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Old 23-02-2009, 19:52   #31
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Thanks Kanani, I had been thinking that but having never used a para-anchor before I was taking a belts and braces approach.
I have noticed your various posts regarding para-anchors. Do you deploy yours directly off the bow or off the forward quarter via a running bridle set-up as described by the Pardeys (I am assuming you have/had a mono).

I am currently set up for either arrangement.
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Old 24-02-2009, 03:20   #32
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Thanks Kanani, I had been thinking that but having never used a para-anchor before I was taking a belts and braces approach.
I have noticed your various posts regarding para-anchors. Do you deploy yours directly off the bow or off the forward quarter via a running bridle set-up as described by the Pardeys (I am assuming you have/had a mono).

I am currently set up for either arrangement.
Straight off the bow. Pardey's set-up is dangerous IMHO. Too many points of chafe for one thing. The bigger issue is that while riding the para-anchor you are attached by a veritable rubber band. Nylon will stretch up to 25% of it's length. If you are on 300' of nylon, you can stretch that out 75'. When the nylon stretches in a gust or from a big wave, you can sometimes be catapulted forward from the tension on the line. With the bridle set-up, you dramatically increase the tension and I believe that you may get enough power from the forward motion for some boats to tack through the wind in confused seas. Can you imagine what would happen if this were to occur???? It would put the harness on the opposite side of the boat from the wind and seas and surely roll the boat over.

It has been my experience that a harness is not only not necessary but it would be so difficult to deploy and retrieve and increase the stresses involved on the entire system and the attaching points that it would be prohibitive.

The 1st time that you get into 30kts of wind, deploy your para-anchor. This will give you the confidence to do it in heavier weather. Don't wait until the 1st time that you are in a gale to practice with it. I'm sure that it will change your storm tactics forever.

I rig the para-anchor before leaving port, on long passages. I attach it to the chain locker with a 12' long 1/2" chain. I put the chain over the bow roller, attach the 350' of 3/4" anchor road with a 1/2" shackle and run the line back to the cockpit on the outside of the rigging and stanchions, tying it in several spots with twine that I can cut or just let it break from stress when deployed. The 1/2" chain eliminates all concern about chafing.

I use a 1/2" S/S (ball bearing) swivel at the parachute deployment bag. The swivel is critical because the chute will spin while it is in the water. It's really fun to watch.
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Old 24-02-2009, 04:29   #33
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If you want to do it right:

1) You need an inner forestay, it can be removable with a hyfield lever but you want a wire to fly canvas from.
2) You need a hard point on the deck and the hard point must have a support that goes to the hull (ie wire and turnbuckle) or you WILL lift the deck.
3) You need a seperate halyard for this canvas with a fair lead.
4) You need runners to support the mast or you will pull it out of column.

You do not want a free flying heavy weather jib unless you plan on sailing with a big crew. Nothing quite like a chunk of canvas flapping around when the breeze is on.

The idea is to bring the sail plan down and in. (ie reduce the height through the inner forestay and reefs and bring the sail plan in toward the mast through reefs and an innner forestay)

Not hard to do all of this and you can set whatever size jib you need for the conditions.

Good luck, Joli

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I want a storm jib that is easy to use in the unlikely case that I will need it. Ease of installation is important and cost is always of some issue.

Current storm management is trisail and/or para-anchor. However I can foresee possible requirements for a storm jib. In the past, I only used hanked on headsails and used trisails and storm jibs.

I have now fitted a 130% furling headsail and this really limits the storm jib options. I cannot imagine taking down the furling headsail or even setting a Gale Sail single (or short) handed.

I already have a hard point on the spreader band and initially was going to use it to attach a removeable inner forestay, thinking the lower aft shrouds would provide sufficent aft support for the mast. Due to a more criticial analysis of the loads as prompted by posts on this thread, I am thinking I really do need to provide additional support with temporary running backstays.

I can't accept a permanent inner forestay or even a inner forestay attached only at the top end and secured against the mast or whatever.

Today's thought is to use a temporary wire inner forestay (attached to either stem head or new hard point further aft) that can be hauled up to the spreaders via a block and spectra line and tensioned with the headsail winch. The top end could possibily have the backstays (wire or spectra) already attached.

Set this up whenever wind exceeded a certain range (say 30+ or 35+ kts) or perhaps whenever headsail is fully furled or 3rd reef is set or when one is concerned with deteriorating weather.

As the headsail will heavily (or even fully) furled, it won't interfere too much with the headsail and a hanked on storm jib could be set in the normal manner using the spinnaker topping lift halyard.

???
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Old 25-02-2009, 03:10   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
If you want to do it right:

1) You need an inner forestay, it can be removable with a hyfield lever but you want a wire to fly canvas from.
OK, I can go with the wire but what ramifications have I missed if I hoist the wire (with suitably sized block and spectra line) to the mast tang and tension with winch rather than hyfield lever at bottom end.
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2) You need a hard point on the deck and the hard point must have a support that goes to the hull (ie wire and turnbuckle) or you WILL lift the deck.
Again what are the ramifications of thaking the bottom end to the stem head hard point apart from making the sail a little lower aspect and moving the CE a little further out. Just trying to keep foredeck (and below decks) as clear as possible and save making a suitable hard point on/through the deck..
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3) You need a seperate halyard for this canvas with a fair lead.
4) You need runners to support the mast or you will pull it out of column.

You do not want a free flying heavy weather jib unless you plan on sailing with a big crew. Nothing quite like a chunk of canvas flapping around when the breeze is on.

The idea is to bring the sail plan down and in. (ie reduce the height through the inner forestay and reefs and bring the sail plan in toward the mast through reefs and an innner forestay)

Not hard to do all of this and you can set whatever size jib you need for the conditions.

Good luck, Joli
Thanks, this all makes good sense.
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Old 25-02-2009, 03:13   #35
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Kanani, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences on the para-anchor .
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Old 25-02-2009, 05:17   #36
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Spectra is fine for lots of applications but as a stay to fly canvas in heavy air it may not be the best due to chafe.

The goal when reducing sail is to bring canvas down and in. I am not a big fan of flying strom sails from the headstay because the bow will tend to blow off more easily. Hence down and in.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
OK, I can go with the wire but what ramifications have I missed if I hoist the wire (with suitably sized block and spectra line) to the mast tang and tension with winch rather than hyfield lever at bottom end.

Again what are the ramifications of thaking the bottom end to the stem head hard point apart from making the sail a little lower aspect and moving the CE a little further out. Just trying to keep foredeck (and below decks) as clear as possible and save making a suitable hard point on/through the deck..

Thanks, this all makes good sense.
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Old 25-02-2009, 23:31   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanani View Post
Straight off the bow. Pardey's set-up is dangerous IMHO. Too many points of chafe for one thing. The bigger issue is that while riding the para-anchor you are attached by a veritable rubber band. Nylon will stretch up to 25% of it's length. If you are on 300' of nylon, you can stretch that out 75'. When the nylon stretches in a gust or from a big wave, you can sometimes be catapulted forward from the tension on the line. With the bridle set-up, you dramatically increase the tension and I believe that you may get enough power from the forward motion for some boats to tack through the wind in confused seas. Can you imagine what would happen if this were to occur???? It would put the harness on the opposite side of the boat from the wind and seas and surely roll the boat over.
<snip>
Kanani, I am not questioning your experiences with para-anchors but I am wondering if the difference between your usage and what the Pardeys espouse is one of differing purpose.

The Pardey method (as I understand it) is to assist in holding the boat in the classic hove to position (ie stalled about 50 degrees off the weather). The para-anchor stopping the bow falling off and stopping the boat fore-reaching. This (and I am guessing here) imposes a different set of loads compared to using the para-anchor to keep the bow directly into the weather.

Again I have assumed this is what you are achieving by deploying directly off the bow - or have I mis-read your application?
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Old 26-02-2009, 11:28   #38
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Kanani, I am not questioning your experiences with para-anchors but I am wondering if the difference between your usage and what the Pardeys espouse is one of differing purpose.

The Pardey method (as I understand it) is to assist in holding the boat in the classic hove to position (ie stalled about 50 degrees off the weather). The para-anchor stopping the bow falling off and stopping the boat fore-reaching. This (and I am guessing here) imposes a different set of loads compared to using the para-anchor to keep the bow directly into the weather.

Again I have assumed this is what you are achieving by deploying directly off the bow - or have I mis-read your application?
Using a parachute sea anchor in a storm is little different from using your ground tackle in a storm, close to land. Just ask yourself what the logic would be to using that harness set-up while anchored in a bay somewhere with 60kts of wind and a sea coming in the bay? In some ways, the Para-anchor at sea is better. It has the added advantage of breaking the sea before it reaches your vessel.

The reasoning behind the tactic of heaving-to, is to keep the vessel's bow as close to the wind as possible and from lying directly beam on to the wind and at the same time creating a "slick" in the water that will discourage breaking seas from breaking on your boat. Most of us have (or should have) used that tactic at one time or other to get rest from heavy weather that is coming from the direction that we are trying to travel. Sometimes, it's better to just hove-to and wait for a wind shift than to tack against the wind and seas if you are tired. This is one tried and true heavy weather tactic. It should be well known and practiced tactic for every cruising sailor.

When you deploy a para-anchor, you have the ability to put your vessel in the best possible position for laying to heavy seas by actually putting down an anchor that will put your bow directly into the wind and seas thus reducing the stress on the vessel to it's minimum possible attitude. The para-anchor also acts as a break-water for your vessel. Any breaking sea that is heading for your boat will be discouraged by the slick caused by the parachute slowly dragging through the water and leaving disturbed water in it's wake. This is a far superior tactic to heaving-to in more extreme conditions.

I don't understand why someone would try to combine the two tactics to try to develop a different tactic that actually turns the safety of the parachute into a possible liability. These are 2 very different tactics used for different, worsening scenarios. Any time that you introduce the beam of the boat to the wind and seas, you greatly intensify the effect of the wind and seas on the vessel and it's anchor gear (whether it be ground tackle or para-anchor). The chances of something chafing and/or breaking are greatly intensified. That is why we deploy our ground tackle off of the bow and not from a beam cleat (storm or no storm).

By using this harness, you are also causing the boat to "sail" out of it's cone of protection, directly down wind of the parachute. By putting a load on the side of the boat, you will drive the boat in the opposite direction of the load and thus away from the center of effort from the parachute. I can't see this as having any positive effect and it makes me wonder if it would even work. I have actually thought of their theory while sitting behind my para-anchor and the theory concerns me greatly.

If a para-anchor gets away, you have created your worst night-mare. The bow will fall off immediately and you will be lying beam on to the storm. The parachute will immediately lose it's effect on the seas and waves will begin breaking on your boat. I see absolutely no reason to put yourself in a position that could result in the possibility of that happening.

Here is a scenario: You are sailing along in heavy weather, knowing that conditions are deteriorating. You turn down-wind and run off only to find that all hell is breaking loose all around you. You dare not close your eyes for a moment or leave the cockpit for fear of loosing control. The vessel is running too fast and your fear is that the bow will dig into the next wave. If you throw out a drogue to slow you down, it gives you more control but at some point you tire to the point of exhaustion. If you cut the drogue lose and try to deploy the parachute, you risk being catapulted over the crest of the next wave and into the trough. YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKK!

Sailing to weather in 30+kts of wind is a miserable experience for nearly any cruising boat (or container ship for that matter). All HELL is breaking loose, all around. At 40+kts a storm tri-sail or storm jib may enable you to keep way on but the stress on vessel and crew become tremendous and fatigue will overcome a 2 person crew in short order. My general rule of thumb was 45-50kts of wind is our limit (on our 20 ton, 45' ketch). It's time to safely head up into the wind, stop the boat and drop the para-anchor over the side. It is almost like someone flipped a switch and calmed the storm. Almost immediately, the boat is lying head to wind and you can just sit there and take in the majesty of the sea, without it effecting you. It's like someone has just taken a thousand pounds of bricks off of your back. I have laid-to a para-anchor in 70kts+ of wind and huge (becoming confused) seas. The experience is almost spiritual. You can sit in the cockpit with your cup of coffee and comfortably take it all in. Something very ugly suddenly becomes something very majestic and beautiful to behold.

You are able to sleep comfortably with just the sound of the wind howling through the rigging (I love that sound now). From time to time, a gust will push you back hard enough to stretch the rode and create a catapulting effect when the gust backs off. Your boat will move forward and the next gust may lay you over quite a bit as the bow blows down. This doesn't happen a lot but the 1st few times will be concerning, then that concern turns to comfort, knowing that the para-anchor is doing it's job. The main thing is, if the bow blows down, a sea will not be breaking over the boat (like laying ahull with no protection).

My feeling is that the Pardy's may have come up with their (harness) theory because they became overly concerned about falling back and the bow blowing off. From my experience, I would say that is far less troubling than the possibility of having something chafe or break due to exposing too much of the beam of the boat to weather. The other thing that must be remembered is that the Pardy's vessel was a very small, full-keeled boat.

In my mind, it would be like an Indy driver putting drag slicks on his car to get better traction because it works on a top fuel dragster. It just makes no sense in my mind.
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Old 27-02-2009, 04:13   #39
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Reefing staysail

Hi, I sail solo so i had to give this a lot of consideration. The spectra bolt rope will be very difficult to tension properly and if you end up with a sagging sail it will be useless. Also, consider that hoising a sail on hanks on a pretentioned inner stay is a lot easier than hoisting a free flying sail which will fly and flog everywhere and against everything and possibly in the water while you try to get the head up... in my opinion it's a no-no.

I fit an inner forestay, wire, with a pelican hook and bottle screw tensioner. The pad eye on deck is attached to the bulk head in the anchor locker. It must spread the load, a simple pad eye on the deck will rip it open in anger.

I then have a staysail and a storm sail on hanks but this year i'm trying something new for my solo crossing of the atlantic. I have had a reefing number four made.

My sails combination starts from a 130% furling genoa which can be reduced to about 95-100%. After that i hoist the number 4 which is about 75% but can be reefed to a storm sail. The sail has a lazy specra strop to a higher clew point kept captive in a velcro flap, and a second tack point. When fully hoisted there is a line from the deck to the higher tack point and back down. When you want to reef it you drop the halyard, pull in on the tack line and use a set of sheets through the strop at the clew (which will pull out of the velcro pocket).

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Old 27-02-2009, 08:51   #40
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Hi, I sail solo so i had to give this a lot of consideration. The spectra bolt rope will be very difficult to tension properly and if you end up with a sagging sail it will be useless. Also, consider that hoising a sail on hanks on a pretentioned inner stay is a lot easier than hoisting a free flying sail which will fly and flog everywhere and against everything and possibly in the water while you try to get the head up... in my opinion it's a no-no.

I fit an inner forestay, wire, with a pelican hook and bottle screw tensioner. The pad eye on deck is attached to the bulk head in the anchor locker. It must spread the load, a simple pad eye on the deck will rip it open in anger.

I then have a staysail and a storm sail on hanks but this year i'm trying something new for my solo crossing of the atlantic. I have had a reefing number four made.

My sails combination starts from a 130% furling genoa which can be reduced to about 95-100%. After that i hoist the number 4 which is about 75% but can be reefed to a storm sail. The sail has a lazy specra strop to a higher clew point kept captive in a velcro flap, and a second tack point. When fully hoisted there is a line from the deck to the higher tack point and back down. When you want to reef it you drop the halyard, pull in on the tack line and use a set of sheets through the strop at the clew (which will pull out of the velcro pocket).

Marco.
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I am doing the inner forestay project on my own vessel right now. I also have a 130%, which can be furled to 100-90%, and a #4. Single handed, there is no way for me to drop a 865sq ft genoa in 25knts+, and hoist the #4. Hence my solent staysail project. I am using -17 rod for the stay, with a 1/2 inch think G10 backing plate, and -22 rod beneath the deck to a bulkhead. The tensioner is a Sailtech hydraulic unit. The hank on staysail will also have a reef.

Also, thank you Kanani for the perfect explanation of the sea anchor!
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Old 28-02-2009, 05:20   #41
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After reading Kanani's very detailed post (#38) on his experiences of using a para-anchor and Pardy's Storm Tactics detailing their experiences of using para-anchors; it is clear that different tactics are required for different boats.

It now becomes a case of trying both arrangements for myself .
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Old 24-04-2009, 20:25   #42
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Kanani's thoughts are very interesting. In breaking waves I agree that bow to the waves is best. However with steep high waves I wonder if the point may be that it is easier to rise to them by traversing them at an angle? I imagine this may be more important as the wave height approaches boat length. That is 30 foot waves may be more of a problem for a 30' boat to take head on than for a 45'.
The point of a stern rope is to maintain an angle depending on its length True it will increase side forces but also its effect on the water will be greater in the immediate vicinity of the boat versus 300 m away. Perhaps it is a compromise between the three points - greater windage, more calming effect and more ability to rise to the waves.
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