and I were sailing from Hawaii
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.