My experience is that sealing the cone fabric
edges stopped further damage. Fortunately the initial damage was slight.
I also used a special deployment 'bag', also from a Sailrite
kit that worked very well on the 3 occasions.
My boat heaves-to fairly well, and I carry a 14' parachute sea anchor
along with some good snatch blocks, but I've never tried the parachute/bridle system.
With the JSD at times we were pointing straight down the apparently vertical fronts of seas, and we could feel the initial acceleration of freefall.Very quickly followed by the bungy like deceleration as the JSD arrested our descent. Breathtaking.
Occasionally we were on a wave that was heavily breaking like a surf wave, which would involve us in the green water.
A nearby Bering Sea fishboat spent two days powering very slowly into the seas, unable to fish
(on the subsequent flight out of Dutch Harbour one of the fishboat deckhands showed my crew a photo
he took of their anemometer: 136 km/hr or 70knots more or less).
That method is clearly unavailable to us with only 50 hp aboard. That would also entail staying awake, which we didn't. I slept relatively well , chocked into the narrow pilotberth.
Once I was fairly confident that we were going to survive, upright and dry, we could indulge in eating and sleeping and reading.
Nowadays many of us are not cruising in deep ,heavy full-keeled sailboats with low rigs that were designed to survive just about anything while hove-to.
Nowadays some cruisers seem to accept knockdowns as part of offshore
sailing, perhaps because of racing
experience and influence. I really, really wanted zero knockdowns, no rolling over and no pitchpoling.
I was extremely satisfied with the experience stern-to with the JSD.
BUT it assumed that my 'submarine' type companionway
doors would not be breached and that the JSD attachments were very strong and not subject to chafe.
I think we would have been S.O.L. if we had lost
the drogue in the gale.
A moment of levity came when a Japanese cargo ship came within 2 miles of us at the height of the blow, identified us on his AIS
as a 'pleasure vessel' and hailed us on VHF
. The ship's master asked us "are you having pleasure?!"
While few people would deliberately set out to get into such a gale at sea, having prepared for it and encountered it, the experience becomes a treasured memory to be replayed repeatedly in quiet moments.