Saturday, September 19, 2009

Parasitic Drag

When I bought Journeyman, there were flag halyards to both spreaders, an unused 6 foot LORAN antenna on the aft deck, and a big heavy Danforth anchor in a PVC sleeve mounted to the stern pulpit. All this was unnecessary windage (parasitic drag, as aircraft designers call it), and off it came. The anchor got stowed low in the starboard cockpit locker, the antenna was tossed, and I did away with the flag halyards. The boat sails the better for it, especially when beating in a breeze.

The anchor was high and heavy and at an end of the boat, so its restowing low and more toward the center was especially good. Weight at the ends of a boat adds to pitching - think of a see-saw.

I do think it is important to have a ready anchor, and I have a 7.5 kilogram Bruce on a roller at the bow. Like the stern anchor, it too is up in the wind, heavy and at an end, but seamanship requires that it be there. Were I to take Journeyman on a blue water trip, once offshore I'd restow that anchor in the cockpit locker.

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