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Old 03-09-2012, 14:32   #31
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
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.

Really? Even in a storm that lasts 4 1/2 hours? I personally know someone who has had an entirely different experience than yours 30 miles south of here.

I might never need this equipment, but I intend to learn how to use it. Sailing through may not be a big deal on your 37' boat, but ... I don't have your boat.
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Old 03-09-2012, 14:34   #32
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
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.

Greg

OH MY, Carina -- no, Florida is not like the coast of Oregon and Washington -- but I would have not picked the boat I have for those waters.
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:01   #33
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Let me make sure I understand. You put the drogue off the bow while at anchor?

I will check your blog a little later but I wanted to make sure that's what you said.
Yep! Not every time I anchor just for "special occasions" like hurricanes so far. Seems to work pretty good in limiting the swing of the bow.
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:04   #34
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Yep! Not every time I anchor just for "special occasions" like hurricanes so far. Seems to work pretty good in limiting the swing of the bow.

I'm thinking about the last time I was at anchor. I woke up to the boat spinning 360 -- twice "'round the block!" No other boats were doing that. I have joked that my boat is called a "Hunter" because of the way she hunts for the wind.

She would be hard to put a riding sail on because of the high split backstay. I guess I could tack it to the boom and just use it higher, but I don't know if that would work the same as a lower one would? But next time she's hunting around on the anchor, I'm going to play with the drogue.

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:12   #35
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I'm thinking about the last time I was at anchor. I woke up to the boat spinning 360 -- twice "'round the block!" No other boats were doing that. I have joked that my boat is called a "Hunter" because of the way she hunts for the wind.

She would be hard to put a riding sail on because of the high split backstay. I guess I could tack it to the boom and just use it higher, but I don't know if that would work the same as a lower one would? But next time she's hunting around on the anchor, I'm going to play with the drogue.

Thanks!

Actually I meant "tack it to the mast."
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:14   #36
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I'm thinking about the last time I was at anchor. I woke up to the boat spinning 360 -- twice "'round the block!" No other boats were doing that. I have joked that my boat is called a "Hunter" because of the way she hunts for the wind.

She would be hard to put a riding sail on because of the high split backstay. I guess I could tack it to the boom and just use it higher, but I don't know if that would work the same as a lower one would? But next time she's hunting around on the anchor, I'm going to play with the drogue.

Thanks!

I have never used a sea anchor or drogue and realize that few have. Two completly different animals.

Seems you have a very interesting boat. I always thought that cats were the worst boats for heaving-to as my (ex) Gemini would also fore-reach at 1-2.5 knots in 15. It took some tweaking to tame that but the risk (I have been told) is that a freak movement and the boat is on the other tack and sailing along at 7 in no time.

My only other experiences (because I either did not go out or ran in) with squalls is that they hit mighty hard but don't last long.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:18   #37
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
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.
Raku,

I was not commenting upon your requirement for some means of storm management, but rather on your offering of data to support your position.

The story you quote is, frankly, unbelievable. I make no judgement of the source of that story, his experience or valour, but I don't believe the numbers.

If you are seeking further advice from someone with a LOT of big wind experience, you might well consult the writings of Beth Leanard and Evans Starzinger. Evans often posts here on CF, and they have FAR more big wind experience than Earl Hinz, and in more modern design boats. In short, they favour a single point drogue on a very long tether (600 feet IIRC). They deployed this gear repeatedly whilst rounding the Cape a few years ago and found it acceptable. But, they told me that twice during that voyage the drogue and their boat (a Van de Stadt Samoa, 47') and the drogue got in phase on the faces of two waves, the drag was lost momentarily, the boat broached and suffered a knockdown. This is the failure mode for single point devices, and what lead to Mr Jordan's development of the series drogue which is the device I favour for really big wind conditions.

A further point: deploying any of these devices for use in thunderstorms (which have relatively short duration) is a lot of work, can be quite hazardous (especially the anchor off the bow deployment) and the recovery of the devices is difficult indeed. Thus, some effort spent on finding a means of getting your boat to either heave to or at least fore reach at low speed will be rewarding. You seem to be convinced that this is impossible, but I wonder. For instance, have you tried the use of a triple reefed main, sheeted well to windward and no headsail at all? Using this combination we can get our boat (lots of windage forward, very shallow hull forward of the keel, no inclination whatever to really heave to) to fore reach at about 30 degrees apparent and less than 2 knots, making a fair amount of leeway. This is fairly comfortable and quite stable. I would be surprised if your boat wouldn't so something similar if you play with the parameters under a decent amount of breeze (say ~30 knots). It is hard to extrapolate from behavior under mild conditions up to severe conditions.

RAku, as others have said, the use of appendages to deal with thunderstorms close inshore is a difficult and cumbersome technique. If truly close and with an onshore wind by the time you deploy things you could be in serious difficulty. Thus, developing an active rather than a passive methodology would serve you well.

But please, lay off the tall tales...

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:22   #38
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
I have never used a sea anchor or drogue and realize that few have. Two completly different animals.

Seems you have a very interesting boat. I always thought that cats were the worst boats for heaving-to as my (ex) Gemini would also fore-reach at 1-2.5 knots in 15. It took some tweaking to tame that but the risk (I have been told) is that a freak movement and the boat is on the other tack and sailing along at 7 in no time.

My only other experiences (because I either did not go out or ran in) with squalls is that they hit mighty hard but don't last long.

Best of luck.

She is "interesting." She's also really, really fast and she has a lot of living/storage space for her size. I also wanted sexy lines on the water but you can't have it all.

I know someone who won a challenging series of 12 races in the same model boat, so I know when she doesn't sail well it's my fault, so she keeps me on my toes. But a boat that's both fast and tender -- I keep thinking about what happened to the 30' Catalina next to me (and the possibility of 20+ knots in the "right" storm has been confirmed by Hinz and other people I've found) has really gotten me thinking.

She is a spitfire. Not that long ago a friend of mine was at the helm. He got the boat up to 6.5k -- on only the headsail. But she's a real challenge in confused waves, and that wasn't a storm. It was just a "spunky" day.

I may never use this equipment (although the drogue off the bow when at anchor sounds very intriguing, and can be tried under controlled and safe conditions). Just a matter of time and I'll be reporting back on that one!

I think "squall" is the wrong term for the kind of storm I'm concerned about. The storm that spun me twice was a fast-moving squall that hit hard and then went away. The storm my neighbor got caught in was a major storm that survived a long time. See, i'm thinking if he'd put a drogue out and it had done what it should -- cut his speed in half -- his ordeal would have been over in half the time (still plenty long), and would have been easier to manage.

It's just not that big a deal to put out a drogue, and from Hinz it sounds as if, with a trip line, a sea anchor isn't that hard to pull in. They're self-deploying, so that's not a big deal.
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:41   #39
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Raku,

I was not commenting upon your requirement for some means of storm management, but rather on your offering of data to support your position.

The story you quote is, frankly, unbelievable. I make no judgement of the source of that story, his experience or valour, but I don't believe the numbers.

If you are seeking further advice from someone with a LOT of big wind experience, you might well consult the writings of Beth Leanard and Evans Starzinger. Evans often posts here on CF, and they have FAR more big wind experience than Earl Hinz, and in more modern design boats. In short, they favour a single point drogue on a very long tether (600 feet IIRC). They deployed this gear repeatedly whilst rounding the Cape a few years ago and found it acceptable. But, they told me that twice during that voyage the drogue and their boat (a Van de Stadt Samoa, 47') and the drogue got in phase on the faces of two waves, the drag was lost momentarily, the boat broached and suffered a knockdown. This is the failure mode for single point devices, and what lead to Mr Jordan's development of the series drogue which is the device I favour for really big wind conditions.

A further point: deploying any of these devices for use in thunderstorms (which have relatively short duration) is a lot of work, can be quite hazardous (especially the anchor off the bow deployment) and the recovery of the devices is difficult indeed. Thus, some effort spent on finding a means of getting your boat to either heave to or at least fore reach at low speed will be rewarding. You seem to be convinced that this is impossible, but I wonder. For instance, have you tried the use of a triple reefed main, sheeted well to windward and no headsail at all? Using this combination we can get our boat (lots of windage forward, very shallow hull forward of the keel, no inclination whatever to really heave to) to fore reach at about 30 degrees apparent and less than 2 knots, making a fair amount of leeway. This is fairly comfortable and quite stable. I would be surprised if your boat wouldn't so something similar if you play with the parameters under a decent amount of breeze (say ~30 knots). It is hard to extrapolate from behavior under mild conditions up to severe conditions.

RAku, as others have said, the use of appendages to deal with thunderstorms close inshore is a difficult and cumbersome technique. If truly close and with an onshore wind by the time you deploy things you could be in serious difficulty. Thus, developing an active rather than a passive methodology would serve you well.

But please, lay off the tall tales...

Cheers,

Jim
Jim, please lay off calling people liars.

You said, "I was not commenting upon your requirement for some means of storm management, but rather on your offering of data to support your position.

The story you quote is, frankly, unbelievable."

And yet I have come across multiple accounts of boats sailing at over 20k in storms. They pointed out that using a drogue cut the speed in half while sailing downwind. That's still really fast -- but the point is 1) I had no reason to disbelieve this person and 2) I have found multiple other accounts of such events right on line. So please, YOU go do some research before you decide to call someone a liar, 'k?

Please tell me where I said I would do these things "close inshore." I don't believe I EVER said that. In fact, I'm quite certain I didn't say that. If I were close in shore in a storm (and I have been in that situation) my first strategy is to get away from the shore. The reasons are obvious.

I think it's fascinating that you think you know what I have and have not spent time on, too. I know most people don't go out and practice specific skills. As it happsns, however, I do.

My boat does not heave to well. You can accept that or not, as you wish.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:42   #40
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Jim, please lay off calling people liars.

You said, "I was not commenting upon your requirement for some means of storm management, but rather on your offering of data to support your position.

The story you quote is, frankly, unbelievable."

And yet I have come across multiple accounts of boats sailing at over 20k in storms. They pointed out that using a drogue cut the speed in half while sailing downwind. That's still really fast -- but the point is 1) I had no reason to disbelieve this person and 2) I have found multiple other accounts of such events right on line. So please, YOU go do some research before you decide to call someone a liar, 'k?

Please tell me where I said I would do these things "close inshore." I don't believe I EVER said that. In fact, I'm quite certain I didn't say that. If I were close in shore in a storm (and I have been in that situation) my first strategy is to get away from the shore. The reasons are obvious.

I think it's fascinating that you think you know what I have and have not spent time on, too. I know most people don't go out and practice specific skills. As it happsns, however, I do.

My boat does not heave to well. You can accept that or not, as you wish.
Raku, I'm getting close to the ignore button, but let's give it one more try...

There is a difference between calling someone a liar and not believing a story that defies physical reality. Looking at the story both as a physicist and as a fairly experienced sailor, I can not believe that any boat, let alone a Catalina 30, can AVERAGE over three times it's hull speed for 4.5 hours. I have no idea what this chap actually experienced or why he has made this report.

Further, I don't know what sources you refer to with "multiple accounts of boats sailing at over 20k in storms". Boats certainly can exceed their hull speed in heavy conditions, especially surfing down big waves. But to AVERAGE three times hull speed...?

OK, 'nuff on that. As to the close inshore issue... you point out that storms pop up unforecast, and indeed they do. I assume that you sometimes sail close inshore, so that you could have a storm situation in that uncomfortable place. I again say that learning to deal with such a situation without the use of appendages would be a good thing. And no, I don't know just how deeply you have explored this approach, but you mention trying to fore reach in 10 knots of breeze IIRC. As I said in my post, extrapolation from such mild conditions to storm conditions doesn't work all that well in my experience. And nowhere have you detailed just what you have actually tried... hence my suggestion about three reefs in the main, sheeted to windward of the centerline and no headsail at all. This technique often works on boats of your (and my) type.

Finally, drogues and especially series drogues can slow boats much more than "20 knots down to 10 knots". If you read the Jordan drag device data base there are numerous accounts of successful deployment of JSDs where the boat speed was reduced to 1-2 knots, and the crews were indeed able to leave the helm for hours at a time in reasonable comfort and safety. I view Mr Jordan's advice with some respect; you may choose Hinz's if you choose.

With that I respectfully withdraw from the discussion.

Jim
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:50   #41
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

" Raku, I'm getting close to the ignore button"


Go for it, Jim.
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Old 03-09-2012, 17:00   #42
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Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

attitude is everything.
so is abilty to understand weather wherever you sail. and the ability to go forward in seas without falling overboard.
and the ability to SAIL.
is all good-most everyone who does heavy weather learns, and they learn FAST.
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Old 03-09-2012, 17:03   #43
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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Raku, I'm getting close to the ignore button, but let's give it one more try...

There is a difference between calling someone a liar and not believing a story that defies physical reality. Looking at the story both as a physicist and as a fairly experienced sailor, I can not believe that any boat, let alone a Catalina 30, can AVERAGE over three times it's hull speed for 4.5 hours. I have no idea what this chap actually experienced or why he has made this report.

Further, I don't know what sources you refer to with "multiple accounts of boats sailing at over 20k in storms". Boats certainly can exceed their hull speed in heavy conditions, especially surfing down big waves. But to AVERAGE three times hull speed...?

OK, 'nuff on that. As to the close inshore issue... you point out that storms pop up unforecast, and indeed they do. I assume that you sometimes sail close inshore, so that you could have a storm situation in that uncomfortable place. I again say that learning to deal with such a situation without the use of appendages would be a good thing. And no, I don't know just how deeply you have explored this approach, but you mention trying to fore reach in 10 knots of breeze IIRC. As I said in my post, extrapolation from such mild conditions to storm conditions doesn't work all that well in my experience. And nowhere have you detailed just what you have actually tried... hence my suggestion about three reefs in the main, sheeted to windward of the centerline and no headsail at all. This technique often works on boats of your (and my) type.

Finally, drogues and especially series drogues can slow boats much more than "20 knots down to 10 knots". If you read the Jordan drag device data base there are numerous accounts of successful deployment of JSDs where the boat speed was reduced to 1-2 knots, and the crews were indeed able to leave the helm for hours at a time in reasonable comfort and safety. I view Mr Jordan's advice with some respect; you may choose Hinz's if you choose.

With that I respectfully withdraw from the discussion.

Jim
Jim,

This type of response are quite normal for this poster.
I am not sure she saw or read your thoughfull, experienced response.
Thanks for your comments.

Cheers
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Old 03-09-2012, 17:43   #44
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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See, i'm thinking if he'd put a drogue out and it had done what it should -- cut his speed in half -- his ordeal would have been over in half the time (still plenty long), and would have been easier to manage.

It's just not that big a deal to put out a drogue, and from Hinz it sounds as if, with a trip line, a sea anchor isn't that hard to pull in. They're self-deploying, so that's not a big deal.
If he had a parachute sea anchor it would have been over even sooner. They, when sized correctly simply stop the boat.

Self deploying if packed properly. Like a parachute. If not packed properly and tended as they deploy you can be seriously buggered. The trip line has to be properly buoyed etc so it does not foul and collapse the chute.

But like I said, few have used them and I have not. For me it has only been research/reading.

Maxingout has used one and describes it on his site.
ABBOTT DROGUE

Can't find when he used the chute but it is in there somewhere.

Most of the real life info I have gleaned from this guy because he has used it and tested it many times.
KatieKat ParaAnchoring


Also. This guy is a wealth of knowledge.
Sail Delmarva: Drogue and Parachute Sea Anchor Testing: A Summary for Small to Medium Cruising Catamarans


Granted these are multihull sailors but there is little difference in the use, deployment, retrieval, storage and effect no matter what sort of cork one is bobbing about on.
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Old 03-09-2012, 18:10   #45
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Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

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If he had a parachute sea anchor it would have been over even sooner. They, when sized correctly simply stop the boat.

Self deploying if packed properly. Like a parachute. If not packed properly and tended as they deploy you can be seriously buggered. The trip line has to be properly buoyed etc so it does not foul and collapse the chute.

But like I said, few have used them and I have not. For me it has only been research/reading.

Maxingout has used one and describes it on his site.
ABBOTT DROGUE

Can't find when he used the chute but it is in there somewhere.

Most of the real life info I have gleaned from this guy because he has used it and tested it many times.
KatieKat ParaAnchoring


Also. This guy is a wealth of knowledge.
Sail Delmarva: Drogue and Parachute Sea Anchor Testing: A Summary for Small to Medium Cruising Catamarans


Granted these are multihull sailors but there is little difference in the use, deployment, retrieval, storage and effect no matter what sort of cork one is bobbing about on.

Yes. My sea anchor is self-deploying. First you throw out the trip line. Then you throw out the sea anchor, packed in its bag, on a rode with chain. Then you pay it out until you have the response you need. It's not foolproof -- you can't just go below and forget about everything, but it should stop the boat. This is what I have READ, not tried yet. I'm hoping that when we bring my friend's boat around from Miami we'll have enough speed/waves to test it. His boat is similar to mine both in size and in sailing characteristics.

What I seem to have run into is that people who have not tried them don't think they're a good idea, but people who have used them like them. There are certainly things to pay attention to, from what I understand. If the sea anchor isn't big enough it will cause the boat to lie abeam and hold it there. Oops.

You have to see what direction you'll be moving before deploying a drogue, because you have to sail downwind, and if downwind is toward the shore ... oops.

I saw someone's claim here that someone had one drogue deployed 600 feet out and it didn't work out well. Well, that's why you use them in a series. That's why you put chain on the sea anchor, too. It really does act like an anchor, and the chain forms a cantenary that works as a shock absorber.

It sounds as if the sea anchor might be hard to retrieve if you're still in strong waves, so you'd better be sure before you put it out, but running before the wind would make sense as a choice before giving up and stopping the boat with a sea anchor. But what some of the critics have mised here is that although the drogue is really a storm-only tool, the sea anchor can be used to settle things down for hours or even a couple of days.

Neither of them will solve all problems, like the day we got caught in shallow water and high waves close together. We didn't want to slow down; we needed to get to deeper water. We certainly didn't want to stop the water there.
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