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Old 29-10-2009, 16:08   #16
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Location: Home port is San Diego, California but currently cruising the Caribbean.
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My family and I were sailing from Hawaii to Alaska when we were hit by a 986 millibar low, a typical gale for the Gulf of Alaska. We chose to deploy our 18' Para-Tech sea anchor off our bow and ride it out. If you're interested in more details, there is a chapter in Steve Dashew's Surviving the Storm Surviving the Storm book about how we dealt with heavy weather sailing. For us, in our boat, under those conditions, it turned out to be the right decision.

I'm troubled, though, by those who say that this particular technique is right or wrong. My opinion is that just as boats and conditions vary, so should the solutions for heavy weather management. I would be very reluctant to recommend a bow-deployed sea anchor as a routine solution because there are just too many variables.

Fair winds and calm seas.

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Old 29-10-2009, 16:27   #17
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I agree....conditions and boats are both variable. You have to listen to your boat, and what is going on. Do not underestimate just a simple "hove to" to take care of many of the times you do not feel like moving fwd.


A good read by someone who has done it.

I have the chute in the bilge ready to deploy, but lying a hull or hoving to took care of my discomfort so far.

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Old 29-10-2009, 18:34   #18
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I carry a Jordan Series Drogue for trailing off the stern, and an eighteen foot diameter ParaAnchor parachute for deployment off the bow.

Which I use depends on sea state, wind direction, sea room, and how the yacht is behaving in the prevailing conditions.

The design of the yacht is as important as the device you are using to control the vessel in storm conditions. Some yacht designs won't lie to a parachute - they quickly lie ahull which is dangerous. Others are prone to being pooped in following seas.

I know what works on my yacht, but I am clueless what will work on yours. The size of the keel and rudder, and directional stability of the yacht will help decide which works best for you.

Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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