March 2004 The Log
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Local para-anchor designer Zack
Smith launched his self-produced video "The Complete
Para-Anchor Set-Up; Modern Rigging Techniques for Sailboats
& Trawlers," this month at the Seattle Boat Show.
The first and only video of its kind teaches
boaters to deploy parachute anchors from a variety of
vessels. Para-anchors are commonly used to slow drift and to
keep the bows of vessels pointing into ocean waves.
With proper deployment, para-anchors not only slow a fishing
boat, but can save a crew aboard a sailboat floundering in a
Sailors, adventurers and tradesmen from
previous centuries long used parachute sea anchors. However,
the reliable technique for slowing and stopping boats from
drifting at sea is experiencing resurgence in popularity.
But as the popularity has grown, education for para-anchors
owners has been missing.
And, what little information was on the market
lacked details about connecting the anchors to different
boats, Smith said. The new video helps boaters determine if
they should bridle their boat, and how to deploy gear off
In the video, Smith answers common questions with
step-by-step instructions so sailors can determine what type
of rode, chafe gear, bridle, trip line, or sail trim is
necessary for their individual boat. The video features
exciting aerial and underwater footage and detailed graphics
emphasize lessons learned. Although sponsored by Fiorentino
Para Anchors, Smith an independent research analyst uses
many brands of para-anchors in the making of the video.
Additionally, novice sailors are shown deploying and
retrieving para-anchor equipment for the first time. Smith
felt viewers could learn more with live action footage of
beginners rather than staged situations with rehearsed
experts. The only video footage shot with experts included
the commercial fishing boat and an emergency response team.
Smith and long time friend Bob Ritner taped portions of the
video in 45 to 55-plus knot windstorm they encountered while
making the video.
"It was a challenge filming in gale and storm force winds,
because one of us had to keep the vessel under control and
hold the camera, while the second deployed the para-anchor,"
Boaters can purchase the video by calling (800) 777-0732 or
by visiting an authorized bookstore or marine store in their
area. The video is available in DVD and VHS formats.
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