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' Para Tech Sea Anchor Instructions'




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PARATECH Engineering Co
2117 Horseshoe Trail
Silt CO 81652
970 8760558 FAX 970 FOR USING SEAANCHOR
The OFFSHORE Anchors
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING YOUR PARATECH SEAANCHOR
Copyright 2003 ParaTech Engingeering Company
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
Eternal Father strong to save whose arm has
bound the restless wave O hear us when we
cry to thee for those in peril on the sea
William Whiting
SYNOPSIS AND OVERVIEW
SAFETY FIRST
Thank you for purchasing one of our SeaAnchors PARATECH Engineering Company is
in business to enhance offshore safety Please do your part to promote encourage and
reward good safety habits on your ship Set a good example by wearing your own life
jacket on board Practice man overboard drills Review all safety matters with your crew
Do they know how to find and use the fire Will they be able to use the VHF to
summon aid on their own
NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED AT SEA
Offshore safety is many things but first and foremost it is that conservative attitude of mind
that never takes anything for granted at sea In particular never take your SEA ANCHOR
for granted Remember also that drag devices are mere aids to seamanship and only as
safe as those who use them Remember also that different types of boats will to different drag devices The individual user should take care to
determine prior
to use that this drag device is suitable adequate or safe for the use intended applications are subject to great variation the manufacturer makes no
or warranty as to the suitability or fitness of the devices for any note that sea anchors are capable of pulling loads measured in tons so all lines
must
be properly coiled beforehand Stand clear of the coils as the rope is paying out
PAY OUT LOTS OF RODE
The parachute anchoring system relies heavily on the stretch of the long nylon rode for
yielding to the seas and not standing up against them Even in moderate conditions you
should pay out at least 300 of rode 1015x LOA in heavy weather situations
PARTICIPATE IN THE DRAG DEVICE DATABASE PROGRAM
Our mutual association with offshore safety is an ongoing one It doesnt end after the sale
The founder of PARAANCHORS INTERNATIONAL has instituted a to catalog preserve and publish accurate information about instances where sea
anchors and drogues have been used If you have occasion to use your drag fill out and return the DDDB form that was enclosed with it An ever growing
data resource such as this willin timebe productive of critical insights into heavy and go a long way toward enhancing offshore safety for all
mariners Your opinions and your observations regardless of how insignificant they may seem are of
vital importance to the concept of offshore safety as a whole Working together we CAN
prevent tragedies such as Fastnet 79 We WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
FAIR WINDS FOLLOWING SEAS
Don Whilldin President
PARATECH Engineering Company
a r yo
L et e
a c k
J Its your friend
for LIFE
v Watch for this symbol
it indicates some of the most important items to know
TABLE OF CONTENTS The MindSet 1
RIGGING
A COMPONENT 2
B ASSEMBLY 4
C CATENARY 5
D CHAFE 6
CAUTIONS OF PARACHUTE SEA ANCHORING 11
WHEN TO SET THE CHUTE 12
SETUP Center of A A MATTER OF DRIFT 13
B DEPLOYABLE STOW BAGDSB 16
C DEPLOYMENT 17
1 STANDING SET 17
2 FLYING SET 18
RETRIEVAL 19
REPACKING 21
CARE MAINTENANCE 22
REDUCING SIDETOSIDE YAW 23
ADDITIONAL 25
A PIGTAILS 25
B BRIDLING 26
C RIGGING 28
D RIDING SAILS 29
E TOWING 30
SUMMATION 31
THE DRAG DEVICE DATA BASE Back Cover
Survival
THE MIND SET
In as much as drag devices are liable to be used in extreme conditions perhaps we
should digress briefly to mention a thing or two about the all important mental aspects of
survival also forewarned is forearmed Coast Guard Navy and Air Force survival experts
agree that there is no the role that the mariners state of mind plays in his
or her survival Attitude is the main thing said Mike Munroe who survived the 165 knot
winds of Hurricane Allen 1980 in a Givens life raft
While rescuers have marveled at the tenacity demonstrated by some survivors they
have also been perplexed and disturbed by those who seem to capitulate and give up with
little struggle evidently the sheer will to survive having been the major determining life and death itself Its a very hard thing to define the will
to survive said
retired Coast Guard search and rescue chief John Waters March 1988 issue Accordingly we advise mariners who venture offshore to be always mentally
survival at sea as the Green Beret is disciplined for survival in combat To quote the of the inquiry on the Fastnet Tragedy of 1979 In the 1979 race
the sea
showed that it can be a deadly enemy and that those who go to sea for pleasure must
do so in the full knowledge that they may encounter dangers of the highest order
If you are caught in a survival storm its BATTLE STATIONS for everyone Take charge
of the situation and rule your ship with an iron will Deploy your sea anchor pay out lots of
stretchy rode so as to yield and not stand up against the seas Employ heavy chafe
gear Use a backing sail to keep the bow from swinging excessively from side to side
Batten down the hatches use hammer and nail if you have to Jettison all potentially lethal
flying objects from the cabin THROW THEM OVERBOARD Set your house in order and
dig in for the battle to survive COME WHAT MAY Establish a strict schedule for keeping
watch and getting rest Appoint a similar discipline for eating Avoid binging on food and
avoid beverages containing alcohol the poison that weakens the will KEEP BUSY
Man the pumps Repair damage as best as you can stay sober post watch pray and
never NEVER give up Enforce a positive attitude avoid despair like the plague and
dont allow doubt and resignation to set into your crew Not even for one second
STAYING WITH THE BOAT
STAY WITH THE BOAT until there is not one iota of a doubt in your mind that she is in
fact going to sink Remember Fastnet 79 In that tragic race twenty four yachts abandoned by their crews which climbed into rubber life rafts believing
that
their vessels were about to sink however ONLY FOUR OF THOSE YACHTS
WERE ACTUALLY SUNK BY THE FREAK STORM and whilst many souls perished in those
rubber life rafts some of which split apart at the seams NINETEEN of those boats were found to be intact and still floating AFTER the storm had
passed
on
COMPONENT See illustrations center of Booklet
The following components are needed to properly rig a PARATECH Sea Anchor
1 Anchor Rope 2 Swivel Shackle 3 Float Primary
4 Recovery Float 5 Trip Line 6 Anchor Chain
ANCHOR ROPE
The proper type size and length of rode will make the difference between safe ride and a harsh possibly damaging ride
Type NYLON is the only rope which should be used with PARATECH Sea
Anchors This is due to its natural elasticity stretch
Double braid rope should be 25 to 50 longer than twisted rope
Size Rope size should be at least suitable for ground anchoring The following
are general Anchor Size Boat Displacement Rope Size
6 4000 or less 38
9 8000 or less 38
12 12000 or less
15 12 to 25000 58
18 25 to 40000 58 34
24 35 to 50000 34
24 45 to 65000 34 78
24 65 to 95000 78 1
32 80 to 150000 1 1 18
32 150 to 200000 1 18 1
40 200 to 300000 1 2
Length 10 to 15 times the LOA a MINIMUM of 300 is recommended Rope ends
should be spliced to heavy duty deep cup thimbles and properly seized in place
SWIVELS
We recommend using Stainless Steel swivels with PARATECH Sea Anchors
Sea Anchor Swivel Sea Anchor Swivel Sea Anchor Swivel
6 9 38 12 12 15 58
18 58 24 58 or 34 32 78
40 1
are for the Primary float attached to the end of the Sea Anchor
Float Line Buoyancy is to support the entire weight of the Sea Anchor rope
chain etc if the rope was released and allowed to sink We suggest using fender
floats for the primary float as you already have them The Trip Line float only
needs to float and be visible
The Primary Float MUST always be used as it controls the maximum depth the
Sea Anchor can go
Sea Anchor Float Buoyancy Sea Anchor Float Buoyancy
6 9 18 Lbs 12 15 60 Lbs
18 24 125 Lbs 32 40 350 Lbs
FENDERS FLOATS
BUOYANCIES
Cylindrical Hole through Middle Balls Tear Drop shape
Size Buoyancy Diameter Buoyancy
6 Dia X 15 15 Lbs 11 29 Lbs
8 Dia X 20 37 Lbs 15 68 Lbs
10 Dia X 26 77 Lbs 18 121 Lbs
12 Dia X 34 145 Lbs 21 187 Lbs
27 396 Lbs
TRIP LINE
The trip line should be polypropylene due to its buoyancy 14 to 38 is recommended as it handles easier than twisted and is less prone to
kinking and The trip line may be from 20 to all the way back to the boat full trip line A
full trip line is not recommended in heavy weather due to the possibility of its
fouling and accidentally tripping the Sea Anchor A good length to work with is 50
to 100 In moderate conditions where an accidentally tripped Sea Anchor would
not put the boat at risk a full trip line may be used
The trip line is placed between the Primary Float and the Trip Line Float and is
used to trip collapse and recover the Sea Anchor
Galvanized chain is recommended and can be placed at any point
between the Sea Anchor and the boat Stainless steel or HiTest chain of may also be used
If the boat uses chain for its ground tackle then the best method is to attach the
Sea Anchor rode to the end of the anchor chain with the anchor REMOVED and
let out from 10 to 150 feet of chain Make sure the chain is snubbed to deck cleats
with snubbers to off load the windlass The chain should be no more than 20 of
the overall scope of the rode Using chain to lead off the boat eliminates the worry
about chafe
NOTE The anchor MUST be removed or a short length of chain used as a stand
off so the anchor flukes cannot come in contact with the rode The anchor flukes
WILL cut the rode if they contact the MINIMUM chain
Sea Anchor Chain size Sea Anchor Chain size Sea Anchor Chain size
6 9 14 12 516 15 18 38
24 716 32 12 40 34
ASSEMBLY
A FLOAT LINE The float line included with your PARATECH Sea
Anchor is threaded through a large grommet in the bottom of the
deployment bag This keeps the bag captive to the system On 12 and
larger Sea Anchors there is a small swivel attached to the end of the float
line Attach your primary float to the free end of this swivel The float line
is stowed in the roo pouch in the bottom of the bag
B TRIP LINE The trip line is attached to the same side of the swivel as the
float line On 6 9 Sea Anchors the trip line float line and primary float
are all joined at the same point Attach the recovery float to the other end
of the trip line
The bag
is CAPTIVE to the system
Throw the bag into the water
and the Sea Anchor is
extracted by gravity
RECOVERY PRIMARY
FLOAT FLOAT
FLOAT LINE
MAIN RODE
CATENARY
The use of catenary may aid ride comfort Catenary is the inclusion of weight in the
rode somewhere between the Sea Anchor and boat intended to create some sag
in the rode where there is a slack cycle in the wind andor wave motion IN
THEORY as the motion energy from a passing wave passes by it will lift and
push the boat away from the Sea Anchor As this occurs the sag in the rode is
pulled towards a straight line helping the boat yield to the sea
The following illustrations show various ways that catenary may be built into the
system
WIND
CHAIN
CATENARY
CATENARY
CHAIN
CATENARY
CHAIN
Note Use of an all chain rode is not 5
SEGMENTED passing through the Panama Canal must have handling lines in order to
pass through the locks These lines can be made with thimbles in each end and
may be used for the Sea Anchor rode thus giving the user many options in length
and v A SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING CHAFE v
One of the most important points which MUST not be overlooked is the area where
the rode rubs against the boat usually the bow eye which the rode will pass through
The constant movement of the boat will cause the rode to rub Chafe in this area Special care MUST be taken to transfer this wear to
something leather pads hose for example which will wear instead of the rode
Once the Sea Anchor is deployed you MUST employ chafe gear where the rode
rubs against the boat The more severe the conditions the more important the chafe
gear is
Failure to use proper chafe gear WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO THE FAILURE OF
THE RODE AND THE POSSIBLE LOSS OF YOUR VESSEL AND CREW
While at Sea Anchor you should regularly monitor the condition of the rode where
chafe is possible If chafe is occurring either employ more chafe gear or freshen the
nip let out a bit of line to shift the wear point ALWAYS MAINTAIN A WATCH
v MULTIHULLS
A bridle to the OUTER HULLS must always be used on multihulls Each leg
should be approximately 2 times the beam of the boat Thimbles should be
spliced in at least one end of each leg and attached SEPARATELY use 2
shackles one for each leg to the main rode The boat ends may be secured to
cleats with backing plates or run through snatch blocks to cockpit winches and
adjusted for the most comfortable ride
WARNING v WARNING v WARNING v WARNING v WARNING
Some catamarans have a centrally located anchor roller situated midbeam on the
weakest part of the boat the aluminum crossbar that supports the trampoline On
these boats leading a line there MUST NOT BE DONE It is not braced like a mast
and attaching to it can lead to failure of the crossbar capsize and loss of life
Attach the bridle legs ONLY to the hulls on CORRECT BRIDLE SET UP
DANGEROUS BRIDLE SET UP
CAUTION
COASTAL diameter sea anchors are very powerful devices in so far as checking wind
drift is concerned For this reason we advise mariners to be aware when sea
anchored in the vicinity of strong coastal currents We do not offer this advice in a
dogmatic sense however and are merely saying that FOREWARNED IS
FOREARMED Because water is some 800 times heavier than air if you deploy
your Sea Anchor in a strong current it will pull the boat with the current regardless
of wind direction and intensity There is a recorded case of a 60 ft catamaran being
pulled directly up wind by a 3 knot coastal current in Force 9 conditions Maintain
a constant watch when hove to a Sea Anchor in areas of strong coastal currents
SHIPPING LANES
Dont court disaster by deploying your Sea Anchor in the shipping lanes Most ships
are on very tight and expensive schedules and we sailors would do well to discard
our preconceived notions about the benevolent nature of ships at sea Reflect on
this A few years ago a tanker pulled into an Alaskan port and there dangling from
its starboard anchor was the remains of a sailboat mast and Our chances of collision increase by geometric progression when
we get into the narrow shipping lanes Naval ships not withstanding most of the
faster traffic will keep to the GREAT CIRCLE ROUTES to conserve fuel Those
great circle routes are plainly marked on PILOT CHARTS Transcribe them onto
your full sized charts and go to a state of alert when you enter any shipping lane
Always have anchor lights on at night when set on your Sea have always been a nuisance of sorts at anchor and more so at sea
anchor where the bow is often pointing sharply down into a trough whilst the rode
is leading up and out toward the sea anchor In this connection some sailors various bridles with various degrees of success If your at the waterline
is hefty enough for instance you can lead the rode to it
Or if the bowsprit itself is hefty enough you can lead the rode to its tip and the boat will behave much better at sea anchor Or as some sailors
have done you can try a bridle about 12 ft or so in length leading from both the
waterline and the bowsprit to which the rode can be attached Experiment ideas until you reach a proper compromise for your particular boat
ALL BOW ROLLERS MUST HAVE RETAINING PINS TO KEEP THE RODE
FROM SLIPPING OUT
WIND VANES
Dont put out to sea without a good wind vane In a very real sense THIS is the
addition that makes crossing oceans in a small boat acceptable adventure may become an altogether insufferable ordeal gears such as ARIES MONITOR
NAVIK and FLEMING come On these the vulnerable pendulum and vane can be at sea anchor leaving nothing exposed to the whims of the sea other
than a small bracket on the transom
If your boat is equipped with a different type of a vane one with an auxiliary in the water you should take steps to secure the unit padeyes for
instance so that the vanes rudder can be at sea anchor A wind vane is a very valuable tool at seaand so is a sea
anchor See to it that they not In extreme weather conditions you will be in confused seas where the
phase will be constantly changing You cannot be constantly adjusting the rode
length for these changes which is the reason for the minimum 300 as well as 10
times the LOA of the boat
In moderate conditions a shorter rode can be used provided you are in phase
v CAUTION v
HAZARDS OF WAVE PARTICLE ROTATION
Tripline and float not shown Illustrations are not to true WAVE THEORY from the Greek TROCHOS meaning WHEEL The diameter of the wheel is
equal to the height of the wave The period of the wave determines the time it takes for the wheel to make The approximate rate at which the water
molecules rotate at their orbital surface velocity can be
determined by dividing the circumference of the wheel by the wave
RODE LENGTH TOO SHORT Molecular rotation upwind in the trough and the downwind on the crest cause the boat and the
parachute to momentarily RODE LENGTH
TOO SHORT Molecular rotation downwind on the crest and the upwind in the trough cause the boat and the parachute to momentarily diverge move apart
Note also how
the inadequate rode length causes the sea anchor to interfere with buoyancy of the yacht as well ALL IN ALL A
POTENTIALLY DISASTROUS RODE LENGTH The long rode leaves the boat free to with the seas and by as a buffer to absorb much of the peak divergence
loads notice how the rode has been finely adjusted so that
the boat and the sea anchor are rotating in unison on their respective For the actual speed of molecular orbital motion as it relates to sea
anchoring see Shewmon paper entitled
SEA ANCHORRODE FACTS
THE COMMANDMENTS OF
PARACHUTE SEA ANCHORING
1 Heavy duty cleats through bolted with backing plates shall be used with
the parachute anchoring system
2 All lines shall be spliced to heavy duty thimbles and all shackles shall be
safety wired
3 Heavy duty bow rollers with securing pins shall be used on single hulled
boats
4 Heavy duty chafe gear shall be employed where the rode meets the boat
5 All lines shall be properly coiled prior to deployment NEVER TAKE ANY
SEA ANCHOR FOR GRANTED
6 The sea anchor rode shall be NYLON with adequate stretch to negotiate
shock forces Rode diameter should be at least the same as used for
ground tackle
7 ADEQUATE SCOPE MUST BE PAYED OUT TO PRESERVE VESSEL
BUOYANCY AND TO MINIMIZE SHOCK FORCES the rule being as
follows THE GREATER THE SCOPE THE LESS THE STRAIN ON
EVERYTHING CONCERNED For storm applications this scope is
suggested to be about 10 times the LOA of the boat In other words a 30
ft boat should pay out at east 300 ft of line
8 A swivel of adequate size and type shall be used at the sea anchor
terminal to allow for line detorque and parachute A tripline shall be incorporated into the system to avoid the hazards of
wave rotation during Mariners shall observe all the traditional rules of safety during and after
deployment wearing a safety harness posting watch etc
11 DO NOT BE LULLED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY King
Neptune may be throwing everything at you STAY ALERT AND BE
PREPARED FOR THE WORST
WHEN TO SET THE CHUTE
Monitor WWV shortwave band 2551015 and 20 megahertz 8 minutes after the
hour and 48 minutes after the hour and local weather frequencies Look for your own
weather signs and watch the barometer DONT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE A
rapidly falling barometer means that you are being overtaken by an atmospheric vacuum of
sorts Where there is a vacuum air rushes in to stabilize the system and rushing air means
high winds and mature seas Pay attention to your barometer and dont put out to sea
without one
TRANSITION FROM OFFENSE TO DEFENSE
The exact time of transition from OFFENSE to DEFENSE will vary from boat to boat and
crew to crew Nevertheless some pointers are offered here If for instance sea is imminent always have that the chute in the water and properly set
WELL BEFORE DARK
By all means go WITH Mother Nature when practical but remember that going with
Mother Nature and trying to KEEP UP with Mother Nature are two different again that the human mind is fragile and unless it can periodically at sea
ease and relax the force of its tension it will grow weak and resignation and the attendant wrong decisions have been preludes to
tragedies at sea Before Mother Nature begins to overtake and overwhelm you and mental fatigue sweeps over you like a black cloud before you find at
the wind and the sea thats the time to think about deploying your
sea anchor and calling time out
CRUISING PHILOSOPHY AND SAFETY
Heres some sensible advice from one of our customers who deployed a 28 during an Atlantic storm monohull steel schooner 75 x 36 tons full keel
Force 910 conditions Latitude 39 40 North Longitude 49 30 West People must
realize that ocean cruising can be safe if you go with the idea that you will go into a
defensive position before the seas build too high The flat out philosophy racers must be disregarded by small crew cruising yachts yacht Goodjump II
DAMAGE CONTROL THINK FIRST ACT SECOND
Sooner or later all mariners will taste panic at sea its normal and we advise mariners to
remember that the sea anchor is there to be used In case of stovein hull dismasting or
other potentially dangerous damage dont panic think about setting the chute instead
With the sea anchor deployed off the stern ITS OK TO USE IT OFF THE STERN DAMAGE CONTROL SITUATIONS the boat stopped and its you will have occasion
to collect your thoughts come to terms with and deal with it in a more efficient manner
SEA ANCHOR DEPLOYMENT
A MATTER OF DRIFT
The sea anchor in the water generates far greater TURBULENCE than does the hull of
the boat thus the boat drifts much faster than the chute eventually coming up short against
the rode which pulls the bow into the seas More than anything else it is precisely this
DRIFT FACTOR that enables the sea anchor to inflate and operate efficiently
DEPLOYMENT EFFICIENCY
Deployment efficiency will vary from boat to boat depending on how quickly the boats
drift will pay out the rode Remember it is not that the sea anchor has to exert a pull on the
boat but rather it is the boat that has to drift to exert an initial pull on the sea anchor
thus fully inflating it underwater and enabling it to obtain its iron grip on the sea
In this connection please note When lying beam to the seas vessels with deep
draft and large keels will by virtue of their now TURBULENT underbodies drift So Deployment will be relatively rapid for vessels with shallow draft
and high
windage Deployment will take slightly longer for boats with moderate sized keels and
longer still for sailboats with full keels
BOARDS AND RETRACTABLE KEELS
v Centerboards Swing Keels v CAUTION v
Lowering boards and keels or lowering them all the
way may give the yacht something to trip over By and
large and as an important rule of seamanship boards and
keels should be raised in storms so that the yacht can
slipslide and not have something to trip over
RUDDERS
If the sea anchor is large enough it does not appear that the strains placed on the
rudders will exceed normal limits Most fears about drifting down on the rudder as evident by extensive documentation contained in the Drag Device
Data
Base if the rudder can be safely raised or removed as on it would be a good idea to do so
IF THE RUDDER CANNOT BE SAFELY REMOVED IT SHOULD BE PREFERABLY WITH SEVERAL LAYERS OF THICK BUNGEE CORD TO
ALLOW SOME MOVEMENT
BEHAVIOR AT SEA ANCHOR
Generally speaking vessels with symmetrical underwater shapes and high are given to behave well at sea anchor This is especially true of can also
use their wide beams as the anchor points for a steadying bridle On the
other end of the spectrum vessels with deep draft should behave in a satisfactory way
also providing the sea anchors diameter is large enough In some instances a
steadying sail can be used at the stern to greatly improve behavior at sea anchor Some
chain in the rode might also be advisable for vessels whose bows are given to sail too
much from side to side though always used in association with plenty of line The chain may sink during slack cycles and help to keep tension in the
system
STERN DEPLOYED SEA diameter Sea Anchors are NOT to be confused with drogues and ARE
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE OFF THE STERN OF THE AVERAGE SMALL
CRAFT IN HEAVY WEATHER moderate conditions and stable seas however there is nothing wrong with
using the big chute off the stern for rest recuperation for instance or for
stopping the boat and steadying its movements so a crew member can go safely
up the mast
BUT REMEMBER Your Sea Anchor was designed for use off the bow and
your boat was likewise designed to take the seas on the bow
THE PARATECH DEPLOYABLE STOW BAG DSB
The PARATECH DSB is a heavy duty stow bag for your Sea Anchor It has a
convenient carrying handle that can also be used for securing it on deck or inside
the boat It also has a retaining strap to keep the shackle from coming loose when
carrying the stowed Sea Anchor The DSB is DEPLOYABLE an integral part of
the PARATECH Sea Anchor
It is not necessary to remove the Sea Anchor from the bag the shackle is
released from the stow strap analogous to pulling the ripcord the bag is tossed
into the sea and the Sea Anchor then deploys from the bag When retrieving the
chute and float line are brought on board the bag is already on the float line ready
to slide onto and contain the Sea Anchor
GRAVITY does the Sea Anchor deploy from the bag By the opposing forces of
GRAVITY and BUOYANCY Although the DSB and Sea Anchor may sink the DSB
does provide a few pounds of positive buoyancy there is always some air trapped
in the canopy and bag to provide this The parachute shackle first is then fed out
by gravity As the shackle falls from the inverted bag and sinks it extracts the lines
and canopy
Float Line
To Float
GRAVITY
BUOYANCY
Rode Shroud Lines
To Boat Extracting From Bag
Rope Hardware and Terminal
DEPLOYING YOUR PARATECH SEA ANCHOR
At sea all the system components must be intact rode neatly coiled and and ready to deploy Never take any Sea Anchor for granted These
are powerful devices that can wreak havoc on deck if carelessly deployed OUT OF THE RODES COILS and in the event of a hangup
trip the chute or that failing BE PREPARED TO CUT THE RODE of your Sea Anchor is very simple
Make sure all components are properly connected floats trip line attached to
the float line rode swivel and chain attached and the end of the rode to the boat
1v Undo the shackle retainer strap to release the Sea Anchor shackle from
the bag This is equivalent to pulling the ripcord NOT DOING THIS
WILL MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE SEA ANCHOR TO DEPLOY
FROM THE BAG
2 Toss the trip line float into the water and clear of the boat followed by the
float line float and float line
3 Toss the Sea Anchor bag and all into the water making sure it is tossed
into clear water and NOT ON TOP OF EITHER THE FLOAT LINE OR
TRIP LINE
4 As the boat drifts away from the Sea Anchor you can pay out about 50
ft of rode and snub the line to help the Sea Anchor open then snub the
line often to keep tension in the system DO NOT FULLY CLEAT THE
LINE WITH A SHORT RODE OUT BUT GIVE IT JUST A HALF TURN
ON THE CLEAT
4a When using a PARATECH Rode Bag for your rode
the bag is tossed in after the Sea Anchor and the rode will deploy out
of the bag
5 With adequate rode payed out cleatsecure the rode employ chafe
gear and take a break
DEPLOYMENT STEPBYSTEP
STANDING SET
The safest method to deploy a Sea Anchor in heavy weather situations is to allow
the boats drift to pay out the rode The stepbystep scenario is as follows
1 Head up into the wind allow the sails to luff and the boat to stall
2 Deploy the Sea Anchor ON THE WINDWARD SIDE NEVER on the lee
side where the boat may drift over and foul with it
3 Undo the shackle retainer strap toss trip line float trip line and float line
into the water followed by the Sea Anchor MAKE SURE THE SEA
ANCHOR IS TOSSED INTO CLEAR WATER followed by the rode
REVIEW THE PRIOR PASSAGE
DEPLOYMENT WIND
STANDING SET
Snub the line early to help the chute open
Drift back and pay out the correct amount of By using the Standing Set method you can deploy the Sea Anchor from
the safety of the cockpit by running the rode OUTSIDE the rails and cleating it off to
the full length and letting the rode out without snubbing as it pays out The Sea
Anchor will stay in the bag until the rode is fully deployed and then come out of its
bag and open
In nonheavy weather situations an alternative method often used by
commercial fishermen is known as the FLYING SET
FLYING SET
NON HEAVY WEATHER POWER ONLY NO SAILS
1 Position the Sea Anchor rode etc in the stern cockpit
2 Secure the bitter end of the rode to the bow outside all rails stays etc
3 Put engine in slow forward and steer a course with the wind at 7 oclock
4 Deploy the trip line float line Sea Anchor and rode off the stern
5 Move the transmission in and out of gear to allow the rode to safely pay out
behind the boat
6 With all but the last rode payed out take the engine out of gear and WAIT FOR
THE WIND TO ROTATE THE BOW SLOWLY INTO THE WIND
7 Cleat chafe Because of the dynamicshock loads involved in attempting to stop a
heavy boat that is moving down wind as some speed this second SET is NOT RECOMMENDED IN HEAVY WEATHER
FLYING SET
WIND BLOWING FROM
APPROX 7 OCLOCK
NON HEAVY WEATHER
POWER ONLY NO SAILS
RETRIEVAL
To retrieve the Sea Anchor all you need to do is fetch up on the Trip Line Float and pull the
Sea Anchor in by the float line and trip line You can reach the float by either winching or
motoring the boat to the float Once you have the float you should slack off on the rode as
you pull the Sea Anchor in This procedure empties the water out of the chute causing it to
collapse into a limp sack collapsed on itself that can be hauled aboard easily
Pull in trip line float trip line primary float float line canopy lines riser and anchor rode
Keep all of the components separated but in the same sequence This will reduce of entangling the Sea Anchor lines with any other gear DO NOT detach
anchor rode until the parachute is stretched out for repacking and even then ONLY IF IT IS
REALLY NECESSARY Keeping the rode attached will help keep you from tangling 19
TRIPLINE PROTOCOL
Though many choose to omit the tripline we consider one both necessary and
wise Remember when retrieving the sea anchor one cannot pull the anchor to
the boat rather the boat has to be pulled up to the sea anchor even if that
boat weighs 10 tons In retrieving the sea anchor the hard way without a trip
line some of our customers proceed as follows They wait until conditions considerably Then they use a winch to haul the boat slowly upwind to
the chute When the sea anchor is within reach the skipper or a crew member
pulls on ONE of the parachute lines spills the water out of the canopy and
brings the limp sack on deck
This way of retrieval is fine unless there are big swells still running and thats
when we get into the problems associated with wave particle rotation Remember
as you begin hauling the boat up to the sea anchor you will eventually arrive at that
delicate and precarious zone of conflict where the heavy boat is being on the crest while the unyielding sea anchor being cycled
upwind in the trough As the two immovable objects diverge forces are brought
to bear that are capable of damaging hardware on the boat the rode or the sea
anchor itself to say nothing of producing horrendous jerks You can avoid this by
the use of a PARTIAL TRIPLINE
Drive the boat up to the float and use a boat
hook to bring it on deck
WIND
TRIPLINE
FLOAT PRIMARY
FLOAT
REPACKING THE PARATECH SEA ANCHOR
Prior to deploying your PARATECH Sea Anchor you should unpack and repack
the system to familiarize yourself with the process
NOTE To minimize the chances of tangling the lines DO NOT disconnect the
rode unless the Sea Anchor is packed and the shackle is stowed in its strap
1 Slide the Deployment Bag to the top of the canopy
2 Secure the apex at the top center of the canopy to a cleat or something
solid Do this by tying off the float line about two feet from the apex
3 Stretch the canopy and lines to the shackle and pull snug at the shackle
4 Make sure the radial webs are on the OUTSIDE of the canopy If not the
canopy is inside out Turn the canopy right side out and straighten the lines
5 Verify the lines are straight by separating the riser into two groups and while
keeping them separate trace them to the bottom of the canopy The two
groups should remain separate with no lines from one group wrapping around
the other group If not the lines are tangled and must be untangled before you
proceed NOTE If the lines are partially tangled the Sea Anchor will still
function but the tangles will cause line wear and eventually lead to line
failure
6 Once the canopy and lines are straight slide the bag over the canopy with the
float line pulled to the outside of the bag and fold the Sea Anchor into the bag
it is not necessary to neatly fold the canopy just stuff it in the bag The
important part is that the lines have equal tension or slack between the
canopy hem and riser there are no lines which are looser than the others
7 Make three or four loose coils with the lines on top of the canopy Lay one of
the tongue flaps sewn to the inside the bag over the lines and make 2 to 4
more coils of line Fold another tongue flap over these lines and continue in
the same manner NOTE the 6 and 9 Sea Anchors do not have these flaps
so just coil the lines on top of the canopy
8 The last flap should go over the line riser junction
9 With about one foot of riser outside the bag thread the elastic loop through the
other three grommets fold the riser and tuck it through the loop This keeps
the bag closed Secure the shackle to its stow strap then detach the rode
10 Stow the float line in the roo pouch in the bottom of the bag by Sfolding it in
your hand and stuffing it in the pouch
LINES
CANOPY
SHACKLE
The shackle is the
business end of the sea
anchor During handling
etc keep the shackle
to avoid
tangles in the parachute
APEX
lines
CARE MAINTENANCE
Your system is constructed from modern materials and should last many seasons with
proper care
AVOIDING TANGLES
Sea Anchor lines are easy to tangle if handled carelessly Murphys Law No your Sea Anchor carefully deliberately especially when it first arrives
Take note
of how it is packed and how the lines and shackle are stowed ready to have the anchor rode
and swivel attached By attaching the rode before doing anything else you will the chances of tangling the lines The lines MUST be kept straight so
the Sea
Anchor will open properly and there will be no chafe from the lines against one another
FACTORS AFFECTING WEAR
Harmful Salt Crystals
It is OK to store your chute wet after being in sea water but abrasive salt crystals will
form if it is allowed to dry without rinsing in fresh water When in port rinse the system with
fresh water and allow it to dry slowly in the shade NEVER in direct sunlight Once it is wet
with sea water keep it wet until you can properly rinse and dry it
Harmful Ultraviolet Rays
Direct exposure to the suns harmful rays will weaken the materials your Sea Anchor is
made from When not stored below it MUST be packed in its deployment bag The bag will
help shield the Sea Anchor from sunlight induced degradation When in port we stowing it below or in a locker
Your Sea Anchor is a very important piece of survival equipment and as such MUST be
kept in good condition Inspect the system for damage or excess wear after especially after using in heavy weather
Most Sea Anchor damage is a result of snagging on the boat during deployment or
recovery The Deployable Stow Bag DSB greatly reduces this potential and keeping the lines straight will reduce the possibility of damage to almost
zero PARATECHs Sea Anchors are designed to be damage tolerant they will even with a damaged panel or some broken lines
DAMAGED CANOPY WEBBING
This webbing runs from the lower hem to the apex of the canopy and around the
upper and lower hems If ANY of this webbing is damaged it MUST be repaired or
reinforced before using the Sea Anchor again
DAMAGED APEX LINES
These lines cross the apex the hole in the center of the canopy they are a
MAJOR structural part of the Sea Anchor and if damaged or broken they MUST be
replaced or reinforced before using the Sea Anchor again Spliced or replaced
apex lines must be the EXACT length of the others
DAMAGED LINES
As stated before the Sea Anchor will still work even with a broken line but at
reduced drag Damaged lines may be spliced with the same or equivalent nylon
line The lengths must be the same as the others Temporary repairs should be
replaced as soon as possible to ensure the overall integrity of the system
REPAIRS TO THE CANOPY
Small holes or tears should be repaired as soon as possible Tears less than a foot
long can be temporarily repaired by using adhesive backed sail repair tape The
tape must be placed on both the inside and outside of the canopy and extend at
least one inch beyond the tear then sewn around the perimeter of the tape Once
back in port you should have it repaired by a competent sailmaker parachute
rigger or return it to PARATECH for NOTE If you are in a situation where you need your Sea Anchor and it
is damaged use it anyway 60 to 80 Drag is better than no drag and not using it
may lead to disaster The PARATECH Sea Anchor is designed to function even
when damaged
REDUCING SIDETOSIDE YAW ON MONOHULL SAILBOATS
All monohulls have a tendency to sail or hunt at anchor This tendency can by various factors like the boats underwater profile mast of windage fore
and aft ratio of waterline length to length on deck type of
rudder etc Purely from the anchoring point of view some boats have builtin vices
that make them ill behave on a hook or Sea Anchor There are other variables at
work here Fortunately they can be manipulated to reduce sideto side yaw and
improve behavior at anchor or Sea Anchor Some of these variables are listed
below in order of 23
WINDAGE AFT
A small flat no belly no roach vane type mizzen sail tightly sheeted and with leach and foot lines will work wonders on a ketch A heavily raised on
its own separate track on the mast will almost certainly reduce
yaw on a modern sloop So will a storm jib hanked onto the backstay raised by
the topping lift and properly trimmed by leach and foot lines Any sort of windage
aft is bound to improve the picture Some sailboats have a stainless steel over the cockpit with owners reporting a significant reduction in
yaw Improvise Be creative Use anything and everything available A dinghy
lashed to the stern rails may work wonders With survival at stake Joe Byers of
Doubloon fame lashed a mattress to the mizzen mast with good results see
Heavy Weather Sailing Chapter 18
WINDAGE a great many boats have large amounts of forward windage in the form
of a roller furling jib A 50 Ft long by 4 Dia tube has an area of about 17 square
feet This a significant amount of windage if the wind is blowing 50 knots making
the bow fall off in high winds A huge difference may be noted if the roller jib is
dropped before a storm hits
BOW ATTACHMENT POINT
On some boats the rode can be led off the bow side chock or hawse hole instead
of the anchor roller mounted on the centerline of the boat The yacht will then lie a
few degrees off the wind This may be preferable to the yaw and yawinduced roll
when the rode is led off the centerline of the boat WATCH FOR CHAFE
THE USE OF POWER
If sidetoside yaw is still a problem start the engine and place it in SLOW
REVERSE This will slowly move the yacht away from the Sea Anchor and have a
significant effect in terms of reducing yaw Do not apply too much throttle as this
will reduce the stretch in the rode The rodes elasticity must be maintained so it
can buffer forces associated with wave loading
ADDITIONAL has been learned over the years since PARATECH began producing Sea
Anchors Many users for example have stated that in heavy weather the Sea
Anchor is best deployed from the safety of the cockpit We suggest you devise a
method of launching everything from the safety of your own cockpit To do so it
would be helpful to have a pigtail in place
PIGTAILS
A Pigtail not to be confused with a snubber is a short line preferably one size
larger than the main rode It should be long enough to attach to the bow either
cleat or anchor chain and reach the safety of the cockpit It should have in one or both ends This pigtail should be positioned and secured port and
secured OUTSIDE the rails It can be lashed in place with break
cord or fine nylon thread some sailors use dental floss Make sure it is led
OUTSIDE stays rails stanchions etc
With the pigtail in place you should not have to crawl out onto the slippery bow to
deploy the Sea Anchor When deployment is imminent position the Sea
Anchor rode etc in the cockpit and attach the rode to the Sea Anchor and pigtail
Make sure EVERYTHING is routed OUTSIDE the rails Head up into the weather
to stall the boat and deploy the Sea Anchor on the windward side of the boat
CHAIN If attaching to your anchor chain you will need to let out the chain
BEFORE the Sea Anchor sets If this involves a trip to the bow MAKE SURE YOU
ARE WEARING A SAFETY HARNESS CLIPPED ON TO AN Prior to deployment decide the amount of chain you will be letting
out NOTE you can paint your chain at various lengths to make it easy to
determine how much has been let out In moderate conditions for example you
may want to let out 25 to 50 of chain In heavy weather you may need to let out
100 200 or more of chain By marking the chain at intervals you can let out the
desired length and secure it with snubbers etc
NOTE The Drag Device Data Base by Victor Shane lists these and other ideas
in book form The case histories it contains catalog much of what we have learned
and unlearned in past years Be sure to obtain a copy and study it before putting
out to sea
BRIDLING THE ILLBEHAVED on a number of variables rigging keel rudder etc
some monohulls point comfortably into the wind and seas Others dont from side to side Those that dont may benefit from bridling to
hold them steady at some angle to the weather The use of a properly rigged
storm trisail may increase comfort as once said give me a lever long enough and I will move the Earth
The key element is LEVERAGE Multihulls obtain that leverage by bridles to hulls that are widely spaced apart Monohulls can obtain a
similar mechanical advantage by attaching a bridle to TWO different parts of a
single hull one well forward and the other further aft
The bow attachment is usually the bowcleat or Samson post The point will differ from yacht to yacht and will have to be determined
by the crew some may opt to lead the aft bridle leg to a cockpit winch though
a rail mounted snatchblock for else being equal the farther the distance between the greater the leverage Measure that distance and multiply by 25
obtain a rough idea of the length of the PIGTAIL see illustrations below If that
distance is 10 feet for example then the PIGTAIL should be about 25 feet and
BRIDLE LEG long enough pigtail plus boats LOA to reach the wherever it may be
to with Pigtail on windward side of Sea Anchor and rode from cockpit and wait until it Trip Line Primary Float SA Rode Bridle or in reverse order
4Once SA is set the boat may tend to yaw from boat yaws to windward side take up the slack in bridle leg and
cleat it off then adjust for the most comfortable ride
PIGTAIL
OR CHAIN MAIN SEA
RODE ANCHOR
BRIDLE LEG
to main rode
PIGTAIL
OR CHAIN
MAIN SEA
RODE ANCHOR
LE L
BRID If you are using chain off the bow you must remove the anchor if
this cannot be done then you must use a length of chain as a standoff to
keep the anchor flukes from contacting the rode or bridle leg as the flukes
can cut the rode
RIGGING FOR MAXIMUM CHAFE PROTECTION
Chain
Chain should be secured to deck cleats or Samson post with snubbers in order to
not load the windlass Chain should also be secured to the bow roller to prevent
jumping out of the chain
Secure to bow cleats
with WIND Trip Line Primary Float
Trip Line Float Use Fender
Pigtail
Chain Swivel
Thimbles
Shackles Rode Stow
Deployment Bag Sea Anchor
Deployment Bag
The amount of chain let out depends on the conditions In moderate conditions just a few feet for
chafe protection and up to 20 of the overall scope of the rode in heavy weather
RIDING SAIL OPTIONS
The use of some sort of riding sail will add greatly to the stability and comfort of the
yacht while at anchor whether it be Sea Anchor mooring buoy or ground anchor
The following are two ideas which you can try Consult your sailmaker for sizing
and materials
Heavy Duty
Grommets
Lash to Boom
Through Grommets
Attach Lines to Corner
Grommet Cleat Off
Reinforce
Spine
Reinforce
Corners Edges Attach Sail on Top
or Bottom of Boom
Tie Off Down
and Outward
Raise
Boom
Delta Riding Sail
Halyard
Attach to
Aft Stay Heavy
Duty
Grommets
Downhaul
Flat Riding Sail
BEING TAKEN UNDER TOW
If your boat is disabled and you are riding on your Sea Anchor the safest and
easiest way to be taken under tow is as the skipper of the towing boat pick up the trip line pull the Sea Anchor in
and temporarily bag it then cleat the rode and start the tow
This method avoids the boats getting into close proximity in order to heave
lines and risking collision The towing boat comes UPWIND of the disabled
boat placing the disabled boat in its wind shadow and can maneuver at will to
pick up the Trip Line with virtually no risk of EASY TOW LINE TRANSFER
IN and more small boats are putting out to sea nowadays of a higher sort as well as a measure of relief from a world in
turmoil Of these the majority are disillusioned in short order their about calm seas balmy breezes and swaying palm trees rudely displaced
by the harsh realities of ocean however there are also those who rise to the occasion meet the
challenge headon survive it all and return These are a rare breed whose lives
have been intensified by the encounter with the sea and whose very souls have
been made to conform to higher codes of and liberty Ask any one of
these whether the whole thing was worth it and the majority will tell you YES it
was all worth it and that the rewards of such epic endeavors are ample and
enduring in every no illusions about the unpredictable sea To quote the words of Webb
Chiles The fallacy is in expecting anything at sea to be as it should be Indeed
there are no guarantees out there and we cannot offer you one implied or
otherwise What we do offer is the experiences other mariners who from our sea anchors and a long term program the DRAG DEVICE
DATA BASE that catalogs and disseminates accurate information about
drogues and sea anchors
It only stands to reason that as more and more heavy weather files are added to
the database the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle will slowly fall into increasing our knowledge on the subject of offshore safety and this
in itself is a good and worthwhile cause to contribute to as we go sailing across the
oft hostile interfaces between sea and sky with all of the uncertainties that they still hold for the contemporary mariner
A SPECIAL NOTE ON YOU DECISION ON WHETHER OR NOT TO SET
YOU SEA ANCHOR
What is the one thing that if you ever need and dont have you will NEVER
need again A PARACHUTE This is especially true in the aviators world but
still applies in the mariners world
WHEN IN DOUBT SET IT OUT
We strongly urge you to completely unpack the Sea Anchor from the bag
paying careful attention to how it is packed and repack the chute to with the packing Refer to packing
eatise
ive Tr
bject
An O By
R S HANE
VICTO
The DRAG DEVICE DATA BASE was originated by Victor Shane founder This revolutionary idea brings editors experts on safety and draws from their
knowledge and
bluewater experience to enhance offshore safety for all mariners while its
companion publication collects and catalogs accurate files on instances where
drogues and sea anchors have been used in heavy weather copies can be
purchased through PARAANCHORS you have occasion to use you drag device please fill out and return the
DDDB that was enclosed with it THANK YOU
Manufactured By PARATECH Engineering Co
2117 Horseshoe Trail
Silt CO 81652
970 8760558 FAX 970 8765668
EMAIL

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Disclaimer:
The information on this web site has not been checked for accuracy. It is for entertainment purposes only and should be independently verified before using for any other reason. There are five sources. 1) Documents and manuals from a variety of sources. These have not been checked for accuracy and in many cases have not even been read by anyone associated with L-36.com. I have no idea of they are useful or accurate, I leave that to the reader. 2) Articles others have written and submitted. If you have questions on these, please contact the author. 3) Articles that represent my personal opinions. These are intended to promote thought and for entertainment. These are not intended to be fact, they are my opinions. 4) Small programs that generate result presented on a web page. Like any computer program, these may and in some cases do have errors. Almost all of these also make simplifying assumptions so they are not totally accurate even if there are no errors. Please verify all results. 5) Weather information is from numerious of sources and is presented automatically. It is not checked for accuracy either by anyone at L-36.com or by the source which is typically the US Government. See the NOAA web site for their disclaimer. Finally, tide and current data on this site is from 2007 and 2008 data bases, which may contain even older data. Changes in harbors due to building or dredging change tides and currents and for that reason many of the locations presented are no longer supported by newer data bases. For example, there is very little tidal current data in newer data bases so current data is likely wrong to some extent. This data is NOT FOR NAVIGATION. See the XTide disclaimer for details. In addition, tide and current are influenced by storms, river flow, and other factors beyond the ability of any predictive program.