sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Seabrakes - a must have for offshore sailors?

Seabrakes - a must have for offshore sailors?

'Time to slow down'    Ocean Images
When Captain John Abernathy grabbed a steel bucket and threw it overboard in a storm, he had no idea he was on his way to a great future invention for sailors - such a good invention that Sail-World asks, ‘So, why the bloody hell don't you have one?’

As a charter operator in Bass Strait taking tours out to the Lady Julia Persey seal colony, John found that if a sou’westerly blew up, the trip home became a nightmare, because of the nearness of the continental shelf. The winds could blow anything from 40 to 100 knots and caused lethal following seas.

John now recalls: ‘Conditions were so severe that day that the sea started breaking aboard - we broached, and then we got pooped. I had already tried a conventional sea anchor and the parachute style drogue in these conditions and nothing had worked.

‘As it happened I had an old stainless steel bucket on board that was rolling around the deck, hitting me on the shins. In desperation I hacked it with a tomahawk and made some holes to create less drag, put some rope through it and threw it over.


Seabrake the Principle -    
In an instant it went from a life and death situation to going back and putting on the kettle. The difference was so incredible, I immediately thought, ‘I am on to something here!’

So John went home and started to refine the idea, By 1982, he had developed a full blown two stage moulded plastic drogue.. He worked with the Australian Maritime College to develop his first model, which was used in the BOC Round the World Race. ‘It’s still a fantastic product today,’ he says, ‘a lifesaver, but it was a bit bulky.’


Seabrake how to rig -    

So John went back to the drawing board, using traditional canvas material with a stainless steel wire frame and finally producing today’s internationally successful ‘Seabrake’

This time it was approved as a SOLAS (Saving of Life at Sea) sea anchor, and the first alternative use came up, as Yachting Australia approved it, not as a sea anchor, but as emergency steering. Very successful!This meant that when you didn’t need to have restraint it provided an easy tracking device, conical in shape, but when the boat needed enormous drag, there is a bucket shaped base. The effect of the Seabrake is to keep the boat at a constant speed. This is excellent for going over a bar, when you want to maintain the boat at the same speed as the wave. As John says, ‘You’ve not going to get this surf, stall and then sit there waiting for the next wave to hit you. It is impossible to broach.’


Seabrake for when the going gets tough -    
I had to admit it sounded tricky to get it just at the right speed. John explained: ‘If you take the time to set up correctly and it is almost impossible to broach the boat. Once you get on the back of the wave you will stay with it. You can take your hands off the wheel if you like and you’ll run straight through.

‘This is one of the big features that people have used over the years, sailboat operators, people who have got to rely on running bars have bought it for that reason and that reason alone.

‘It will never go below the depth of the keel once you’re on a wave, and once you’re running at about 2 to 3 knots it will remain at about 7 feet.

‘That is actually where you want it - you don’t want it dragging along the bottom obviously. You usually run it about 3 boat lengths back as a rule of thumb. But if you’ve got short sharp seas you have to adjust it, 3 boat lengths might be wrong. I always say as a catchphrase 'if in doubt, let it out' the further out it is the safer you are.’

To prove his product to the Victorian Marine Board, he demonstrated it over Lake’s Entrance Bar, where the loss of life was higher than anywhere else in the State. The product, in fact, was so good, that people just didn’t believe him. He demonstrated it over Queensland’s once treacherous Southport Bar, and did bar tests and Coast Guard trials in America.


Seabrake -    


The Seabrake weighs 1.5-2kg for the smaller model. Being a stainless steel wire it folds into a figure eight for stowage. It is as flat as a pizza box and you can fold it in half and half again. The stainless steel springs it back up and holds the diameter so the water can flow in and flow out. These days the sleeve is polyester so that it doesn’t rot.







However, the usefulness of the Seabrake doesn’t stop at being ‘just’ a sea anchor and as emergency steering. As time went on, more and more applications were discovered, mostly, by owners.

As John recounts, ‘All of the other applications have literally come from people who have used it and said ‘oh by the way…..did you know…?’


Seabrake Anti-roll -    

‘An American sailor told me ‘We forgot to recover one of them after a hell of a gale and we left it hanging over the side. Later that evening in the anchorage it was pretty rolly, and we couldn’t work out how we could sit there and have dinner and a glass a wine when all the boats around us were rolling all over the place. Suddenly we realized that we hadn’t recovered the Seabrake and it was hanging out of the boat like a plumb bob or a flopper stopper.'

As a result of these later suggestions, the latest models of the Seabrake have a wide range of uses. They can be used as sea anchors, drift anchors, for emergency steering, for anti-surfing and anti-broaching. It can be used as an anti-roll device, and as a stabilizer up a wave and at anchor.

Coast guards and water police use it for towing purposes – it keeps the towed boat from accelerating in an uncontrolled fashion. It also has good use in combination with an autopilot – as it reduces the yaw, it stops the autopilot from having to work overtime, and this in turn saves power. (Australian Navy tests showed that it reduced roll by 50%, yaw by 70% and the helm by 70% plus.)

But John has the final say, ‘Just when we thought we had found every possible use for the Seabrake, someone came along and said, ‘Did you know that you can use it for a spare ‘man-overboard’ harness, as you can get inside it?’’

Today, Seabrake is experiencing an unprecedented success. Coming in sizes from 24 to 48 inches, the equipment is sold from Spain to New Zealand, from Africa to Asia.


Seabrake emergency steering -    

Sail-World thinks the product is so good that one has to ask – ‘Should they be compulsory for certain races?’ The cruising sailor makes an individual decision about what gear is to be carried, and carries the consequences.

Racing boats sail with a certain responsibility being carried by the organising body. In the ill-famed 1998 Hobart Race, when boats were faced with giant breaking waves in Bass Strait, would compulsory Seabrakes have made the outcome for some of the boats different? An interesting question…..

The Seabrake is manufactured by Australia company Burke Marine.

Founded in 1971, Burke Marine makes a wide range of wet weather gear, personal flotation devices and other marine safety equipment under the Burke brand name. The group also distributes some of the world's best-known brands such as Henri-Lloyd, Sunbrella marine fabrics and Anchor Marine, a UK manufacturer of inflatable boat fenders.

www.burkemarine.com.au

If you would like to learn more about the product, click into the Seabrake website.



Burke's head office is located in Sydney, Australia.

Click Here to comment on this article




by Rob Kothe

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=22274

7:51 PM Wed 22 Mar 2006 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

31 Jan 2014  Ten boat safety checks every skipper needs to make
05 Jan 2014  In-mast furling - is it the 'no-no' we've always believed?
13 Nov 2013  Product of the week: One Sailor MBS for single-handed docking
29 Oct 2013  Get your DSC-equipped VHF hooked up right
14 Oct 2013  Evolution Autopilot - top honours in Marine Electronics Awards
30 Sep 2013  Product of the Week: Safer and easier docking - SlideMoor
17 Sep 2013  Mountain bike torch great for tough sailing conditions
16 Sep 2013  Product of the Week: Drawer fridge for cool-keeping and accessibility
25 Aug 2013  Rig your own sailing boat? Yes, you can!
23 Aug 2013  Product of the Week: The LED ringed switch
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World















International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




















International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,
























Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA




Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video   
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi   
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition   
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos   
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show   
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw   
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge   
America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT