"When Karin and I set out across the Pacific to South America following our retirement, we decided that it would be wise to invest in the best possible sea-anchor we could find. We are older now, and without an active young crew to sail 'Victoria' in stormy conditions as we have done in the past, it was important to ensure that we could cope in the worst conditions we could expect. From all the studies that we have made of others who found themselves in severe storms in small vessels at sea, it is apparent that parachute sea-anchors provide the best system for keeping a yacht head to wind and sea when survival conditions are encountered by a small crew.
So we considered the various models available carefully. It was clear to us that the construction and material, the design of the deployment system and the elastic throat were highly desirable features that only the Coppins “StormFighter” provided.
We have not yet been in a position where we needed to use our sea-anchor in danger, but having seen a ‘StormFighter’ in action when we conducted trials near Auckland, we are certainly confident that we have made the correct decision.
That said, we will be happy if we never have to use it!"
Former head NZ Maritime Safety
'We lay at the sea anchor for 27 hours! For 12 hours we were constantly being hit end for end by huge seas... It had done its work and saved 4 lives ... I gave a blessing to Bill Coppins...’
Survivors of a major storm 300 km west of Auckland, NZ
‘...the Copins Para Anchor outperformed other leading brands...’
Rex Sellers, Olympic yachting Gold and Silver medallist, and Commercial Fisherman. Following tests of para anchors for use by weather boats and tenders in the America’s Cup series.
‘Awesome stopping power; tiger tested in rough conditions… surprisingly easy to set and retrieve… dramatically improves our wives’ sea legs in choppy conditions…‘
Happy owners of 35’ Caribbean Flybridge launch, Auckland, New Zealand
‘Congratulations, you are an Award of Excellence winner! Your para anchor project... is being recognized as the best project submitted for 'Excellence in the Safety and Technical Products' category... We acknowledge your project as being one chosen for defying design boundaries to produce unique, innovative and functional products." These awards, presented in Boston, Massachusetts, attracted 355 entries from 14 countries.
‘I was stuck in 6 - 10m swells with 45 - 70 knot winds and the only piece of equipment stopping me being rolled down the face of the waves was the Coppins Para Anchor. Not only did it keep me alive but the para anchor held me in a great position so I could continue rowing towards New Zealand. Coppins simply don't compromise. Coppins Para Anchors are tried and tested and I would rely on the equipment with my life. I have no doubt that I would not have been able to row the Tasman Sea with out a Coppins Para Anchor."
The first person to row solo from Australia to New Zealand. He spent 7 days on a Coppins Sea Anchor, retrieved it when the storm subsided, and completed the solo journey in 54 days.
“During the ShipArrestor development project, we were looking for the world’s best producer of large scale sea anchors and advanced deployment systems – and found Coppins on the other side of the globe.”
11 metre waves aboard the 53m 'Daniel Solemar'
'We are not endorsing or recommending any particular company, just letting you know what we see. We feel the Coppins Sea Anchor is the one we would buy…as it looks like the strongest one currently being manufactured.
We inspected the Sea Anchor made by Coppins and were defiantly impressed with the strength and careful construction. Their prices are good and his company has been building them these for 40 years, and they know how to handle overseas orders'
Authors ‘Surviving the Storm’ and others
We all know the Sebastian Junger book turned blockbuster movie ‘The Perfect Storm’. This true story involves Capt. Billy Tyne Jnr. and his crew of 5 who had been fishing out from Massachusetts in the 72 foot 'F/V Andrea Gail'. They were hit by extreme weather conditions on their way home, and were all lost at sea. The storm conditions that caused the ship to be lost involved waves of between 40-60 ft (12-18m) and gusts of up to 80 knots (148 km/h or 92 mph)
In June 1998, Charlie Blanchet and his crew-mate Des McGrath left New Zealand to sail to Tonga on 'April', a 43 foot ketch. They were hit by severe weather conditions, since known as the ‘ultimate storm’. Many people are much less familiar with this story as a book was never written and a movie never produced. The only report of the story was in Boating New Zealand, November 2001. See photos
There were big differences between the ‘ultimate storm’ in the South Pacific and the ‘perfect storm’ in the Atlantic. The most notable difference was that the 'ultimate storm' was much more severe, but more importantly Charlie and his Crew survived thanks to their Coppins Sea Anchor, whereas the 'Andrea Gail' was never seen again.
The wave heights around the 'April' in the Pacific were difficult to calculate as the crew was taking a beating. They were estimated at over 80 feet (24 metres). At one stage, a set of seven waves hit the 'April' and it was completely submerged. They then shot through the air ‘like a dolphin’ before diving into the next set of waves.
We can say with a greater level of certainty the speed of wind. The wind-speed indicator on the 'April' read ‘a steady 130 to 140 knots, with wind gusts topping 154 knots’ (285 km/h or 177 mph). The indicator was later tested and was found to be accurate to within one knot.
Luckily the 'April' was carrying a Coppins Sea Anchor which they deployed as the conditions worsened. Charlie said "looking back at the storm, I’d do exactly as I did before." They hung off the para anchor for four days, and retrieved it when the storm had passed. Fortunately they had the right equipment and made the right descisions. They survived the ‘ultimate storm’, and lived to sail another day.
‘Without the para anchor I doubt very much that we would have survived. The waves were so large and breaking, the boat wouldn't have really pitch-poled, it would have been turned upside down and we'd have rolled over I don't know how many times.’
Commercial fisherman and sailor, As reported in 'Boating New Zealand' magazine, Nov 2001.
"When I first discovered that there was a product that could be used for one of the most dangerous situations at sea for super yachts, I set about finding out more. Coppins Sea Anchors replied with the answer to my query - of course we can do that.
Thus began the making of the Sea Anchor which was supplied before our Atlantic crossing. Any Captains' fear of becoming broached in rough seas during a power failure, is somewhat reduced with having redundancy or a backup safety system to those measures.
When the para anchor was delivered and the crew trained in deployment, I was much happier, knowing that if an emergency arose, we had something that would give us some time to address the situation in some relative comfort.
Coppins pioneered this product for super yachts with us leading the way, we hope that they are never used in the future - but its always best to be prepared."
11 metre breaking waves aboard the 53m 'Daniel Solemar'