' Para Tech Sea Anchor Instructions'
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PARATECH Engineering Co 2117 Horseshoe Trail Silt CO 81652 970 8760558 FAX 970 FOR USING YOURPARATECH 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 isin business to enhance offshore safety Please do your part to promote encourage andreward good safety habits on your ship Set a good example by wearing your own lifejacket on board Practice man overboard drills Review all safety matters with your crewDo they know how to find and use the fire extinguishers Will they be able to use the VHF tosummon aid on their own NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED AT SEAOffshore safety is many things but first and foremost it is that conservative attitude of mindthat never takes anything for granted at sea In particular never take your SEA ANCHORfor granted Remember also that drag devices are mere aids to seamanship and only assafe 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 priorto 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 mustbe properly coiled beforehand Stand clear of the coils as the rope is paying out PAY OUT LOTS OF RODEThe parachute anchoring system relies heavily on the stretch of the long nylon rode foryielding to the seas and not standing up against them Even in moderate conditions youshould pay out at least 300 of rode 1015x LOA in heavy weather situations PARTICIPATE IN THE DRAG DEVICE DATABASE PROGRAMOur mutual association with offshore safety is an ongoing one It doesnt end after the saleThe founder of PARAANCHORS INTERNATIONAL has instituted a to catalog preserve and publish accurate information about instances where seaanchors and drogues have been used If you have occasion to use your drag deviceplease fill out and return the DDDB form that was enclosed with it An ever growingdata resource such as this willin timebe productive of critical insights into heavy weathertactics and go a long way toward enhancing offshore safety for all mariners Your feedbackyour opinions and your observations regardless of how insignificant they may seem are ofvital importance to the concept of offshore safety as a whole Working together we CANprevent tragedies such as Fastnet 79 We WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU FAIR WINDS FOLLOWING SEAS Don Whilldin President PARATECH Engineering Company i u r a r yo eW i f L et e a c k J Its your friend for LIFE ii v Watch for this symbol it indicates some of the most important items to knowTABLE OF CONTENTS PageSURVIVAL The MindSet 1RIGGING A COMPONENT 2 B ASSEMBLY 4 C CATENARY 5 D CHAFE 6CAUTIONS 8COMMANDMENTS OF PARACHUTE SEA ANCHORING 11WHEN TO SET THE CHUTE 12SETUP Center of BookDEPLOYMENT A A MATTER OF DRIFT 13 B DEPLOYABLE STOW BAGDSB 16 C DEPLOYMENT 17 1 STANDING SET 17 2 FLYING SET 18RETRIEVAL 19REPACKING 21CARE MAINTENANCE 22REDUCING SIDETOSIDE YAW 23ADDITIONAL 25 A PIGTAILS 25 B BRIDLING 26 C RIGGING 28 D RIDING SAILS 29 E TOWING 30SUMMATION 31THE DRAG DEVICE DATA BASE Back Cover iii Survival THE MIND SET In as much as drag devices are liable to be used in extreme conditions perhaps weshould digress briefly to mention a thing or two about the all important mental aspects ofsurvival also forewarned is forearmed Coast Guard Navy and Air Force survival expertsagree that there is no the role that the mariners state of mind plays in hisor her survival Attitude is the main thing said Mike Munroe who survived the 165 knotwinds of Hurricane Allen 1980 in a Givens life raft While rescuers have marveled at the tenacity demonstrated by some survivors theyhave also been perplexed and disturbed by those who seem to capitulate and give up withlittle struggle evidently the sheer will to survive having been the major determining factorbetween life and death itself Its a very hard thing to define the will to survive saidretired Coast Guard search and rescue chief John Waters March 1988 issue ofSOUNDINGS Accordingly we advise mariners who venture offshore to be always mentally disciplinedfor survival at sea as the Green Beret is disciplined for survival in combat To quote the lastparagraph of the inquiry on the Fastnet Tragedy of 1979 In the 1979 race the seashowed that it can be a deadly enemy and that those who go to sea for pleasure mustdo 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 chargeof the situation and rule your ship with an iron will Deploy your sea anchor pay out lots ofstretchy rode so as to yield and not stand up against the seas Employ heavy chafegear Use a backing sail to keep the bow from swinging excessively from side to sideBatten down the hatches use hammer and nail if you have to Jettison all potentially lethalflying objects from the cabin THROW THEM OVERBOARD Set your house in order anddig in for the battle to survive COME WHAT MAY Establish a strict schedule for keepingwatch and getting rest Appoint a similar discipline for eating Avoid binging on food andavoid beverages containing alcohol the poison that weakens the will KEEP BUSYMan the pumps Repair damage as best as you can stay sober post watch pray andnever NEVER give up Enforce a positive attitude avoid despair like the plague anddont 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 infact going to sink Remember Fastnet 79 In that tragic race twenty four yachts abandoned by their crews which climbed into rubber life rafts believing thattheir vessels were about to sink Astonishingly however ONLY FOUR OF THOSE YACHTSWERE ACTUALLY SUNK BY THE FREAK STORM and whilst many souls perished in thoserubber life rafts some of which split apart at the seams NINETEEN of those emptyabandoned boats were found to be intact and still floating AFTER the storm had passedon 1 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 ROPEThe proper type size and length of rode will make the difference between acomfortable safe ride and a harsh possibly damaging rideType 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 ropeSize Rope size should be at least suitable for ground anchoring The following are general guidelinesSea 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 2Length 10 to 15 times the LOA a MINIMUM of 300 is recommended Rope endsshould be spliced to heavy duty deep cup thimbles and properly seized in place SWIVELSWe 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 2 are for the Primary float attached to the end of the Sea AnchorFloat Line Buoyancy is to support the entire weight of the Sea Anchor ropechain etc if the rope was released and allowed to sink We suggest using fenderfloats for the primary float as you already have them The Trip Line float onlyneeds to float and be visibleThe Primary Float MUST always be used as it controls the maximum depth theSea 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 LINEThe trip line should be polypropylene due to its buoyancy 14 to 38 is recommended as it handles easier than twisted and is less prone tokinking and tanglingLength The trip line may be from 20 to all the way back to the boat full trip line Afull trip line is not recommended in heavy weather due to the possibility of itsfouling and accidentally tripping the Sea Anchor A good length to work with is 50to 100 In moderate conditions where an accidentally tripped Sea Anchor wouldnot put the boat at risk a full trip line may be usedThe trip line is placed between the Primary Float and the Trip Line Float and isused to trip collapse and recover the Sea Anchor 3 CHAINBBBPC Galvanized chain is recommended and can be placed at any pointbetween the Sea Anchor and the boat Stainless steel or HiTest chain of equalstrength may also be usedIf the boat uses chain for its ground tackle then the best method is to attach theSea Anchor rode to the end of the anchor chain with the anchor REMOVED andlet out from 10 to 150 feet of chain Make sure the chain is snubbed to deck cleatswith snubbers to off load the windlass The chain should be no more than 20 ofthe overall scope of the rode Using chain to lead off the boat eliminates the worryabout chafeNOTE The anchor MUST be removed or a short length of chain used as a standoff so the anchor flukes cannot come in contact with the rode The anchor flukesWILL cut the rode if they contact the rodeSuggested MINIMUM chainSea 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 bagB 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 StowDeployment 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 BAG 4 CATENARYThe use of catenary may aid ride comfort Catenary is the inclusion of weight in therode somewhere between the Sea Anchor and boat intended to create some sagin the rode where there is a slack cycle in the wind andor wave motion INTHEORY as the motion energy from a passing wave passes by it will lift andpush the boat away from the Sea Anchor As this occurs the sag in the rode ispulled towards a straight line helping the boat yield to the seaThe following illustrations show various ways that catenary may be built into thesystem WIND CHAIN CATENARY CATENARY CHAIN CATENARY CHAINNote Use of an all chain rode is not recommended 5SEGMENTED RODEVoyagers passing through the Panama Canal must have handling lines in order topass through the locks These lines can be made with thimbles in each end andmay be used for the Sea Anchor rode thus giving the user many options in lengthand configuration v A SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING CHAFE vOne of the most important points which MUST not be overlooked is the area wherethe rode rubs against the boat usually the bow eye which the rode will pass throughThe constant movement of the boat will cause the rode to rub Chafe in this area Special care MUST be taken to transfer this wear tosomething leather pads hose for example which will wear instead of the rodeOnce the Sea Anchor is deployed you MUST employ chafe gear where the roderubs against the boat The more severe the conditions the more important the chafegear isFailure to use proper chafe gear WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO THE FAILURE OFTHE RODE AND THE POSSIBLE LOSS OF YOUR VESSEL AND CREWWhile at Sea Anchor you should regularly monitor the condition of the rode wherechafe is possible If chafe is occurring either employ more chafe gear or freshen thenip let out a bit of line to shift the wear point ALWAYS MAINTAIN A WATCHv MULTIHULLSA bridle to the OUTER HULLS must always be used on multihulls Each legshould be approximately 2 times the beam of the boat Thimbles should bespliced in at least one end of each leg and attached SEPARATELY use 2shackles one for each leg to the main rode The boat ends may be secured tocleats with backing plates or run through snatch blocks to cockpit winches andadjusted for the most comfortable ride 6WARNING v WARNING v WARNING v WARNING v WARNINGSome catamarans have a centrally located anchor roller situated midbeam on theweakest part of the boat the aluminum crossbar that supports the trampoline Onthese boats leading a line there MUST NOT BE DONE It is not braced like a mastand attaching to it can lead to failure of the crossbar capsize and loss of lifeAttach the bridle legs ONLY to the hulls on catamarans CORRECT BRIDLE SET UP DANGEROUS BRIDLE SET UP 7 CAUTION COASTAL CURRENTSLarge diameter sea anchors are very powerful devices in so far as checking winddrift is concerned For this reason we advise mariners to be aware when seaanchored in the vicinity of strong coastal currents We do not offer this advice in adogmatic sense however and are merely saying that FOREWARNED ISFOREARMED Because water is some 800 times heavier than air if you deployyour Sea Anchor in a strong current it will pull the boat with the current regardlessof wind direction and intensity There is a recorded case of a 60 ft catamaran beingpulled directly up wind by a 3 knot coastal current in Force 9 conditions Maintaina constant watch when hove to a Sea Anchor in areas of strong coastal currents SHIPPING LANESDont court disaster by deploying your Sea Anchor in the shipping lanes Most shipsare on very tight and expensive schedules and we sailors would do well to discardour preconceived notions about the benevolent nature of ships at sea Reflect onthis A few years ago a tanker pulled into an Alaskan port and there dangling fromits starboard anchor was the remains of a sailboat mast and Our chances of collision increase by geometric progression whenwe get into the narrow shipping lanes Naval ships not withstanding most of thefaster traffic will keep to the GREAT CIRCLE ROUTES to conserve fuel Thosegreat circle routes are plainly marked on PILOT CHARTS Transcribe them ontoyour full sized charts and go to a state of alert when you enter any shipping laneAlways have anchor lights on at night when set on your Sea have always been a nuisance of sorts at anchor and more so at seaanchor where the bow is often pointing sharply down into a trough whilst the rodeis leading up and out toward the sea anchor In this connection some sailors haveimprovised various bridles with various degrees of success If your bobstayfitting at the waterline is hefty enough for instance you can lead the rode to itOr if the bowsprit itself is hefty enough you can lead the rode to its tip moreleverage and the boat will behave much better at sea anchor Or as some sailorshave done you can try a bridle about 12 ft or so in length leading from both thewaterline and the bowsprit to which the rode can be attached Experiment withdifferent ideas until you reach a proper compromise for your particular boatALL BOW ROLLERS MUST HAVE RETAINING PINS TO KEEP THE RODEFROM SLIPPING OUT 8 WIND VANESDont put out to sea without a good wind vane In a very real sense THIS is theaddition that makes crossing oceans in a small boat acceptable adventure may become an altogether insufferable ordeal Servopendulum gears such as ARIES MONITOR NAVIK and FLEMING come On these the vulnerable pendulum and vane can be quicklyremoved at sea anchor leaving nothing exposed to the whims of the sea otherthan a small bracket on the transomIf 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 seaanchor See to it that they complimentand not contradictone anotherNOTE In extreme weather conditions you will be in confused seas where thephase will be constantly changing You cannot be constantly adjusting the rodelength for these changes which is the reason for the minimum 300 as well as 10times the LOA of the boatIn moderate conditions a shorter rode can be used provided you are in phase 9 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 isequal to the height of the wave The period of the wave determines the time it takes for the wheel to make onerevolution The approximate rate at which the water molecules rotate at their orbital surface velocity can bedetermined by dividing the circumference of the wheel by the wave periodCAUTION 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 howthe inadequate rode length causes the sea anchor to interfere with buoyancy of the yacht as well ALL IN ALL APOTENTIALLY DISASTROUS RODE LENGTH The long rode leaves the boat free to risemoverotate with the seas and by stretchingacts as a buffer to absorb much of the peak divergence loads notice how the rode has been finely adjusted so thatthe boat and the sea anchor are rotating in unison on their respective wavesNote For the actual speed of molecular orbital motion as it relates to sea anchoring see Shewmon paper entitledSEA ANCHORRODE FACTS 10 THE COMMANDMENTS OF PARACHUTE SEA ANCHORING1 Heavy duty cleats through bolted with backing plates shall be used with the parachute anchoring system2 All lines shall be spliced to heavy duty thimbles and all shackles shall be safety wired3 Heavy duty bow rollers with securing pins shall be used on single hulled boats4 Heavy duty chafe gear shall be employed where the rode meets the boat5 All lines shall be properly coiled prior to deployment NEVER TAKE ANY SEA ANCHOR FOR GRANTED6 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 tackle7 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 line8 A swivel of adequate size and type shall be used at the sea anchor terminal to allow for line detorque and parachute freewheel9 A tripline shall be incorporated into the system to avoid the hazards of wave rotation during retrieval10 Mariners shall observe all the traditional rules of safety during and after deployment wearing a safety harness posting watch etc11 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 11 WHEN TO SET THE CHUTE Monitor WWV shortwave band 2551015 and 20 megahertz 8 minutes after thehour and 48 minutes after the hour and local weather frequencies Look for your ownweather signs and watch the barometer DONT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE Arapidly falling barometer means that you are being overtaken by an atmospheric vacuum ofsorts Where there is a vacuum air rushes in to stabilize the system and rushing air meanshigh winds and mature seas Pay attention to your barometer and dont put out to seawithout one TRANSITION FROM OFFENSE TO DEFENSE The exact time of transition from OFFENSE to DEFENSE will vary from boat to boat andcrew to crew Nevertheless some pointers are offered here If for instance sea is imminent always have that the chute in the water and properly setWELL BEFORE DARK By all means go WITH Mother Nature when practical but remember that going withMother Nature and trying to KEEP UP with Mother Nature are two different thingsRemember 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 totragedies at sea Before Mother Nature begins to overtake and overwhelm you beforephysical and mental fatigue sweeps over you like a black cloud before you find uncontrollably at the wind and the sea thats the time to think about deploying yoursea 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 keelForce 910 conditions Latitude 39 40 North Longitude 49 30 West People mustrealize that ocean cruising can be safe if you go with the idea that you will go into adefensive position before the seas build too high The flat out philosophy ofprofessional racers must be disregarded by small crew cruising yachts JeremiahNixon 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 toremember that the sea anchor is there to be used In case of stovein hull dismasting orother potentially dangerous damage dont panic think about setting the chute insteadWith the sea anchor deployed off the stern ITS OK TO USE IT OFF THE STERN FORNONSTORM 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 12 SEA ANCHOR DEPLOYMENT A MATTER OF DRIFT The sea anchor in the water generates far greater TURBULENCE than does the hull ofthe boat thus the boat drifts much faster than the chute eventually coming up short againstthe rode which pulls the bow into the seas More than anything else it is precisely thisDRIFT 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 boatsdrift will pay out the rode Remember it is not that the sea anchor has to exert a pull on theboat but rather it is the boat that has to drift to exert an initial pull on the sea anchorthus 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 deepdraft and large keels will by virtue of their now TURBULENT underbodies drift veryslowly So Deployment will be relatively rapid for vessels with shallow draft and highwindage Deployment will take slightly longer for boats with moderate sized keels andlonger 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 therudders will exceed normal limits Most fears about drifting down on the rudder areunfounded as evident by extensive documentation contained in the Drag Device DataBase if the rudder can be safely raised or removed as on somemultihulls 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 TOALLOW 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 theother end of the spectrum vessels with deep draft should behave in a satisfactory wayalso providing the sea anchors diameter is large enough In some instances asteadying sail can be used at the stern to greatly improve behavior at sea anchor Somechain in the rode might also be advisable for vessels whose bows are given to sail toomuch from side to side though always used in association with plenty of stretchynylon line The chain may sink during slack cycles and help to keep tension in the system 131415 STERN DEPLOYED SEA ANCHORSLarge diameter Sea Anchors are NOT to be confused with drogues and ARENOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE OFF THE STERN OF THE AVERAGE SMALLCRAFT IN HEAVY WEATHER SITUATIONSIn moderate conditions and stable seas however there is nothing wrong withusing the big chute off the stern for rest recuperation for instance or forstopping the boat and steadying its movements so a crew member can go safelyup the mastBUT REMEMBER Your Sea Anchor was designed for use off the bow andyour 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 aconvenient carrying handle that can also be used for securing it on deck or insidethe boat It also has a retaining strap to keep the shackle from coming loose whencarrying 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 isreleased from the stow strap analogous to pulling the ripcord the bag is tossedinto the sea and the Sea Anchor then deploys from the bag When retrieving thechute and float line are brought on board the bag is already on the float line readyto slide onto and contain the Sea Anchor GRAVITY EXTRACTIONHow does the Sea Anchor deploy from the bag By the opposing forces ofGRAVITY and BUOYANCY Although the DSB and Sea Anchor may sink the DSBdoes provide a few pounds of positive buoyancy there is always some air trappedin the canopy and bag to provide this The parachute shackle first is then fed outby gravity As the shackle falls from the inverted bag and sinks it extracts the linesand canopy Float Line To Float GRAVITY BUOYANCY Rode Shroud Lines To Boat Extracting From Bag Rope Hardware and Terminal 16 DEPLOYING YOUR PARATECH SEA ANCHORAt sea all the system components must be intact rode neatly coiled and and ready to deploy Never take any Sea Anchor for granted Theseare powerful devices that can wreak havoc on deck if carelessly deployed KEEPARMSANKLES OUT OF THE RODES COILS and in the event of a hanguptrip the chute or that failing BE PREPARED TO CUT THE RODE of your Sea Anchor is very simpleMake sure all components are properly connected floats trip line attached tothe 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 StowDeployment 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 SETThe safest method to deploy a Sea Anchor in heavy weather situations is to allowthe 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 17 DEPLOYMENT WIND STANDING SET Snub the line early to help the chute open Drift back and pay out the correct amount of scopeNOTE By using the Standing Set method you can deploy the Sea Anchor fromthe safety of the cockpit by running the rode OUTSIDE the rails and cleating it off tothe full length and letting the rode out without snubbing as it pays out The SeaAnchor will stay in the bag until the rode is fully deployed and then come out of itsbag and openIn nonheavy weather situations an alternative method often used bycommercial fishermen is known as the FLYING SET FLYING SET NON HEAVY WEATHER POWER ONLY NO SAILS1 Position the Sea Anchor rode etc in the stern cockpit2 Secure the bitter end of the rode to the bow outside all rails stays etc3 Put engine in slow forward and steer a course with the wind at 7 oclock4 Deploy the trip line float line Sea Anchor and rode off the stern5 Move the transmission in and out of gear to allow the rode to safely pay out behind the boat6 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 WIND7 Cleat chafe breakCAUTION Because of the dynamicshock loads involved in attempting to stop aheavy boat that is moving down wind as some speed this second methodFLYING SET is NOT RECOMMENDED IN HEAVY WEATHER SITUATIONS 18 FLYING SET WIND BLOWING FROM APPROX 7 OCLOCK NON HEAVY WEATHER POWER ONLY NO SAILS RETRIEVALTo retrieve the Sea Anchor all you need to do is fetch up on the Trip Line Float and pull theSea Anchor in by the float line and trip line You can reach the float by either winching ormotoring the boat to the float Once you have the float you should slack off on the rode asyou pull the Sea Anchor in This procedure empties the water out of the chute causing it tocollapse into a limp sack collapsed on itself that can be hauled aboard easilyPull in trip line float trip line primary float float line canopy lines riser and anchor rodeKeep all of the components separated but in the same sequence This will reduce thepossibility of entangling the Sea Anchor lines with any other gear DO NOT detach theanchor rode until the parachute is stretched out for repacking and even then ONLY IF IT ISREALLY NECESSARY Keeping the rode attached will help keep you from tangling thelines 19 TRIPLINE PROTOCOL Though many choose to omit the tripline we consider one both necessary andwise Remember when retrieving the sea anchor one cannot pull the anchor tothe boat rather the boat has to be pulled up to the sea anchor even if thatboat weighs 10 tons In retrieving the sea anchor the hard way without a tripline some of our customers proceed as follows They wait until conditions havemoderated considerably Then they use a winch to haul the boat slowly upwind tothe chute When the sea anchor is within reach the skipper or a crew memberpulls on ONE of the parachute lines spills the water out of the canopy andbrings the limp sack on deck This way of retrieval is fine unless there are big swells still running and thatswhen we get into the problems associated with wave particle rotation Rememberas you begin hauling the boat up to the sea anchor you will eventually arrive at thatdelicate and precarious zone of conflict where the heavy boat is being cycleddownwind on the crest while the unyielding sea anchor being cycledupwind in the trough As the two immovable objects diverge forces are broughtto bear that are capable of damaging hardware on the boat the rode or the seaanchor itself to say nothing of producing horrendous jerks You can avoid this bythe use of a tripline PARTIAL TRIPLINE Drive the boat up to the float and use a boat hook to bring it on deck WIND TRIPLINE FLOAT PRIMARY FLOAT POLYPROPYLENE 20 REPACKING THE PARATECH SEA ANCHORPrior to deploying your PARATECH Sea Anchor you should unpack and repackthe 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 strap1 Slide the Deployment Bag to the top of the canopy2 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 apex3 Stretch the canopy and lines to the shackle and pull snug at the shackle4 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 lines5 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 failure6 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 others7 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 canopy8 The last flap should go over the line riser junction9 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 rode10 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 21 LINES CANOPY SHACKLE The shackle is the business end of the sea anchor During handling etc keep the shackle separateclear to avoid tangles in the parachute APEX lines CARE MAINTENANCE Your system is constructed from modern materials and should last many seasons withproper care AVOIDING TANGLES Sea Anchor lines are easy to tangle if handled carelessly Murphys Law No 3926Handle your Sea Anchor carefully deliberately especially when it first arrives Take noteof how it is packed and how the lines and shackle are stowed ready to have the anchor rodeand swivel attached By attaching the rode before doing anything else you will greatlyreduce the chances of tangling the lines The lines MUST be kept straight so the SeaAnchor 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 willform if it is allowed to dry without rinsing in fresh water When in port rinse the system withfresh water and allow it to dry slowly in the shade NEVER in direct sunlight Once it is wetwith 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 ismade from When not stored below it MUST be packed in its deployment bag The bag willhelp 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 bekept in good condition Inspect the system for damage or excess wear after eachdeployment especially after using in heavy weather Most Sea Anchor damage is a result of snagging on the boat during deployment orrecovery The Deployable Stow Bag DSB greatly reduces this potential and keeping the lines straight will reduce the possibility of damage to almostzero PARATECHs Sea Anchors are designed to be damage tolerant they will stillfunction even with a damaged panel or some broken lines 22 DAMAGED CANOPY WEBBINGThis webbing runs from the lower hem to the apex of the canopy and around theupper and lower hems If ANY of this webbing is damaged it MUST be repaired orreinforced before using the Sea Anchor again DAMAGED APEX LINESThese lines cross the apex the hole in the center of the canopy they are aMAJOR structural part of the Sea Anchor and if damaged or broken they MUST bereplaced or reinforced before using the Sea Anchor again Spliced or replacedapex lines must be the EXACT length of the others DAMAGED LINESAs stated before the Sea Anchor will still work even with a broken line but atreduced drag Damaged lines may be spliced with the same or equivalent nylonline The lengths must be the same as the others Temporary repairs should bereplaced as soon as possible to ensure the overall integrity of the system REPAIRS TO THE CANOPYSmall holes or tears should be repaired as soon as possible Tears less than a footlong can be temporarily repaired by using adhesive backed sail repair tape Thetape must be placed on both the inside and outside of the canopy and extend atleast one inch beyond the tear then sewn around the perimeter of the tape Onceback in port you should have it repaired by a competent sailmaker parachute rigger or return it to PARATECH for repairSPECIAL NOTE If you are in a situation where you need your Sea Anchor and itis 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 evenwhen damaged REDUCING SIDETOSIDE YAW ON MONOHULL SAILBOATSAll monohulls have a tendency to sail or hunt at anchor This tendency can beexaggerated by various factors like the boats underwater profile mast locationamount of windage fore and aft ratio of waterline length to length on deck type ofrudder etc Purely from the anchoring point of view some boats have builtin vicesthat make them ill behave on a hook or Sea Anchor There are other variables atwork here Fortunately they can be manipulated to reduce sideto side yaw andimprove behavior at anchor or Sea Anchor Some of these variables are listedbelow in order of importance 23 WINDAGE AFTA 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 builtstaysail raised on its own separate track on the mast will almost certainly reduceyaw on a modern sloop So will a storm jib hanked onto the backstay raised bythe topping lift and properly trimmed by leach and foot lines Any sort of windageaft is bound to improve the picture Some sailboats have a stainless steel over the cockpit with owners reporting a significant reduction inyaw Improvise Be creative Use anything and everything available A dinghylashed to the stern rails may work wonders With survival at stake Joe Byers ofDoubloon fame lashed a mattress to the mizzen mast with good results seeHeavy Weather Sailing Chapter 18 WINDAGE a great many boats have large amounts of forward windage in the formof a roller furling jib A 50 Ft long by 4 Dia tube has an area of about 17 squarefeet This a significant amount of windage if the wind is blowing 50 knots makingthe bow fall off in high winds A huge difference may be noted if the roller jib isdropped before a storm hits BOW ATTACHMENT POINTOn some boats the rode can be led off the bow side chock or hawse hole insteadof the anchor roller mounted on the centerline of the boat The yacht will then lie afew degrees off the wind This may be preferable to the yaw and yawinduced rollwhen the rode is led off the centerline of the boat WATCH FOR CHAFE THE USE OF POWERIf sidetoside yaw is still a problem start the engine and place it in SLOWREVERSE This will slowly move the yacht away from the Sea Anchor and have asignificant effect in terms of reducing yaw Do not apply too much throttle as thiswill reduce the stretch in the rode The rodes elasticity must be maintained so itcan buffer forces associated with wave loading 24 ADDITIONAL has been learned over the years since PARATECH began producing SeaAnchors Many users for example have stated that in heavy weather the SeaAnchor is best deployed from the safety of the cockpit We suggest you devise amethod of launching everything from the safety of your own cockpit To do so itwould be helpful to have a pigtail in place PIGTAILSA Pigtail not to be confused with a snubber is a short line preferably one sizelarger than the main rode It should be long enough to attach to the bow eithercleat 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 beforeleaving port and secured OUTSIDE the rails It can be lashed in place with breakcord or fine nylon thread some sailors use dental floss Make sure it is ledOUTSIDE stays rails stanchions etcWith the pigtail in place you should not have to crawl out onto the slippery bow todeploy the Sea Anchor When deployment is imminent position the SeaAnchor rode etc in the cockpit and attach the rode to the Sea Anchor and pigtailMake sure EVERYTHING is routed OUTSIDE the rails Head up into the weatherto stall the boat and deploy the Sea Anchor on the windward side of the boatCHAIN If attaching to your anchor chain you will need to let out the chainBEFORE the Sea Anchor sets If this involves a trip to the bow MAKE SURE YOUARE WEARING A SAFETY HARNESS CLIPPED ON TO AN Prior to deployment decide the amount of chain you will be lettingout NOTE you can paint your chain at various lengths to make it easy todetermine how much has been let out In moderate conditions for example youmay want to let out 25 to 50 of chain In heavy weather you may need to let out100 200 or more of chain By marking the chain at intervals you can let out thedesired length and secure it with snubbers etcNOTE The Drag Device Data Base by Victor Shane lists these and other ideasin 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 puttingout to sea 25 BRIDLING THE ILLBEHAVED on a number of variables rigging keel rudder configuration etcsome monohulls point comfortably into the wind and seas Others dont from side to side Those that dont may benefit from bridling tohold them steady at some angle to the weather The use of a properly riggedstorm trisail may increase comfort as wellArchimedes once said give me a lever long enough and I will move the EarthThe key element is LEVERAGE Multihulls obtain that leverage by attachingtheir bridles to hulls that are widely spaced apart Monohulls can obtain asimilar mechanical advantage by attaching a bridle to TWO different parts of asingle hull one well forward and the other further aftThe bow attachment is usually the bowcleat or Samson post The rearattachment point will differ from yacht to yacht and will have to be determinedby the crew some may opt to lead the aft bridle leg to a cockpit winch thougha rail mounted snatchblock for else being equal the farther the distance between the greater the leverage Measure that distance and multiply by 25 toobtain a rough idea of the length of the PIGTAIL see illustrations below If thatdistance is 10 feet for example then the PIGTAIL should be about 25 feet andBRIDLE LEG long enough pigtail plus boats LOA to reach the wherever it may be to with Pigtail on windward side of boat2Deploy Sea Anchor and rode from cockpit and wait until it sets3Sequence Trip Line Primary Float SA Rode Bridle or in reverse order4Once 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 EG LE L BRID WINDNOTE If you are using chain off the bow you must remove the anchor ifthis cannot be done then you must use a length of chain as a standoff tokeep the anchor flukes from contacting the rode or bridle leg as the flukescan cut the rode 27 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 snubbers28 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 OPTIONSThe use of some sort of riding sail will add greatly to the stability and comfort of theyacht while at anchor whether it be Sea Anchor mooring buoy or ground anchorThe following are two ideas which you can try Consult your sailmaker for sizingand 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 il Sa Downhaul Flat Riding Sail 29 BEING TAKEN UNDER TOWIf your boat is disabled and you are riding on your Sea Anchor the safest andeasiest way to be taken under tow is as followsHave the skipper of the towing boat pick up the trip line pull the Sea Anchor inand temporarily bag it then cleat the rode and start the towThis method avoids the boats getting into close proximity in order to heavelines and risking collision The towing boat comes UPWIND of the disabledboat placing the disabled boat in its wind shadow and can maneuver at will topick up the Trip Line with virtually no risk of collision EASY TOW LINE TRANSFER 30 IN SUMMATIONMore and more small boats are putting out to sea nowadays of a higher sort as well as a measure of relief from a world inturmoil Of these the majority are disillusioned in short order their about calm seas balmy breezes and swaying palm trees rudely displacedby the harsh realities of ocean however there are also those who rise to the occasion meet thechallenge headon survive it all and return These are a rare breed whose liveshave been intensified by the encounter with the sea and whose very souls havebeen made to conform to higher codes of selfdiscipline and liberty Ask any one ofthese whether the whole thing was worth it and the majority will tell you YES itwas all worth it and that the rewards of such epic endeavors are ample andenduring in every respectHarbor no illusions about the unpredictable sea To quote the words of WebbChiles The fallacy is in expecting anything at sea to be as it should be Indeedthere are no guarantees out there and we cannot offer you one implied orotherwise What we do offer is the experiences other mariners who havebenefitted from our sea anchors and a long term program the DRAG DEVICEDATA BASE that catalogs and disseminates accurate information aboutdrogues and sea anchorsIt only stands to reason that as more and more heavy weather files are added tothe database the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle will slowly fall into increasing our knowledge on the subject of offshore safety and thisin itself is a good and worthwhile cause to contribute to as we go sailing across theoft hostile interfaces between sea and sky with all of the uncertainties andchallenges that they still hold for the contemporary mariner 31 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 NEVERneed again A PARACHUTE This is especially true in the aviators world butstill applies in the mariners world WHEN IN DOUBT SET IT OUTWe strongly urge you to completely unpack the Sea Anchor from the bagpaying careful attention to how it is packed and repack the chute to with the packing Refer to packing instructions eatise ive Tr bject An O By R S HANE VICTOThe DRAG DEVICE DATA BASE was originated by Victor Shane founder ofPARAANCHORS INTERNATIONAL This revolutionary idea brings editors experts on safety and draws from their knowledge andbluewater experience to enhance offshore safety for all mariners while itscompanion publication collects and catalogs accurate files on instances wheredrogues and sea anchors have been used in heavy weather copies can bepurchased through PARAANCHORS you have occasion to use you drag device please fill out and return theDDDB that was enclosed with it THANK YOU Manufactured By PARATECH Engineering Co 2117 Horseshoe Trail Silt CO 81652 970 8760558 FAX 970 8765668 EMAIL paratechrofnet
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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 numerous 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.