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Old 04-08-2017, 07:10 PM   #1
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Cruising downwind with parachute

Morning All,
First post to the forum - be gentle on me !
Wondered if anyone can enlighten me re downwind cruising chutes.
Owner of 8m motorcruiser liveaboard & planning a long remote tradewind downwind cruise. Autonomy at present 1000km @ 4litres/hour.

Many thanks
Andrew
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:19 PM   #2
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:50 PM   #3
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4litres/hour. dont even worry about it just think how much fuel you can buy for the price of a chute and also think about running over 100 meters of rope and the chute
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:54 PM   #4
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I had thought about this too. Chute or spinnaker isn't practical. In extremis would you be able to stow/furl it with 'normal' crew? It's either 'up and drawing' or it's down in the water waiting to foul your wheel.

A Kite would seem to be more practical or useful. Research kite surfing, how the foil works, how it can be made 'thrust neutral' and still be in the air when you want to ease up, or pulling on the sheets to gain thrust.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:33 PM   #5
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We saw this power cat four years ago in the Caribbean. He was pretty far away but it looked like he was getting pulled along pretty well.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #6
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I've thought about this a lot.
Could have used it recently.
Better minds made me see the error of my ways however.

Winds are not as steady as they seem. Thus any savings will be rapidly spent when you run the thing over or just have to stop to retrieve and redeploy.
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:33 PM   #7
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There are a couple of manufacturers of those kites. They're serious.

I don't think it's about savings; I think it's about range.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:25 PM   #8
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If you want to sail? Why not a sailing boat.?
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:54 PM   #9
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Seems like a large kite sail would make a good emergency propulsion system. Why don't you go to Craigslist or eBay and buy a used one and experiment. Let us know how it goes maybe you'll start something new here
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:56 PM   #10
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Seems like a large kite sail would make a good emergency propulsion system. Why don't you go to Craigslist or eBay and buy a used one and experiment. Let us know how it goes maybe you'll start something new here


They only work 1/2 the time
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:53 AM   #11
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Maybe fore and aft sails is a first step.



A spinnaker can be a bit tricky.

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Old 04-10-2017, 02:13 AM   #12
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We saw this power cat four years ago in the Caribbean. He was pretty far away but it looked like he was getting pulled along pretty well.
Hate to think of the mess when the wind suddenly fails.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:12 AM   #13
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Having done a few long passages under spinnaker figure on carrying at least two more people in Crew. If you can't accommodate that then carry more fuel instead.
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:27 AM   #14
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We used to use a parafoil kite while sea kayaking. Ours didn't have an inflatable arch like the one in post #5. Me-thinks the arch would maintain its shape and stay up in lighter winds. Our parafoil kite needed about 20 knots of steady wind to stay up...the inflatable one would be better. Winds are much more consistent aloft.

Always had a knife unsheathed and ready to cut the line in a heartbeat. Would do the same on a trawler...better to go back and pick up the mess than risk getting it around the prop.
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:36 AM   #15
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spinnakers require big rudders for control. Im surprised powerboats have large enough rudders,
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:44 AM   #16
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If you want to sail? Why not a sailing boat.?
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:55 AM   #17
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I suggest reading up on some of this stuff....even spinnakers evolved into cruising chutes that can be set and handled by 1 or 2 crew.

I agree Parachutes and kites are tricky if not careful...but we aren't talking using them for an hour or two in the ditch....I would think those considering them would think they are useful for surfing along the trades for days until a significant change is forecast.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:20 PM   #18
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I suggest reading up on some of this stuff....even spinnakers evolved into cruising chutes that can be set and handled by 1 or 2 crew.

I agree Parachutes and kites are tricky if not careful...but we aren't talking using them for an hour or two in the ditch....I would think those considering them would think they are useful for surfing along the trades for days until a significant change is forecast.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:21 PM   #19
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Cruising downwind with parachute

Kites and chutes aren't set and forget. Your going to have to steer the boat under them. The prototypes for ships use expensive tech to try to get around this. Your going to need extra helmsmen to do this 24/7 as in No autopilot.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:26 PM   #20
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Even autopilots steered by wind input and not a magnetic course?
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