Frequently Asked Questions
Para Anchors, Drogues, Sea anchors - what’s the difference?
There is a difference and it is impossible for one to do the other’s job. In simple terms a 9ft diameter or larger parachute sea anchor is required to hold a bow head to wind, whereas a 3ft diameter (drogue) simply does not have the power and would allow the yacht to fall backwards or be thrown by a wave.The 3ft Para-Drogue, deployed astern, is designed to slow a boat allowing directional stability downwind. The parachute sea anchor complements the Para-Drogue and vice versa. Traditional sea anchors (Admiralty cone, windsock type) are an item that time has overtaken and today should be renamed to fit into the drogue family. A drogue does not have the power and cannot develop the power to hold the bow of an ocean-going vessel head to wind in any condition.
Ideally a drogue can be used as a means of allowing the safe deployment of a Para-Anchor by substantially slowing a vessel down when it is impossible to heave to or luff up owing to sea state. In this situation the downwind speed of the vessel is substantially reduced and the Para-Anchor can be deployed over the windward side from the cockpit.
Is Size is important?
As with conventional anchoring the size of anchor is important. Under stress a boat will drag an undersized anchor and lay beam on to the weather. Marginally oversized is fine, as it gives an additional level of security. Substantially oversized and it is a weight penalty and a waste of money. When anchoring to a parachute sea anchor, the same arguments apply. It is therefore important to have a parachute sea anchor large enough to hold bow on in all conditions.
Take a look at the blog for more supporting info that may help with your enquiries.