Fiorentino's "Rode Tension" Solution
by Zack Smith
Excerpt taken from "More on storm
October 2000 issue of
Blue Water Sailing.
“...You have to feel
your way through a rode-length problem."
For example, if the bow of a vessel starts
jerking or "feels like" it's being pulled through
the waves, chances are that more rode
needs to be deployed. If the boat "feel like" it is heading beam to the seas, even
after adjusting sail and rudder, some rode
needs to be retrieved because there's too much
slack in the system. Excessive slack in the
parachute system can be avoided by deploying
small portions of rode at a time. This brings to
mind the last gale in which I set a
para-anchor, including the deployment of 50 feet
of anchor rode from a Catalina 30. Winds
were a steady 35 knots, with gusts up to 45
knots, and 15-foot swells with occasional
breaking tops. I paid out a small portion of
rode at a time and secured it to a cleat. When
the boat felt solid and comfortable, I could
relax; when the bow began to feel bumpy, I paid
out more rode. During the test, my anchor rode
tethered to the para-anchor was taut. Adding
weight to the anchor rode aided in keeping it taut while reducing shock loads to the boat.
I've learned to place six feet of chain near the
Fiorentino anchor whenever I suspect that wind forces
may reach storm force.