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Old 08-10-2018, 23:29   #1
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Drogues or sea anchor or neither

Hi, I have recently placed an order on a new catamaran and plan to do ocean sailing. I come from a mono hull background and was wondering if any Cat blue water sailors could offer advice on should I investigate drogues or sea anchors or just simply rely on ocean passage planning and a close check on weather patterns.
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:27   #2
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

We had a Jordan Series drogue and never needed to use it in 3 major ocean crossings and 25,000 miles. However, if there is a next boat, I will get one again. To me it offers the best options for a multi-hull if you get caught in really bad conditions, and no amount of checking weather can guarantee you will avoid them. I have used a parachute sea-anchor on a mono-hull and am not a fan. There have been many threads on this question here. May be worth doing a search for details - it is not a settled question for some people.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:14   #3
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

After a lot of research I got a Jordan series drogue from Ace Sailmakers. At the risk of kicking a hornet's nest, no other product seems to offer the security of a series drogue if the chit hits the fan. It seems like a Rocna for anchoring, in that it's not perfect and other devices in the right hands can work too, but it's the most idiot proof and best for the widest range of conditions. So, since I'm a Grade A idiot (sailing with 3 cats), that's what I got!
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:36   #4
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

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Originally Posted by mark_morwood View Post
We had a Jordan Series drogue and never needed to use it in 3 major ocean crossings and 25,000 miles. However, if there is a next boat, I will get one again. To me it offers the best options for a multi-hull if you get caught in really bad conditions, and no amount of checking weather can guarantee you will avoid them. I have used a parachute sea-anchor on a mono-hull and am not a fan. There have been many threads on this question here. May be worth doing a search for details - it is not a settled question for some people.


Thanks Mark
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:37   #5
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

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After a lot of research I got a Jordan series drogue from Ace Sailmakers. At the risk of kicking a hornet's nest, no other product seems to offer the security of a series drogue if the chit hits the fan. It seems like a Rocna for anchoring, in that it's not perfect and other devices in the right hands can work too, but it's the most idiot proof and best for the widest range of conditions. So, since I'm a Grade A idiot (sailing with 3 cats), that's what I got!


Thank you will check out drogues
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:36   #6
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

We went thru 'mini storm' on last passage. Beam reaching in at worst stage 5 m waves. Some were considerably larger. I was able to practice storm tactic, in reasonably safe and calm conditions. And i think drogue is not really good idea. It would not work in repeated situations where larger than normal wave ie >> 5m came from 90 degress from the main train totally unexpected. Going straight down the train with your boat would flip/roll. And saw enough of these in 2 days/nights that one cant say 'it wont happen to me'. Active steering is the safest. And then, one needs to be trained to 'hear' big wave in dark night if visibility zero. Can hear it nicely coming closer.... Fine if moon is out or clear skies. Saw all combinations.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:20   #7
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

I met a skipper who for many years delivered new Leopard Catamarans from South Africa, all they ever used was a long nylon warp towed as a loop between the 2 stern cleats, maybe weighted with some chain in the middle.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:12   #8
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

How will the design handle wave strikes from the transom? This is something to consider with a JSD. For example, my last cat was center cockpit, no problem. My current boat is open transom and can get slosh in the cockpit in moderate weather if I slow down suddenly. The first boat could use a JSD, this boat only a small drogue and chute from the bow.


I would always carry a medium sized drogue for streering assist and emergency steering, particularly if short handed. It's a small thing. Most likely I would carry two that I could rig in series, <100 feet apart and slightly different sizes, as a versatile alternative to a JSD.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:34   #9
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKR View Post
Hi, I have recently placed an order on a new catamaran and plan to do ocean sailing. I come from a mono hull background and was wondering if any Cat blue water sailors could offer advice on should I investigate drogues or sea anchors or just simply rely on ocean passage planning and a close check on weather patterns.
I would definitely not rely on passage planning alone. Personally, I would not feel safe offshore without some form of drag device. Actively steering is fine, but at some point a short handed crew will become exhausted and there are simply some situations where you want to either slow the boat down or stop it. Traditionally, this has meant a Jordan Series Drogue or parachute anchor. We carry both as they serve somewhat different purposes. There has been some recent work done looking at two Shark drogues in tandem and this, too, looks promising.

Your best bet is to read the Drag Device Data Base, which is now available for free online. Then use Google to find the hundreds of pages of discussion on this forum and others. Pay particular attention to those who have actually had experience with drag devices (another reason why the DDDB is a valuable resource.) You can then make an informed decision on what to carry.

Whatever you decide, be sure to rig it before you leave port. If you have to belly crawl to the bow in the dark in 20' waves and 50 knot wind to attach your bridles you will likely hesitate. We have both our JSD and parachute rigged to deploy from the shelter and safety of the cockpit.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:00   #10
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

[QUOTE=mikereed100;2738015... There has been some recent work done looking at two Shark drogues in tandem and this, too, looks promising.... [/QUOTE]

Several thoughts:


The Shark is a good unit, but the approach is not specific to any one drogue type.
  • Some early tests by Fiorenino with tandem Sharks was disappointing, but that is because they were rigged wrong. They attached the second drogue to the Shark anchor pendant, only ~ 10' behind the Shark, where it runs in the wake of the first drogue. As a result, it didn't add much drag.
  • The second drogue should be well back, at least 100 feet and preferably 200 feet. It needs to be out of the first drogues wake and in a different part of the wave train (critical to keeping them from pulling out at the same time). This will also allow it to run deeper, like a JSD. Rigged well apart, they stabilize each other, preventing ripping out of waves in extreme conditions. The drag is also stabilized.
I did a good bit of scale testing in moderately nasty weather.

Another thing that came of that is that a JSD is a really poor steering or speed limiting drogue. It works great, as designed, for nearly stopping the boat. But experiments at using shorter sections for steering or slowing have been failures; the cone design and spacing are unsuitable for higher speeds.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:35   #11
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

Keep in mind that the drogue and the sea anchor serve two different purposes. The drogue is designed to slow you down whereas the parachute sea anchor is designed to reduce drift, orient the boat to wind and waves, and depending upon how set up, reduce the likelihood of waves breaking on you.


If you are looking to slow the boat the choice would be between on of several different drogues, warps or other similar device.


I've used a parachute sea anchor but it was on mono-hulls, so my experiences may not translate well to multi-hulls.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:50   #12
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

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Keep in mind that the drogue and the sea anchor serve two different purposes.


This I agree with, itís almost similar to Gumby suit vs liferaft. Different devices for different situations, Iíd say both is the answer for which is best.
I have both, but not a series drogue, my galerider is meant for emergency steering as much as anything.
However I believe in avoidance, I dislike having the car that does the best in a crash test, unless itís also the most maneuverable and can therefore avoid the crash.
In theory not ďpushingĒ weather can hopefully help you avoid having to use these things, just do not now go out in weather you wouldnít before you had one. Some think they are invulnerable with a series drogue, donít be that guy or gal.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:04   #13
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

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This I agree with, itís almost similar to Gumby suit vs liferaft. Different devices for different situations, Iíd say both is the answer for which is best.
I have both, but not a series drogue, my galerider is meant for emergency steering as much as anything.
However I believe in avoidance, I dislike having the car that does the best in a crash test, unless itís also the most maneuverable and can therefore avoid the crash.
.
I firmly believe in both a sea anchor and a drogue or warp. Why suffer from the tyranny of OR when you can have the genius of AND. As A64Pilot said, avoidance is the best course of action however it's best to be prepared for the worst.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:02   #14
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

We dragged a parachute anchor all over the place for years. It never saw the light of day :-)

That being said here are my thoughts on cats at sea in storms:

https://www.sailblogs.com/member/sailingohana/386386
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:11   #15
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Re: Drogues or sea anchor or neither

I'm going to take Skip Novak's advice and practice heaving to. Need to be able to master that anyway, and he's never done anything but, in every kind of bad weather there is. Check out his reasoning on Youtube.
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