Mallorca by Land, Air and Sea

USA. Fiorentino highlights new safety research at 2012 Boat Show Seminars

Monday, 13 February 2012

Drag Device Inventor Zack Smith to discuss “Constant Rode Tension” Theory

The importance of keeping constant tension on rode when using parachute sea anchors and storm drogues will be the focus of Fiorentino’s 2012 boat show safety seminars featuring drag device inventor Zack Smith, head of Fiorentino’s Research and Development Team.

Zack developed his “Constant Rode Tension Theory” after more than 15 years of sea trials which he conducted with Fiorentino.  The theory states that “Keeping rode taut is the key to successful parachute anchor and storm drogue use.”

During his seminars, Zack will discuss the importance of short rode deployment (paying out rode in short increments as sea states change). He also will explain why weight should be placed next to the drag device instead of the boat end to keep the canopy inflated and reduce stretch in the system. Additionally, the seminars will include information on Fiorentino’s fixed and pendant line bridle set-ups and their unique “Free Flying” riding sail which are critical components in keeping rode taut. Sea trial video of these pioneering rigging set-ups will be available on later this year.

Load cell research completed during 15 years of sea trials by Zack and Fiorentino’s Research and Development Team revealed that shorter rode lengths, weight placement, use of rope with less stretch and increasing vessel speed with engine and sail power can drastically reduce shock loading on equipment during changing seas because slack is kept to a minimum. Fiorentino believes that long periods of slack rode are the primary cause of problems with drag devices.

Fiorentino’s findings run counter to current industry standards which recommend paying out long lengths of rode to add more stretch to the system and adding weight at the boat not next to the safety device. Critics say Fiorentino’s “Constant Rode Tension Solutions”  will “stretch rode out too much” and cause it to break. Fiorentino maintains that the industry’s current standard operating procedure is leading to too much slack rode resulting in excessive shock loading that can break equipment and cause drag devices to fail. 

Zack, who is known for providing unbiased comparisons on a wide range of drag devices, will discuss the pros and cons of both operational theories so sailors can determine which system best fits their needs.

Last Updated ( Monday, 13 February 2012 )