Originally Posted by shadow
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.
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.