Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-10-2015, 16:26   #1
Registered User
 
GoingWalkabout's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA & Argentina
Boat: In the market for a Lagoon 56 (seems like the perfect fit)
Posts: 1,477
Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

One thing I am not clear on. Could you wise experienced sailors advise which is the best. To use a parachute off the bows on a catamaran or a drogue off the stern in 40 to 50 knot winds and high seas?

I do understand that a parachute off the bows is going to hold the boat steady in place (or close to it) and this can be beneficial in having the gale go past you quicker since you are virtually stationary giving you less time in the troubled seas. However I understand that a good drogue will slow your boat down to almost 3 to 4 knots thereby substantially reducing the kinetic energy forces on your boat. I would suppose that this 3 to 4 knots movement forward however could mean a marginally longer time in the gale than what would be expected with a drogue.

I also would assume that facing into the waves with your bows, as is the case with a parachute off the bows since the bows are designed to pierce the water and this could be beneficial when walls of water are hitting the boat.

I am also concerned putting the stern back onto breaking waves with a drogue since I could see far more damage to the boat including loss of attached boat on the davits, damaging solar panels and perhaps having a wave punch through the glass doors of most modern cats. But even these events would be preferable to a full front on slam from facing head onto the waves that would bring down your mast and rigging.

So I am perplexed as to which method to use. A drogue or a parachute. I would greatly welcome any advise on this subject. Thanks.
__________________

__________________
GoingWalkabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 16:37   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Depends on the boat. Could be "all of the above" or "none of the above".

This article provides some food for thought:

Multihull Sailor €“ Spring 2014 : Taming the Cat

Personally, I would never use a chute on my boat. That said, the best strategy may be avoidance of conditions you can't handle with the normal mitigating strategies, which has worked for me so far.

Further, a gale is not the real test. I've been in several gales and just sailed the boat in a prudent manner with nothing more than the proper reefs and angle to the seas. This doesn't mean it was fun or comfortable, just safe.

Dave
__________________

__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 16:53   #3
Registered User
 
GoingWalkabout's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA & Argentina
Boat: In the market for a Lagoon 56 (seems like the perfect fit)
Posts: 1,477
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
Depends on the boat. Could be "all of the above" or "none of the above".

This article provides some food for thought:

Multihull Sailor – Spring 2014 : Taming the Cat

Personally, I would never use a chute on my boat. That said, the best strategy may be avoidance, which has worked for me so far.

Dave
Thanks. Honestly I haven't heard of both being deployed. Bow and Stern. I agree avoidance is the best policy but if your circumnavigating these Gales can just come up on you. Of course having timely weather updates can give you an advantage but not always. One very good avoidance strategy is not to cross large oceans. But if you choose do so then you absolutely need to be prepared. And for me being prepared is thinking through what I am going to do in any given situation and be prepared to act as quickly as needed.

I for one would not do an Atlantic crossing without either a drogue or parachute already set up and ready for quick snapping on and deployment.

There are too many incidents when sailors have seen blue sky turn into Gales without the ability to avoid the situation. It is knowing what to do when the waves are 20 feet and the winds are moving from 40 to 50 knots that will determine wether you will be a gunboat accident or sailor who still has an intact sailable boat.

Why wouldn't you use a chute on your boat as you said? By the way I am looking for advise in respect of any catamaran over 38 feet.
__________________
GoingWalkabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 16:57   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Avoidance has worked so far for us also, but if things did go bad, we have decided on a drogue. Believe me, I have gone back and forth on this until confused. What I have rationalized is that a chute is a survival tool. I wouldn't put 40kt winds and large seas in the survival category. Instead in those conditions, I would want off-wind control of the boat when it became necessary.

A drogue allows this, because the boat will still be moving through the water at a nice pace (2-5kts, depending on the drogue and conditions), while the autopilot should handle whatever steering is needed. Of course, one must have the sea room to run with the weather for the duration. You shouldn't have seas breaking to the extent that they are pounding through your companionway because you are moving with them.

A parachute drops you dead in the water. You take what comes and hope that chute never chafes or fails in any way. If it does, you have serious issues to handle. On the other hand, if on a parachute and the seas still cause a dismasting, you will have survived a truly apocalyptic storm - this should not happen in normal survival conditions.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 17:00   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 666
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Get Windfinder. Read the forecasts. Blowy? stay tied up. Dreaming of sailing across the ditch and you're new to sailing. Get a crew to do it and pick it up at Gibraltar. Even then keep close to the coast and watch out for the Mistral. This is how we do it in Australia
__________________
dlymn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 17:18   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Walkabout View Post
Why wouldn't you use a chute on your boat as you said?
Based on the experience of other owners of my model and the the expected ability to run from a threat. Running seems more safe and easier on the boat and crew than using a chute. That said, warps or a drogue could be useful when running, but I have never used either. I would park (cat talk for hove to) if running didn't satisfy our needs. Other owners of my model do carry such chutes, etc. however.

I have a fairly long water line and no keels. I've run (and broad reached) downwind in gales and felt safe and in control. Running is actually a very good and safe strategy for me if I have the sea room. This "defense" has to be coupled with weather knowledge, hence avoidance is the best strategy. This logic may not apply to everyone or every boat. Shorter cats with keels perhaps need to have more options as running may not be as easy.

Dave
__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 17:29   #7
Registered User
 
GoingWalkabout's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA & Argentina
Boat: In the market for a Lagoon 56 (seems like the perfect fit)
Posts: 1,477
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Avoidance has worked so far for us also, but if things did go bad, we have decided on a drogue. Believe me, I have gone back and forth on this until confused. What I have rationalized is that a chute is a survival tool. I wouldn't put 40kt winds and large seas in the survival category. Instead in those conditions, I would want off-wind control of the boat when it became necessary.

A drogue allows this, because the boat will still be moving through the water at a nice pace (2-5kts, depending on the drogue and conditions), while the autopilot should handle whatever steering is needed. Of course, one must have the sea room to run with the weather for the duration. You shouldn't have seas breaking to the extent that they are pounding through your companionway because you are moving with them.

A parachute drops you dead in the water. You take what comes and hope that chute never chafes or fails in any way. If it does, you have serious issues to handle. On the other hand, if on a parachute and the seas still cause a dismasting, you will have survived a truly apocalyptic storm - this should not happen in normal survival conditions.

Mark
Thanks Mark. I like you hope that I would never need to deploy either. I have been told that using a drogue or a parachute depends on the sea conditions. But then the writer didn't explain what different kind of sea conditions for which type. I have done a lot of reading on this subject from some very experienced sailors with some of the information going back 20 years. And not just theoretical but sailors who have been through many a harrowing gale. But I am still left scratching my head like you. I do like your thinking about having more steerage control with a drogue but I have read of others who have sworn on using a parachute. If I can't get a good answer and it is something that needs to be resolved by sailors in time to come I will most likely settle on a drogue until proven that a parachute would be better.

Now all I need to work out is the best way to secure the dinghy while doing an ocean passage. I read one sailor had his dinghy tied on to the davits upside down. He used a drogue and the seas where so high that knocked his dinghy off the davits right into the cockpit of his Catamaran. So thinking about the best way to secure the dinghy is not such a silly thing to think about IMHO.

Thanks Mike. Glad to see that I am not the only one who has been going back and forth about this question.

Regards,
Chaya
__________________
GoingWalkabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 17:38   #8
Registered User
 
GoingWalkabout's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA & Argentina
Boat: In the market for a Lagoon 56 (seems like the perfect fit)
Posts: 1,477
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
Based on the experience of other owners of my model and the the expected ability to run from a threat. Running seems more safe and easier on the boat and crew than using a chute. That said, warps or a drogue could be useful when running, but I have never used either. I would park (cat talk for hove to) if running didn't satisfy our needs. Other owners of my model do carry such chutes, etc. however.

I have a fairly long water line and no keels. I've run (and broad reached) downwind in gales and felt safe and in control. Running is actually a very good and safe strategy for me if I have the sea room. This "defense" has to be coupled with weather knowledge, hence avoidance is the best strategy. This logic may not apply to everyone or every boat. Shorter cats with keels perhaps need to have more options as running may not be as easy.

Dave
Hi 2Hulls. One of the great learning incidents for sailors caught in fierce weather was the Australian Sydney to Hobart race in 1998. The investigative report that followed the disaster of that befall that racing fleet showed that those who chose to run downwind mostly lost their boats and some their lives. It also concluded that if either a drogue or a parachute had been used non of the boats would have sunk.

I am not talking about coastal sailing where even there you could have a gail come quickly up on you. What for me is the greatest concern is doing a 3 week passage in open ocean with no where to hide. But having said that even Island hoping could find yourself in an unplanned for Gale eve with all of the best weather planning made.

Knowing what to do and then being able to do it quickly from what I have studied so far is what will save yours and your passengers lives as well as your boat. Thanks for the thoughts though.

regards,
chaya
__________________
GoingWalkabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 17:47   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

If you are worried about survival conditions, then a parachute is your best choice.

Survival conditions are EXTREMELY rare for boats cruising most common areas in proper times of year.

Gales are not that rare, but generally do not require stopping dead and hunkering down. Active management techniques are fine.

It would be a rare event to have a survival weather bomb drop out of nowhere on a typical Atlantic crossing at typical crossing points and directions during typical times of year.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 17:48   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Walkabout View Post
Now all I need to work out is the best way to secure the dinghy while doing an ocean passage. I read one sailor had his dinghy tied on to the davits upside down. He used a drogue and the seas where so high that knocked his dinghy off the davits right into the cockpit of his Catamaran.
Again, it depends on the boat and the ability to run. If your davits are low and the seas are overtaking you such that they will poop you, this is a valid concern. These would not be gale conditions, but storm conditions, which are even more easily avoidable. I've never been in a storm, but my dink has never been threatened. Of note here is the design and length of the davits. With long enough davits that are angled up, you can winch up the dink such that both gunwales are against the davits, and from astern, more of the bottom of the dink is exposed than topsides. This is a good example of what constitutes a good cruising vessel: strong and long dinghy davits or a really good stereo system...

Dave
__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 17:49   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

I see you are considering a Lagoon 57. Perhaps your worries about davits and seas breaking into the saloon are too strong.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 17:56   #12
Registered User
 
GoingWalkabout's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA & Argentina
Boat: In the market for a Lagoon 56 (seems like the perfect fit)
Posts: 1,477
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
Again, it depends on the boat and the ability to run. If your davits are low and the seas are overtaking you such that they will poop you, this is a valid concern. These would not be gale conditions, but storm conditions, which are even more easily avoidable. I've never been in a storm, but my dink has never been threatened. Of note here is the design and length of the davits. With long enough davits that are angled up, you can winch up the dink such that both gunwales are against the davits, and from astern, more of the bottom of the dink is exposed than topsides. This is a good example of what constitutes a good cruising vessel: strong and long dinghy davits or a really good stereo system...

Dave
Your absolutely right Dave, how silly of me. Now what would your suggest for a good stereo system.
__________________
GoingWalkabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 18:01   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Walkabout View Post
The investigative report that followed the disaster of that befall that racing fleet showed that those who chose to run downwind mostly lost their boats and some their lives. It also concluded that if either a drogue or a parachute had been used non of the boats would have sunk.
How many of those boats were cats that usually don't broach or board cats that are even less likely to broach? And some sank? Why? Because they didn't have positive buoyancy?

There's a huge difference between monos running and cats running. Well designed cats not having a hull speed, per se, alone is a huge difference in coping ability when running. Almost all cruising cats will blast right through the equivalent length mono hull speed without adverse affect. With large enough rudders (not always a given) steering control even with keels can be maintained. Take away the keels and it's just a downhill sleigh ride. These comments are for gale conditions. Storm conditions could be an entirely different matter and are best defensed by strategy #1 >> avoidance.

Dave
__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 18:01   #14
Registered User
 
GoingWalkabout's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA & Argentina
Boat: In the market for a Lagoon 56 (seems like the perfect fit)
Posts: 1,477
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I see you are considering a Lagoon 57. Perhaps your worries about davits and seas breaking into the saloon are too strong.

Mark
Thanks and point taken. I think the boat I was reading about wasn't a Lagoon cat and was much smaller. In fact it was 38' from memory.

While I do have my heart set on a Lagoon 560 I spent the other day on a 450 and was impressed with its actual size. The 450 is not a small boat and it does sit high in the water. Even still the 560 is one nice boat.

regards,
Chaya
__________________
GoingWalkabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2015, 18:09   #15
Registered User
 
GoingWalkabout's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA & Argentina
Boat: In the market for a Lagoon 56 (seems like the perfect fit)
Posts: 1,477
Re: Drogue or Parachute on a Catamaran in a Gale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
How many of those boats were cats that usually don't broach or board cats that are even less likely to broach? And some sank? Why? Because they didn't have positive buoyancy?

There's a huge difference between monos running and cats running. Well designed cats not having a hull speed, per se, alone is a huge difference in coping ability when running. Almost all cruising cats will blast right through the equivalent length mono hull speed without adverse affect. With large enough rudders (not always a given) steering control even with keels can be maintained. Take away the keels and it's just a downhill sleigh ride. These comments are for gale conditions. Storm conditions could be an entirely different matter and are best defensed by strategy #1 >> avoidance.

Dave
Thanks Dave. The Sydney to Hobart was all mono hulls. I don't have at hand the statistics for the ARC tragedy but I recall one or two cats went belly up but more mono's were lost. I don't know if or not any parachutes or drogues were deployed by any of the stricken boats.

I would also hope that either a drogue or parachute would see me survive with boat intact a large storm as well. I am not convinced though that in a very very bad gail or storm running ahead is the best strategy even for a cat. But I am open to learn.

regards,
Chaya
__________________

__________________
GoingWalkabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
catamaran, drogue

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
parachute drogue Red Horse Multihull Sailboats 3 28-02-2013 17:53
Gale Rider Drogue Bill10 Commercial Posts 2 30-11-2011 02:39
Parachute Anchor vs Series Drogue vs Tires - Thoughts? Franziska Multihull Sailboats 53 22-07-2011 06:26
For Sale or Trade: Trade My 24' Parachute for Your 18' Parachute Sea Anchor Evan Classifieds Archive 1 26-05-2010 20:28
Series Drogue or parachute Anchor ozboatie General Sailing Forum 11 11-04-2009 14:49



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:20.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.