sea anchors

-- Last Updated: Dec-28-07 12:25 AM EST --


How many of you have a sea anchor on your kayak? How many of you have used one?

On the advice of a friend I built one and have it on my kayak as a regular, and accessible, piece of safety equipment.

I was told it could be used to slow an onshore landing, but after practice, can see that it would slow the kayak so much that more damage might occur when landing on shore.

It now seems to me that the best use of a sea kayak sea anchor would be in heavy winds/high seas offshore, primarily to add satiability to your kayak while you dealt with another pressing problem and to slow your rate of drift.

I've practiced using my seas anchor here in Colorado on a local lake in gusting 50+ mph winds and in Baja in more moderate conditions.

After these tests/experiences, I will always have a sea anchor as a basic piece of safety gear on my kayak.

What about you? What are your thoughts and experiences?

Happy paddling,


P.S. Here’s a link regarding this subject:

Other ideas
Check out the most current issue of Sea Kayaker. There is something there described that can be made at home and acts like an anchor would kinda so that you can safely moor your boat in a place with big tide changes. Not exactly the same use as an anchor, but for camping in Maine it caught our eye. Based on an old design from fishermen.

I have one
I have one for my canoe and keep it at the ready. I paddle mostly in the open waters of Lake Erie.

I tried the SeattleSports drift sock and found it too small for the canoe, especially with the mast and sail up. Can’t be sure about a kayak. Buy one and keep your receipt.

Went to Boater’s World and got a drift sock for 14’ fishing boats for about $30. This holds very well, deploys in about 20 seconds and holds the boat’s head to wind. A good idea for a pee break, snack, rest, tying some line that came loose, etc. Very good to ride out a thunderstorm.

The pull cord to dump water out of the drift sock is unnecessary as the bag is small enough that you can do it by hand. I have a line attached to the bow and then run back to the cockpit where the sea anchor is fixed. On retrieval, just paddle up to it, dump the water and stow it under deck cords.



no experience
but I’d rather be pointing into the waves than sideways in high winds with the tops blowing off. That said I’d rather be on shore.

I have one.
I bought it after taking a class from Fiona Whitehead that included towing a disabled paddler in through surf and also towing a disabled paddler off the beach through surf. We couldn’t have done that without the drogue.