For holding power, the Barnacle is a big surprise.
From sea anchors, drogues, and trysails to forereaching and heaving to, tactics and gear for surviving a storm at sea vary greatly. During a high-latitude circumnavigation, Evans Starzinger and Beth Leonard, aboard their 47-foot Van de Stadt sloop, had several opportunities to test heavy-weather sailing tactics. The couples main storm gear was a Galerider sea drogue, made by sailmakers Hathaway, Reiser and Raymond, is a webbing bowl with a wire hoop. Deploying the drogue involved a bridle of strong nylon lines connected to the Galerider rode via an oversized galvanized swivel. Starzinger and Leonard used the Galerider when running before the wind in gale-force conditions. The drogue helped slow the boat, kept it from surfing down the face of a wave, and provided directional stability, which allowed their autopilot to maintain control. Drogues and other storm-survival gear and tactics are particularly necessary for short-handed crews and boats that tend to surf in heavy weather. Other storm gear for sailboats that Practical Sailor looked at included the Jordan Series drogue and the Seabrake drogue.
We described a simple home-built version several years ago (Practical Sailor, December 2011); here we present a few simple upgrades on the same basic design, allowing for simpler deployment, better fender retention, and more stable positioning. Pressure treated lumber provides inexpensive durability.
The anchors a sailor chooses to carry onboard are often a compromise between weight and necessity. Since different anchor types are designed to work best in different conditions, it is a good idea to carry several anchors of different designs. So where does a lightweight alloy anchor fit in the hierarchy of cruising anchors? Practical Sailor looked at the weight, performance, design, and price of lightweight, alloy anchors from Spade, Fortress, Manson, and Anchor Right.
Perhaps this seems like going back to school, but procedure can be critical in soft mud, and I’ll wager most old cruising hands from...
In the December 2007 Practical Sailor Advisor, you requested feedback on Ultimate Sole, a product for coating cabin soles. Two years ago, I added a -inch teak-holly veneer plywood covering to my sole and used Ultimate Sole as the finish. I first put on a sealer and then two coats of Ultimate Sole. It went on very easily and performed better than I expected. It is a hard, glossy finish that truly does offer nonskid properties. You look at the finish and think you will slide all over the place, but you don't! It is a wonderful product, and I wouldn't use anything else.
We often get asked about joining two shots of chain together without compromising strength. You have a number of options-including some that are just plain bad. The important thing is to make sure the connector is of the highest quality and that it matches or exceeds the strength of your existing chain.
Taking bad weather bow-to or stern-to is a fundamental quandary. Much depends on your boat. Then you have to decide which sea anchor or drogue to buy. We sort through the decision tree.