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Old 28-03-2011, 16:18   #31
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

There are some great stories in Rescue in the Pacific, about the Queens Birthday Storm, of people using improvised drag devices as well as parachute sea anchors and a Galerider. Well worth reading, as well as the book the Drag Device Database, which is the bible on the subject of actual in-use experiences.
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:21   #32
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

I carry both a parachute and a GaleRider drogue. If it was a moderate blow with < 25' waves... and waiting it out due to exhaustion, or repairs at sea were the issue, I would use the parachute off of the bow, on it's 500' rode, which I can pull in with the windlass when the time comes, untill I reach the "trip line". If I were to use it in even larger waves, I "might" attach the bridle to the stern. I know, that sounds crazy, not having the pointy end face the waves. For our boat, you have to consider that even though we are staying in "about" the same spot, with every wave the boat surges backward at great speed for perhaps 100', as the crest approaches and the rode streatches. Our skeg hung rudder is hinged in the front, and going backward at speed could rip it out of there. Also... this going backward on the face of a wave, would make the hull want to broach. If it was bad enough... who knows what will work?

If I had a non skeg, balanced spade rudder, I might well opt to attach the bridle to the bow, even in monsterous waves. Trial & error might be required to figure out what works best for you, and who wants to go through such a storm more than once!

The gale rider would do the trick off of the stern on an adjustable bridle, IF the storm was going a direction that suited me, I wanted to slow down from 16 to 6 knots, and didn't mind the fact that I would be in it for a longer period of time by running with it. I do think that this is far less likely to break the boat, than laying to a parachute in a truly terrible storm, it just requires that you stay at the helm!

The series drogue is a superrior drogue, but I wonder how easy it is to get back in? Perhaps you just cut it loose when it's job is done. Evans Starzinger is the guy who knows about this. I read an interesting article about their experience with a series drogue, and the challenge to get it back in. Chime right in Evans...

There is no one answer, and each boat & captain has to be looked at differently. I have an English friend who rode out a 3 day storm of truly life threatening proportions on his Searunner 40, in or around the Bay of Biscay. (It was the worst storm at sea I ever heard of, and this guy doesn't make em up). He said that in waves truly like breaking mountains, running off at speed was the ONLY way to survive. He would go diagonaly down the wave and straighten up for the trough... over and over, for three days! He did have his wife "spell him" on occasion, but mostly stayed at the wheel! He was CERTAIN that a parachute or drogue would've destroyed the boat, by causing the waves to overcome it.

I have no idea. I have never been in such a storm, and he has been around the world, with several such experiences. I know I can't stay at the helm for three days without rest, so might try the parachute out of default, even though my 1/2" double braid rode would likely pop. 5/8" rode would be better, but I can't carry 500' of that on a 34' trimaran!

It is a complex subject that requires more research than what you can get here, and if you are serious... after getting your gear of choice, I'd practice in 40 knots or so, under more controled conditions.

For certain, all cleats or bridle end attachment points, need to be strong enough to lift the boat! If you can avoid chocks & chafe gear by hard shackeling onto the stem, all the better. You might be able to leave just one leg adjustable, to change the angle of the bridle...

Good luck with finding the "right" answer,

Mark
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:23   #33
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Running at 1 - 1 1/2 knots isn't really going to make much difference to apparent wind speed though.
Agreed. If you are running with the objective to minimize apparent wind then probably a high drag series drogue is not the best drogue solution. You would want to keep the speed as high as possible while still maintaining control and preventing bow digging. I think you would start running free and see how it felt, then tried warps, then tried warps plus some stuff on the end (say some chain), then a single element drogue. In pretty much every situation I can imagine a proper single element drogue would prevent the bows digging while allowing say 6-8kts of boat speed.

Again, something to remember is that the primary risk(s) with a cat are different than with a mono, so you are trying to accomplish/avoid something different with the drag device.

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Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
No here the primary question, could the same (almost stationary with some "slipping") be not achieved with an oversized series "drogue" if deployed over the bow?
I agree - its just a matter of surface area and drag. If you put enough cones on the series it would essentially provide the same effect as a para-anchor.

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
That's a good question Franzisca. Have never heard much about using a drogue from the bow.
John Harries has used a galerider off his bow in a storm south of Greenland. He was trying to heave-to but was making to much headway. The galerider off the bow basically stopped the headway, making the boat more properly hove-to. He liked the feel of the situation.

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
cats . . . huge cockpit and very vulnerable aft doors on many.
Good observation, something to be careful of, perhaps consistent with the thought above that the galerider/max speed without bow digging is better than the series for these sort of cats.

I will note we have quite a few hours under drogue (mostly galerider, less series) and have never taken a hard wave into the cockpit that would have damaged any sort of even very weak door. The worst wave we had was when we had no drogue out at all - we were running under jib and wanted to switch to staysail, so we rolled up the jib planning to immediately hoist staysail, but the boat slowed suddenly (of course) when we rolled the jib just as a wave came up to the stern and it broke right over the cockpit filling it up to the brim. Now we always raise the staysail first before rolling the jib and have never had a repeat.
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:29   #34
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

Mark, the problem with a drogue like the Gale rider is that it works great right up to the point that it doesn't provide enough drag and then your boat pulls the thing right out of the face of a wave and you're surfing off into the trough. I've read of that happening in several accounts, including the pitchpoling of Destiny in Rescue in the Pacific. So yeah, the Galerider is probably the tool for many storms, but not the ultimate storm. The point of the Jordan drogue is that it spreads the drag out over a longer distance so you won't be able to pull the drogue right out of a wave face, plus it provides more drag. And, yes, pulling in a drogue is a real drag!
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:37   #35
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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I will note we have quite a few hours under drogue (mostly galerider, less series) and have never taken a hard wave into the cockpit that would have damaged any sort of even very weak door.
Obviously, it would have to be a pretty severe storm to incur damage, but I have experienced pretty heavy green water in the cockpit under much less severe conditions, and if you happened to have the sliding glass doors unlatched, like on many cats, it could result in an awful lot of water going below very fast. Even without damage, you would have to be careful to time your leaving and entering the cabin to avoid getting swamped. Actually, some friends of ours on a 42-foot cat took a big green one in the cockpit under non-threatening gale conditions and it soaked not only the watch but people down below. So don't think that those cockpits are so high off the water that nothing will ever reach them.

It comes back to me now that the cat that was lost due to possible swamping was definitely a Pearson Lagoon and we met the owners onboard their boat up in Maine shortly before the ill-fated delivery trip. I can remember remarking at the time that I didn't like the cockpit for offshore use because the way it was designed it could possibly funnel water down below. Than we heard the boat was lost a few months later, with the speculation at the time that it was pooped while running off because that was what the delivery captain said he would do in heavy weather. Not sure if it was ever confirmed exactly what happened.
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:52   #36
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My experience is limited to monos . But I see no point to sea anchors in a survival storm. The pardeys experience does not translate well to modem comparatively light fin kneeled boats.

The loads on such a boat would be enormous . I've been through 2-3 survival storms ( multiple knockdowns etc) and I'd never use a sea anchor. All off you are forgetting one thing , modern diesels. Forereaching under minimal sail and slow ahead on the diesel is my preferred way of stoping in a modern boat

I've used drogues to run off. In a survival running off is often all you can do. Modern boats do better in dynamic rather then static conditions. Heaving to often only works when conditions arnt bad enough to need it

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Old 28-03-2011, 16:56   #37
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
the problem with a drogue like the Gale rider is that it works great right up to the point that it doesn't provide enough drag and then your boat pulls the thing right out of the face of a wave and you're surfing off into the trough.
Something I have been playing with is two single element drogues in series (a two element series drogue). With the right amount of warp between the two drogues you would not have them both pull out at once, but it would be easier to recover than a full series.

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I have experienced pretty heavy green water in the cockpit under much less severe conditions,
Definitely something to be careful of depending on the specific boat design.
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Old 28-03-2011, 17:04   #38
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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Something I have been playing with is two single element drogues in series (a two element series drogue). With the right amount of warp between the two drogues you would not have them both pull out at once, but it would be easier to recover than a full series.
Now that sounds like it makes lots of sense! I look forward to reading about it. On the green water thing, sometimes strange things just happen where the boat takes a dip at the wrong moment just as the wave decides to heap up and all of sudden you're floating around in the cockpit sputtering. It has happened to me a couple of times and both times I was thinking to myself, "Wow, I'm really happy my boat has a strong bridge deck and the cockpit drains well." I think Jordan addressed this in his discussion of his designs--strong attachment points, good cockpit drains, and a very strong cabin door are necessary. Whereas the bow of every boat is designed for taking the seas, the cockpit is not on most boats.
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Old 28-03-2011, 17:15   #39
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Mark, the problem with a drogue like the Gale rider is that it works great right up to the point that it doesn't provide enough drag and then your boat pulls the thing right out of the face of a wave and you're surfing off into the trough. I've read of that happening in several accounts, including the pitchpoling of Destiny in Rescue in the Pacific. So yeah, the Galerider is probably the tool for many storms, but not the ultimate storm. The point of the Jordan drogue is that it spreads the drag out over a longer distance so you won't be able to pull the drogue right out of a wave face, plus it provides more drag. And, yes, pulling in a drogue is a real drag!
Interesting... I suppose in this context that even a short piece of chain to weight it down, would have little effect keeping a Galerider in the water, due to the speed?

How DO you retrieve a series drogue? Since the cones would foul the line on a winch, do you repeatedly tie a rolling hitch between two cones with a spare line, and winch it in 20' at the time?

M.
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Old 28-03-2011, 18:10   #40
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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One other use for a conventional drogue could be to assist the boat in the process of heaving to. (...)
Have you ever tried this?

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Old 29-03-2011, 07:35   #41
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

Mark, the cones will not foul the winch as they are nylon and can be collapsed when out of the water and being pulled forward onto the drum of the winch (albeit you would be better off not using the jaws of a self-tailing winch to reduce the risk of damage to the cones). Alternatively, with a light retrieval line off the end of the rode, it can be pulled in backwards so that the cones automatically collapse.

Is the need to keep a sea anchor at a comparable point on the wave train as the boat a 'myth'? If you would prefer, but many 'myths' have a basis in fact. Certainly there are countless reports of sea anchors collapsing, or being pulled loose from a wave - and it strikes me that the likelihood of this would be far less if both boat and sea anchor were on the same relative plane in the wave train.

Does cockpit design make a difference? Of course. My cat has a narrow (24 inch wide), laminated, tempered glass door that is raised from the cockpit sole. Furthermore, my boat has the cockpit mounted further forward than most designs; this provides some protection from the rear section of the coachouse(s?), in the area that covers the aft berths. Regardless, I have not heard of any confirmed reports of even the large 'patio doors' that are currently in vogue, being imploded by following seas.

At one point I was considering replacing my companionway door with a water-tight door with dogs and the response on this and other sites was virtually unanimous - unnecessary overkill!

So if you are unable to get/carry both a para-anchor and series drogue, which do you choose? While for most circumstances (and for my boat) I prefer a series drogue, Dave of Maxing Out has successfully used a para-anchor (with custom made mounting brackets on the bows) of his Privilege and swears by them. I suggest that you make your own analysis of the situation, read the available literature, consider the design of your particular boat and purchase the one that makes the most sense to you. Others may believe that the decision as between a para-anchor and a series drogue is a 'no brainer', but it is anything but: your life and your boat may depend upon that analysis.

Brad
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Old 29-03-2011, 09:02   #42
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Something I have been playing with is two single element drogues in series (a two element series drogue). With the right amount of warp between the two drogues you would not have them both pull out at once, but it would be easier to recover than a full series.
I think that makes a lot of sense.

There are a few things to consider:
* Chafe. The 1st drogue cannot move in such a way as to chafe the rode going to the 2nd.
* Load. the first drogue has to be designed for this sort of pass-through load.
* Angle of attack. The 2nd rode will always see the water coming straight at it, but the 1st road is going to see some variation (will be pulled sideways). Not critical, but the design should be robust this way.
* The 2nd drouge is going to pull the rode straight and up, so the 1st drogue is going to have to be 75% of the way back on a very long rode. If placed at the 50% point it's going to spend time in the air, I think.

The JSD solves these problems using many small elements. Another solution may require using 2 different drogues; perhaps a Small Shark (though it's tail attachment is NOT designed for this load) followed by a Seabrake. However, this is not going to be cheap.

Fun to puzzel through.
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Old 29-03-2011, 09:13   #43
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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Have you ever tried this?

b.
yes. when I first bought my drogue we played with it to make certain it was the right size for our boat and that we were able to rig it properly. We hove to in order to retrieve the drogue, and discovered during that process how the drogue assisted in keeping the boat in its slick. These were not anything near survival conditions. However, were I to heave to during a passage due to exhaustion, sea sickness, et cetera, I would certainly consider using the drogue at that point.
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Old 29-03-2011, 10:58   #44
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
There are some great stories in Rescue in the Pacific, about the Queens Birthday Storm, of people using improvised drag devices as well as parachute sea anchors and a Galerider. Well worth reading, as well as the book the Drag Device Database, which is the bible on the subject of actual in-use experiences.
I recommend that book because it's a great companion piece to the now-aged 1979 Fastnet Race stories in Heavy Weather Sailing, because I've come to feel that that race was less about surviving heavy weather and more about the shortcomings of the then-prevalent IOR designs. The Queen's Birthday Race (was it in 1994?) had a big range of boat types and sizes, and some of the more skilled crews did not necessarily have a better outcome.

That book contributed in part to our decision to go steel, full keel and transom-hung rudder.
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Old 29-03-2011, 11:45   #45
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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Hi, does anyone have experience and thoughts on what would be better suited as a storm anchor for a37' Crowther tri?
A parachute anchor, or a series drogue made ua of a lot of small parachutes on a line? Experiences? Do tires on a chain work as cheap intermediate solution?

I agree with everyone's distinction between a storm anchor and a drogue along with the deployment for each. And I think a well stocked cruiser will have both.

That said, I really suggest you read The Case for the Cruising Trimaran. The new version has outrig.org on the font cover at the bottom. There is quite a bit on heavy weather sailing for both drogues (including a tire drogue) and sea anchors. Unlike a number of other books, it's just for multihulls and specifically trimarans. I'd go into it more but if you're the type who like to be prepared, I've said enough. If you're not, nothing I could say would change your mind anyway.

Hope that helps
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