sea anchor

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Anything that will hold a vessel's bow to the sea in heavy weather. Oars, barricoes (see breaker), or loose sails lashed together and veered from the bow on as long a line as possible will act as a satisfactory sea anchor to which a vessel can ride out a storm. Various forms of drogue are often offered as sea anchors, but usually the vessel's own gear will prove as efficient a sea anchor as any. In very severe weather, such as typhoons, a ship's anchor lowered to some depth on its cable has often been used to hold the ship's head to the sea.

Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.

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