Even though I've read between 2-300 sailing books by now, I've somehow missed one of the greats: Adlard Coles, "Heavy Weather Sailing." Reading it now and learning a great deal.
Personally I've always thought that, for my boat/crew/situation a parachute sea anchor
will be the first line
of defense for a survival storm if heaving-to is no longer a viable option.
On S/V Fairhaven, I have a wonderful/awful 8ft long bowsprit, with associated rigging
, hanging off the pointy end of the boat. This presents challenges to figuring out the best place to lead a sea anchor
from. Ideally I should choose a spot that is immensely
strong, has a minimum of chafe, and will hold the boat at a good angle with the rode
. See picture below.
I have a bridle set up to the stem (blue arrow) that I use for my main anchor
. It's great as it reduces the needed scope and is quite strong as it is attached to the bobstay attachment point. On my rig
, the bobstay is the most loaded stay. This seems like a good possibility for leading the sea anchor
. It might assist the bow rising over a wave due to it's low aspect, and the fitting is man-enough for the job, but every time I would be nose-down the line
might chafe (or bend) on the bobstay and dolphin striker. Also the boat might yaw quite a lot as there is quite a bit of windage (furled headsail) forward of this point.
The Anchor roller I have installed at the end of the sprit (green arrow) is pretty beefy but I have some doubts. It's 3/8 welded aluminum and uses a 5/8"stainless bolt to bolt the roller through the cranz fitting (the collar at the end of the bowsprit where all the rigging
is attached) so it is, by way of the bolt, part of the rig
. The lead would be free of chafe, except at the roller itself, but I worry it might try and pull the bow down, instead of helping it up as the lower point of attachment might do. Also being part of the rig
means it's strong enough, but the way it attaches to that 5/8"bolt makes me worry it could shear off under huge loads.
Lastly is the red arrow, pointing to the fairlead up forward. This is a bronze fitting through a hefty bulwark in the bow. Since it is part of the hull/deck, I expect it is man enough for the job. It might help hold the bow slightly off center as the fairlead isn't centered. On the other hand if the boat veers the other direction, the anchor lead will be chafing across, and trying to destroy, the bowsprit and it's rigging.