Sea anchor

A drogue, or parachute-like construction, of
timber, iron and heavy canvas, designed to resist being dragged through the
water. In heavy weather a sea anchor may be streamed over the bow of a boat
with the idea that it will hold her head to wind and seas as she drifts
stern-first before the storm. Some people believe that sea anchors are
effective, many others have been disappointed, and the whole business has
provided much material for usually inconclusive argument. Some boats will lie to some sea anchors, others will not.