A parachute anchor is placed in the sea during periods either when the prevailing conditions are against a boat’s intended direction of travel (e.g. pushing you backwards) or when in really aggressive seas when there is a risk of capsize and a drogue streamed from the stern is unable to prevent the boat from broaching.  A parachute anchor looks a bit like a large parachute and most ocean rowers take a parachute anchor which has a diameter of 12ft.  A parachute anchor is attached to the boat with a long rope of at least 250ft (75m) and the middle of a parachute anchor is attached to a separate more lightweight and a buoyant rope called a trip line.  When pulled on, the trip line inverts the parachute anchor allowing it to be pulled back on board.  Deploying a parachute anchor can save many lost miles in adverse weather conditions as it locks onto the water below moving waves stopping your boat from being blown backwards.  Also for this reason they may not be suitable to be used close to the shore as they can be affected by tides and currents.

This parachute anchor is huge but gives you a sense of what it does. We recommend the 12ft diameter version for ocean row boats

Below we have listed a some external sources which should help you get an understanding of how to use a parachute anchor.

There are a number of different parachute anchor manufacturers they are listed below.