- I have found that Banjo wont sail herself for very long with the tiller tied off and noone at the helm but what she does do very well is "heaving too".
For anyone who doesnt know the term it involves loosening the mainsheet a bit then sheeting the foresail to windward with the tiller tied down to leeward. I find it works best in fresh winds with a reef in the main.Theres a pic in Banjos album showing position of sails and tiller.
She will sit like this almost indefinitely just gently making progress at about 1 to 2 knots about 60 degrees from the wind direction. I use this tactic when waiting for the tide to rise enough to allow me to enter rivers or harbours ,to give me a break from sailing and a chance to make hot food or coffee and numerous other times .
I arrived at the river Axe recently about an hour too early to enter the river then sat on the stern of the boat with a glass of wine enjoying the sunset while Banjo looked after herself.Very relaxing experience.
I dont have the battery power to use the autohelm when sailing except for very short intervals and to be honest "heaving too" is quicker and easier as well as a more satisfying experience.
To get going again just swap the jib back to the correct side and haul the mainsheet in again, unlashing the tiller first of course :-) Or if you want to go the other way then leave the jib too windward turn the boat stern through the wind and gybe the mainsail across.