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  #1  
Old 02-15-2004
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Parachute Sea Anchor

I''d like to hear from anyone who has made a sea anchor from a surplus parachute.
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Old 02-16-2004
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Parachute Sea Anchor

Ahoy matey, you ask a funny question and iffin it wasn''t my nature to be just a little off balance from time to time I''d be harsh in my reply but youse ought to hear the truth . No, no parachute would work as a sea anchor becuase the surface area is too large and it would be more like a sea brick wall. secondly I would hate to have to try and trip and haul that much material back on board in a pitchin sea.

No being as I''am a Pirate I just so happen to have a surplus Navy parachute aboard me vessel as a spinnaker. Aerodynamically it aint the easiest thing to use or control but it sure gets me the attention I need. I can tell you from experience that hauling it up outten de sea is not easy or fun or safe. Although I did get me a nice snook once for me troubles. Pirate of Pine Island.
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Old 02-16-2004
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Parachute Sea Anchor

A:

Pick up a copy of DDDB, Victor Shane''s Drag Device Data Base (I don''t think you want an edition earlier than the Fourth). It provides an excellent overview of real-world uses of various drag devices, and offers vendor info, as well. Before chutes became more commonly sought after by cruising boats, folks would typically dig out a surplus chute from a war surplus store...and I think this is discussed in one of the Pardey''s books. Modifications were typically required. Finally, you might look for Earl Hinz book on this subject (his title escapes me at the moment but an amazon search will produce the obvious title); he does a nice job of overview coverage on all drag devices.

This isn''t a ''one size fits all'' topic, where the obvious preference in choices as they relate to all boats can be easily ranked. DDDB''s value is that you can read the first-hand encounters and judge with some certainty how a given type of device will tend to work with your specific type and size boat. E.g. in our case, I came to the conclusion we''d find using a chute difficult and, for the kind of offshore sailing we do, unlikely...but think a Galerider drogue is much more utilitarian: small form factor when stowed, light and relatively easy to deploy, strong and simple, easy(ier) to retrieve. Skip Raymond makes these up on Connecticut.

Jack
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