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A PARA-TECH Sea Anchor should be your first line of
defense when facing heavy weather.


sea anchor

No small, independent craft should venture offshore without the tremendous
confidence & security afforded by a PARA-TECH Sea Anchor.
is committed to your safety and well being when cruising offshore.


Read what Sea Anchor users have to say. These are exerpts directly from the Drag Device Database.

"We’re alive! Thanks to the parachute [Sea] anchor which secured us for 53 hours in Cyclone Justin..."

"The sea anchor definitely saved the boat and I’m sure our lives. It operated flawlessly on those two days [985mb storm] and the other three days during the other two gales ... We did what should have been done and came through a very violent storm and survived with no damage. Thank you again for everything."

"My parachute [Sea Anchor] is one of the few items I purchased which performed as advertised and no defect or surprises. I appreciated the quality and performance more than I can express. Wouldn’t leave port without it, ever!"

"... I consider your equipment the most important safety item on my boat ... I will never make an ocean passage without one on board. People must realize that ocean cruising can be safe if you go with the idea that you will go into a defensive position before the seas build too high ...

Commercial fishermen have been using parachutes at sea for decades ... on long excursions the parachute is indispensable for sea layovers, for heaving to and for otherwise maintaining station on fishing grounds. With the engine shut off, drift is reduced up to 90% with the bow pointed comfortably into the seas ... "other vessels went into port with broken trips ... we stayed, and in this respect the [Sea] anchor paid for itself."


There are distinct advantages in having a PARA-TECH Sea Anchor On Board...

GOOD SEAMANSHIP being THE ESSENCE OF PREPAREDNESS, no small, independent craft should venture offshore without the tremendous confidence, security/insurance - and peace of mind - afforded by a PARA-TECH Sea Anchor. A Sea Anchor will go a long way toward enabling a skipper to limit contingencies at sea and dispose of them early. Self sufficiency is the trend of the day and a Sea Anchor will contribute greatly to self sufficiency on the oft hostile interface between sea and sky, with all the uncertainties - and challenges - that they hold for the contemporary sailor.

For shorthanded sailors, hopeless exhaustion is just as dangerous as the sudden gale. Brain numb from fatigue the shorthanded sailor will soon cross the dangerous threshold beyond which all is error and wrong decision. It is precisely at this point that a Sea Anchor is worth its weight in gold. Set the Sea Anchor, get some rest, and THEN get up to fight again, with your brain back in working order.

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to beat into heavy seas. The wear and tear on the crew and boat do not justify the handful of miles gained upwind. It may be wiser to lay-to a Sea Anchor and wait for better conditions. To heave-to without one may mean losing in a few hours what you have spent days gaining.

Many boats are lost annually when - initially disabled - they drift out of control and run aground. A Sea Anchor will enable you to hold your position and keep your boat off the rocks long enough for help to arrive.

With sails down or engine out your boat will become unstable - SIDEWAYS - rolling sickeningly, rails buried in the troughs. A Sea Anchor will force the bow back into the seas and restore stability allowing you to go about the business of pumping out, making repairs, or going up the mast if necessary.

"Land is a mixed blessing," to quote Webb Chiles, and Lord knows how many boats have arrived at night and gone belly-up on reefs because the skipper couldn’t wait set foot on dry land. If you make the landfall at night and the entry is a difficult one ... Lay off a safe distance and lay-to your Sea Anchor until daybreak. Better late than never.

U.S. Sailing has recognized the value of a true Sea Anchor aboard multihulls ... in Appendix VII of ‘RECOMMENDATIONS FOR OFFSHORE SAILING." One multihull builder has stated that the introduction of large diameter parachute type Sea Anchors has made it safer for muiatihulls to cruise blue water.

Design & Construction of PARA-TECH® Sea Anchors

PARA-TECH Sea Anchors are made from high strength NYLON fabric having weight and strength more than four times that of surplus parachutes which have been used as Sea Anchors for many years. Seams are reinforced with Nylon webbing. Nylon lines with a minimum strength of 1,500# are joined at the rode end to a shackle with a strength of from 17,000# to 52,000#. A correctly sized PARA-TECH Sea Anchor will likely never experience the loads it is capable of taking.

PARA-TECH Sea Anchors are designed to be "failure tolerant." If the full system is over stressed the Sea Anchor is designed to blow a panel before anything else fails. The Sea Anchor will still hold the boat but with increased drift. It will function properly even with some broken or damaged lines.

When PARA-TECH entered the Sea Anchor business, over 25 years ago, we supplied surplus personnel parachutes to the sportfishing industry in San Diego, CA. Those parachutes failed within one season, which prompted us to make our own, durable Sea Anchors. By contrast, in 1996, we received a 5-year old Sea Anchor which was worn out. The skipper reported that it had spent the equivalent of ONE YEAR in the water.



sea anchor

User Friendly

PARA-TECH Sea Anchors are the easiest Sea Anchors in the world to use. Thanks to input to the DRAG DEVICE DATA BASE by Victor Shane, we added our Deployable Stow Bag which eliminates the tendency for a parachute Sea Anchor to "catch air" and inflate on deck, making deployment difficult at best. The bag is simply tossed overboard with the Sea Anchor inside. The Sea Anchor automatically deploys IN THE WATER from the bag, safe from the effects of the raging wind. All PARA-TECH system components are likewise designed for ease of use and clean deployment. We are constantly looking for ways to improve all of our products.


Rigging, Rode & Deployment

All components used with your Sea Anchor MUST be suitable for storm anchoring and bow attachments (cleats, Sampson posts, etc.) MUST have backing plates. Rode MUST be NYLON and 10 to 15 times the boat’s overall length. A stainless steel swivel is highly recommended. MULTIHULLS also MUST rig the rode to a bridle with EACH leg being 2½ times the beam of the boat and rigged to the OUTER HULLS. A partial Trip Line is the simplest way to retrieve your Sea Anchor.

PAY OUT LOTS OF RODE (see diagram)
The Sea Anchor relies very heavily on the stretch of the long NYLON rode for yielding to the seas (and not standing up to them). Even in moderate conditions, pay out at least 300' of rode or 10 to 15X the boats overall length in heavy weather situations.


  1. Secure items on board, lower sails, etc.
  2. Head into the weather to "stall" the boat.
  3. Toss trip line, float line and Sea Anchor into the water on the WINDWARD side of the boat, followed by the rode.
  4. Drift back on the Sea Anchor, paying out the required scope.
  5. Make fast the rode and employ chafe gear.
  6. Secure the rudder amidships.
  7. Secure the boat and get some rest.

Specifications & Sizing Guidelines

Sizing is first based on length overall with weight, keel configuration and windage taken into account next. Note that generally the greater windage of power boats equals the greater draft (wetted surface) of sailing craft, hence the same size Sea Anchor. When in doubt go to the larger size. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS are as follows:

Boat LOA

Sea Anchor Size
Packed Dimensions
Under 20 ft.
Under 4,000 lbs.
6 Foot
6" Dia. X 7" Tall
6 lbs.
Under 25 ft.
Under 8,000 lbs
9 Foot
6" Dia. X 9" Tall
9 lbs.
25 to 33 ft.
Under 12,000 lbs.
12 Foot
8" Dia. X 12" Tall
12 lbs.
30 to 40 ft.
Under 25,000 lbs.
15 Foot
10" Dia X 15" Tall
20 lbs.
35 to 48 ft.
Under 40,000 lbs.
18 Foot
12" Dia X 17" Tall
25 lbs.
40 to 90 ft.
Under 95,000 lbs.
24 Foot
13" Dia. X 19" Tall
35 lbs.
70 to 120 ft.
Under 200,000 lbs.
32 Foot
16" Dia. X 25" Tall
55 lbs.
120 to 150 ft.
Under 300,000 lbs.
40 Foot
18" Dia. X 30" Tall
110 lbs.

Included with all PARA-TECH Sea Anchors:

Deployable Stowage Bag, Heavy Duty Shackle, Float Line, Instruction Manual.

NOT Included:

Floats, Anchor Rode, Swivel Shackle, Boat (we’re really cheap about this).



The PARA-TECH name is your assurance of quality fabrication per the standards established by the parachute industry. PARA-TECH Sea Anchors are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of five years. Manufactured in the United States of America.


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