I read this mail about just riding the waves and whole heartedly disagree. Someone does not have respect for their own life to state this.
We have surfed down waves in the high teens and when you get to the bottom there is a period of time when momentum fights bouyancy; your craft cannot keep going downwards ever faster without consequences. That is the time that you also hear your bare rigging
thrumming with the strain. The risk of pitch
poling is massive and shall happen unless you get the boat speed down. You'll likely also lose your mast
due to the massive shock loads.
This is not rocket science and until you really experience it you shall not appreciate the very real fear of not being able to slow down. We once had both engines going full astern in an attempt to slow down - and this is real white knuckles and locked knee's stuff. This is all well recorded and if ANYONE says that a drogue is not needed in these conditions then they shall have just established that they have not experienced poor weather
sufficiently. Our worst experience was recorded by the coast guard at steady high 60's / low 70's and gusting into the mid 80's (knots). The waves were horrendous and our wind
speed indicator was carried away. Very scary stuff for a while. You can see nothing at all as the air is full of horizontal water
that slams into you painfully and the noise
is undescribable, conversation is imposible even when shouting at top volume in someones ear. Scary, scary, scary; for a while. We used our drogue and we feel that its contribution was immeasurable. On that occassion two other ocean going boats were lost
and one set of crew also. The crew of an Australian steel
mono-hull were rescued from their liferaft
. We have used our drogue infrequently when subject to severe weather
(we try to avoid, but the Indian Ocean
can be fearsome at times, like most expanses of water). After a while you accept the conditions and also accept that what you are doing is working and that your vessel is well founded.
I do not wish to belittle others but for anyone to suggest romping along before such weather is providing other people with obviously inadequate information. Get caught in such weather and you'll soon find out what happens as the craft picks up too much speed - sadly, its unlikely you'll be telling others about it afterwards. To give an idea of how we view our drogue contributing to our safety
; when we ordered a new one we went with the top of the line drogue with dyneema
lines and Tylaska J locks on the bridle
. Yes, it was certainly not cheap
but the first time we deployed it we knew we had not bought junk on which we were depending to help keep our boat safe.
I have now around 80,000 miles behind me and am not an expert on this subject. However, it anyone reads up on storm tactics (and I have) then you shall find conclusive support that a series drogue is the most favoured method of control. Carry one and use it when conditions deteriorate and you'll never regret the cost the first time you deply it in anger. If you dont have one you'll will regret avoiding paying for one. Never needed one? You are lucky you have not faced the right sea condtions - yet.
I would strongly advocate carrying a drogue, even if its just a 600ft loop of 12mm nylong line with an anchor
, and perhaps a car tyre (tire) also on the end. One day you shall be so, so happy to have it.
I have used a parachute and NEVER use one again - having it pop out of a wave face and then experiencing it resetting is a horrible moment. For anyones information we used 450ft of 16mm line on our 12ft parachute and that was on a 35ft cat.
Our Jordan drogue is dimensioned for a 22,000-25,000 lb cat and it works!
Originally Posted by Going Walkabout
Thanks Don. If in dire straights would you throw a drogue off the stern or a parachute off the bow of a cat? I suppose if your super fatigued a parachute would be best but I really want advise on this. I have face hairy situations on land in my life. From attempted kidnapping, actual kidnapping, running into a burning house to retrieve a person etc. In all situations using my brain and when needing to act, acting is what has saved me. I don't choose to put myself into danger
on the water
. Of course I will seek to avoid bad weather but given my track record
of experiencing life threatening situations I choose to be as best prepared as I can possibly be before going on a long passage
I am also a great believer in seeking counsel from those with experience and those who have researched the topic. Since this could be a matter of life or death it is worth my while to keep asking even if few know the answer.
I intend to go to sea with a both a drogue and a parachute. I intend to have reinforced attachments in the cats two bows for the parachute and two preferably electric
winches on the stern for the drogue. Being female I am worried about the physical strength required to pull in the drogue. I also intend to have the bridles in place and ready for either device to be deployed upon departure for a long passage
. Call me paranoid but I do want to live a long life to get my moneys worth out of my boat. :big grin:
So again, thanks for the advise.