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Have never experienced heaving to using only the main sail and don't know that I could accomplish it. The comment at the end of your post, which mentioned back winding the head sail and lashing the tiller to leeward, is the way I do it. With a back winded jib, the main sail pulled in, and tiller to leeward, the boat should stay headed into the wind which is hopefully the same direction from which the waves are coming. However, I wouldn't want to attempt heaving to while using a genoa since the stays and spreaders could do it damage while back winded, unless it was shortened on a furler to the size of a jib. Someone else will have to answer the question regarding the self-tending tiller.