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Old 25-06-2010, 13:44   #76
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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
No-one else has reported anything like this particular event.
This is the troubling aspect and reinforces what you have been saying. One must pay attention to changing conditions, these are tools only, and you have to experiment to see what works.

Talismans at sea just don't exist. The sea is too creative.
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Old 25-06-2010, 14:44   #77
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Talismans at sea just don't exist. The sea is too creative.
Plus, talismans are usually heavy and don't float well!
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Fair Winds,
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Old 25-06-2010, 14:52   #78
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I disagree. Writers ALL have a natural ability to embellish the truth. They cannot help it. You need more than one POV of the situation. Simple history. Without that, yo read through the BS, you need to either blow it off or experiment. With all these "tools", you need to go try them out on your boat in manageable conditions. See how they deploy. See what issues they present. You don't need to be in survival conditions to educate yourselves.

Pardey - with respect to their boat - exactly. Technique may not work for lighter displacement, spades, larger, or boats that don't hold to weather as such , and so on. Tried to point that out earlier. Worked for me and my boat. May not work for my next one.
Writers may have the ability but I guess I am not so cynical to think that everyone that ever wrote about storm tactics embellished the facts.

Not to say that I blindly believe or follow everything I read but I feel like most of the information I have read was honestly reported. Plus compare and contrast information from many different sources. This usually will highlight the BS. Then again, maybe I just chose my sources more critically.
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Old 25-06-2010, 15:20   #79
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I wasn't just speaking about the technical, which has a certain bias POV, but more along the cruiser stories you read.
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Old 25-06-2010, 22:34   #80
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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
The majority of experienced folks we know disagree with the Pardey's assertion that a para-anchor is THE ultimate tactic. Most of us believe it is one of several tactics you should be aware of, but that it is about last on the list for most of us to try except for some very special situations. And honestly I don't think even the Pardey's actually believe the para-anchor is the "be all-end all" tactic, because in their horn rounding, when they got in heavy weather, they in fact never deployed their para-anchor. They instead forereached under trysail. My understanding is that they have never deployeed the sea-anchor on their current boat in anger (in an actual storm, not just for practice). I believe they only actually used the para-anchor on their previous boat. But I could be mistaken about this but they have certaintly not used it very much . . . which makes sense because as I said several posts back, storm force winds are in fact not very common.

We were down there when they were. They are friends, so this is a friendly disagreement The Pardey's boat is rather special and not typical - small, short and fat hull, long shallow keel with barn door rudder, no furling sail (which effects the windage and balance alot) . . . it apparently does not steer very well down wind in waves, but does heave-to very well. All these things make their technique partciularily more useful for them than for most boats.

If you want to read the counter argument, and you are tired of Roth, you can read FAQ 9 & 9A on Seamanship . Its quite pointed on this subject.

On drogues . . . one mistake that we see people make is to take down too much sail, and not realize you need to keep just the right amount of sail up. You need to be pulling on the drogue, and not just wallowing around. If you have too little sail are are just wallowing at the end of the rode you can easily get knocked sideways. The only 'failure' of a series drogue deployment I am aware of was a 48'er between South Georgia and Cape Town. He got knocked down several times while the drogues was out, damaged the rig and abandoned ship. He was under bare poles, and my take was that he might have been better with a small storm jib up to stabilize the boat. In This case bare poles might well have been appropriate for the worst of the storm but as it abated (still 40 gusting 50) and the waves were still big, getting a small area of sail up would have prevented the boat getting knocked around.

This is just a reminder that you need to stay in touch with the conditions and how the boat feels and make adjustments as a storm develops. Sitting below until it all goes away is a poor strategy.

I actually didn't get the feeling that the Pardey's were saying that the para anchor was "the" ultimate tactic but that heaving to is and has been a successful one for centuries. Their boat heaves to pretty well with out one and it's use for them seems to be to slow leeway when needed. Perhaps why they didn't choose to use it in the situation you discribe. I was under the impression that they were making the point that since many modern boats don't heave to easily that the practice has been overlooked and potentially boats and lives have been lost because of it. And, that with a para anchor, bridled, modern boats can heave to and should consider it if and when the situation requires it. Their experience with heaving to with and without the sea anchor certainly seems relavant and the many cases they site in their book, most with modern rigs and boats, seem to show pretty well that the practice can be effective.

I'll certainly check out Roth, thanks.

I read a bit about the chinese sea anchors which were baskets. There was a comparison to the old canvas cone sea anchors and apparently the drag created by the turbulence of the water passing through the weave was impressive.
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Old 26-06-2010, 04:47   #81
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Agree with Evans - we found the drogue worked very well with a sail at the front of the boat, you are pulling from both ends and it becomes very stable. We would then adjust the length of rode on the drogue to get the speed we felt compatable with the conditions,.
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Old 26-06-2010, 05:27   #82
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Pardey's were saying that . . . heaving to is and has been a successful one for centuries. . . . And, that with a para anchor, bridled, modern boats can heave to and should consider it if and when the situation requires it.
I think we all agree with point #1: That heaving to is a useful tactic that all offshore sailors should know and understand. And that the Pardey book is a good and useful reminder and explanation of that.

Where we disagree is when we come to the para-anchor. And we disagree at many many levels:

#2 Most fin keel/spare rudder boats (like my own) don't heave to very well, they want to forereach. They forereach very nicely and comfortably and this is a proven reasonably safe tactic (use by many boats in the Sydney to Hobart successfully). I generally see no reason to go to the work and complexity of putting out a para-anchor if forereaching is working fine. I thin the Pardey's were too focused on trying to figure out how to get a fin keel boat to stop and did not think that perhaps that was not the right answer.

#3 I have the impression (from talking with them) that (at least in the past) they have wanted to sell the para-anchor as the one best 'silver bullet' tactic for extreme weather. While I think it should be in the tool kit, but for most modern boats is best used in quite a narrow range of special case situations. But I would be pleased and happy and agree if you tell me your understanding is that they are trying to say we should understand the para-anchor techniques as only one of many heavy weather tactics and use it as and when appropriate for the particular boat and particular situation.

#4 The 'heaving to successfully for centuries' bugs me. It's not important, but if you ever really real the logs from the wooden ship era, this is just simply not true. Those ships almost always (except when there was a very close lee shore with no harbor, or they were required for military purposes to hold station) ran in severe weather.
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Old 26-06-2010, 08:41   #83
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On point #2 and #3 - I don't believe your words or your experiences. I don't believe L+L were trying to sell it so much as a tactic for every situation and boat as I do for boats with medium to heavy displacement - wineglass or skeg to keel connected designs - and that they needed to hold at least some heave-to ability. How could they? They don't sail race boats. And testing their technique has also proven this a fallacy. I believe this universe of boats they were referring to was limited, and that perhaps it was misread that their technique would work on all boats, and they were selling it as such.

Moreover, I don't believe that using a sea anchor in any configuration with a Spade/Fin would work effectively, and your best bet is probably to run. You can go ahead and say, sure it can be done, but I think you will be wasting a lot of energy and time trying to make it work, and the discomfort alone would be enough to wish to have chosen something else. It certainly would not be my first strategy.
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Old 26-06-2010, 08:51   #84
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Estarzinger, thanks again for the assesment of my understandings on the subject. As I said before, I have no experience with either technique and am happy to have any and all help in trying to grasp the ideas behind them so that when (if) the eventuality occurs....but please help me here. It seems that your point about fore reaching when it is "working fine" is well and good but that when situations progress to verry ugly fore reaching out of your protective slick puts you into the seas that you can avoid by heaving to without forward motion. It is my understanding that it has been practiced for centuries with the boats of long keel and spread out rigs but was dismissed by modern yachtsmen because there boats were more difficult to heave to without fore reaching into the conditions one is trying to avoid. There are many accounts of the technique from Slocum and Voss to Dana, and many logs from the big ships-the US and Brittish navys and the small ones like fishing schooners. These guys didn't have the forcasting we have and did their thing anyway. They were out 24/7/360 and more. It certainly isn't a new tactic. It used to be a "standard". Even using sea anchors isn't new. But I think that the pardey's book is saying "hey, just because it is more difficult to do in modern boats it still should be considered because when the waves are so large that being in their crumbling tops isn't safe then setting up a situation where you are safe from them (as our forefathers did) is an option". I do agree that they say that it is easier (and potentially safer) to heave to early and they also point out that there can be many advantages to doing so..especially if running off isn't an option because of leward hazards. And a few days in a hurricane has the potential to take you a long way if you're running with it. If indeed stoping forward motion keeps you in a protected state and a sea anchor helps you achieve this as well as slows your leeway it seems that you will be out of the storm conditions quicker and be safer when in them. That isn't to say that a drogue or warps aren't another trick in the bag but that under the ultimate threat there is another...or if you want or need some rest..
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Old 26-06-2010, 08:56   #85
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SaltyM...,
They site and explain very clearly many cases of the tactic being used with fin keelers. I believe it is a primary reason for writing the book-that we shouldn't dismiss what has worked through the ages just because it can be difficult to do in modern boats and that using a bridled sea anchor (although with it's concerns) it can be done successfully.
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Old 26-06-2010, 09:00   #86
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Moreover, I don't believe that using a sea anchor in any configuration with a Spade/Fin would work effectively, and your best bet is probably to run. You can go ahead and say, sure it can be done, but I think you will be wasting a lot of energy and time trying to make it work, and the discomfort alone would be enough to wish to have chosen something else. It certainly would not be my first strategy.
Hmmm, I gathered that the comfort (and it's addition to safety) was a primary reason for heaving to under sea anchor..not loike running in such conditions let alone with a drogue...

Where's Lin in this discussion anyway? I'd love to hear more from experience....
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Old 26-06-2010, 09:54   #87
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Oh, forgot an important requirement - sea anchor and modern production - smaller size is important. Larger boats = larger forces and not linearly so, which means at a certain point the stresses are most crippling. Maybe spade/fin SAs work on larger sizes though? But you would think that spade/fins would be better at the run than at the stop since they are better downwind.

In any case, my use would be:

- smaller boat - say under 37'
- skeg connected to keel or wineglass
- adequate heave to capability (not great but enough)
- medium to heavy displacement
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Old 26-06-2010, 10:54   #88
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It seems to me that yaw, roll and pitch are even more exadgerated on smaller boats and are serious factrors when running in crumbling seas requireing attentive steering and a share of luck at all times increasing the likelyhood of mistake (or a share of bad luck) over the potential course of a bad storm with dangerouse sea state not to mention that by running with you are increasing the time that you will be in the muck ( even if you have the sea room to do so). wouldn't setting 50 degrees to the wind and waves with a steadying force of a storm sail and the protection of your boats slick be more comfortable and safe in the event of such a situation? Potentially get you out of it more quickly and safely? Even in moderate winds and more importantly, waves, runnung requires much attention and is hardly considered comfortable. I have almost always chosen to "tack" downwind for that reason ussually making better time with much more comfort. In a dangerouse sea state the tactic would remove any protection you might get from the drogue breaking the seas and running directly before would become the best option but put you in the uncomfortable and potentially unsafe zone of battering to the crew and rig...??? It seems at a certain point protection from breaking seas is what's most important.
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Old 26-06-2010, 11:02   #89
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Tack downwind? Not sure what you mean? Jibe? Or do you mean tack to windward?

Yes slicking at 50 is comfortable but I don't think so for a spade/fin because I don't believe 1) you will be able to keep and maintain 50 consistently without auto-tacking or fluttering 2) yawl/roll would be much more uncomfortable and likely to go over at some point.

Runnning - spade/fins are designed for it. why not do so with a brake? Think open 40...Think series drogue or cone with weight attached. just enough say 4 knts or so to retain steering under bare poles.
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Old 26-06-2010, 11:34   #90
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Tacking down wind- broad reaching from one tack to the other to reach your downwind destination (whether you jibe or tack around) can greatly increase comfort and quite often time made good to the destination.

My experience with fin keels is quite the opposite. Their windward abilities are enhanced but their responsiveness can make downwind travel less than comfortable and a real attention demander. Toss out a warp or drogue and I can see the bennefits but I'm not convinced that there will be much protection from nasty crumbling breakers. And yes, I agree there is probably difficulty in getting them set in a propper hove to state to acomplish what is desired but I think Lin and Larry's point was that it is possible and they site instances where it has worked well. (In the third eddition that I read anyway) Remember, they aren't just speaking of a gale nescessarily but of "modern methods of heaving to for SURVIVAL IN EXTREME CONDITIONS".
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