Fortunately I have not had to deploy mine other than for practice/training. I have rigged my bridle to attach to my main cross-member. There are some formulas out there:
Each leg of the bridle should be a minimum of two and a half times the beam of the boat.
The overall scope
, including the bridle length, should be about 11 to 12 times the LOA
Sea Anchor and Para Anchor Frequently Asked Questions
I believe I chose 3/4 nylon braid for the stretch based on my displacement/waterline. I experimented with a few options, but in summary I have 500ft of 3/4 in nylon on a roll with eyes at both ends as well as thimbles in the eyes to protect against chafe. When I am offshore
I have the bridle rigged and secured in place. I have the sea anchor
ready in a deck
locker but not connected to the bridle or the 500ft rode
. I also have the rode ready. My thought is that if it gets bad enough to need a sea anchor
I will want it ready to go. So I rig mine up before I head offshore
. In a a pinch I can just connect two large shackles and throw the sea anchor over. The down side is I cannot modify to lie in the hove-to position. I went with the simple solution, but I have see great designs with block on a rode attached to the crossbeam and the long rode running off a winch
, this limits chafe and allows you let out or pull in rode to place the sea anchor two waves in front. Para Anchor recommends this set up.
PARA-ANCHOR by Fiorentino - The Original "Parachute Style" Sea Anchor
Retrieval is a whole different story, some opt for the float with a retrieval line, others are concerned with the potential for fouling. No matter the set up it is going to be time consuming. I typically have someone on the bow pulling in or winching as I motor
toward the sea anchor. With a retrieval line you can motor
up past it and pull from the backside of the sea anchor and collapse it.
There are some great books
out there...Just to name a few I found helpful
Sailing by Peter Bruce
Catamarans: The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors by Gregor Tarjan
The Cruising Multihull
by Chris White
Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History
of Modern Sailing
by John Rousmaniere
Two are multi hull
specific (with sections on Heavy Weather), the other is feedback based on experiences and lessons learned from a variety of sailors and types of sailboats. All great reads and essential for any offshore cruising in my opinion.