There have been a couple of good articles in some of the mags lately about drogues/parachutes - must be the winter weather
that brings these discussions on...
The consensus of the articles and experiences relayed seems to back up what you can see in any anchorage in a storm - sea anchors put a hell of alot of stress on the anchor and the boat. Just watching a bow pitching during a storm, coming up short on it's rode
- gives me the willies. They require lots of maintenance
during their deployment to keep chafe at bay, and are vulnerable to immense loads due to the surging in waves. It would seem to me that the only time one would want to use a sea anchor
over a drogue
is to keep drift through the water
at bay because of fear of drifting into a reef (or in the case of an article recently, of drifting back into the Gulf Stream current
The series drogue
seems like a more ideal candidate for most storm management scenarios - you're still moving, so you have steerage and control, and because you're moving the full energy of a wave is not borne upon your boat.
Now granted, I have ben luck in never having to use either. The worst I've encountered was a tropical depression during the '92 Annapolis-Bermuda race
; we had 35 knots with gusts, but we were in a Cape Dory
36 ( Dr.-owner had always wanted to do the race
, so it was more of a cruise) and were sailing with the staysail only. So I will defer to those with more experience than myself in use of these.
One thing we can all take away is the importance of maintaining your gear
, especially the life-saving stuff. It doesn't get used all the time, so we shouldn't fall under the trap of 'out of sight, out of mind.' And practice with the stuff in mildly bad weather
before you have to use it when the s**t hits the fan, so at least you'll have some idea of what to expect...