Catamaran, Iroquois Mk II
30' x 14' x 3.5 Tons
12-Ft. Dia. Sea Anchor
Force 8-9 Conditions
File S/C-10, obtained from Rudolph L. Kirse, III, Palm Desert, CA. - Vessel name Banana Split, hailing port Palm Desert, Iroquois Mk II catamaran, designed by McAlphine Downie, LOA 30' 6" x Beam 14' x Draft 5' 6" (18" board up) x 3.5 Tons - Sea anchor: 12-ft. Diameter Para-Tech on 500' x 1/2" nylon three strand tether and bridle arms of 40' each, with 1/2" galvanized swivel - Full trip line - Deployed in a gale in deep water about 200 miles east of New York with winds of 40-50 knots and seas of 18-20 ft. - Vessel's bow yawed 10° - Drift was about 5-6 n.m. during 15 hours at sea anchor.
Rudolph Kirse III, singlehander, mariner and author, was sailing Banana Split to Bermuda from Montauk, Long Island, when the barometer began to fall. The first paragraph of the following is an excerpt from an article entitled Gunkholing, by Rudolph Kirse III, appearing in the March/April 92 issue of Multihulls Magazine (reproduced by permission). The second paragraph is a transcript of the feedback Shane Victor received from Rudolph Kirse III:
By 4 p.m. a storm had sprung up off the south New Jersey coast. It was traveling north, winds gusting to 45 knots and creating 20-25 ft. seas. By 5 p.m. all sails were down, and I was running before the wind... back to Long Island. With a lee shore fast approaching and night setting in, I decided to come about and set a para-anchor on 500' of 1/2" line, with an accompanying float and trip line. It did all, and more, of what it was supposed to do. According to both the GPS and the Loran, I drifted no more than a third of a mile per hour, with the bows held into the waves and only spray coming on board. By noon of next day, the storm had passed (later I learned that three boats had sunk, and one person was lost).
Neither I nor the boat would be here without the sea anchor. This storm came up with no warning (VHF, NOAA, Fax, etc.). Everything worked well on deployment. Boat rode easily with some pounding on hulls (lee boards half down as per your suggestion) rudders up & lashed, virtually no pounding on cabin underside. Chafing was solved on bridle by putting "poly-tubing" on line, 3' sections before eye-splicing, then held in place by whippings. Float was 3' inflated ball type anchor float. At approx. 1:30 p.m. a commercial fishing boat ran over and cut the [full] trip line. Later on had many problems trying to get anchor in - dislocated my wrist while trying to winch in the parachute. Anchor was finally brought in by removing bridle from bow and floating it off, tied to four life jackets [then powering up to the recovery float].