Whitby 42 Ketch
42' x 11.75 Tons, Full Keel & Cutaway Forefoot
12-Ft. Dia. Sea Anchor
Force 8 Conditions
File S/M-15, obtained from Bruce Stewart, Ithaca, NY. - Vessel name Osteoflyte, hailing port Ithaca, Whitby ketch designed by Ted Brewer, LOA 42' x LWL 33' x Beam 13' x Draft 5' x 11.75 Tons - Full keel & cutaway forefoot - Sea anchor: 12-ft. diameter Para-Tech on 300' x 3/4" nylon three strand with 5/8" galvanized swivel - Deployed in deep water 150 miles east of Cape Hatteras in a low system with winds of 35 knots and seas of 20 feet - Vessel's bow yawed 45° - Drift was about 2.5 miles during 20 hours at sea anchor.
Ordinarily the ketch rig places the CE (center of wind effort) a great deal more forward than sloop, cutter, or yawl rigs. Unless a mizzen can be flown most ketches will tend to "hunt" at anchor. Transcript:
We were 150 miles off Cape Hatteras in 20' seas and deteriorating weather, when we fouled our prop reducing sail. We needed a break so I decided to deploy the chute (this was the first time other than a fair weather practice). We sent the unit off the stern [flying set] on a new 3/4" three strand nylon rode and it went out so fast I got a rope burn I'll never forget. The bow swung as expected and the rode went out a smooth bow skene chock with a good fairlead.
We hung on the chute for 20 hours. The conditions were NASTY, but we could still get to the bow and fuss with the rode. We had a terrible problem with chafe. We tried "freshening the nip" and all sorts of commercial and fabricated chafe gear - it either split or migrated very quickly. In those conditions I think we would have lost the chute to chafe failure of the rode. The second problem was the bow "hunted" back and forth, giving us a most unpleasant motion, and may well have contributed to the chafe. Both of these problems make me question - would a bridle that held the bow a little off center help? And how do you deal with chafe when conditions are really bad?
A few comments. Despite my para-anchor being clearly undersized by your current brochure it held us like a brick wall and seems quite large enough. In 20 hours we drifted 2.5 miles by Loran. I didn't have a suitable trip line and was afraid of a tangle, so just used a float. When the wind dropped to 20-25 we decided to "pull in" the chute and get going. It took two of us (both 220 lbs. and in good shape) to pull us up to the para-anchor and 90 minutes of cranking the anchor windless and then tailing to the genoa winches.