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Had an uneventful trip to Sale (Vic) where I had arranged to have a `Para-Anchor’ produced for `SV Tsunami’.

* Para Anchor during wind test ashore! Prior to delivery to owner! *


Few non-yachties will know what a Para-anchor is, so I will explain!  If you are caught at sea by a gale/storm and conditions appear chaotic/uncontrollable, this device is designed to anchor your boat at sea!  This is done with a para-anchor, which is a large parachute (approx. 5 metres diameter to suit my 10 metre yacht) made of extremely tough material and suspended from the yacht on a tough, springy 160 metre line (rope).  This device will hold the yachts bow (pointy end) into the wind and allow a reasonably safe/comfortable life style onboard (you are even able to sleep.)

* Schematic showing principle of how Para Anchor works! *

In-a-nutshell … this device is to keep you safe and comfortable.


The principle of design is much the same … the main difference between the two is their size:

  • The Para anchor, which hangs from the bow (front) of the yacht, is, in the case of Tsunami, at 10 metres long, five metres in diameter. 
  • The Drogue, which is trailed behind the yachtis much smaller at approximately 0.75 of a metre.

To learn ALL about the Para Anchor …

* The Drouge is towed from the stern and designed solely to slow the yacht/boat down! *

And the Drogue is designed to slow-the-yacht-down!

I will never forget an experience described to me by Royce Black, Delivery Skipper for Seawind Catamarans … who sails Seawind yachts anywhere around the world from the Seawind factory in New South Wales, Australia, to new owners.  Royce was delivering a Seawind 1000 to Perth, Western Australia … and the preferred route for such a delivery is north up the east coast … across the top of Australia, past Darwin and down the west coast to Perth.  It is a lot longer than taking the shorter route across the bottom of Australia … but … there is a greater likelihood of getting there via the northern route.  The reason, the foul weather that blasts up from the Antarctic from the SW and sweeps across the bottom of the continent with great force and freezing discomfort.  Ok … thought you may want to know! 

Somewhere north of Broome, on the West coast of Australia Royce sailed straight into the path of an east bound cyclone (hurricane in the USA).  This would have to be the scariest situation to find yourself in … in fact I can’t even imagine it!  Royce decided to get to the coast as quickly as possible and tie the yacht amongst the mangroves along the shoreline.  BUT, his immediate problem was … HOW TO SLOW THE YACHT DOWN!  I can’t remember the speed he quoted the yacht was going (around 20 knots) … but, it was way-to-fast.  He had all spare lines/ropes knotted and trailing over the stern … both engines in reverse and full throttle … but the yacht was still hooning!  This is a situation where you would SET-A-DROGUE-OVER-THE-STERN … AND IT WOULD SLOW THE YACHT DOWN!  Of course not all yachts carry a Para-anchor, or a drogue.  The yacht survived thanks to Royce’s’ skill and experience … BUT, he found two crew deserting the ship at Broome … they had been scared enough for one trip! 



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