boat onto a course and the boat will very slowly claw its way forward. This is one of the positions that big cruising boats will take when weathering a storm because it doesn't require any attention by the crew. You pull the jib to windward and cleat it, you lash the helm to leeward and the boat will take care of itself. It also maintains flow across the sails and rudder, so you can quickly get out of it and start sailing if needed.

Simply rounding into the wind, releasing the sails, and dropping the tiller will stop the boat, but the boat will eventually start drifting backwards, the rudder will turn to one side, the boat will drop out of head to wind and can start sailing on its own. It isn't an "autopilot" position. For short breaks or when stopping in between races, its fine. If you want to take a longer break and have the ability to leave the boat unattended, hove-to is better.

If you're looking to stop the boat while approaching the starting line (i.e., you're a little early), then you dump the sheets and round up. If the bow goes above close hauled, you need to yank in the jib and pull the bow down so you don't go into irons (about the worst thing you can do before a start).

This is why in my original post, I asked what he was trying to achieve. There are different ways of "stopping" the boat depending on how long you plan to stop, how much manuverability you need, and how quickly you need to get going again.

sm


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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 1:25 pm 
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Location: Tri-Cities, WA
I will have to try the heave-to in heavier conditions. For what I do, putting the boat into and keeping in Irons is the best way to 'park'. I'm usually solo, with little to no boat traffic, winds can range from 0 - 30 mph and waves 0 - 5 ft. With the jib furled, the main cinched tight and the rudders free, I can take care of whatever I need to or just take a break. Getting out of Irons is very simple - just reverse the rudders to point the boat in the direction you want to go, loosen the main a bunch and let the boat fall off (while you are still going in reverse), when the boat stops going backwards streighten the rudders and sheet in a bit till you start to go forward, then sheet in a bunch. I've had a lot of practice doing this since I do the back-up tack for about half of my tacks when it is really blowing. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada
How about those of us without a jib? Any advice?

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 Post subject: Re: Stopping the boat
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:49 am 
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Location: Tri-Cities, WA
Going into Irons works most easily without a jib, and puts the boat in a safe position and will keep you there if you keep the mainsheet tight and let the rudders free. But, if you are trying to slow down or almost stop and want to still power up easily (like waiting out a race start), then I would think luffing would be your best ticket.


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