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Old 01-03-2012, 09:31   #1
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Lightbulb Idea for a Variable Drag Sea Anchor or Drogue

Hi There shipmates,

I am and have always been a closet inventor,,in my mid fifties now,,i have a background in Transport Mechanical repair, and Auto body and Paint,,as well as Computer repair etc etc etc,,,jack of all trades....man with too many hats.

Anyhow.....I have been reading different posts on the use of and timely deployment of sea anchors and Drag Drogues.
and it occurs to me that there should be a product capable of variable drag based on sea conditions and Vessel movement.

I am basing my ideas on a product used in the Forest fire fighting industry invented by a friend of mine called a "Bambi Bucket".

Anyone here want to join forces and collaborate on such a device.?????

I realize i may sound a bit vague here,,but if you would do some research on Bambi Buckets used by firefighting helicopters those with a technical mind will be able to get the gist of what i am talking about here.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:43   #2
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

Hmmm. A $20,000 sea anchor?
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:00   #3
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

What a monster that would be. I can feel my back hurting already at 12-16' dia.
But good try.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:01   #4
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

The idea was based on the Bambi bucket, using a Bambi Bucket as a Sea Anchor Or Drogue was not mentioned,,was it???



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Hmmm. A $20,000 sea anchor?
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:03   #5
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

The sea anchor or drogue i am proposing would be around the same dimensions as devices presently in use.
Obviously i am not explaining the idea in enough detail.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:25   #6
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

What I made up some time ago....
Seaworthiness - Page 65 - Boat Design Forums
See the last post down on the page. Feel free to try if interested. No money..
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:29   #7
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

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The idea was based on the Bambi bucket, using a Bambi Bucket as a Sea Anchor Or Drogue was not mentioned,,was it???

Ouch. Watch your head on that brick wall!

Here's the point: I didn't purchase a Jordan Series Drogue, which would be far superior than the drogue I purchased, because the Jordan Series Drogue for my boat would cost $1,500 and I was able to get a workable drogue for around $200. I don't figure I'd ever use it twice, and it's unlikely I'll ever use it the first time.

Most cruisers who own a Jordan Series Drogue ended up making their own at substantial savings from what a manufactured drogue would cost.

The reason the JSD is the best drogue on the market is that its simplicity increases both its reliability and its ease of use. You're proposing a far more complex system. Complexity increases cost and decreases reliability.

I doubt seriously that there would be a market for the drogue you've proposed to invent.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:31   #8
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

Sea anchors and drogues are completely different animals.

One is made to completely stop you.

The other slows you. I would imagine letting out more or less would be the "adjustment".
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:06   #9
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

Imagine for a moment a sea anchor with a dump valve(cable operated) in its base. very similar to the bambi bucket, when the plug or valve is closed,,it provides full drag,,,but if the plug in the base could be made variable, then you would have a sea anchor with variable drag.
In this way it could also serve as a drogue.
P.S. i am not looking to make anything on any ideas i may have,,,but when i see a need, i try to fulfill the said need.
I.E. a very cheap device to free a grounded vessel on a sand bar etc,,,used from on-board stricken vessel.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:07   #10
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

Seabrake is a variable drag drogue. I have one, but have never used it in anger
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:14   #11
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

The seabrake is only variable via speed of vessel, and is retrieved by pulling it around on it axis.
This is not what i am proposing.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:23   #12
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

The JSD uses a series of drogues deployed as more drag is needed,,and retrieved with increasing ease as each cone is retrieved at winch point.

I am proposing a single unit,,with an adjustable opening in its base,,as the base is opened via separate control line, the drag decreases,,and conversely as the opening is closed the corresponding drag is increased.

It is not a complex system at all,,,in principle it is many measures simpler than a series drogue, and Infinitely controllable unlike a normal sea anchor.

i can also think of a way to have the variable drag automatically controlled via line tension and hull speed.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Ouch. Watch your head on that brick wall!

Here's the point: I didn't purchase a Jordan Series Drogue, which would be far superior than the drogue I purchased, because the Jordan Series Drogue for my boat would cost $1,500 and I was able to get a workable drogue for around $200. I don't figure I'd ever use it twice, and it's unlikely I'll ever use it the first time.

Most cruisers who own a Jordan Series Drogue ended up making their own at substantial savings from what a manufactured drogue would cost.

The reason the JSD is the best drogue on the market is that its simplicity increases both its reliability and its ease of use. You're proposing a far more complex system. Complexity increases cost and decreases reliability.

I doubt seriously that there would be a market for the drogue you've proposed to invent.
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Old 01-03-2012, 16:19   #13
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Re: idea for a Variable drag sea anchor or drogue

I think what you'll find is a complex unit like what you suggest would not sell enough to make it worth while trying to put it on the market, except for maybe an occasional wealthy individual wanting to experiment.
There is not that much demand to get into high value items. Just trying to buy a high quality sea anchor/drogue is expensive enough. A lot of older ones I see for sale have not even been used. There are a last resort item for the common cruiser, like a life raft.
Some one that crosses oceans often might consider one. But when one is out there trying to survive a storm, adjustments are just another complication one doesn't want to deal with.
Sea anchors/drogues are made to fit each size of boat, and either they work or don't in a quick and simple manner. A variable scute might do well on a cargo carrying vessel like a fishing troller, but anything bigger is pretty much self substantial.
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