"Stationary or Moving While
Hove-to?"By Zack Smith
.."While testing para-anchors on various vessels off
the west coast, we've learned that all sailboats will
begin sailing forward while in a hove to
station--especially if they have too big a sail plan. If
the wind is blowing hard enough, the boat may drift to
leeward while still moving forward at about a knot.
This is still considered safe as long as the boat doesn't
start moving forward so quickly that the
slapping action of the waves become a problem. The best
way to prevent this from happening is to use a
para-anchor, which slows the boat's forward progress and
effectively keeps her in her own protective slick.
I intentionally sail my vessel forward, because
the drag from the para-anchor's canopy lets the boat
stay in a hove to position without a bridle. As the
sea's action increases to storm level or higher, I rig a
pendant line to the anchor rode and form a bridle. I've
also found that I must always consider the factors of
balance--sail plan, rudder position, and length of the
anchor rode--because together they dictate how
comfortable it is to maintain a hove to position..."