Topic: Heaving-To in a co26

Hello Everyone,

I've been reading the Pardey book "Storm Tactics" and really enjoying it.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is planning on some extensive open water cruising.
In this book, the Pardeys say that a sloop or cutter with a long keel and moderately cut-away forefoot would probably heave-to in the same manner as both of the boats they have voyaged in with this type of design.  The Contessa 26 seems like it does a good job of meeting this description to me.  Their method of heaving-to in these boats was to use the Mainsail Only and the tiller tied to leeward about 15 degrees.  They describe using this method in lighter winds with the full Mainsail up and also with a triple-reefed main in Force 10 winds off the coast of England with excellent results.

Has anyone on this forum tried heaving-to in this way?  I would LOVE to hear your stories about heaving-to and if you don't heave-to like this, what are your methods of heaving-to in the co26?  I did a search on the forum before writing this post, but didn't seem to turn up much on the subject.  Its my hope that I might inspire a lively discussion on the subject as heaving-to is such an awesome boat-handling tool to have in our skill set for any conditions....especially when things start getting rough.

Thanks a lot for reading my post and I can't wait to hear from you all!


Re: Heaving-To in a co26

Following.  I too have the same question.

Re: Heaving-To in a co26

Hi Brian,
I have hove to for lunch breaks and the Contessa handles that just fine.

In the one major storm I was in where we SHOULD have hove to, we actually ran for it...  About 105nm in 15' waves and, somewhere between 40 and 55 knots of wind.  We blew apart two snatch blocks rated at 2,000lbs, and it pulled the pin stops through the aluminum traveler.  We ran downwind for 18 hours, while at some point our boat speed hit 15.6 knots SOG in a truly unpleasant sail.

Looking back, we probably should have been hove to until Lake Erie settled down.  It would have been safer, more comfortable and resulted in less damage.


Re: Heaving-To in a co26

Hello Jordan,
Could you describe what sails you used and how you set them and the rudder in order to heave-to in your contessa?  Thanks!