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post #14 of Old 02-22-2008
Telstar 28
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Be aware that the Drag Device Data Base was published in 1990, updated most recently in 2000 and due out with a new edition shortly. Also, the Drag Device Data Base may not be a reliable source of information, having a relationship to the Para-tech brand of parachute sea anchors. The books publisher is listed as: Para-Anchors International at An excerpt from their website:

S/C-21: Vessel name Mutual Fun, Prout Catamaran, LOA 37' x BOA 16' x 6 Tons. Mutual Fun was hove-to to an 18-ft. dia. Para-Tech sea anchor in a whole gale about 450 nm NW of Bermuda in Force 9 conditions for about 15 hours. “Once the anchor deployed, it was like sailing into another world. No longer were we punching into the sea, but just riding over them.... We were able to say 'time out' during a severe situation.” (Quoting her owner).

S/C-22: Vessel name Stress Relief, Catamaran, LOA 33' x BOA 14' x 6 Tons. Stress Relief used a 12-ft. Para-Tech sea anchor four times in heavy seas en route to Bermuda from Newport. Writes her owner: “First Time, 5-25-97: 48 hours on the sea anchor, seasick. Second time, 5-27-97: water inside the salon -- hung on the sea anchor until daylight. Third time, 5-30-97: radar fell off the mast & engine broke -- hung on the sea anchor until daylight. Fourth time, 5-31-97: genoa ripped during the night -- hung on the sea anchor until daylight.”

S/C-23: Vessel name Laura Lee, Prout Catamaran, LOA 37' x BOA 16' x 6 Tons. Laura Lee used a 15-ft. dia. Para-Tech sea anchor to heave-to in a gale en route to the Canaries from Gibraltar. “It is very important to PRACTICE with this rig under windy but non-gale conditions as small mistakes could be disastrous under gale/storm conditions! We had a 'dress rehearsal' a few days earlier in Force 7 and learned the important lessons needed when the real thing caught us.” (Quoting her owner).

S/C-24: Vessel name Dream Hunter, Kurt Hughes catamaran, LOA 45' x BOA 24' x 6 Tons. Dream Hunter used an 18-ft. dia. Para-Tech sea anchor to heave-to in a gale about 80 miles ENE of Punto Del Este, Uruguay. There being a current in the region, the cat was pulled 24 miles UPWIND (!) in the 36 hours that she was hove to. “Tendency to yaw was eliminated by lowering the boards halfway. No problems with deployment -- flaking the long rode is essential. Used rubber chafe guards. Once the sea anchor was deployed the ride was so smooth and controlled that crew of 3 slept for 12 hours!” (Quoting her owner).

S/C-25: Vessel name Kapal, Roger Simpson catamaran, LOA 42' x BOA 24' x 5 Tons. Two days out of St. Maarten, Kapal had a close encounter with Hurricane Jenny (November 1999) and her owners deployed an 18-ft. dia. Para-Tech sea anchor. Kapal was tethered to that sea anchor for 44 hours in winds of up to 60-knot winds. “We are very happy with the result and certainly very glad we didn’t go through the eye of Jenny (30 nautical miles in diameter).”

S/C-26: Vessel name Sanyassa, Prout catamaran, LOA 35' x BOA 16' x 6 Tons. On her way to Fiji from New Zealand, Sanyassa ran into a nasty blow and her owner decided to deploy an 18-ft. dia. Para-Tech sea anchor. Difficulty was encountered in setting the sea anchor in those conditions, but “once the parachute was deployed all problems ceased,” (to quote her owner). Sanayassa was sea-anchored for 24 hours in Force 7-8 conditions, her crew managing to get much-needed sleep.

S/C-27: Vessel name Mango Mi, Chris White catamaran, LOA 42' x BOA 23' x 7 Tons. Twenty-one days out of Mexico and 350 miles from Hawaii, Mango Mi found herself in confusing seas piled high by 28-35 knot trade winds blowing over the unlimited fetch of the Pacific. Suffering from fatigue and worried about the prospects of surfing down 15-20 foot seas at 17 knots, her crew decided to deploy an 18-ft. Para-Tech sea anchor, in their own words, “to park it and get some sleep.” Deployment went off without a problem and soon Mango Mi was anchored to the surface of the sea, facing into the waves. “We lay at anchor for 20 hrs. and got some much needed rest. We drifted 8. 3 nm towards our destination.” (Quoting her owners).

S/C-28: Vessel name Catapult, aluminum catamaran, LOA 40' x BOA 23' x 7. 5 Tons. Catapult was tethered to an 18-ft. dia. Para-Tech sea anchor for three days when her crew ran into adverse conditions in the Tasman Sea. “The wind did not ever get to a steady 40 but there were rather large seas as is commonly the case in the Tasman. The boat rode OK but I did not enjoy the motion and my crew and eventually I got sea sick.” Difficulty was encountered in retrieval but the skipper came up with an idea: “I tied the boat end of the sea anchor line to a couple of large fenders and tossed it free so that the whole sea anchor rig and line were floating free. We then motored up to the trip line buoy…. The recovery from the moment of picking up the trip line buoy was a piece of cake.”

S/T-22: Vessel name Friends, Walter Greene trimaran, LOA 35' x BOA 29’ 6” x 3 Tons. Friends ran into a nasty blow with large and confused seas 60 miles off the New Jersey coast. Her skipper deployed a 15-ft. dia. Para-Tech sea anchor, but the 50-60’ of nylon rode snapped almost immediately. It is difficult to ascertain what happened, but the relatively short 3-strand rope is suspect. 3-Strand nylon tries to unlay under extreme loading -- the “torque-wave” associated with extreme dynamic loads can create a hockle or local stress point, resulting in failure at that point. From the owner’s report: “Rope was wrapped around Harken winches (3 times); rode went slack and tensed suddenly; rode snapped right near winch… the strands were somewhat fused together.” The solution would be to use a no-torque braided nylon rode instead. See also illustrations on the Wave Rotation page of this website for a possible explanation.
I seriously doubt that the only brand of parachute sea anchor out there is a Para-Tech... yet that seems to be the emphasis of the site.


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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 02-22-2008 at 04:26 AM.
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