Topic: storm riding sail

I was wondering if anyone has a storm riding sail that is to be hoisted on the backstay when riding to a sea anchor like the one pictured on page 74 of Adlard Coles' Heavy Weather Sailing book, 13th Ed.? 

If so, I'm wondering what the proper dimensions and weight of the Dacron used and your thought about its performance (whether you got it sized appropriately or not, etc.).

I've asked a couple of sailmaker about the right size of this sail for a Contessa 26, but the one's I've contacted don't know.



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Re: storm riding sail

I have never heard of one on a Contessa. With the Contessa's long keel and low windage, I do not think that is required. I have been on a drogue and at anchor in some good blows and have not had a problem with skating. If you are anchored in a current you can use your self steering gear to keep you straight.

Re: storm riding sail


Did you ever find out more about this storm riding sail?  I've been thinking about something like this lately but not as a riding sail.  I was thinking of using one sheeted off to one side to push the stern down and the bow up when heaving to.  In other words, I was wondering if one could use it in place of a trysail for heaving to with a similarly sized storm jib at the bow.  I have acquired a second, tiny, storm jib and may try messing around with it hoisted on the back stay.

Re: storm riding sail

Hi Deb,

Sorry about the tardy reply!  I spent a lot of time away from the website.....needed to go back to work.......low on $$.

No, in answer to your question.  I didn't bother to do any more with the riding sail idea.......I figured I needed to just spend more time with the boat seeing how it handled on just a sea anchor before I would know whether it was necessary (like sealer was saying).  B