"First Educational Video For Para-Anchor Use"
March 2004 The Log Newspaper



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 storm. 

    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 the bow. 

    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," said Smith.

    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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