Originally Posted by Alan Priddy
Better still, dont use it. We worked a long time on establish if a sea anchor would work in big seas and the boat ended up being safer without. I would always advocate filling the boat with water if you cannot make headway in big seas or are drifting on to a lee shore.
Not quite the "RYA" way but then again, have they ever had to survive in bad conditions
If I read this right you are saying you would prefer to allow your boat to blown beam on and be full of water in bad condition when trying to keep of a lee shore.
Originally Posted by Jono Garton
Until the tubes come off, my 6.3 Ocean Pro holds 5 tonnes of water! Personally I like the water not in the boat.
Call me old fashioned but I think I would agree with Jono on this one
Lesson 101 in capsizing a boat (not making way).
As a general rule itís a breaking wave that will capsize the boat. As a rule of thumb it is fairly well accepted that a beam on breaking waves thatís height is equal to the beam of your vessel may capsize you, bigger than that more likely. Itís also generally accepted that if you are bow to the waves the breaking wave will need to be over 80% of the boats length to capsize you.
Do the sums and we can see pretty clearly that any techniques that hold the bow to the waves are likely to prevail over a technique that allows the boat to be beam on to the same breaking waves.
The sea anchor does just that, deployed from the bow it avoids you becoming beam on, given a long enough line it also increase the 80% margin quite considerably as it provides some resistance for the bow.
The RNLI I believe fit a sea anchor as standard on their Atlantics- I have certainly seen a few clips where quick deployment was the one factor that saved the boat from impending disaster.
We have spent considerable time experimenting with sea anchors, although much of it has been from larger racing yachts. On the two occasions we did it from a 7m ish RIB in rough weather the sea anchor was not sufficient to hold the bow to sea/wind, my conclusion was simply the sea anchor on the boat was not big enough for the boat. It was in fact the same as the sea anchors that come with a standard SOLAS life raft. The life raft of course has the benefit of ballast bags which the RIB does not.
I have also spent time with my boat full of water, however this was never intentional, as already mentioned there are issues of electrics, fuel tank breathers, hypothermia etc, however to my mind filling the boat with water kind of defeats the objective of having a boat in the first place. I hope I never get into a situation where my mind remembers this thread and start to wonder if it is the appropriate action.