A Matter of Survival
Survival grasps the seagoers’ attention probably more than any other subject to do with marine matters. We all want to live. We’re not prepared to give up the uplifting joy and adventure we undertake, but we definitely want to live through it and live through it comfortably, if possible. Most mariners will have life jackets, life rafts, flares, and EPIRBS aboard, - all devices to be used for survival after disaster strikes. Yet not many stow one of the best devices for preventing disaster: - a Parachute Sea Anchor.
With most boats having a higher freeboard at the bow and the wind having more effect than current on drift,. it is normal for a boat’s bow to be blown off the wind, thus presenting the side of the boat to the tempest. Parachute sea anchors are the best-known way of preventing this by offering a high bow to the oncoming waves and wind.
For ultimate survival at sea Para-Anchors Australia manufactures a range of sea surface anchors to suit all ocean going vessels.
● Proven Heavy Weather Defence
● Knockdown Protection for Conventional Sailboats
● Capsize Protection for Multihulls and Powerboats
● Damage Control for Disabled Powercraft
● Aid to Search and Rescue
● Many Sizes to Fit all Sea Going Vessels
● High Tensile Strength - All Nylon Fabric
● Easy to Stow, Easy to Deploy, Easy to Retrieve
A parachute sea anchor is the ONLY only device available that is capable of holding your bow to the wind, allowing you the safest and most comfortable position to ride out any storm.
The real Value
In general, regardless of the conditions, parachute sea anchors keep the bow to wind, eliminating broaching, capsizing, reducing rolling and generally improving the well being of all on board. In a survival situation it is a certainty that the following conditions will exist: seasickness, cold, hunger, fatigue, tiredness and fear (tiredness and fatigue are two different beasts).
With a parachute sea anchor correctly deployed the yacht will settle and become quiet and stable. We can now rest, eat, sleep and make sound decisions and not be driven by fear. How many people have abandoned a boat, maybe perished in the process, and the boat is still afloat days or months later?
It can be confidently stated that of the 24 boats that sank in the ill-fated 1979 Fastnet Race tragedy (in which 6 sailors perished) and the 48 boats that were rescued by helicopters and trawlers in the 1998 Sydney Hobart Race, many boats would not have sunk nor as many rescues been necessary, had the boats carried and used parachute sea anchors.
Para Anchors: a tool for all weather
Drift is another major consideration. If you are navigating a course and wish to rest, it’s best to stay on course. If you are in distress and waiting help, its best to stay in the position you first reported; so staying put is best. Robin Knox Johnston reports “When a boat is hove to she will always drift downwind, though she may crab a bit sideways as well. The speed of the drift depends on the proportion of a boat’s wetted surface, as opposed to the topside proportion that is exposed to the wind. Some boats will drift quickly. I have experienced 72 miles of drift in 24 hours when hove to. If a boat does not drift searchers can pinpoint its position. If it drifts 72 miles, that means it is then somewhere in 5184 square miles of ocean, a needle in a haystack! Parachute sea anchors really do make sense. Rather than drift with the wind, you drift with the current (even upwind subject to current direction) and only at a snails pace around half a knot wind-affected drift”.