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Old 10-07-2018, 03:32   #1
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Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

Ciao all.... I know I've been posting some dumb questions lately, but we're gearing up for our go-around so they pop into my head.... I did search, but wanted a more simple poll if you will.

I have a moderate displacement 53ft Amel Super Maramu. Defo made for heavier weather, with a sugarscoop narrowish stern. When encountering said weather, I'll have two choices, deploy a JSD (which I'm purchasing soon) or heave to. The SM heaves to well, I know how to hit the sweet spot, so assuming I have searoom, what would you choose: a properly hove to boat or the JSD drogue and running with the waves? I'm thinking if they're equal, the drogue seems safer and less likely to need attention (proper rear chainplates being installed as well with chafe gear) vs balancing the heave-to, avoiding forereaching etc....?

I've heard so many great things about the drogue, but also know that heaving to is the go-to for a boat like mine. All things being equal, which would be better/safer? Or are they six of one, half dozen of the other?
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:11   #2
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

There are a couple of threads going on about this -- read them.


Start with this one: Loss of KELAERIN Rescue of Crew June 2018 - Page 21 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums


And then do your general reading, including Adlard Coles and the Pardeys.


Then make up your own mind.


Short answer -- and knowing this is NOT enough to say you've got it figured out -- heaving to a very useful tactic for some situations, and the Pardeys advocate it strongly even for survival conditions, but with the addition of a parachute sea anchor.


But at a certain point you can't carry any sail so can't heave to. With a sea anchor your rudder is in danger when (not if) you're taken aback.



So most people these days think that for ultimate survival conditions, you are better off running off with a series drogue.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:18   #3
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

Thanks Dockhead, and I have been searching and following that other thread with the knockdown at the end of the trip... but those threads drift so I started one that is hopefully simpler, a binary choice (understanding that all boats and situations are not the same).
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:23   #4
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

To me it really depends on which direction your going. Your Amel will run with 50k behind with out a drogue, I have friends that have been in that situation on their Amel, it handled it well. I've personally run under bare poles with it blowing high 40's and it wasn't that bad.

I heaved to for seven hours on a previous boat as it suited the direction I was going and the boat was starting to slam in anything more than forereaching.

Your unlikely to see 50+ knots on a normal east to west circumnavigation.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:25   #5
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

Oh, there's no dumb questions. I still ask what some may consider dumb questions, dumb is not asking.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:34   #6
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

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Oh, there's no dumb questions. I still ask what some may consider dumb questions, dumb is not asking.
Gimmie time, I'll get to them
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:46   #7
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

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To me it really depends on which direction your going. Your Amel will run with 50k behind with out a drogue, I have friends that have been in that situation on their Amel, it handled it well. I've personally run under bare poles with it blowing high 40's and it wasn't that bad.

I heaved to for seven hours on a previous boat as it suited the direction I was going and the boat was starting to slam in anything more than forereaching.

Your unlikely to see 50+ knots on a normal east to west circumnavigation.
This mirrors my experience and my philosophy.

Heave to up to around 35-40 knots if it takes you more in the direction you're going, you don't have a wind vane or you can't burn the energy on your AP. It's largely set and forget, relatively comfortable, and you can rest.

Above 40 knots, running bare poles has the advantage of allowing you to set the drogue if it continues to deteriorate without dealing with canvas and turning the boat a round. As Dale mentioned, a big cruising boat, particularly one that is well behaved downwind, should do well into the 40's usually running at 5-7 knots. That said, it takes tending and is more manageable in a somewhat organized sea.

A lot of what you do and when you do it really depends on the sea state, the boat, and expected weather.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:58   #8
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

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Thanks Dockhead, and I have been searching and following that other thread with the knockdown at the end of the trip... but those threads drift so I started one that is hopefully simpler, a binary choice (understanding that all boats and situations are not the same).

I don't think there's a binary choice here. The speed of the storm front, your position within it, the development of the sea state, the barometric direction and speed, proximity to the contential shelf, lee room, number of crew, all would influence my decision to heave to. Some pretty awful conditions are at the end of storms, or even at the edge, but if you are going to get unavoidably clobbered, I think I would prefer to keep moving if I could, and if I was cracking hull speed down 20 foot wave fronts, I'd want to do so with a drogue.


You've got a boat with a good reputation, but it's also a damn big boat. The forces involved are large. But so is the stowage. I can't see why you wouldn't bring both a drogue and a sea anchor. Heaving to as a gale passes over is one response, but running off to get out of the dangerous quarter of a hurricane is another.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:12   #9
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

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You've got a boat with a good reputation, but it's also a damn big boat. The forces involved are large. But so is the stowage. I can't see why you wouldn't bring both a drogue and a sea anchor. Heaving to as a gale passes over is one response, but running off to get out of the dangerous quarter of a hurricane is another.
Ah, the boat might be large, but my budget is not And picking between what I've read (extensively) on the drag device database and here, I'm inclined heavily toward the drogue, especially with my stern shape. I never considered heaving to a sea anchor, just plain ole back the jib kinda job

Maybe I could rephrase my question a bit: Given free searoom and no concern for running or staying put, which tactic might be the more secure? Ie if chit really gets bad, say a long deep storm but not hurricane, are you gonna spend 36 hours running to a JSD or heaving to?
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:24   #10
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

Might depend on what direction you want to go.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:34   #11
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
Ah, the boat might be large, but my budget is not And picking between what I've read (extensively) on the drag device database and here, I'm inclined heavily toward the drogue, especially with my stern shape. I never considered heaving to a sea anchor, just plain ole back the jib kinda job

Maybe I could rephrase my question a bit: Given free searoom and no concern for running or staying put, which tactic might be the more secure? Ie if chit really gets bad, say a long deep storm but not hurricane, are you gonna spend 36 hours running to a JSD or heaving to?
I'm really not experienced enough to answer the question with real certainty but if I had to choose one it would be the drogue.

My reasoning is this. I do my best to travel down wind, therefore a majority of time I am. I've been in a strong gale running under bare poles in the dark, I just could not imagine trying to turn around in those seas, I'm not brave enough. Throwing out a drogue would be the more comfortable option. I've never done it, the loads on the boat from a drogue concern me. A good friend got caught in a bad storm on the way to new Zealand, not a gale but a storm. He's a boat builder and designed and built his own boat. He deployed the drogue. He genuinely was concerned about the load on the stern, and he fully understood the construction of his boat. Eventually the drogue failed, he was happier to run without the drogue.

More importantly for me is boat maintenance. My biggest concern in those conditions was the autopilot failing, it didn't. I couldn't imagine trying to hand steer with minimal crew. Also having the drogue all ready to go. Many that discuss this stuff and on the Internet don't fully appreciate the difficulty of functioning in the pitch black, pouring rain and rolling boat, best to have a drogue setup in advance.

When running in those conditions being able to center a jib is a good idea. My last boat had a small self tacking jib that I could sheet tight to the centerline. That combined with the Hydrovane was a good setup for running in heavy winds.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:55   #12
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

My experience is that heaving to does not work once the water gets too big. Water is more powerful than wind. The boat heaves to, then a wave pushes the bow down, you wallow in the trough and a green wave completely covers the boat.
So I'm saying at some point you are going to need an alternative. Lin and Larry Pardey wrote a book on how to try to avoid this with a bridle etc.
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:06   #13
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

Its not the wind its the waves. Running is a good tactic in almost any wind but with steep breaking waves any boat can start to broach leading to a knockdown. It does not necessarily take a huge wind. I had the experience of the Brittany coast in about 30kn and running with no problems until the tide turned. 4kn tide against a 30kn wind is a maelstrom that feels like you are surfing into a beach. Yes there is a risk to the steering if you get thrown back by a wave hove too or with a sea anchor but you seam less likely to dunk the mast.
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:41   #14
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

Having read all the options quite extensively, I think the series drogue is a lowest risk option provided you have plenty of sea room and can cope with getting it in once the seas calm down. It seems to work in all conditions.
Heaving to would be ok if for a relatively short time if you were not expecting conditons to worsen. If you were unsure of what was coming, I would go the the drogue sooner than later knowing that I would not have to make any adjustments during the storm?
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:55   #15
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue or Heave to?

One of the issues with running with it, is your going to be stuck in the system longer than stopping and letting it pass over you.
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