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Old 26-10-2009, 09:47   #1
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Para-Anchors

Does anyone have thoughts on hanging one from the stern as opposed to the bow in bad weather?
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Old 26-10-2009, 13:07   #2
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Jim,
I hope you are joking. If you hold your boat stern to waves big enough to justify using a para-anchor, you will be pooped: sooner or later, a wave will break over your transom, fill your cockpit and maybe your cabin.

Alain
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Old 26-10-2009, 15:49   #3
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You stop and get pooped. End of story.

Alas if you have some very very unique design with the companionway facing fore then perhaps.

b
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Old 26-10-2009, 19:26   #4
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So what's the difference between that and a drogue system then? Jordans for example.
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Old 26-10-2009, 19:52   #5
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The drogues only reduce boat speed- the idea is to stop the boat from surfing & maintain better control to avoid a broach. A para anchor almost stops the boat, say <1 knot.
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Old 27-10-2009, 04:39   #6
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IMHO A Series Drogue tailored to the size of your boat is the choice for a stern deployed means of slowing the boat and helping to maintain control.

Paige
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Old 29-10-2009, 07:49   #7
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I was reading a book called Heavy Weather Sailing and the author mentions one occasion where he deployed a para-anchor from the stern in very heavy weather in the Bay of Biscaye. I believe he had initially deployed it from the bow but, due to the excessively high wind (> 60kts), the boat (a double ended ketch I believe) positioned itself beam-on to the seas with the para-anchor, which was very dangerous. He then moved it to the stern and the boat lay to the para anchor quartering the seas on her starboard quarter. He felt this was a much safer arrangement for that particular situation.

It was a double ender, however. And small if I remember correctly, like on the order of 27 or 30 feet.

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Old 29-10-2009, 08:42   #8
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I see your point(s) but I think the problem with a para-anchor is the veering from side to side in heavy weather so I imagine it's not much good without a bridle off to one side to hold the boat at an angle. Any idea what angle? I think probably about 30 degrees but is that right in survival conditions? The Jordan drogue looks good but it's expensive and I already have a 9ft Fiorino Para-anchor which I bought for my 34ft Rival. I now have a 42ft Moody and the same anchor would probably do the job even if a little small. Talking about drogues - how would a couple of drogues in tandem about 60ft apart (smaller one further aft) on say 150ft of total line compare with a Jordan? perhaps not so good but good enough?
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Old 29-10-2009, 09:00   #9
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The Pardeys had good luck with a bridle on a para-anchor. From what I understood the tactic was to bring one end of the bridal to the jib-sheet winch and crank it in until the boat lay at the proper angle. Every boat will behave differently so you have to experiement with yours. The other important detail is to put out enough line so that the sea anchor sits on an adjacent swell in the wave pattern and rises and falls with the boat crest to trough. Otherwise the anchor will yank on the boat quite vicously.

But I believe the Pardeys had a heavy displacement, full keeled boat. In heavy wind a lighter, fin keeled boat will probably take up a position beam-on to the seas even with a para-anchor, Rendering the bridal useless for anything except, ironically, pulling the boat somewhat stern-to so that she quarters the seas on the stern.
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Old 29-10-2009, 09:43   #10
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Jim,

Can't really imagine when you would need either a drogue or para anchor if you are cruising in UK coastal waters. If you keep an eye on the weather you are never more than 50 miles from a safe haven and can run for shelter if needed.

Severe weather is comparatively rare and almost always forecast well in advance. A well reefed main and headsail should see you through the weather.
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Old 29-10-2009, 10:06   #11
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Hi Ed, I'm in the Med for now but would like to get across the pond in a year or two when we have sampled the delights. I'm trying to get clear in my (small) mind which is the best way to go for the last ditch and hopefully never used bit of gear should I ever get caught out. I agree with your comments about UK coastal waters but there can be some pretty nasty wx in the Med at times. It's really for later when I venture further afield.
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Old 29-10-2009, 11:11   #12
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Point taken!

Personally I would go for a series drogue as a precaution. Unlikely you would need it westbound in the trade winds (hopefully). These bits of kit are really only deployed in severe storm/hurricane conditions and if there is sea room in front I would go with the wind rather than use a para anchor.
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Old 29-10-2009, 13:52   #13
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Hi Jim,

I sailed a Moody 29 for a good many years, not a lot like your boat I know but she was still capable of ocean crossing and did so six times. Twice, in supposedly benign periods around December/January it got very bumpy for a few days. The sea anchor I had nearly killed me before I cut it free. The make-shift drogue I fashioned with warps, chain and torn sail saved the day. The second time I needed something I used a canvas drogue I'd had made up and could continue sailing. The difference in the behaviour of the boat was remarkable. Touching wood, I've never needed anything since but I still carry a drogue and actually had additional strong points built into my new boat, specifically for a drogue bridle.

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Old 29-10-2009, 16:34   #14
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Jordan Series Drogue
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Old 29-10-2009, 17:04   #15
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edsailing wrote:

"Can't really imagine when you would need either a drogue or para anchor if you are cruising in UK coastal waters. If you keep an eye on the weather you are never more than 50 miles from a safe haven and can run for shelter if needed."

Actually, being within 20 miles or so off a lee shore with a vessel/crew that has lost the ability to claw off (or perhaps never had that ability in the first place) is one of the classic examples of a situation where ONLY a para-anchor might save your bacon.

Properly sized and well set para-anchors, typically set off the bow, are known to slow a vessel down to as little as 0.2 knots (see Victor Shane's Drag Device Data Base) whereas other drag devices typically allow 5-10 times higher rates of drift.

When all the chips are down (e.g. no mast/sails and no engine) the Para anchor could turn the prospect of being broken on the rocks in a matter of hours into buying a day or two of extra time to wait for help and/or weather the storm.....

Flying Dutchman
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