S/M-9 Hunter 40 Sloop


Hunter 40 Sloop

40' x 9 Tons, Fin Keel

9-Ft. Dia. BUORD Sea Anchor

Force 9 Conditions


File S/M-9, obtained from Captain Jerry Sidock, Fort Myers Beach, FL. - Vessel name Bounty Hunter, hailing port Fort Myers Beach, Hunter sloop, designed by Warren Luhrs, LOA 40' x LWL 32' 6" x Beam 13' 6" x Draft 5' x 9 Tons - Fin keel - Sea anchor: 9-ft. Diameter BUORD on 300' x 5/8" nylon three strand rode with 1/2" stainless steel swivel - Full trip line - Deployed in a gale in shallow water about 100 miles off the coast of Venezuela, with winds of 40-50 knots and seas of 15 feet - Vessel's bow yawed 20°-30° off to each side - Drift was 11 n.m. (confirmed by Loran & Satnav) during 14 hours at sea anchor.

Bounty Hunter, a fin-keeled Hunter 40, was on her way to Rio from Florida when she ran into a gale some 100 miles off the coast of Venezuela. The owner of the boat, Captain Jerry Sidock, being single-handed and tired at the time, deployed a 9-ft. BUORD off the bow. In one of several telephone conversations with Victor Shane, Captain Sidock reported that the bow held into the seas in a satisfactory way, yawing as she would at ground anchor, 20-30° off to each side, but certainly no more than 30°.

Note the same parachute sea anchor being used by different boats with varying results. Compare Bounty Hunter's underwater profile with those of the Pilot Cutter and the Vancouver 27 in the preceding files. Bounty Hunter has a more symmetrical underwater profile, her center of lateral resistance being a little closer to the center of effort of her rig. Additionally she was in stronger winds as well. Note however that her bow did yaw up to 30° off to each side, indicating that the yacht could do with a larger sea anchor

Captain Sidock knows the Caribbean Islands well. In his voyages to the Caymans, Jamaica, Roatan, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and South America he often uses the BUORD off the stern for rest periods. There is then hardly any side-to-side yaw at all.

Note that there is nothing wrong with using a sea anchor off the stern for rest and recuperation, drift control and damage control in moderate conditions. Moreover, for non heavy weather use the rode need not be very long either. Deploy the parachute, pay out a hundred feet of line and cleat it off. Now you can rig the awning over the boom, prepare a meal in peace and relax for a while, the whole ocean your own private anchorage. From Captain Sidock's handwritten feedback:

I would like to say that I don't think that common sense would permit me to leave shore without my sea anchor. It is just too difficult at times to continue on when short-handed, or rather single-handed, as I am most of the time. It is at that time that I look for assistance from other sources, such as a sea anchor.

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