Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-12-2015, 23:20   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Townsville. Australia.
Boat: Roberts 31
Posts: 14
Parachutes for downwind sailing.

Recently after a relatively windless trip up the Queensland coast I was talking to a cat owner in an anchorage.
He was bemoaning the fact that in the very light winds we sailed up the coast with that he was passed by a similar sized keelboat that was using a military style parachute as a headsail and the no matter how he trimmed his cat he couldn't keep up with the keelboat.
Obviously the winds were from the stern quarters.
Has anybody had any experience with this and any ideas on how to set up a parachute to fly in place of a headsail as it is something I might like to try.
I have looked at a few sites on the net but there seems to be very little information.
__________________

__________________
franrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 00:10   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,330
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

Obviously the cat owner hasn't been following the Cruisers forum--if he were motoring 100% of the time he wouldn't have been passed by a keelboat!


More seriously., every time I think of flying a parachute I envision a tangled mess of lines and nylon, especially in very light winds. Try one of these and report back:

Sailing Downwind with a Parachut
__________________

__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 09:05   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: 1980 Hunter 36
Posts: 676
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

isn't that basically a worse Spinnaker

edit: I looked at that website and now I'm intrigued
__________________
S/V Gudgeon
www.gudgeonblog.ca
alctel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 09:36   #4
One of Those
 
Canibul's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Boat: Catalac 12M
Posts: 3,209
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alctel View Post
isn't that basically a worse Spinnaker

edit: I looked at that website and now I'm intrigued
Me too. To the point that I just emailed the parachute repair guy who fixed our sails this summer in Colorado and asked him if he knew of a cheap surplus parachute I could try out. Lots on ebay but have the shrouds cut off for some reason.

I'm wondering if one of these would be of any use as a drogue in the water in an emergency, too.
__________________
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Canibul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 10:20   #5
Registered User
 
CrustyChief's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Las Vegas Nv./ Portland
Boat: Selene 47
Posts: 75
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

Not much of a Sailor myself, but 20 years in the Navy as a Parachute Rigger (PR)
I can see the possibilities here. Below is a copy of the information from the website.

The trick with flying this sail is to make sure that none of the lines get tangled. There are 28 lines on our parachute, 18 lines to the top and 14 lines to the bottom of the sail. When we bring the sail in we always tie the two sets of 14 lines separately and make it ready for when we want to launch it again. This makes your job of setting the parachute very easy. You also want to set your parachute so it doesn’t get tangled with anything on deck. We normally set our round parachute over the side of the boat and then set up the parachute and our course once it is launched. As for taking the parachute down, this is the part that most people dread when it comes to flying their spinnaker downwind. There are a couple of ways you can get your parachute down. We use our genoa. By rolling out our genoa the parachute comes in the lee of the sail and you can easily pull it in on deck.

Might be a typo, but, a standard 28 foot flat chute has 28 shroud lines that have 4 quadrants of 7 lines each. By joining two quadrants together you would have 14 lines each. The write up states 18 lines to the top and 14 lines to the bottom, hmmm, that's 32 lines. I would think that a modified flat canopy that was incorporated in the Navy chutes many years ago would work better. This modification was used to allow the user to somewhat steer the canopy. Four panels of the chute were modified by removing a portion of the the panel, thus allowing air to "spill". If these panels were positioned at the bottom while deployed on a sailboat, seems like the top portion of the chute would fill better and reduce rotation.
Just a thought.
__________________
John & Tracey
Mvpairadice.blogspot.com
I can explain, I just can't make ya understand!
CrustyChief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 10:53   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

I think what we need is a good source of surplus parachutes. I want to try this out too. Any leads?
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 11:11   #7
One of Those
 
Canibul's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Boat: Catalac 12M
Posts: 3,209
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I think what we need is a good source of surplus parachutes. I want to try this out too. Any leads?
Lots on ebay, but most have lines cut off of them. I'm guessing it wouldn't be that difficult to tie on new paracord. Doesn't have to be the same quality attachment without a life hanging under it.

I've sent emails to a para rigger in CO and my skydiving instructor stepson trying to find one at a cheap price to try it out. Lots of military surplus stuff around, although 28 ft. seems to be on the rare side.
__________________
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Canibul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 11:39   #8
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,330
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alctel View Post
isn't that basically a worse Spinnaker

edit: I looked at that website and now I'm intrigued
Its not necessarily worse than a spinnaker, because it doesn't tend to tip you over--no attachments at the top of the mast. However, it is much trickier to deploy and recover.

Its also cheaper--now get to work and solve the handling issues!
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 11:40   #9
One of Those
 
Canibul's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Boat: Catalac 12M
Posts: 3,209
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

I was under the impression ( from watching the longer video on that site) that half the shrouds were attached to the spinnaker halyard and pulled up to the top of the mast. Am I mistaken?

You did make me think about what could happen should the boat and the wind somehow get at 90 degree angles, though. A chute that big could pull a lot. My parachute rigging buddy tells me a 28 ft. chute will pull a car in neutral. I won't say it here, but it's an argument for multihull use.

No, I didn't say it. I typed it.
__________________
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Canibul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 12:37   #10
Registered User
 
CrustyChief's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Las Vegas Nv./ Portland
Boat: Selene 47
Posts: 75
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

Lots of "surplus" chutes on eBay, many with the shroud lines.
In the old days, the US military required us to cut all the lines off at the canopy edge when decommissioning chutes. With little to no lines left, fastening new lines would be darn near impossible.
If you do want to try using a parachute, look for one that still has the Risers still attached. This will help rigging it up much easier.
Good luck!
__________________
John & Tracey
Mvpairadice.blogspot.com
I can explain, I just can't make ya understand!
CrustyChief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 13:02   #11
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,054
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrustyChief View Post
In the old days, the US military required us to cut all the lines off at the canopy edge when decommissioning chutes.

I thought that was still true, I used to get lots of 550 cord that way, many uses for that stuff.
The idea is that military stuff must be De-Milled, to keep Joe Civilian from hurting himself, used to could get Jeeps and all kinds of cool stuff, but I believe that Liability has ended that.

DRMO or "defense re-utilization marketing office" is responsible of disposing Government stuff, every form of government agency gets first pick from the schools to the prisons before it's sold though, but you may find parachutes in a DRMO, I never looked.

Guide to Federal Government Sales - Department of Defense
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 13:10   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

How about chutes from the private sector? Skydiving seems to be a big thing now days. Or we could make our own if given the top. I guess I will look on ebay, or maybe craigslist.
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 13:10   #13
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,054
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

I just looked at that website, $250 is pretty cheap.
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 14:14   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cooktown,Australia.(only to collect my mail)
Boat: Fastback 32 cat.
Posts: 158
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

I have tried this a couple of times. Had a lot of trouble with tangles. I think the lines need to be replaced with a thicker line that doesn't tangle easily.
In the videos I've seen the lines look thicker.
__________________
Ian R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 14:43   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 994
Re: Parachutes for downwind sailing.

On the level on a manul car I can open the door and with my left food push and move the car. With all the (slightly less than ga-zillion) sailing vessels if it is a good idea you would see it more often.

Sent from my SM-G360V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________

__________________
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sail, sailing, wind

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sailing Downwind . . . Centerboard Up or Down for Max VMG ? SailFastTri Multihull Sailboats 27 21-01-2016 17:03
Parachutes Nearly Cruising Seamanship & Boat Handling 33 26-05-2014 22:34
Heavy Weather Downwind Sailing nigel1 Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 17 17-09-2010 07:52
Sailing a Hunter 460 downwind john jeffrey Monohull Sailboats 5 25-03-2009 05:57
Cats in Heavy Weather- heave to/parachutes Gludy Multihull Sailboats 8 10-07-2008 10:25



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:27.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.