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Old 12-12-2007, 15:09   #16
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Originally Posted by Kanani View Post
I don't see the logic in this, other than, that would give you a stronger attaching point. This tactic is sometimes used while towing.
.
That was the advice given by the owner of Para Anchors Australia. But a most important point that you bring out is to test and practise with your own rig on your own boat - before it hits 70kts! After practise in all weather people will work out what is best for their boat.
You've seen racing boats that try to sail off their mooring when no one is abord. Get 30kts and the boats kick to the extent of their rode and then tack and come back. On a 100 meter line they would 'sail' out of the sea wall of the anchor.

When I get this next boat I will be practising with the para anchor over and over till it works the way I want - or it teaches me the way it wants!

The Para Anchors Aus website also has quite a few first hand reports of setting in storms and some info on deploying.

I think the thing that scares me is the thought of seeing the whole parachute in the air with 70kts pushing it! LOL

For rebel: "WM has them for about $1000" also factor in 100 meters of 18mm braid! (400 ft 5/8 inch)
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Old 12-12-2007, 15:16   #17
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I'm reading a book currently on storm management which is a big advocate of heaving to/hoving to (forgive my terminology, just getting into this all!).

Their big thing is to heave to at a ~ 40-50 degree angle against the wind, using a parachute if needed connected from the bow to the mid ship point is that is the only way your boat will heave to. Crude version, run a line from the bow to the mid ship point, connect the line to the parachute about mid point in this line.

The whole point their basis was on was the slick a properly hove to’d boat creates and breaks up the waves. Seems to either use the parachute to create the slick, use the hove to’d boat to create the slick, or both.

I forget their argument for not deploying the parachute directly off the bow, one reason for the 40-50 degree angle was the waves would hit the strongest part of the hatches and such- their corners. I think one reason against the deployment off the bow was the potential to pull the bow under water. I’ll need to re-read those parts.

I forget the scientific term on why the parachute/slick broke up the waves but their analogy was interesting- look at your wake and how the wake breaks up waves crossing it ever far a stern of the boat after the boat has passed.

Jist is wind not the problem, waves are. Do something to disrupt the waves and your be in a much better position. Hoving to in a high wind condition seems like it might be very hard on the sails, apparently by reducing the surface area so much the loads equal out to normal conditions.

The book is most vague on anything over ~ 70 knots of winds.
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Old 12-12-2007, 15:17   #18
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Kanani

Excellent report - have not used one, nor (yet) been in the circumstances where one would be appropriate to even have onboard........but it was on my list of things to consider carefully.

A good point that I had not considered was recovery and the possibility of the chute deploying under the bow, and the consequences of being on deck when the next wave arrives.......I guess kinda obvious........when pointed out. Usually I find out stuff the hard way
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Old 12-12-2007, 15:19   #19
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Kan? you hove to against 70 knots and the attendant seas? Where were you? What size line did you have on the chute and how much did you pay out? How tall from top to trough did you figure the seas were? How long was the storm?

Must have been one helluva ride.

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Old 12-12-2007, 15:41   #20
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I like the idea of the Jordan Series Drogue. Though I don't have experience with either the parachute or the drogue my reasons for liking the drogue are as follows:

1)The drouge allows you to deploy the device from the cockpit

2) Because the drouge is a series of items failure of a few of the drogues will not cause failure of the entire system.

3) Properly installled there is little problem with chafe

4) From actual reports it seems that there is very little stress put on the boat by using the drogue

5) It is not a commercilaized item so that if you buy one made up you are not paying for marketing, or corporate salaries

6) the USCG did an extensive study on them and said that they worked.

I recently recieved the cones from ace sailmakers and am ging to start installing them on some 3/4" line that I have.
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Old 12-12-2007, 15:57   #21
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Originally Posted by Seeratlas View Post
Kan? you hove to against 70 knots and the attendant seas? Where were you? What size line did you have on the chute and how much did you pay out? How tall from top to trough did you figure the seas were? How long was the storm?

Must have been one helluva ride.

seer
No....I didn't "Hove-to". I deployed my parachute sea anchor.

I was in the Tasman sea bound to Aus from New Zealand.

My Parachute was 20' in diameter. My nylon rode 5'8". Most manufacturers recommend 3/4" line. I had 5/8" and that is what I anchored on at anchor so I figured, "How would this be any different?" and it wasn't.

I never get into discussions about wave height. It is impossible to estimate from the deck of a small boat. I'll never forget one time when I was sailing down to NZ and a French war ship passed by fairly close. He was going directly into the wind and seas, which we had on our beam. I would have thought the seas to be about 10-15' (which is what I reported as the sea-state when I checked in on the SSB net).

When this ship went down in the trough, the seas would break over the entire ship. It was from that prospective that I could measure the seas to be about 30-40'.

That cyclone had reported seas of 100'. Although, we were far from the eye and I wouldn't begin to estimate the height of the seas as I had nothing to compare with. What I can tell you is, just before the arrival of the cyclone, it was a hot sunny day with light wind. The seas were like mountains. We would disapear in the trough for long periods of time then we would rasie up to the top of the swell and could see these huge mountainess swells, stretching out forever. It was about then that I knew we were in for a bad night.

As it ended up, we laid to our parachute for about 2-days (if I remember correctly) as the cyclone stalled over Northern NZ and just made a mess of that place.

As for being a "Helluva ride".......it was really amazingly comfortable on the parachute. You really get the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and majesty of a storm like that, once you stop feeling apprehensive.
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Old 12-12-2007, 16:14   #22
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I like the idea of the Jordan Series Drogue. Though I don't have experience with either the parachute or the drogue my reasons for liking the drogue are as follows:

1)The drouge allows you to deploy the device from the cockpit

2) Because the drouge is a series of items failure of a few of the drogues will not cause failure of the entire system.

3) Properly installled there is little problem with chafe

4) From actual reports it seems that there is very little stress put on the boat by using the drogue

5) It is not a commercilaized item so that if you buy one made up you are not paying for marketing, or corporate salaries

6) the USCG did an extensive study on them and said that they worked.

I recently recieved the cones from ace sailmakers and am ging to start installing them on some 3/4" line that I have.
Charlie,

A drogue is an entirely different tool. It's nice to have lots of tools in your toolbox.

However, here is the problem with a drogue and once a sailor owns a parachute, he'll never use a drogue.

Drogues are made for slowing your progress while running downwind in deteriorating conditions. They are great for keeping the vessel in line with the approaching sea and a great deffence against broaching.

However, at some point, the drogue may not be enough. When that point is reached, switching tactics will be those most dangerous manuever that any sailor will ever be faced with.

Pulling in a trailing drogue, when the wind and seas get too strong to maintain headway, may be impossible due to the load on the line. The only option may be to cut it free IMO (and I did it ONCE and never again). Once cut free the timing must be absolutely perfect to get the bow up into the seas without broaching. The boat will accelerate dramatically and steerage will be difficult. If you make your move just as a wave passes under you, and you can turn before the next wave arrives, you can do it, however very difficultly and it is best to have your engine running and ready to full throttle in the event of poor timing.

However........now what do you do?? If you have a parachute on-board, have practiced with it, you MAY be able to deploy it succesfully. However, when conditions are at that stage, success is less likely. There is a chance of getting rolled as the wind blows the bow down, if you get hit with a breaking sea, before the rode becomes taught.

IMHO, all that nonesence is just not nessesary and a parachute deployed in a timely manner is far safer and a lot more comfortable than and drogue.
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Old 12-12-2007, 20:35   #23
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How much ground do you lose?

How much ground do you lose with a drogue attached to the stern?
How much ground do you lose with a sea anchor attached to the bow?
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Old 12-12-2007, 20:42   #24
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How much ground do you lose with a sea anchor attached to the bow?
None. you drift with the current.

The point of the size of the para anchor is it is large so the boat doesnt slide backwards on its rudder. Therefore your leeway is very low. You go whichever way the current is going. So if you are in a wind against current situation depending on the way your want to go could determmain how or when you use a stopping, or slowing method.

With a large para anchor you can go direct into the wind if thats the way the set is setting
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Old 12-12-2007, 21:14   #25
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None. you drift with the current.

The point of the size of the para anchor is it is large so the boat doesnt slide backwards on its rudder. Therefore your leeway is very low. You go whichever way the current is going. So if you are in a wind against current situation depending on the way your want to go could determmain how or when you use a stopping, or slowing method.

With a large para anchor you can go direct into the wind if thats the way the set is setting
That's exactly right.

With a drogue, you will still be making headway. If it is roughly the direction that you want to go. It could be a good thing. If it isn't the way that you want to go.....not so good. It just slows you down so that you don't get ahead of the seas and increase your chance of broaching. However, if conditions continue to deteriorate, the drogue could become a liability at some point.

The other point is, being on a drogue can be exteremely stressful and tiring. At some point, this is bound to effect one's judjement negatively.

Laying to a para-anchor will give the crew an opportunity to rest, thus increasing the odds of good decission making. The only down-side is, you may lose some time on a passage but in the end, that probably only results in a few missed beers at the next yacht club or anchorage.
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Old 12-12-2007, 21:46   #26
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That's exactly right.

However, if conditions continue to deteriorate, the drogue could become a liability at some point.

The other point is, being on a drogue can be exteremely stressful and tiring. At some point, this is bound to effect one's judjement negatively.

.
At what point ? I have used a drogue in 108kn successfully. No stress, in fact I fell asleep in the middle of it.
We do agree thought that being stressed and tired is probably the biggest danger there is.
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Old 12-12-2007, 22:04   #27
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Well, with all due respect to Kan, I was out in a storm off the pac northwest that saw ten boats go down; 3 with all hands and to deploy a parachute off the bow and nose into those seas would've been suicide. My mast was just shy of 75 feet and those waves towered over the mast in the troughs, every time the boat rose up and surfed down the face, I kept thinking of the vid's I'd seen of guys surfing the monster waves out in hawaii, and i'll tell you, I was feeling pretty much the same "pucker" factor, and with good reason. One of the casualties was a 100 plus foot fisherman that apparently broke its back and went down.

I can't speak as to what everyone else did in that storm, but I can tell you that I ran like a bunny, trailing warps to keep me stern to the waves, and with engine running, steering at a slight angle down the face-very very slight so as to limit the possibility of a broach which would have been "it", while avoiding pitchpoling which would have been equally "UN" fun. What was happening was that a damned mountain of a wave would loom up behind and we would rise up the face just like a surfer waiting to catch 'the big one'...just shy of the crest, the boat would be at such a steep angle that it would rise up onto the surface and plane down the face (54foot Stan Huntingford custom FG sloop). The crest of the larger waves would curl up and the top 10 to 15 feet or so broke off and came rumbling down the face behind us, a wall of seething white water, much like you'd experience standing in pretty good sized pacific coast surf, but with greater velocity due to its falling down the face. We got going fast enough to plow into the back of the wave in front, which I would take at a narrow angle-fortunately that boat had one of Stan's 'blue water bows'.. which had enormous reserve volume and tho it would scoop up some green water, as it bit into the back of the wave in front, it still rose on thru just before the wall of water behind crashed into the stern quarter...then the whole cycle would repeat. It was a testament to Stan's design and the skill of his canadian builders that the ship even stayed together. I've never seen anything like it before or since and don't care to. Oh, and in case you're wondering what I was doing out there in the first place, I PERSONALLY had visited the Seattle NOAA the day before to get a forecast and was told "sleigh ride" i.e. extremely favorable wind and seas for smooth passage down the coast..now I look at my own maps.

It was one miserable experience. Out of the six on board, one nearly died of dehydration, the only professional sailor on board was immobilized by the motion as were 2 others. The motion was so severe we had to wedge them around the mast on the cabin sole with the cushions, bedding, pillows, and everything else we could find. One crewmember was harnessed and latched to the frame of the helmstation when we were a little late starting our surfing and fell off the top of the wave with the breaking crest. He did the tetherball thing going up and over to the other side of the cockpit and injured his ribs.

Now I don't know what a passport 45 weighs, but my boat was about 55k, and I was dragging 1" lines on the drogue off big reinforced bits off the stern quarters. I'm surprised 5/8" lines could hold a 45 foot boat to a big chute in a 70 knot generated sea. That boat HAS to be something over 30k doesn't it? And just offhand, seems to me good 5/8's tensile is what, in the low teens? Hell I've seen 36's snap dock lines that big when swells came thru a marina.

I also had an oversized wagner hydraulic autopilot which most likely saved the boat and all on board as only two out of the six of us remained ambulatory and trying to steer manually in those seas really took the starch out of your collar after only a few hours. The oversized ram and quick cycle earned a tip of the hat to Wagner along with one helluva testimonial letter. (Oh, another point, of all the crew I was one of the, if not THE most susceptible to sea sickness, but you will be amazed how 'focused' you become on other things when the ship hangs in the balance, just keep hold of the wheel. You will forget all about being sick.

For those of you reading this thread that have not yet encountered life threatening severe weather which is generally what 70 knot and up stuff is out in the deep blue, you might run over to Youtube and search giant waves, storm seas, etc., and take a look at the kind of stuff out there. Seems to me someone also posted some video of a marina during hurricane conditions, but I've forgotten what the windspeed was. What you will see is inadequately wrapped/socked etc. roller furling sails shredded to pieces.

Last comment. Not all large seas are as dangerous as these were. Some of the truly huge rollers are so far apart that you're not faced with the conditions I've described, but in other areas, they can get packed really close together and things can get out of hand in a hurry. I am told there is a theoretical limit as to how high they can get before the tops start falling off which was the case here. Also, in some instances, really strong winds can tend to flatten the waves a bit by knocking the crests off. There are no hard and fast rules as to how a skipper should react. It's one of those "everything depends" type of deals...a whole bunch of variables. What can be uniformly said is that the skipper should make sure his ship is sound, that your fuel and tanks are clean and baffled (I'm a huge believer in day tanks) so as eliminate the possibility that gunk in the tank is going to be churned up or the fuel sloshed around and lead to foam in the lines-either one can prevent you from being able to use the engine to help manuever when it would be 'really nice' to be able to do so. You should know your own boat, how she reacts to a chute or drogue off the bow when trying to hold position, or warps off the stern when trying to run but keep your tail in the face of the storm. Lastly, when faced with extreme adversity, remind yourself to take a deep breath and *THINK*. It's been my experience that those who keep their heads under stress....are the ones that , well keep their heads period.

seer

oh, I should mention that a huge number of far better sailors than I have sailed tens of thousands of miles over years and years and never hit the kind of storm I've been talking about. With advances in weather reporting and the ability of current instruments to see pretty much in real time what a storm is doing, a careful skipper will only extremely rarely find himself surprised by a dangerous storm... that is UNLESS, he's trying to make someone's schedule...Schedules can get you hurt faster than anything I know of.
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Old 12-12-2007, 22:49   #28
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Seeratlas,

That's my point exactly. I deploy my par-anchor when conditions get to the point that I don't feel like sailing anymore. I don't wait until the conditions are at the point that you describe.

My Passport 45 ketch is 20-tons. I would sit on my parachute on 5/8" nylon rode in any conditions. The stress on lines while towing a drogue are far higher than the stress of sitting to a para-anchor because the boat is stopped behind the Parachute. The boat towing a drogue is under way with some pretty extreme loads. You'd be absolutely amazed at how utter chaos can turn to relative calm in the most horrendous conditions. If you've never tried it, there is no way that you could imagine the difference. Every time that I go onto the parachute, I am amazed at the difference.

There can be huge breaking seas all-around. One will never break over the parachute. The water to windward of the chute is extremely disturbed due to the large quantity of water that is contained in the chute. As the chute drags slowly along, water has to fill in behind the chute. It looks a lot like a very disturbed river behind the chute and seas will break into the wake but they will not break onto or past the chute.

The bigger and longer period the seas, the more comfortable the ride. The boat rides up and down like it's on an elevator as the wind screams thru the rigging.
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Old 13-12-2007, 08:27   #29
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Kanani,

Great stuff.
I have a 15' Para-Tech anchor that I've never used or tried, but everything you've said, confirmes to me how I thought about doing it.
About deployment, PT recommends throwing the "rode deployment bag" into the water following the anchor deployment bag, and just let everything straighten itself out. Seems haphazard to me. Have you ever tried this method?

Thanks, Marc
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Old 13-12-2007, 09:35   #30
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I don't know if everyone knows what a jordan series drogue is. Here are some links:
This one shows the theory behind the drogue.
Jordan Series Drogue - Wave Science

This one shows pictures of a drogue:
Jordan Series Drogue

This one is called Jordan Series Drogue - What is it?

There is also a loink to the USCG report on the JSD.

I think that what Kanani says is the most valid.
"It's nice to have lots of tools in your toolbox."

The site is very good with reports from people who have actually used them. I believe that there is also a member on this site who had deployed one and said that the motion of the boat was extremely comfortable with a drogue out.
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