Let this video show you how to select and rig a sea anchor!
Sailors who believe they can just buy a drag device, drop it in the water and let it automatically go to work need to watch Fiorentino’s updated DVD release of “The Complete Para-Anchor Set-Up” to learn how dangerous the “set and forget” mind set can be. Like the earlier 2003 version of the video, this new release points out that weather conditions and different boat designs affect the performance of a drag device. For these reasons, sailors need be actively involved in managing their para-anchors in the water.
In the second edition of “The Complete Para-Anchor Set-Up,” drag device inventor Zack Smith takes sailors through the entire deployment, retrieval and packing process from A-Z. He points out that paying out too much rode, placing the bridle in the wrong position or setting a storm sail incorrectly can result in a boat that bucks wildly out of control with enough force to destroy equipment. Through aerial, on-the-water and underwater video, Smith shows how to resolve these challenges.
The new DVD is packed with new bonus features including:
• Smith’s updated explanation of his innovative “Rode Tension Theory”
• Details of Fiorentino’s “free flying” sail set-up for head to wind deployments
• First- ever comparisons of para-anchors from the four top manufacturers
• First- ever on-the-water comparisons of storm drogues from the seven top manufacturers
In the “Rode Tension Theory” bonus feature, Smith expands his unique formulas on the use of short and full rode deployments, chain weight and easy-to-follow formulas for correct bridle set-ups, all of which make up his pioneering theory. This theory states “keeping anchor rode taut is the key to successful parachute anchor and storm drogue use.” “It’s prudent to have the option of making bridle and deployment rode adjustments or to add chain weight next to the drag device to reduce slack in the system, otherwise you can collapse the canopy or yank the device out of the water, “says Smith.
The industry is resistance to Smith’s concepts arguing that it is impossible to make rode adjustments in rough seas. This likely explains why the well published industry standard for para anchor use is to deploy 10 to 15 feet of rode x boat length. They also do not recommend adding chain next to the para-anchor.
Smith first introduced and published the importance of rode adjustments for drag device use in 2000 following extensive sea trials with commercial and government related projects. He discovered that shorter rode lengths, weight placement and use of rope with less stretch combined with increased vessel speeds kept rode taut; eliminating the problem of slack rode that can collapse parachute sea anchors and storm drogues. His findings led him to challenge industry standards on drag device use that preach the use of long, stretchy rode that can permit too much slack in the system. “Keeping rode taut allows a drag device to perform better and stabilize boats because the devices remain inflated,” says Smith. Our research convinced me that taut rode is the secret to effective use of drag devices.”
In addition to the “Constant Rode Tension” Theory, Smith demonstrates in another bonus feature how Fiorentino’s “free flying riding sail” is crucial in keeping a boat head to wind, especially if the boat is unable to heave-to. Smith and Fiorentino’s Research Team developed the unique concept of flying a riding sail like a kite after standard riding sail deployments failed to keep several of their sailboats facing into the weather, resulting in many knock-downs. “Flying a riding sail like a kite captures wind from more than one direction so it’s less likely to collapse and you have the option of raising the sail when storm waves start to block wind flow to the sailboat,” says Smith. “Essentially, this type of flexibility helps a boat sail backwards; permitting the boat’s bow to face directly into the wind so that it doesn’t tack back and forth and it also places some force on the anchor rode to reduce slack in the setup.” Sailors also will learn specialized hand signals, developed by Smith, for use when storm noise drowns out verbal communication.
Bonus features comparing the performances of para-anchors and storm drogues in sea trials are designed to help consumers understand how the devices differ from one another. These first-ever detailed comparisons can help sailors decide which device is right for them. Run Time 79 min.
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