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Old 27-03-2011, 22:21   #1
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Parachute Anchor vs Series Drogue vs Tires - Thoughts?

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?

Many thanks for your , experiences and ideas,Franziska
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Old 27-03-2011, 22:26   #2
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

Parachute anchors go off the bow and work as a sea anchor, drogues are towed from the stern. In USCG manuals they use the term "sea anchor" for either a drogue or a parachute, but in the sailing world the two mean different things.

Sea anchors keep your bow into the wind/sea, drogues slow you down. You can also use a sea anchor to keep yourself in a nice hove-to position (Pardey style).

I've never used a drogue; running before a big sea just doesn't do it for me.
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Old 27-03-2011, 23:08   #3
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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Do tires on a chain work as cheap intermediate solution?
No. Absolutely not.
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Old 27-03-2011, 23:58   #4
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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No. Absolutely not.

OK - at risk of sounding EXTREMELY STUPID - how come!! I can obviously see the problems with retreval and storage as well as a number of other logistical challanges, but the strength of your reply makes me wonder what else I may be missing
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Old 28-03-2011, 00:12   #5
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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I've never used a drogue; running before a big sea just doesn't do it for me.
Running off with a drouge is an entirely reasonable staregy in a multi, provided that you have sea room, that the boat and crew can adjust to it , that the sea are manageble etc.

But it has to be a good drougue and more importantly has to have good mounting points etc.

sea anchors are the ultimate survival option for multis.

Bodged up[ drouges are okay - see Dave abbot off MAXING OUT for an explanatyion of his drouge on a multi.
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Old 28-03-2011, 00:47   #6
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

If it was an either/or choice, I'd take the para anchor.
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Old 28-03-2011, 06:00   #7
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

Well, thanks for your input so far.

I think I should be a bit more precise.

A parachute anchor:
SEA ANCHORS by FIORENTINO
Sea Anchor: Your First Line Of Defense When Facing Heavy Weather

or, a series drogue:
Series Drogue: Ocean survival
Jordan Series Drogue

The guys with the drogue claim it to be a further development from the parachute anchor.

I think the idea of a lot of small cones creating the drag seems appealing, as the loads will be distributed more evenly.
Still I am not sure why the drogue can not be used over the bow, to the wave it should not matter what end of the boat points to her.
In either case I would try to anchor not run off.

So any further thoughts & experiences so far?

Kind regards,

Franzi

P.S. Regarding tires, that would be a matter of having nothing or having the tires. At the moment I have a hard time buying the anchor on top of buying the boat. I'd buy the proper anchor as soon as possible though. I was just wondering if they are an option at all.
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Old 28-03-2011, 08:06   #8
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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Well, thanks for your input so far.

Still I am not sure why the drogue can not be used over the bow, to the wave it should not matter what end of the boat points to her.
Because if you deploy a drogue off the bow the boat will be moving backwards. Serious rudder damage could be the result.
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Old 28-03-2011, 08:15   #9
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

On a multihull, in a survival situation (say 50 knots and seas higher than the beam), you need to avoid pitchpoling and the need is usually to reduce speed. Not being a multihuller, I can't comment on the logic of a sea anchor, except to note that I would want to reduce the "frontage" exposed to the sea as much as possible, and so a bridle makes sense.

A drogue is for running off and keeping the boat speed slow enough to steer. This is going to mean shock loads and will require beefy attachments on the stern.

Tires are heavy and hard to deploy. I am not sure if on a multihull they are in fact "better than nothing". Look up the concept of "trailing warps"; a small anchor and length of chain on a very long loop of heavy line are going to be good and might do the trick...and you likely already have this aboard.

If you are anticipating oceanic travel, I would carry both a sea anchor and a drogue, for they are fundamentally different approaches to life and vessel preservation in heavy weather. I would practice with them in first 20 and then 30 knots first, however, as well as learning whether a storm sail or bare poles are the way to go when using either device.
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Old 28-03-2011, 08:31   #10
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

A parachute sea anchor is used to stop the boat while the drogue is used to keep the speed under control. They serve completely different purposes. As has been said the sea anchor is deployed from the bow and the drogue is deployed from the stern. In a multi the sea anchor is typically deployed using a bow bridle that keeps the bow pointed directly into the waves while "Pardy style" is deployed from a monohull using a bow/stern bridle that holds the hull at an angle to the wind. There are a number of good books and videos on storm tactics, including the Pardy's, that you might want to study before making a decision.
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Old 28-03-2011, 08:38   #11
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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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 would simply point out that if you are looking for a "storm anchor" you should recognize that the Jordan series drogue is NOT an anchoring system (as per previous posts, the drogue slows down the boat and is not intended to stop the boat).

A parachute sea anchor is an "anchoring" technique intended to reduce drift to an absolute minimum.

Again, as per prior posts, a parachute anchor and the Jordan drogue produce completely different results for completely different purposes.

You might want to work out what effect you're looking for, and then consider what's available to help in achieving that effect.

- rob/beetle
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Old 28-03-2011, 08:52   #12
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

I set a series drogue once. Worked really well too. The problem was getting the thing back aboard!
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Old 28-03-2011, 08:57   #13
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

As long as your boat heaves-to well, I can't see any reason to run if the conditions are bad enough to hoist storm sails. The risk of broaching or pitchpoling should be enough to make drogues the last choice. Just being in a hurry is not a good reason IMHO to risk disaster. A sea anchor, assisting in the heaving-to, limits drift, puts the right end of the boat to the seas, creates a protective slick if rigged correctly, and lets the crew get below and rest. Seems like a no-brainer as to which method to rely on. Some modern hull designs do not heave-to well or at all so are forced to run. This should be a factor in selecting a boat in the first place.
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Old 28-03-2011, 09:29   #14
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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Running off with a drouge is an entirely reasonable staregy in a multi, provided that you have sea room, that the boat and crew can adjust to it , that the sea are manageble etc.

But it has to be a good drougue and more importantly has to have good mounting points etc.

sea anchors are the ultimate survival option for multis.

Bodged up[ drouges are okay - see Dave abbot off MAXING OUT for an explanatyion of his drouge on a multi.
The only catamaran experience I have is hobie cats in the harbor and some basic 10-20knot conditions moving them around near coastal, so my knowledge of how to handle them in heavy weather is lacking.

Running in general just brings back too many horrible memories of zombie helmsmen, trips everyone hated, accidental gybes, and looking out into the cockpit from the cabin and just seeing this huge wall of water back there.
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Old 28-03-2011, 09:40   #15
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Re: Parachute anchor vs series drogue vs tires, any thoughts?

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OK - at risk of sounding EXTREMELY STUPID - how come!! I can obviously see the problems with retreval and storage as well as a number of other logistical challanges, but the strength of your reply makes me wonder what else I may be missing
If you're at a point where you're going to be towing a drogue, you'll probably be doing so for somewhere between 24-48 hours as you ride out the system you're in. At that point, your biggest problem is going to be chaffing.

The nice thing about commercially built drogues is that they are designed not to vacillate when deployed. While this doesn't eliminate chaffing, it significantly reduces it. Your tire/chain setup, conversely, will probable do all kinds of weird stuff, everything from skipping on the surface to spinning.

I had a friend who lost a rudder during the ARC and who tried to jury-rig drogues to assist with steering. He even tried it with a folding bicycle. But most of their DIY drogues ended up chaffing through the line within an hour or two, and they ran out of line before they ran out of stuff to drag.
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