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Author Topic:   Parachute sea anchor.
WT posted 10-24-2005 06:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for WT   Send Email to WT  
I am looking for a sea anchor for my 2004 170 Montauk.

Any recommendations are welcomed.


diveorfish posted 10-24-2005 06:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Why do you want a sea anchor? I have one and it is a pain in the butt. Are you trying to slow your drift speed or do you want it as a safety precaution to keep your bow in the wind in case of motor failure?
WT posted 10-24-2005 06:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Use for safety.
Sheila posted 10-24-2005 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
I'd like to eavesdrop here, even though my boat isn't a Post-Classic.

The Revenge, with her hardtop, catches a lot of wind and likes to turn her beam to the wind as we fish, which leaves us sitting in the trough. We're thinking a sea anchor would help. Are we mistaken? And, Diveorfish, could you say more about why they're a pain?

high sierra posted 10-24-2005 10:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for high sierra  Send Email to high sierra     
I use a sea anchor to slow the troll while fishing pyramid lake in my 170 montauk. It only knocks off 1 to 1.3 mile an hour off the speed.They are an inconvenience but do work. My 115 hp merc's idle was a little too fast for flatfish but I just figured out how to slow the idle down and will try it as soon as I can. high sierra
HMBJack posted 10-25-2005 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for HMBJack  Send Email to HMBJack     

I have a 36" drift anchor I bought at Boaters World.
I purchased it purely for safety reasons in the event I break down in deep water.

I am told the 36" size is sufficient and to use as much anchor rode as you can. 10X your boat length is recommneded. I carry a 150 foot and another 100' feet extra so I'm good for 250' total. Like you, I also have a kicker so things have to be pretty bad for me to have to use the drift anchor. Good luck and good attitude towards safety!

Sal A posted 10-25-2005 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
This may sound stupid, but I have used a BIG bucket tied to a rope, and it has worked.
WT posted 10-25-2005 07:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
The sea anchor keeps your bow pointed at the waves if you happen to lose power in rough waters.

Can anyone recommend a Para-Tech sea anchor?


kingfish posted 10-25-2005 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I have used the bucket trick successfully on our Montauk - I make up a yoke from the two tow eyes.


Sheila posted 10-26-2005 03:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
My BH loves the DIY stuff. Can you guys tell me more about the bucket and line method? (Sorry, Warren!)
fishinchips posted 10-26-2005 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
You should check out mine.
Military issue (navy), works wonders on my 17 or 170 montauk.
Slows me waaaaaay down.

Ken (170 montauk)

diveorfish posted 10-26-2005 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Sheila et al:

For safety purposes it is a good idea if both primary and secondary power fails.

To slow your drift, I found it to be more trouble than its worth. I had to get one big enough for the size of my boat so it is fairly large. Add to that the rode you need and it takes up a fair amount of space. Once you deploy it, it takes a while for it to do its thing and by then, you may want to be off the next spot so you have to reel it in which takes more time and effort. Of course if the drift is current induced it won’t work. If the drift is swell induced, it will work but not a well as I thought. The swells will move the anchor also. If the drift is wind induced it works well but out here in the pacific where there is wind there is swell.

I find it easier to just kick the throttle and let the motor slow your drift. Since the places I want to drift are near the surf line or rocky shores, I keep a motor on anyway.

Rich M posted 10-26-2005 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
I use a Para-Tech on my 170 Montauk. These are very high quality and I highly recommend them. I use the Boat Brakes model 24 as I only use it for trolling and occasional drift fishing. I can tell you from experience that the high freeboard of the 170 Montauk makes the boat like a sail to the wind and you will need a large sea anchor with plenty of rode to turn your bow to the wind, therefore I recommend the model 48 for use as a safety device. The trip line is a great feature and also can be used to adjust the size of the anchor which is a really nice feature for trolling. The weights on the bottom and float at the top make the sea anchor instantly fill upon deployment and keeps it from spinning. Construction is first rate, you definitely get what you pay for.
bluewaterpirate posted 10-26-2005 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I carry a Fiorentino's Offshore Sea Anchor not for the purposes of fishing but for safety reasons. When your 50 miles offshore & loose power you need to be able to keep your boat under control. By the way the bucket works great we use them offshore while slow trolling live bait.


fishinchips posted 10-26-2005 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
Use mine for salmon mooching and rockcod fishing.
I think WT wants it primary for rockcod and safety reasons.

On some of those occassions when the water is fast and your boat moving quickly, deploying the sea anchor really helps in getting those fish in.

Ask JIP, he has been with me when I use the sea anchor.

*a side note: Noticed that the older style montauks drift slower than the newer 170's.


elaelap posted 10-27-2005 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Sailboat skippers caught in very bad weather have reported some success using their stoutest and longest line (obviously anchor rode if the rode isn't all chain) doubled into a long-armed 'U' shape, each bitter end of the line made fast to a cleat on either side of the bow (if hove to) or the stern (if running downwind in extremis with the storm). Thank goodness I have no personal experience with this method to report, but I guess it's good to know (when the wind and waves are so strong they would tear a sea anchor apart in minutes).


banff22 posted 10-28-2005 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for banff22  Send Email to banff22     
Warren is looking for something for safety and so am I, but for a 22ft. I seem to recall from years ago there was such a thing as a canvas bucket one could use. With our limited storage space I thought it would great since it's collapsible, but also it could be used a... well, a bucket. All I'm trying to do is keep my bow into the wind if I lose all power, then drift until I hopefully can get an anchor set.

Are these still around and if so, how big of one do you think is needed to keep a 17ft or a 22's bow into the wind? HMBjack mentions 36". Where the heck do we put that on a little Whaler.

I notice Para Tech also makes a Boat Brake that may work.
Any thoughts?


bluewaterpirate posted 10-28-2005 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
A Boat Brake is your ticket (24" diameter size). They're designed to keep the bow of your boat into the wind and minimize the possibility of capsizing and can be used on lakes or inshore plus they can be used for trolling and drift fishing. They're real easy to control with dual control ropes, are self-opening, and you can collapse them instantly.

You can buy them online ofr around $125 - $150. They take up very little space.

Good Luck ....... Tom

WT posted 10-28-2005 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I just called Para Tech and asked for a recommendation for a sea anchor or boat brake. Based on me having a 2000 pound 17 foot Montauk he recommended that I get a 48 inch boat brake.

He said that I probably shouldn't be caught offshore in my Montauk with weather bad enough to need a sea anchor. (He doesn't know that I'm an idiot.) And because I told him that I drift fish, he recommended getting the boat brake. He said the boat brake could keep me straight until help came if I’m offshore. I usually do not go offshore unless I'm with other boats.

The 48 inch boat brake is adjustable from 1 to 351 gallons. Para Tech said I only need about 20 feet of line.

My 2 cents,

Teak Oil posted 10-29-2005 09:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
The anchor only needs to be out far enough to keep the bow from lifting it out of the water on wave crests. One of my boats had a Boat U.S. sea anchor with it when I bought the boat and I keep it in my classic Montauk. I have used both the bucket method and a parachute sea anchor. Both work, but the parachute catches much more water. It takes up very little space folded up in the bottom of my console cooler.

I think the one I have is approx 48" when deployed, though its not adjustable like the one Warren is referring to

WT posted 10-30-2005 01:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
After reading the review of the Boat Brake written by a CW forum member, I'll order the 48 inch Boat Brake Monday.

Thanks for all the input.


banff22 posted 10-31-2005 08:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for banff22  Send Email to banff22     
If Para Tech recommends a 48 inch for a Montauk I better call them and see what they suggest for an Outrage 22.

I've been thinking about this for a while and this sounds like the way to go.

Thanks for the link to that review Warren.


HMBJack posted 10-31-2005 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for HMBJack  Send Email to HMBJack     
All of these ideas and solutions are good.

Some remarks:

- longer scope on the sea anchor or bucket will act like a big rubber band. This is good.
- a bucket is good but a sea anchor is better since this was it's design purpose.
- drift anchors (what I have at 36" at ~$50) are better than a bucket but not as strong as a true sea anchor (costs around $200 as I recall for a same size configuration).
- my "drift" anchor (never used yet)is basically a big vinyl bag that collapses into a small size - say 12" X 6" roll so storage is no problem.
- If I'm in a blow, my checklist goes like this:
1. motor home on the 90 hp asap
2. if the 90 fails me, fire up the 5 hp kicker
3. if the 5 fails me, hail a SOS on my VHF (give GPS #'s)
4. if the VHF fails me, pull out 1 of 2 spare handhelds
5. if the GPS fails me, pull out spare one
6. if I can't keep my bow into the wind, deploy 36" drift anchor
7. if the 36" drift anchor doesn't hold, tie a line to my five gallon bucket and deploy this as well
8. if all the above fail - say a Hail Mary...

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