American Product Review: PARA-TECH Sea Anchor

para tech sea anchor in bagAs we have been preparing for delivery of our new Lagoon 450 Sport Top, Zuri, we are continually amazed at the availability of high quality American-made sailing products. Really, you don' have to go overseas for affordability in most cases. While researching sea anchors for our crossing when we bring Zuri back from her French birthplace in a few months, we were reacquainted with PARA-TECH's Sea Anchor. This top-of-the-line sea anchor is made in Silt, Colorado which is about 170 miles from Denver, CO via a very circuitous trek through the beautiful Arapaho National Forest. You'll pass right by Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Vail, and lots of other stunning recreational venues.

While one might question a sea anchor manufactured in landlocked Colorado, the PARA-TECH Sea Anchor has been proven time and time again by multihull and monohull sailors. This is evidenced by the accounts of it use by many sailors on sites like Drag Device Data Base. In fact, the crew at PARA-TECH religiously follows this data base treating it as a test bed for their product. Such feedback resulted in one of their sea anchor's safety measures, its stowage and deployment bag which prevents it from inflating on deck.

A parachute sea anchor like the PARA-TECH is deployed off the bow windward to drag the bow into the wind and waves (as depicted in the image above). On catamarans, a bridle must be used on each hull. The intended action of deploying a sea anchor is to basically stop boat, perhaps experiencing a slow drift downwind. The boat is held at a safe attitude to the sea. Sea anchors are useful for the following:

  • During heavy weather, this anchoring allows the crew to deal get rest, grab a meal, maintain or regain a calm mind for better decision-making, or make required boat repairs.
  • When experiencing engine problems, it keeps a boat off a lee shore until help arrives or repairs can be made.
  • When diving or fishing, it provides a stable boat location.
  • When waiting out night or fog before landing.
  • When you need to check your navigation, especially in high winds and rough seas.

para tech sea anchor deployment

Note that any sea anchor requires knowledge and experience to safely deploy and retrieve. Improper tethering or positioning can be disastrous for both boat and crew. No matter what device you buy, ensure that you are well-versed on how to use it, if needed. Ensure you have all the proper tethering parts and that they all fit together. Practice deploying and retrieving any sea anchor you plan to use, first in calm conditions, then in moderate wind and waves close to shore. It is important that everyone who might be handling the device knows how to use it. This valuable emergency device can save you if you are fully prepared. When properly deployed, the sea anchor can provide much needed time for crew rest with a feeling of security during extreme weather.

Top Features for Catamaran Owners

  • Easy, Safe Deployment – the PARA-TECH Sea Anchor is deployed into the water while still in its stowage bag preventing it from catching wind and inflating on deck.
  • In-water deployment also reduces risk of shroud lines or trip line becoming entangled.
  • Designed to tolerate stress failures. The sea anchor, if over-stressed will blow a panel, but be able to keep the bow into the seas. But drift may increase a little.
  • PARA-TECH sells all the rigging parts and can supply a fully rigged sea anchor, if requested.

Specifications

  • Price Range: $3,000-$5,000 depending on size of boat. Note that accessories such as trip line, anchor rode, rode stowage bag/deployment bags. etc. are additional. See full Sea Anchor pricing schedule.
  • Sizes: 6 ft – 40 ft depending on boat size

para tech sea anchor size boat selection

  • As an example of its construction, the 9 –ft PARA-TECH sea anchor:
    • The chute's canopy is comprised of eight sections of 4 oz. nylon.
    • Heavy webbing strap provides the float line attachment point.
    • The canopy skirt, all seams, and the vent opening are reinforced with nylon webbing.
    • The main shroud lines are made from 9/16" tubular nylon webbing. They are sewn at the section seams of the canopy to the bottom five inches of the chute.
    • Additional webbing connects the reinforced skirt to the eight shroud lines.
    • Shroud lines connect into two 22"-long straps made from 1"-wide, heavy-duty nylon webbing designed to securely hold the anchor rode attachment shackle.
    • A 10-foot float line, made from the same tubular nylon webbing as the shroud lines, is attached to both the chute and the stowage/deployment bag.
    • When stored, the 9-foot chute fits in a bag that measures about 8" in diameter and 10" tall.

Where to Learn More

Where to Get Your PARA-TECH Sea Anchor

PARA-TECH Engineering Co.

1580 Chairbar Road

Silt, CO 81652

Order:

Toll Free: 800.594.0011

Phone: 970.876.0558

Fax: 970.876.5668

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What's Your Take on the PARA-TECH Sea Anchor?

We selected the PARA-TECH Sea Anchor for its ease of use, high quality construction, and affordable price. Have you used the PARA-TECH or another sea anchor system? Share your experiences.

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