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Old 02-09-2012, 20:02   #16
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
You would think that to be true, but in reality it is not. .
My suggestion, is simply that heaving-to is a practical, and well proven, storm tactic which is worthwhile to have as an option even with all that gear aboard. Options are good.

Yes, I am quite familiar with Florida and Gulf of Mexico weather, having grown up on the Gulf and logged thousands of miles along the entire coast line from Padre Island to South Florida. And I have thoroughly enjoyed the many fine anchorages between Naples and Marathon.

I have also spent many hours, and days in one case, hove-to quite comfortably in storms in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Old 02-09-2012, 20:55   #17
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
He sailed an average of 22 knots for 4.5 hours?

Really?

On a 30' Catalina?

Really?
What? You are doubting that a boat could average approximately three times it's hull speed? You are doubting that it could survive the stresses caused by such speed? You, sir are a doubting thomas (errr, Jimbo).

How dare you?

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Old 02-09-2012, 21:35   #18
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
He sailed an average of 22 knots for 4.5 hours?

Really?

On a 30' Catalina?

Really?

I wasn't there, but I think it was more like a surf, and sounds like a terribly dangerous 4 1/2 hours to me. All I have is his word, but he is not what you would call a blowhard. There are other people who have tall tales and the reputation for telling them, but not him.

I've told this story before. He was single-handing, so there are no witnesses.
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Old 02-09-2012, 23:24   #19
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

The statement that single drogues have less strain than series drogues is just wrong. If a single drogue is sized to slow the boat the same amount as the series drogue, the forces will be the same - providing that the wavelengths are identical and the single drogue is an integral number of wavelengths behind the boat. And there's the rub (no, not chafe). Deploying a single drogue must be done with that integral number of wavelengths so the boat and drogue are moving in unison, and must be adjusted to keep it there if the wavelengths change. If not the rode will alternatively slack and strain as the waves go by, resulting in more (not less) impact loading on the boat. That is why Donald Jordan invented the series mini-drogues: the rode length is not critical, and the pull is always even as there are always about the same number of drogues doing the pulling at any time.

As for sea anchors, different boats behave differently but ultimately the sea anchor has enough problems that I chose to sell mine. A good friend on a sistership deployed one in a gale off of northern California, complete with the "Pardey bridle"; it succeeded in holding her abeam the sea, with waves breaking on her house. Why? Because a sailboat's center of effort (CE) with bare poles is forward of the center of lateral resistance (CLR), so the wind will always blow the bow off without a sea anchor or sails or steerage. A sea anchor is meant to hold the bow up at an angle into the wind; as wind speed increases the force required should go up in a squared relationship - so the bow will eventually fall off as the wind rises. Of course a larger sea anchor will handle a stronger wind, but at some point the situation will become untenable. Running with drogues is the ultimate defense.

While I think carrying a drogue, or better a series of mini-drogues, is a great safety measure I think there is often too much focus here. I would guess that the majority of cruisers have neither a sea anchor or a drogue, and of those that do most have not been used in necessity. As with liferafts, many will find that it is better to use caution while cruising and not bet that they will be caught out.

Greg
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:55   #20
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
My suggestion, is simply that heaving-to is a practical, and well proven, storm tactic which is worthwhile to have as an option even with all that gear aboard. Options are good.

Yes, I am quite familiar with Florida and Gulf of Mexico weather, having grown up on the Gulf and logged thousands of miles along the entire coast line from Padre Island to South Florida. And I have thoroughly enjoyed the many fine anchorages between Naples and Marathon.

I have also spent many hours, and days in one case, hove-to quite comfortably in storms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Belize, I know you mean well, but first you said storms aren't a problem here and now you're offering a simplistic solution without having familiarity with my boat.

My partiicular boat does not heave-to well. You can heave it to and still continue to sail at 2 1/2 knots -- that's if the wind is around 10k. I have very real, very specific reasons for having these concerns. I don't mean to be rude but I would prefer it if you did not steer the conversation away from the proper and safe use of drogues and/or sea anchors. What you're saying to me., in a way, is "Don't worry your pretty little head" about this when I have first-hand experience telling me that I should be considering those alternatives.

There are NOT a lot of "fine anchorages" between Naples and Marathon. The only real one is Little Shark River, which at this time of year is horribly infested with mosquitoes, no-seeums and biting flies. I have netting but would not want to be trying to put it up while managing the boat in a storm.

Entering Longboat Pass can be quite dangerous when the only problem is a good brisk wind. Combine that with a directional shift and a strong out-going current and it becomes quite treacherous for a tender boat. Venice Inlet is another place that can be difficult to maneuver in what most people could consider mild to moderate conditions. I would not attempt any of these things in a storm. You can get into Pass-a-Grill channel safely under just about any circumstances as long as you have good steering, but if you have developed some significant steering problem, there are potentially dangerous shallow waters on either side, and I'm sure you know what a deeper channel surrounded by shallow water (Pass-A-Grill Channel as well as Manatee River) can be like in bad weather.

I'm sorry, but I *completely* reject the notion that by watching the weather one will never have to deal with severe conditions off the SW coast of Florida. To assume that all sailboats can somehow handle it without complete equipment is dangerously unrealistic.

So please, folks, what I really need here is experience using these equipment. Maybe I'll never have to use it, but I've developed enough sailing experience to know when my boat is out of control. It hasn't happened to me on this boat, but if that situation approaches --

I want options, not an unrealistic belief that the weather off SW Florida will never be that severe. Just three years ago we had a very small tropical depression that suddenly and unexpectedly turned into a TS just as it was passing the Tampa Bay area in the Gulf. I was out sailing that night with a very experienced sailor and he was able to handle the sudden and severe squall that popped up. I have two friends who were out on the Gulf when they were suddenly caught in a completely unexpected TS level squall that night as well. None of this was predicted by the weather forecasters.

I'm surprised that I had to explain all of this, but would like to hear from people here who have used either drogues or sea anchors. I have the Pardey book and the Hinz book, and neither of those authors are leading me to believe that I'm looking at "overkill" here.

But the thought I would like to leave everyone here with is that severe thunderstorms can't always be predicted in Florida (east coast or west coast). I've also seen them billow up quite suddenly in the Midwest, so I'm assuming Florida is not really unique in this way.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:02   #21
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
What? You are doubting that a boat could average approximately three times it's hull speed? You are doubting that it could survive the stresses caused by such speed? You, sir are a doubting thomas (errr, Jimbo).

How dare you?

Cheers,

Jim

How dare he? How dare he put my concerns in perspective? He should be praised. I have not experienced such a severe storm -- YET -- and the report I gave here was the one I had. So, Jim, I should not report what I've heard, or If I do, get only sarcastic responses instead of more informative ones?

Hinz has stated in his book that a drogue can slow a boat down from 20k to 10k when running downwind. Ten would still be a whole lot to deal with. He presented it as a realistic possibility. How much bigger of a storm would it take to take that boat to 25? I don't know. I don't know if it's possible. But I know that my boat has a BIG stern that even with bare poles can catch a lot of wind. Others here have already indicated a way to use that design fact to advantage in a storm.

I value those comments and in fact keep those posts as I gather all the information I can prior to looking for a chance to test my new equipment.

If you want to just joke about it, fine, but consider that you might have steered me away from learning something about handling potentially dangerous situations.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:11   #22
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
The statement that single drogues have less strain than series drogues is just wrong. If a single drogue is sized to slow the boat the same amount as the series drogue, the forces will be the same - providing that the wavelengths are identical and the single drogue is an integral number of wavelengths behind the boat. And there's the rub (no, not chafe). Deploying a single drogue must be done with that integral number of wavelengths so the boat and drogue are moving in unison, and must be adjusted to keep it there if the wavelengths change. If not the rode will alternatively slack and strain as the waves go by, resulting in more (not less) impact loading on the boat. That is why Donald Jordan invented the series mini-drogues: the rode length is not critical, and the pull is always even as there are always about the same number of drogues doing the pulling at any time.

As for sea anchors, different boats behave differently but ultimately the sea anchor has enough problems that I chose to sell mine. A good friend on a sistership deployed one in a gale off of northern California, complete with the "Pardey bridle"; it succeeded in holding her abeam the sea, with waves breaking on her house. Why? Because a sailboat's center of effort (CE) with bare poles is forward of the center of lateral resistance (CLR), so the wind will always blow the bow off without a sea anchor or sails or steerage. A sea anchor is meant to hold the bow up at an angle into the wind; as wind speed increases the force required should go up in a squared relationship - so the bow will eventually fall off as the wind rises. Of course a larger sea anchor will handle a stronger wind, but at some point the situation will become untenable. Running with drogues is the ultimate defense.

While I think carrying a drogue, or better a series of mini-drogues, is a great safety measure I think there is often too much focus here. I would guess that the majority of cruisers have neither a sea anchor or a drogue, and of those that do most have not been used in necessity. As with liferafts, many will find that it is better to use caution while cruising and not bet that they will be caught out.

Greg

Thank you for your thoughtful response. It's going into my growing file of useful information.

I completely agree that caution while cruising is by far the best option, but as I say, where I live, severe storms can pop up rapidly and out of nowhere where i am. I've been in two three. In one, bare poles and motoring was adequate EXCEPT that my old engine had just proved itself unreliable. In the second I was a guest on a very experienced sailor's boat. In the third, I was anchored. Actually there's been a fourth (not counting Debby and Isaac; they were predictable and i wasn't out in them), and I was at the dock. I've been sailing five years (sailing a lot, not just a "every other month" sailor here), and that's 4 major storms. I could have been out in the storm my neighbor was caught in, but decided to go to a Memorial Day cookout with friends instead of sailing.

I'm glad to hear what you say. Personally I doubt I would try the Pardey bridle approach on my boat. I've seen her determinedly lie ahull at anchor. There's something about the design (and freeboard) of my boat that seems to encourage that. I do not think I am being foolish to look at my options.

Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:46   #23
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
Raku:

I'd get both. More tools in the tool box eh? I'd probably use a sea anchor on my boat before using a drogue for reasons that are particular to my boat. I have a sea anchor on board but, need to rig it up and to practice with it so I'm no expert. But, I have used a small military surplus drogue as an anti sail drogue on the bow during Hurricane Earl while at anchor:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: LESSONS FROM A HURRICANE: AN ANTI SAIL DROGUE
It's easy to deploy from the bow and seemed to work well while on the hook don't see any reason why it would not work with a sea anchor too!
Cap' n Mike, my sea anchor is a lot bigger than what you describe (also split, reducing the forces on it) -- but my drogue is not. Do you think this trick would work with a small drogue at anchor? I have joked that my boat was named a "Hunter" because of the way she hunts for the wind at anchor.

How much rode did you put out for your system?
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:26   #24
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Hi Raku
I agree the summer squalls in Florida can be hair raising, I have been nailed many times with no warning! My first tool was to get satellite weather, it runs out to 100 miles to sea. I also considered a sea anchor or drouge but would not use it within a 100 miles of shore, it could beach you if your not careful! The last storm we hit was in deep water outside of Nassua and it knocked me down with only bare poles, I also have a high freeboard.

Good luck with you quest.
Boe
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:47   #25
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Belize, I know you mean well,...

Raku, yes my suggestions were well intentioned. My apologizes if I distracted you from your focus here.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:51   #26
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

I know you meant well. I really didn't want to pick on your posts but I need people to have the real picture of what the situation here can be. For myself I'm not that worried about being too close to shore. If the chute is going to pull you to shore, don't use it. That's one reason I got both drogue and sea anchor. But in reality I could just see myself saying "DANG! Why didn't I get the (whatever?)"

Hinz book on using sea anchors and drogues is just outstanding.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:52   #27
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

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Originally Posted by Agape39 View Post
Hi Raku
I agree the summer squalls in Florida can be hair raising, I have been nailed many times with no warning! My first tool was to get satellite weather, it runs out to 100 miles to sea. I also considered a sea anchor or drouge but would not use it within a 100 miles of shore, it could beach you if your not careful! The last storm we hit was in deep water outside of Nassua and it knocked me down with only bare poles, I also have a high freeboard.

Good luck with you quest.
Boe

Good weather forecasting will help, but these pop up storms literally just "pop up" (as you know). In one of the storms I got caught in, it was literally forming over us.
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Old 03-09-2012, 14:06   #28
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

sail thru em. is more problem putting a sea anchor or drogue out--by the time you do that, squall/storm has passed and you are left with trying to haul it back in---sailing thru em is not a huge deal. is good heavy weather experience. fastest we were sailing in em was 10 kts in gom on a 37 seidelmann at 0300 , we slowed boat down by reefing jib and dropping main.. that was off tampa. your boat is better than a seidelamnn,i am sure.
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Old 03-09-2012, 14:27   #29
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

To put this in perspective, I think many of us have experienced worse weather in our home waters in the years before cruising than in the years out cruising. That was certainly the case for me: the coasts of Washington and Oregon delivered drubbings far worse than anything I saw when cruising. It sounds like that may be the same in Florida.

In my cruising mentality I would spend the winter in the tropical storm belt, and the summer either north or south of it. Spending the tropical storm season sailing in the storm belt is simply not something I have ever considered. Of course that is simplistic, as there is no place on the eastern seaboard that is truly out of the storm paths. And summer thunderstorms are a feature in many places, and can be quite fierce. But a conservative plan for avoiding storm areas in season, or sitting them out safely in a protected spot, resulted in fewer and lesser beatings due to weather than what I experienced here beforehand.

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Old 03-09-2012, 14:29   #30
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Well this is a timely subject as I am building a wharram tiki 26 to which i have added strong points for a para anchor.Now there is a bit of controversy as to where to attach the drogue/sea anchor from in wharram circles.Ie bow or stern.AS my Coppins sea anchor is arriving any day i am now making strong points in the bow as to have both positions on the cat to deploy the sea anchor.I must point out that James Wharram does advocate hanging a drogue/anchor off the stern,this is backed up by a bloke called Glenn Tieman who has sailed for more than ten years on a wharram in polynesia.
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