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Old 06-01-2011, 19:53   #31
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Better yet, you could permanently hook one up to your stern; just in case. Or just use one of these:
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Old 06-01-2011, 19:58   #32
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Each situation and boat (and crew) are going to present a need for different tactics. Last winter I was heading to SF on my way from Cabo on a newly purchased boat that I had little experience with. A number of factors were at play (schedule, my over-confidence etc) and as such we ended up riding out a sustained force 10 southerly for close to 24 hours. Conditions were horrific, as the current flows from the north - plus, there was a large long period NW groundswell left over from a previous blow well to the NW. In essence, we had 15-18'+ southerly ultra short breaking windswell...just north of Conception and onward to Monterey Bay.

We ran under bare poles with the autopilot steering as it was not safe on deck. Every second wave looked like it was going to poop us, but due to the fact we were hitting 12 knots at times it never happened...it was scary as hell when Alsager blasted down those faces and hit the trough at the bottom....my biggest worry was broaching, which happened twice. I considered improvising some sort of droque or using warps, but it was too late for that and in short, breaking seas I think slowing the boat too much could result in taking a breaker over the stern. I did not heave to because there was no provision to securely lash the wheel -something I have since rectified.

Through better judgement/planning I hope to avoid ever seeing something like this again, but if it happens, I will hove to as I know now my boat can take it. Or, if conditions are somewhat more moderate and my destination is in the right direction, I will deploy some type of warp/drogue over the stern to find the right balance of speed/control for the given waves.

I do have a storm trysail on board, but there was WAY too much wind to have even a scrap of sail up.

Of all the mistakes I made, what saved the boat and our lives was sea room - the minute things started to get nasty we head further offshore, some 30 - 40 miles out. Not easy to explain to a rookie crew going into shock....

Mark makes a great point about slowing movement so the weather passes, but in the conditions I faced there is no way being bow to would work (on my boat), even with a sufficient parachute and tackle.
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Old 06-01-2011, 20:01   #33
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First mistake: do NOT heave to with your auto pilot. Glad you made it back.
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Old 06-01-2011, 20:08   #34
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Originally Posted by Seahunter View Post
First mistake: do NOT heave to with your auto pilot. Glad you made it back.
We did not heave to with the autopilot - I knew that would not work. We ran dead downwind using the autopilot and hoped it (and Alsager) was up to the task. Had the seas not been so steep and short and boatspeed stayed under 9 or 10 knots it would not have been as stressful/dangerous. I could not believe she would go so fast under bare poles alone...blew my mind.

Now I would heave to, lash the wheel, and wait for it to be over.
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Old 06-01-2011, 20:20   #35
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Cool eh? I wasn't joking when I said a bucket (or anything that'll catch water even your storm sail) off the stern about 300 feet back. It'll stop that free-fall feeling as you drop into the trough.
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Old 06-01-2011, 20:24   #36
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Yeah, trying something like that will be part of the plan next time. I'm going to keep and old car tire aboard and see how that works, perhaps rigged off some sort of bridle from the primary winches. Not sure I'd want to subject a stern cleat to those loads.
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Old 06-01-2011, 20:41   #37
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Yes you do need something sturdy to hook up to; we're kind of lucky as our boat came with a custom made Sampson post attached through the deck with a backing plate and a small but sturdy bow roller off the stern. Someone was thinking.
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Old 06-01-2011, 22:33   #38
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Maybe so, but I would think it would be no more stress than being at anchor. And with a drogue you could have stress on the cleat on the stern.
Think about the stresses involved if you were anchored in 10 meter seas.
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Old 06-01-2011, 22:45   #39
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Something that I read, and have never deployed, is that the sea anchor should be "2 swells" from your boat so that it rides in approximately the same position in its wave as you do in yours. Does this add up or did I get it wrong?
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:21   #40
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I have read a number of accounts of high shock loads on the parachute anchor snapping the rode or tearing out the cleats. I guess this problem could be mitigated by a smaller chute. Accounts of the series drogue describe more of a soft rubber band feeling. The series drogue design doesn't allow high impulse loading.

The series drogue also doesn't allow high loads on the rudder that are also problem with the chutes. The hull can slide backwards down the face of the wave given slack gained when the rode stretches and then pulls the hull forward. Add some yaw effects and the forces become large. The backward slide can jam or bend the rudder system components.

In summary one should have more than one arrow in the quiver. It is recommended that different strategies be employed depending on the sea state. The series drogues seem to be recommended for extreme conditions.
But therein lies a problem. A sea anchor (parachutes being by far the most common now) are also recommended for extreme conditions. You can have multiple arrows in the quiver, but you can only use one at a time.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:48   #41
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We ran under bare poles with the autopilot steering as it was not safe on deck.

I did not heave to because there was no provision to securely lash the wheel -something I have since rectified.


I do have a storm trysail on board, but there was WAY too much wind to have even a scrap of sail up.

If during this situation you had a way to lash the wheel, how could you heave to without any sail up?
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:57   #42
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Would be useful if the next person to set a Parachute Anchor could shoot some Youtube of how it was deployed, as well as before and after effects. .......if they've got nothing bettter to do at the time

There is a hint in there somewhere
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:06   #43
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This has generated some good discussion. There probably is no "best approach" from what I can tell. My thinking is that the concept of running with a storm, either on bare poles with warps or a drouge, prolongs the time you spend in a storm. If a storm travels at 10Knts and you are running at 7 or 8, it's going to take a lot longer for a storm to pass.

A sea anchor works if you would simply like to hold a relatively safe position and attitude with respect to the seas.

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You can have multiple arrows in the quiver, but you can only use one at a time.
Exactly! Every Captain needs to have the heavy weather plan, and it's not practical to have them all and try to decide when the S%^& hits the fan.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:25   #44
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[QUOTE=PamlicoTraveler;592518]This has generated some good discussion. There probably is no "best approach" from what I can tell. My thinking is that the concept of running with a storm, either on bare poles with warps or a drouge, prolongs the time you spend in a storm. If a storm travels at 10Knts and you are running at 7 or 8, it's going to take a lot longer for a storm to pass.



The exact concept of using drag devives is to slow the boat down to a manageable speed so your not surfing the boat and careenng down the wave face and crashing into troughs or worse pitch poling. The idea is to have the drag device set up so the boat has the waves pass under the keel and not break over the stern (As some have suggested), i.e the device and the boat will be on top of the waves at the same time and in the trough at the same time. In this way the boat and the sea are not doing battle but instead in harmony.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:26   #45
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So far I have just used basic methods. Have had the anchor for years and never have used it.
Just as an aside . . . your boat is a terrific seaboat, and way way more stable and capable than the Pardey's. You will have to be both very unlucky and seriously f*&K-up with the weather to need to do anything but heave-to in the normal fashion on it.

Keep your head, be cool and thoughtful and don't panic and that boat will get you thru anything.
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