HomeLinksContact Advertise    All You need to know about Sea Anchors, Parachute Anchors & Drogues









"The onset of new technology dispels old rumors from decades passed”


By Michael David

July 2002 Para-Anchors—Myths vs. Facts.


Many of the myths surrounding modern para-anchors derive from the mishaps of old-time sea anchor designs. Canvas, PVC, and lightweight
(2- to 4-ounce) surplus anchors, for example, have a reputation of inflating on deck, rotating until tangling occurs or breaking apart. However, when properly designed and rigged, today’s parachute anchors have a very low fail rate, no matter the sea or wind condition.

Parachute Anchors Inflate on Deck.

Fact: Two popular American manufacturers, Fiorentino and Shewmon, construct their canopies using heavy-duty, 8 oz material. For easy storage, these anchors roll up like sleeping bags. When rolled they’re easy to drop overboard. Plus, there’s no risk of on-deck inflation. Another manufacturer, Para-Tech, founded by Victor Shane, confines their lightweight 4-ounce para-anchor inside a deployment bag to avoid such inflation.

Parachute Anchors are Difficult to Retrieve.

Fact: Parachute anchors are easy to retrieve, but you need a partial trip line. Partial trip lines are designed to spin the chute and dump the water out.

Trip Lines Tangle Easily.

Fact: If a partial trip line is tied off to a float-not to the boat- it shouldn’t tangle. Also, today’s sailors often confuse the partial trip line with the full trip line. That’s a mistake because the full trip line is secured to the boat. Full trip lines can expedite the retrieval of the para-anchor, but the top of the chute can be pulled into its shroud lines if the anchor rode stretch isn’t accounted for. This can happen as a storm volume increases. Fiorentino, Shewmon and Para-Tech, each support the use of a partial trip line in their para-anchor applications.

Para-Anchors Rotate Underwater.

Fact: Fiorentino and Shewmon sew weights into one section of the canopy of their parachutes to stop rotation. Plus, Fiorentino takes an extra step by using its patented Para-Ring attachment. It stabilizes the para-anchor in breaking seas and strong ocean currents. Para-Tech addresses underwater rotation by sewing their seams inside out on every other canopy panel.

Parachute Anchors won’t hold up in Heavy Seas.

Fact: Modern para-anchors are designed to handle tremendous abuse, even under extreme weather situations. Fiorentino and Shewmon anchors have no reported structural failure with their para-anchors. Para-Tech claims that published accounts of their chutes breaking apart in rough seas are due to sailor error and not the chute design.

Helpful Hint:

Before you purchase a drag device, ask yourself:
1) What materials are used in the construction of the device?
2) Are there additional costs and of what nature?
3) Has the manufacturer recalled any of its products and why?


Please click here to learn more about Sail Magazine.










Luxury Yacht Vacations


   HomeLinksContact Advertise      

Supporting the boating community...
The above articles are provided as a courtesy by some of the industry's top rated boating magazines. If you would like to subscribe to any back issue or just want to learn more about safety at sea, simply click on the magazine link following the article.