What is Sea Anchor and its requirement as per SOLAS?

A sea anchor (also known as a drift anchor) is a device used to stabilize a boat in heavy weather.
  • A sea anchor shall be conical in shape and have the following dimensions-
  • The sea anchor material shall be porous, slightly stiff and shall allow a water penetration of between 10 and 12 cubic centimetres per second per square centimetre at a pressure of 550Pa(roughly equivalent to a speed through water of 2 knots).
  • The painter line used to secure the sea anchor to a liferaft or boat shall –
    1. be inherently rot proof and of braided construction; and
    2. be 30 metres long; not less than 8 mm. in diameter and have a breaking load includingattachments and knots of not less than –
      • 5 kN for liferafts up to 10 person capacity;
      • 0 kN for liferafts of 11 person to 25 person capacity; and
      • 0 kN for all other sea anchors or have a factor of safety of 3:1 based on atow test at 6 knots whichever is the greater.
  • The shroud lines shall be designed to restrict the sea anchor from tumbling through itself.
  • 5.The sea anchor shall be stable when towed through the water at speeds up to 6 knots.
  • 6.The sea anchor mouth shall open immediately on deployment.


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