Heavy Weather Tactics
Using Sea Anchors
by Earl R. Hinz
Few of us can or even want to relate to the drama of fact and fiction seen in The Perfect Storm, yet the coastal and offshore waters in which we do our recreational boating often serve up storms of a magnitude that can make a believer out of even the hardiest skipper. Even an imperfect storm can be a demanding survival exercise best handled with practiced survival seamanship skills combined with a modern drag device. A well-outfitted blue water boat must be able to handle all the weather to be expected along its route without having to jury-rig a drag device contraption of doubtful performance at the critical moment. Just as the self-steering vane and autopilot have given the offshore boater another crewman to steer his boat, sea anchors and drogues have given him an alternative means to handle threatening seas. As the maxim goes -
Avoid the weather that you can, but prepare for the weather that you canít avoid.
This new book draws on the knowledge of many years of engineered development of sea anchors and drogues that began after the tragic Fastnet Race of 1979. The author describes the operating principles, their design details, and tactics for their use on sail and power boats up to approximately 100 feet LOA. The book is a treasury of knowledge on the use of sea anchors and drogues in storm survival situations. They are the one form of life insurance in which you, the insured, benefit rather than your heirs. Boating literature is replete with incidents wherein sailors are unexpectedly put in a survival situation while pursuing their recreational adventures and many are found wanting in survival skills. Without those skills and not having a drag device on board when the chips are down, they find few survival options left other than prayer. When you go offshore be a little pessimistic and consider drag devices before you leave the dock -- for afterwards may be too late. Donít become a storm statistic like the Andrea Gail, learn about drag devices. 6" x 9". Paperback. 185 pgs. Pub 2003.
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