Members' Online Book: Heavy Weather Tactics, Chapter 4 of 22


On Morgan’s Cloud, heaving-to is, and has for years, been our first and favourite strategy when the weather gets nasty. It satisfies all of our goals, as discussed in Chapter Two, and has the particular benefit of being surprisingly comfortable. In fact, we have even enjoyed a sit-down dinner at the salon table when heaved–to in a full gale.

We also believe that in most conditions a sailboat properly heaved-to is much less vulnerable to being knocked down or rolled than one running off; that is, if the running boat is not using a good drogue system.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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