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Old 28-03-2014, 07:57   #31
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

Sure, parachute anchors are expensive, but in terms of boat dollars, not so much. When you are preparing the boat to cruise, deciding where to spend your limited kitty is hard, but my feeling is that a parachute anchor, like a drogue, is necessary equipment. As H. H. says, another tool in your chest. I wonder if much of the bad press parachutes get on internet forums has much to do with reluctance to spend a significant wad of precious boat bucks on something one will hopefully never use. Never having deployed ours, I can't comment on it's usefulness, but those I have spoken with who actually have used them think they are the ducks nuts. Personally, I would not sail offshore without one. Concerning deployment, you should not have to go forward to rig it during a blow. The time to rig it is before leaving the dock. When offshore we have ours completely rigged and ready to deploy from the safety of the cockpit. The bridle and rode are attached and led aft, tied to the stanchions with lightweight surveyor's twine that will break as strain is taken up on the rode.
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Old 28-03-2014, 08:31   #32
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

Rigging before leaving the dock would mean every time so that seems a bit over kill considering you will almost never use it. Mines handy to get at and it wouldn't take more than 10 minutes to set it up. Plus by the time you want it you've probably been anticipating it for a while.
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Old 28-03-2014, 15:17   #33
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
After looking at the loading and reading accounts of deploying sea anchors in open ocean breaking wave conditions that have the potential to roll or pitch pole there is only one sane defensible choice and that is a Jordon series type drogue. They cannot pull out of the wave face and the peak loads are manageable. Not so with a sea anchor.

Not sure what you want to use your sea anchor for.
A real sea anchor won't pull out of the face of a wave either. It's on a long rode, and is weighted down, so it's far too deep underwater to pull out.
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Old 28-03-2014, 15:19   #34
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

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Originally Posted by Horror Hotel View Post
Rigging before leaving the dock would mean every time so that seems a bit over kill considering you will almost never use it. Mines handy to get at and it wouldn't take more than 10 minutes to set it up. Plus by the time you want it you've probably been anticipating it for a while.
You obviously don't rig one EVERY time you leave the dock. You rig it when you leave on a long passage.
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Old 28-03-2014, 16:06   #35
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

Here is a real world experience:

Fantasia 35

Enjoy...
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Old 28-03-2014, 16:25   #36
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

Good first hand experience there, that's pretty much how it went when I used a 18' paratech. I just don't have the patience to write 5000 words about it. I'm sure the people who don't like them won't be swayed, but it's not a bad tool to have in the shed.
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Old 28-03-2014, 19:11   #37
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

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Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
Here is a real world experience:

Fantasia 35

Enjoy...

Nice story but not even close to survival conditions. I'm sure a chute is a great way to take a break in these conditions. I just wouldn't spend the money to rig for rough weather. If this is what you are preparing for then a chute is no doubt a good solution. Our Mason sailed great in 30 knots with gusts to 40.
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Old 28-03-2014, 19:47   #38
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

Ship Shape, you sound like you've done your homework...

What size do you recommend for my boat, and would your research suggest I should take the seas head-on or take the Pardey's beam-on approach...

For the record I got the Fiorentino link from the Pardey site. So regarding salesman pushing the idea that "bigger is better", maybe they think Zack is the exception.

Which brand would have been your second choice, and how much of a gap in quality do you think there is between the two?

I don't like the idea of deploying chutes in a bag and think that a Fiorentino will be just as user friendly in that regard.

And everyone seems convinced that there are these incredible shock loads on the chute. Does the stretch in a correct rode that is being used the correct way not sort this out?

BriaF I suggest you at least use a massively "oversized" swivel. Breaking is not the only issue. Problem is they lock up under load and stop spinning. The thing I most like about Fiorentino is their swivel setup. Check it out. I'm sure there's plenty of ways of making something up that spreads th shrouds and keeps the swivel working.
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Old 29-03-2014, 11:25   #39
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

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Originally Posted by PelagicNomad View Post
Ship Shape, you sound like you've done your homework...
Yes I have, and I see you want to take advantage of that so you don't have to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PelagicNomad View Post
What size do you recommend for my boat, and would your research suggest I should take the seas head-on or take the Pardey's beam-on approach...
I recommend you choose the size recommended by the manufacturer of the sea anchor you choose. Your Westsail is similar enough to the Pardy's boat that what worked for them might work for you, but this is something you need to determine for yourself.

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Which brand would have been your second choice, and how much of a gap in quality do you think there is between the two?
My approach was not to rank sea anchors, but to determine whether there are any shortcomings with the Fiorentino and/or if there is a better one (for me) than the Fiorentino. I have not physically seen any sea anchor than the Fiorentino so beyond being 101% satisfied with the Fiorentino quality I cannot comment on the quality or lack thereof for other products. When you do your research take notes of all the failures. I do not remember any Fiorentino product failures; if I remember correctly, most failures were not the sea anchor but due to deployment issues or chafe of the rode at the boat connection.

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And everyone seems convinced that there are these incredible shock loads on the chute. Does the stretch in a correct rode that is being used the correct way not sort this out?
Mentally picture the conditions that you would desire to deploy your sea anchor.
Using those conditions, mentally compare the forces/stress on your boat and the anchoring gear with your storm anchor buried in the dirt and your sea anchor slowly moving with/being dragged thru the water. It should be obvious that the forces as a result of being attached to an unmoving storm anchor are greater than the forces resulting from being attached to a moving sea anchor. The significant difference between a dirt anchor and a sea anchor is that since the sea anchor is moving you do not want stretchy rode.

Earl Hinz's book on anchoring and mooring gives you the knowledge to correctly size your gear for your boat and the conditions. What works for anchoring in dirt directly transfers to anchoring to the water. Even if you anchored in dirt thru a horrific storm you might want to use some of his tactics to angle your boat to the oncoming wind/waves to make the ride a little smoother - which is what the Pardy's are doing by angling their boat at 50 degrees (or whatever the angle is). WHAT YOU CHOOSE DEPENDS ON THE BOAT! Your boat is severely different than mine, we are NOT going to take the same approach in the same storm.

As for "incredible shock loads on the chute", "incredible shock loads" for anything in life indicates that the equipment is either not suitable for its intended use or it was incorrectly deployed.

Given that you are in Australia I suggest you study the accounts from users of sea anchors manufactured by Para-Anchors Australia. Ask Zack what his experience is about theirs, and ask Para-Anchors what their experience is about Fiorentino sea anchors. Remember opinion and experience are not the same thing! And on that note, realize I have not used a sea anchor, all I have is my opinion based on the experiences of others.

What I do have going for me, which is why I replied to your post, is that I am a marine industry professional - any comments and recommendations I have made were made with consideration of my legal liability exposure.
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Old 29-03-2014, 12:08   #40
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
Here is a real world experience:

Fantasia 35

Enjoy...
That was well-written, thank you for sharing! If you have not already done so, please document your experience with the Drag Device Data Base program, the form is on p. 5.0.6 of the DDDD. If you don't have the DDDD, their address is:

Drag Device Data Base
PO Box 19
Summerland, CA 93067

.
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Old 29-03-2014, 12:39   #41
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Re: Ex Military Parachute/Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by PelagicNomad View Post
Hi everyone


I'm interested in getting a sea-anchor for my full keeled, 9 ton, Westsail 33. If money was no object, I'd just buy a 9 fter from Fiorentino and be done with it.

But I hear ex military cargo parachutes are a great option. Question is, how do I get hold of one the correct size, that is in good condition???

Looking around where I live in Perth, if I want to see/touch one pre-purchase, this 17 fter is starting to look like my only option Parachute Approx. 17ft Dia. (Used - White) - MILITARIA - PARACHUTES - Military | Survival | Combat Clothing | Tactical Equipment | Police Gear Security | Backpacks | Navigation | Army Surplus | Boots | Knives | Australian | Wellington Surplus Stores+

If so, presumably it would need to be cut down in some way; perhaps a hole in the middle? If so I suspect the hole size might be quite critical. But I also suspect it might necessary to make it easier for retrieval if I don't use a trip-line, as Lin and Larry Pardey suggest.


Stupid idea?

Any info much appreciated!


Thanx
Andrew


This would be like hoisting a 1/2 oz kite in a gale.
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