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Old 05-12-2007, 01:32   #1
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deep blue anchoring???

Hi all,

Just curious, when people do a passage, do they ever just stop and float for a while or do they use "sea anchors" or anything?? Or do sailors just keep going on autopilot??

Never really knew how it worked. I've read that they usually have enough people to keep a constant rotation on watch. But, I was just speculating in case there were only two people and they just wanted to take a break and rest in calmer waters?

Just curious.. Cheers
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Old 05-12-2007, 01:42   #2
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Aloha Shadow,
You have asked a very good question and I've never slowed or stopped (except when becalmed) while doing a long passage but I always had 3 other folks with me so it never was an issue. A couple who sailed over from Mexico said they set a sea anchor on their cat and just took a day off after a bit of rough weather caught them. Lots of people have different ways of dealing with it. I knew another couple that just set their windvane and went down below to sleep for a couple hours at a time. That is a questionable practice since you are required to keep watch.
You'll probably get a few other responses to your question. Maybe others can explain how they do it.
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JohnL
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:02   #3
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Usually on a trip you have enough becalm time to take a break without using anchors, etc. Take your break then and be ready to go when the wind finally picks up.
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Old 05-12-2007, 15:35   #4
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Thanks all, never really got a chance to ask that question around sailors and cruisers. Great to know.. Plus, how do sea anchors really work?? Do they work on the sheer weight and make the boat act like a bobbing cork?? Or does it just cause a lot of drag and just slows you??

Thanks for everyone's responses. Cheers!!
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Old 05-12-2007, 15:42   #5
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Shadow

Hi Shadow, read the post on Storm Management will give you info on sea-anchoring.
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Old 05-12-2007, 15:49   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow View Post
Thanks all, never really got a chance to ask that question around sailors and cruisers. Great to know.. Plus, how do sea anchors really work?? Do they work on the sheer weight and make the boat act like a bobbing cork?? Or does it just cause a lot of drag and just slows you??

Thanks for everyone's responses. Cheers!!
drag. they're very similar to parachutes and have weight attached to keep them under water. usually deployed off the bow to keep the bow pointed into the wind/waves.
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Old 05-12-2007, 15:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow View Post
Thanks all, never really got a chance to ask that question around sailors and cruisers. Great to know.. Plus, how do sea anchors really work?? Do they work on the sheer weight and make the boat act like a bobbing cork?? Or does it just cause a lot of drag and just slows you??

Thanks for everyone's responses. Cheers!!
They actually work on weight (as they fill with tons of water) and drag (as that tons of water is dragged through the water.

When you see a man suspended from a parachte in the sky, the dynamics are similar.

The wind and seas blow against the vessel at sea. If the vessel has no way to keep the bow into the wind, she just lays beam on to the wind (sideways). This is a very dangerous position to be in because the vessel is vulnerable to being rolled over, loosing her mast and filling with water.

When the parachute is thrown into the water, it slowely sinks and fills with water, As the vessel blows downwind, she will eventually reach the end of the anchor line attached from the bow of the boat to the parachute anchor. As the boat starts pulling on the parachute, the parachute will totally fill with water and offer a tremendous amount of drag. The anchor-line attached to the bow of the boat will quicky pull the bow around untill the bow of the boat is pointing straight into the wind and seas.

This is the position that a vessel was designed to best resist the forces of wind and sea. It ends up being quite a safe, comfortable position for a boat to ride out a storm. Commercial fisherman have used this tactic for many years. Some of their vessels have special "Tubes" built into the bow of the boat just to stow and deploy a parachute storm anchor. I have seen fleets of 200' long chinese squid fishing vessels anchored on parachutes off of the costs of several continents.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:57   #8
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Heaving-to

There are several ways to stop and take a breather in addition to sea anchors.

Heaving-to is the technique of setting sails forward of the mast to push the boat backward, and sails aft to push forward, and the boat tends to crab off roughly perpendicular to the wind. The press of some wind in the sail
s eases the motion of the boat, making things a lot less violent below so it feels almost as if you've come into harbour sometimes.

Lying a-hull is when you just drop all sails and take a break. The boat will come beam-on to the wind, and usually the waves, as it drifts slowly downwind. I've never found it particularly comfortable if there's any kind of a sea, and makes it really hard to cook, scrounge in lockers, or do engine repairs below.

Once when I felt I needed a deeper sleep to recharge I put up the storm jib by itself when the sun came up, lashed the tiller amidships, and curled up in the corner of the cockpit for about 6 hours while the boat took care of itself. It was slow, and I woke up refreshed and ready to make some hot food and push on. Probably not the wisest decision as I'd seen fish boats the night before, but it worked.
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Old 06-12-2007, 14:59   #9
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Thanks again for everyone's input! I've heard the term but never really had a chance to get into the true facts about it. And I also checked out that storm management thread.

Cheers.
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