65' x 43 Tons
28-Ft. Dia. Parachute Sea Anchor
Force 9-10 Conditions
File S/P-2, obtained from Captain Marc Palombo, Sandwich, MA. - Vessel name Holly & Michael, hailing port Sandwich, commercial F/V, designed by Washburn and Doughty, LOA 65' x LWL 60' x Beam 16' x Draft 6' x 43 Tons - Sea anchor: 28-ft. Diameter C-9 military class parachute on 450' x 3/4" nylon three strand rode, with 5/8" galvanized swivel - Full trip line - Deployed in a whole gale in shallow water (45 fathoms) about 75 miles SE of Nantucket with winds of 45-55 knots and seas of 18 ft. - Vessel's bow yawed 10° - Drift was estimated to be 15 n.m. during 24 hours at sea anchor.
Captain Marc Palombo is president of Calico Lobster, Inc.. He has a number of commercial F/V's that work out of Sandwich, Massachusetts. These lobster boats, designed by naval architect Bruce Washburn, have proven to be extremely stable platforms at sea. Because of their hard chines they don't roll very much. Their low profile allows them to fish in high winds, and their wide open after decks can accommodate hundreds of lobster traps. Palombo called Victor Shane's company a number of years ago about C-9 parachutes for the boats. It seems that a member of his crew, Arthur Davey by name (see previous file), kept insisting that they should have one on board.
Shane explained to Captain Palombo that he had a few C-9's in stock, but that in his opinion they were not suitable for a big, 40-ton commercial F/V. He reminded Palombo that they were parachutes, designed for one man jumping out of an airplane. Captain Palombo insisted that he wanted three of them. He said Arthur Davey had told him they should be adequate.
Shane said "O.K", but went to great lengths to explain the importance of the long rode, "Remember, the long rode acts as a load buffer. THE LONGER THE RODE, THE LESS THE STRAIN ON EVERYTHING!"
Those C-9 parachutes were subsequently used by the Calico fleet in heavy weather, in conjunction with 400-500 feet of nylon rode. They didn't tear, and some were still in use years later. In 1986, for instance, the Holly & Michael used one in a November gale on the Georges Bank - 45 fathoms. Transcript:
I am writing to compliment you on the usefulness of the PARA-28 [28-ft. C-9]. As an offshore Lobster Fisherman I have deployed the parachute many times. I am completely satisfied with its operation. In one instance, we deployed the chute in a November 1986 gale, 75 miles south-east of Nantucket. The weather conditions deteriorated rapidly and we found ourselves sitting in 45 knot winds with about twelve foot seas....
For about twelve hours the National Weather Service out of Boston had storm warnings up. Through the toughest twenty hours of the storm we lay to the parachute. We were as comfortable as could be expected under these conditions. The PARA-28 kept our bow into the seas as we drifted. We did not pound into the seas, nor did we lie beam-to. It was a soft, comfortable manner to ride out the storm. The parachute enabled us to stay and ride out the storm. Some of the other vessels went into port with broken trips. We stayed and were able to complete our trip. In this respect the anchor paid for itself tenfold. I must stress that there is no substitute for good common sense in some of the decisions to either go home or stay out. But if I were to decide to stay and ride out a storm, I would definitely want a parachute sea anchor out.