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Book Review: Heavy Weather Tactics (Second Edition)

Using Sea Anchors and Drogues
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An acknowledged expert in the study of drogues and sea anchors (not the same thing, as is clearly explained), Earl Hinz has written a comprehensive and thoroughly enjoyable analysis of drag devices and their practical application.

Deploying a drag device to “park” and stabilize your boat with minimum drift is not just a proven heavy-weather tactic—it can also serve to let a weary crew relax and catch up on sleep. Fatigue, and the consequent tendency to errors and poor judgement is just as harmful to the enjoyment and success of a cruise as any storm.

Hinz attributes the surge of interest in these devices to the development of more effective designs following the carnage of the 1979 Fastnet race. He also cites the increasing number of boats exploring in high latitudes and thus, encountering more serious weather than before.

In the book, the nature and origin of dangerous sea states are explained, as is the use of a drag device to keep a vessel safe and comfortable with a sea running.

Hinz also provides a thorough review of the many different devices currently on the market that is both extremely helpful and a great time-saver when it comes to selecting the gear for yourself.

Ultimately, going small and simple now requires a good deal of knowledge if you’re to stay out of trouble, and this book will definitely help you along your way.

Get this book to fully understand the gear that’s out there, choose the right drag device, develop the correct procedures for using it and then go and embrace the weather you encounter with confidence! $19.95. Paradise Cay Publications, paracay.com — Francis Bone

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