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Old 07-04-2007, 08:44   #16
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Dave,

Thank you for your input to this thread and providing some well articulated feedback from your world cruising experience. BTW, I visited your web site and enjoyed the video clips. Nicely done.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:19   #17
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The Rest Of The Story

Kevin,

Thanks for the comments. I think it's good for everyone who has used drogues and sea anchors to share their own real world experience. Reading books about drogues and parachutes is great, but it's not interactive, and generally is long on theory and short on experience.

I think forums like this do a service to the cruising community when they allow cruisers to tell about their personal experience using these safety devices in heavy weather.

I think it would be great to have an organized section of the forum where cruisers post their experiences about using drogues and parachutes. People would have an opportunity to hear actual stories about what worked, what didn't work, why it worked, and why it failed.

When parachutes and sea anchors don't work, there's always a reason they don't work. Blanket condemnations of drogues or parachutes - saying they are no good because they failed in a particular instance - isn't helpful or fair. Everything works for a reason and fails for a reason.

It would be great to dedicate a section of this forum to people's experiences using these devices. Monohulls, multihulls, long keels, short keels, deep draft, shallow draft all behave differently using these devices. This would be a great place for people to come and dispel a few myths, and to discover the "rest of the story".

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Old 07-04-2007, 10:07   #18
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After nearly 50 trips around the sun, the old adage, "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger" has been demonstrated for me repeatedly. After each "near miss" I try to run through a serious post mortem so that I'll be better prepared "next time."

Many situations, however, happen to be once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Preparing for them, we must rely on learning what has worked for others, training for the possibility, and then hoping that we're prepared if the odds present us with the "big one."

Odds are that very few sailors will face conditions that might require the deployment of para anchors or drogues in offshore storm conditions. If the opportunity ever arises for me, I'm hoping that I've learned enough from those who've gone before me that I make it through.

As we all know, there's no shortage of armchair speculation and poorly tested theories. Interesting questions can be raised and debated, but I really take notice and listen when real world experiences are shared. As it is in this forum and others, we are mostly just screen names lacking credentials upon which weights can be placed. Everyone chimes in and it's up to the astute reader to extract the valuable nuggets. I agree that it would be nice to have a place where direct experience becomes the prerequisite for separating the teacher from the student. It might be a format in which questions can be asked by those without direct experience - those who hope to learn, while the experienced are placed in the role of teacher and given the opportunity to respond or engage in the debate.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:12   #19
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Passive Mode

What is the difficulty in being in a passive mode whether or not one is in heavy storm conditions or moderate storm conditions or flat water for that matter? The idea is to prevent broaching and/or slamming into the trough, right? At any rate it is a matter of design sizing for each boat. Slowing the boat down to 1 or 2 knots is the design criteria I think he uses. But couldn't you also reduce the number of cones to maintain, say, a 3 or 4 knot drag? I'm going to ask him.

Jordan's comments on "the full force of broaching seas" is that they don't exist: "A final misconception is the belief that a breaking wave "strikes" the boat and that the moving water in the crest does the damage. Actually, the boat is lifted by the forward face of the wave with no impact. When it reaches the breaking crest the boat velocity is close to the wave velocity. The crest water is aerated and has little damage potential. Damage to the boat is incurred when the boat is thrown ahead of the wave and impacts the green water in the trough. The leeward side and the deck are struck. A careful reading of "Fastnet Force Ten" and "Fatal Storm" will confirm this conclusion." So that's his positiion on that. I'm not saying everyoone should lock step and agree - the report is worth a read.

Jim

PS. It is my understanding that Jordan has never benefited financially from this system. It has been more of a passiion and hobby with him.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L
Sometimes it seems folks think of the Jordan drogue as the be-all end-all of drag devices. The CG write-ups, etc talk about the extreme survival storm cases. Drag devices are going to be used long before this, as your examples show. If you were to have used a Jordan drogue, then you are basically going into a passive mode, with limited or no steering, and with the full force of the boarding seas taken by the boat. If you use other drogue designs, like Galerider, then you slow the boat to a managble speed, keep steerage on, and take some of the punch out of boarding seas.

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Old 08-04-2007, 05:27   #20
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maxingout Dave:
Excellent narrative!
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:35   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimske
What is the difficulty in being in a passive mode whether or not one is in heavy storm conditions or moderate storm conditions or flat water for that matter? The idea is to prevent broaching and/or slamming into the trough, right? At any rate it is a matter of design sizing for each boat. Slowing the boat down to 1 or 2 knots is the design criteria I think he uses. But couldn't you also reduce the number of cones to maintain, say, a 3 or 4 knot drag? I'm going to ask him.

Jordan's comments on "the full force of broaching seas" is that they don't exist: "A final misconception is the belief that a breaking wave "strikes" the boat and that the moving water in the crest does the damage. Actually, the boat is lifted by the forward face of the wave with no impact. When it reaches the breaking crest the boat velocity is close to the wave velocity. The crest water is aerated and has little damage potential. Damage to the boat is incurred when the boat is thrown ahead of the wave and impacts the green water in the trough. The leeward side and the deck are struck. A careful reading of "Fastnet Force Ten" and "Fatal Storm" will confirm this conclusion." So that's his positiion on that. I'm not saying everyoone should lock step and agree - the report is worth a read.

Jim

PS. It is my understanding that Jordan has never benefited financially from this system. It has been more of a passiion and hobby with him.
I sail a boat with a modern keel and rudder. They function best with water passing over them. The boat will have much better steerage at 6kts than at .5 kt. You can use a JSD or a parachute to try and park the boat. An alternate strategy is to run off actually sailing the boat. If your destination or safe harbor is downwind, then this can be a good choice. You use the boats steerage to pick the best path - as long as the crew can steer. In this case you may need a drogue to ensure that the boat does pick up too much speed and surf, thus avoiding the pitch-poles and broaches. This is an active tactic.

As far as the comments about boarding seas not really being an issue. I'd have to differ with Jordan on this one. In his information on how to attach the JSD, he indicates very high loads on the attachment points. These loads are generated by seas hitting the stern of the boat. Your transom and your washboards had better be plenty strong to withstand the beating they will take. Also, users of the JSD have reported a strong pull back and down from the JSD. Thus dropping the stern and making the hit even greater. Getting hit by a wave going 15kts while the boat is doing 1/2kt will impart significantly more force on the boat then if the same wave hit the stern while the boat was moving away at 6kts.

On your PS. I am aware of that. I think it is great that he has done all he has. I'm not doubting the good will here, just trying to learn from others use of drogues.


Dave,
I know that multi-hulls have a pretty strong history of using parachute anchors successfully. I assume one of the big reasons for this is the ability to set a wide, stable bridle. Something not so easy to do on a mono-hull. Did you run off on any of your storms? Did you have a drogue that would control speed but still allow decent way on board for these situations?

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Old 09-04-2007, 11:43   #22
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I've only been in big seas once, though I dared not run for fear of surfing and pitchpoling. I did not use any drag or anchor device since the boat was in control the whole time. I was glad to have steerage in order to maneuver safely. Parking the boat is what the JSD is all about. The whole idea is to prevent capsize in severe conditions. One is expected to go below. There is no expectation of maneuvering the boat.

Having said that I am wondering about other possibilities in employing the JSD. Napping at sea? Added hold to an anchorage? I suppose some experimentation is in order.

I am not qualified to argue about the strength of "boarding seas" but I will anyway:-). Just kidding. I do have a question however. Are the loads generated by "seas hitting the stern" or are they generated more due to the weight of the boat being held back by the drag and also the windage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L
I sail a boat with a modern keel and rudder. They function best with water passing over them. The boat will have much better steerage at 6kts than at .5 kt. You can use a JSD or a parachute to try and park the boat. An alternate strategy is to run off actually sailing the boat. If your destination or safe harbor is downwind, then this can be a good choice. You use the boats steerage to pick the best path - as long as the crew can steer. In this case you may need a drogue to ensure that the boat does pick up too much speed and surf, thus avoiding the pitch-poles and broaches. This is an active tactic.

As far as the comments about boarding seas not really being an issue. I'd have to differ with Jordan on this one. In his information on how to attach the JSD, he indicates very high loads on the attachment points. These loads are generated by seas hitting the stern of the boat. Your transom and your washboards had better be plenty strong to withstand the beating they will take. Also, users of the JSD have reported a strong pull back and down from the JSD. Thus dropping the stern and making the hit even greater. Getting hit by a wave going 15kts while the boat is doing 1/2kt will impart significantly more force on the boat then if the same wave hit the stern while the boat was moving away at 6kts.

On your PS. I am aware of that. I think it is great that he has done all he has. I'm not doubting the good will here, just trying to learn from others use of drogues.


Dave,
I know that multi-hulls have a pretty strong history of using parachute anchors successfully. I assume one of the big reasons for this is the ability to set a wide, stable bridle. Something not so easy to do on a mono-hull. Did you run off on any of your storms? Did you have a drogue that would control speed but still allow decent way on board for these situations?

Paul L
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:39   #23
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I ran off two times when the winds were 45 to 50 knots. After we went through the Bab Al Mandeb at the entrance of the Red Sea, we sailed into a wind acceleration zone and a sandstorm with wind coming directly up our stern. The seas didn't have much fetch and time to build to a large size. It was sort of an instant forty to fifty knot wind that suddenly appeared over a couple of hours. You can see it in our VIDEO CALLED "GATE OF SORROWS" on maxingout.com on the home page. You can see how the catamaran handled the wind in those type of seas.

In this particular instance, we ran off without using a drogue or towing warps. We had minimal breaking of the waves as you can see in the video. We were sailing along at seven to ten knots with about 20 percent of our headsail out and no main at all. I hand steered the yacht because it was daylight, and I didn't want to risk stressing out the autopilot sailing at those speeds, and if the autopilot should fail, things could get rapidly out of control. We ran downwind most of the day without any drogue or warps behind the yacht. The reason I didn't put anything out was because the seas weren't dangerous yet, and we were heading for shelter in southern Eritrea so that we could anchor behind a large headland at Ras Terma.

I considered sailing on through the night trailing warps or a drogue, but decided not to because we were sailing with two other monohulls, and we wanted to stay together, and we felt that the shelter behind the headland would be good. If we had continued on and sailed into the night, I would have put out some type of drogue and slowed the boat down and turned the helm over to the autopilot.

Our catamaran behaves very nicely when surfing downwind in following seas. The large seas pass between the hulls under the bridgedeck without any problem. The two times I have run off in winds to fifty knots, I have never had a boarding sea come aboard. Instead the seas slide by under the bridgedeck.

The second time I ran off was in a storm sailing from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands. In this incident, we also had winds between forty and fifty knots, but since we were running downwind, it was not problem for our catamaran. This storm was different because the wind had a long fetch and the seas got much bigger, but they were still not a problem as long as we controlled our speed. In this particular disturbance, we trailed warps behind the yacht and slowed the speed down to four and a half knots. You can see a video of this on our maxingout.com home page in a VIDEO entitled "WARP SPEED" at the bottom of our home page.

In that storm, we trailed a drogue for three days to control our speed and to prevent broaching which would be a major disaster in a catamaran. The drogue that I used in this instance was a homemade drogue that I call the "Abbott" drogue, because I made it up on the spot using readily available components on my boat.

This drogue consisted of an 180 foot long warp of one inch three strand nylon that I looped behind the catamaran. But the loop is more than simply a loop of rope. On this loop I install carriers that I slid down the rope to increase the pull of the warp and thereby create the drogue effect. What are these carriers? I use four foot sections of plastic water hose as the carriers, and on these carriers I wrap anchor chain, dingy chain, dingy anchors, or whatever, and I tie these heavy weights securely to the hose carriers. I then slip the plastic water hose carriers onto the loop of rope, and then slide the carrier down the rope and into the water. The carrier with attached weight immediately slides aft to the middle of the rope loop that I am trailing in the water.

If I want more drogue effect, I put more carriers and more weight on my warp and then let them slide down the rope loop and slow the boat down even more. The "Abbott" drogue is an infinitely adjustable loop of rope in which you can send as many carriers and as much weight down the warp as you need to use in order to control your speed when running downwind.

I like the "Abbott" drogue because it does a couple of things.

1. You can adjust the power of the drogue. If you need more drogue power, you simply send another carrier with attached weights down the rope loop to increase the drag in the water.

2. You can adjust the distance of the drogue from the boat by simply letting out more warp or taking in more of the warp loop using winches. The drogue should be consistently on the back side of any charging seas so that you are pulling the drogue through the wave rather than out of the front of the wave and losing drogue effect.

3. You can easily retrieve the drogue when you don't need it any more by winching it in with your cockpit winches. And when you winch it in, the carriers and the attached weight stay centered in the warp loop as you haul it in. That means you don't lose drogue effect and at the same time it's easy to retrieve once it's right behind the yacht.

4. You can construct an "Abbott" drogue using materials that are already on the yacht, and it's not expensive. You need at least 200 feet of line, and three or four pieces of flexible plastic water hose to use as carriers, and anchor chain and dingy anchors to attach to the carriers with shackles and ties.

If you want to see how it really works, go to my web site and view Surviving The Savage Seas on the home page or captains log archive 27. SURVIVING THE SAVAGE SEAS. There you will see a picture of two warps behind the catamaran in 40 knots of wind and eighteen foot seas out in the Atlantic. The "WARP SPEED VIDEO" shows how the catamaran behaves with the drogue in position and doing it's thing. For the three days that we were using the drogue, the autopilot did all the steering and we survived without any problem.

You will notice in the pictures that we actually had two warps behind the boat. One warp was eighty feet long with about 35 pounds of anchor chain shackled in a ball in the middle of the warp. The second warp is 180 feet long, and it had dingy anchor and chain attached to a water hose carrier. I liked having both short and long warps behind the yacht because I felt that if one drogue pulled out of a wave or failed for some reason, the other would be there to take over. Together, they held my boat speed to a consistent four and a half knots downwind. The two monohull yachts that we were sailing with arrived twelve hours sooner in the Canaries than we did, but we took less of a beating because we were sailing at a slower speed. One of the monohulls accompanying us filled their cockpit with water and had two inches of water in the galley - at least that is what they told us over the radio after it happened.

On my website, there is a podcast called "The Perfect Storm" that tells about using the drogues and parachute during our circumnavigation.

I hope this answers your question.

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Old 09-04-2007, 14:21   #24
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Having run and reached before significant winds & seas, on numerous occasions:
1. I’ve never been boarded by seas “foamy” enough, to not be considered green water, and dangerous.
2. Those sea that have boarded, have (on several occasions) nearly filled my cockpit.
3. On one occasion, I have been “pooped”, by boarding seas from astern, that knocked me off my feet (while holding to the helm). A significant event, I promise you.

As with Dave’s (Maxingout) “Abbot drogue”, the “Jordan” series drogue should allow for a proportionate response, appropriate to the situation. Add cones (as Dave adds "carriers"), according to the desired breaking power.

In many (or most) situations, I agree with Dave, in that I’d expect to want to slow down (to hull speed or less), unless the “hard” looms downwind; in which case I might try beating out (clawing).

I’m certain that while we’d all agree that sailing cannot be reduced to a simple “if this - then this” rule of thumb formula; certain first principles remain worth consideration. As Dave suggested, the forces imposed upon a boat moving with the weather, will generally be less than those imposed upon a (relatively) stationary boat.
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Old 09-04-2007, 14:27   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
...
As with Dave’s (Maxingout) “Abbot drogue”, the “Jordan” series drogue should allow for a proportionate response, appropriate to the situation. Add cones (as Dave adds "carriers"), according to the desired breaking power.
...
The JSD cones are sewn onto the rode. The rode requires a a bridal. The number of cones is very explicitly listed in a table by Jordan. Conceptually I see how a JSD could have a variable amount of cones to allow for running at a reasonable speed. In practice, I don't see how you could rig this.

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Old 09-04-2007, 14:43   #26
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As Paul points out, I appear to be wrong about the variability of the Jordan series drogue - much to it's discredit.
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Old 09-04-2007, 15:37   #27
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Gord - I do not think you are wrong - the drogue is made up of several lengths of different diameter line with drogues attached to that section. You can add or subtract sections at will as conditions dictate - acting like Maxingouts very resourcefull Abbott drogue. This is detailed on the site I originally posted along with a picture that shows the different sections. However, it may be difficult to retieve the bridle while under tension to add another length of drogue so here is how I would rig it:

Deploy the drogue to it's full length and monitor the action of the boat - I would have attached a 3/4 diameter trip line to the end of the drogue to be able to haul it back into the boat OR to haul back only as much of the drogue as necessary to allow the boat to speed up a little to get the desired comfortable speed. You would therefor then have some of the drogue deployed and catching water in the cones and some with the cones reversed to the forward motion and noit deployed. If conditions got worse, you could then let more of the trip line out and therefor deploy more of the drogue. If Mr. Jordon is reading this, maybe he would like to add this feature to his system.
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Old 09-04-2007, 15:53   #28
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I guess this would be a feasible approach to tuning the usage and drag of a JSD. It would require a lot of line, like 600 feet. It also would not allow you to put the drag portion at distance of a wave length (or 2) behind the boat. With a unitary drogue, you can adjust the tow line to place the drogue in the correct wave. This may be less needed with a JSD. Haven't heard of anyone doing this or using a JSD in this manner. From the Jordon writeups, it does not sound he intended it to be used this way.

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Old 09-04-2007, 15:54   #29
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Here's is the pic and instructions

Complete Drogue
  • 156 ripstop nylon cones attached
  • 37 meters 12mm double braid line with 75 cones attached
  • 13 meters 16mm double braid line with 25 cones attached
  • 13 meters 18mm double braid line with 25 cones attached
  • 35 meters 22mm double braid line leader with 31 cones attached
  • 22mm double braid bridle
  • Postage by Express Airmail paid by us



Auxiliary steering:-

This series drogue can be used as an auxiliary steering device if problems occur with your vessels main steering system.
In fine weather to gale conditions:- The 12mm and 16mm 100 cones drogue lines are removed from the complete series drogue setup, and the bridle legs are run from your cleats, the leader with 31 cones and 18mm 25 cone line attached is trailed behind the vessel. Secondary lines are then run from the bridle legs to your sheet winches, adjustment of these secondary lines by the winches will guide your vessels course.
In storm conditions: - Trail the full series drogue and retire to the cabin, it will steer you in the prevailing wind direction, when the storm abates, reduce the length of drogue line and utilise as described above.
UK£ 270
US$ 490


UK£ 940
US$ 1680
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Old 09-04-2007, 16:00   #30
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I didn't realize these were setup with so many segments of line. Is there a way to add on the 'missing' segments if conditions deteriorate?

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