Be sure that you a comparing apples and apples. The series drogue
must be weighted to work. This configuration is often compared to unweighted parachute type drogues. That's apples and oranges. Weight a parachute and it will not skip.
I also want to comment on sea anchor
. As others have said, they have different purposes. In the worse conditions I would want a sea anchor
becuase it puts you head
or slightly off at an angle with a bridle
. Either was you will ride well so long as you have adjusted the line length to minimize slack. The one thing you don't want to do is go beam to the waves.
The only really bad thing I can see with a sea anchor
is that since you have no power and are not steering
you have no control in the event of a rogue wave
from a different direction.
A drogue is designed to slow you down when heading downwind. You still need to steer. What you want is a device that supplies enough drag to prevent broaching. There is, IMO, no reason to have a drogue that severely decreases your speed because if that is what you want to do then you should use a sea anchor
. I would use the drogue to stablize the boat on the face of waves (no broach) but still want to move downwind at some reasonable speed.
I had heard, and a Good Old Boat article says, "A properly sized series drogue will keep the boat speed down to 1 to 1 ½ knots in storm conditions, so it does not require the crew to steer." Therefore a series drogue is designed much like a sea anchor; it severely reduces the boat speed. If that is what you want, then I'd go for a sea anchor so that I don't have my stern to the waves.
But there is a much more important factor that few people think about when dealing with a storm. That is, if you are still moving and it is important what direction you are moving in. You don't want to be moving in the same direction as the bad weather
... in that case you are just going to spend more time in the bad weather
if you do that.
If you can't sail in the direction opposite to which the storm is moving, then you probably want to be stopped (use sea anchor) as opposed to using a drogue and moving with the storm. Knowing which way the storm is moving is the key. More often than not it is not in the direction of the wind
There is no simple solution.
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey
The series drogue is NOT a sea anchor from the stern and you DO need to have the ability to steer the boat in order to keep stern into waves. The advantage of a series over a regular drogue is that it is less likely to ride and skip from astern under force, and that the forces are more evenly distributed.
When using a drogue from astern you want
to keep the boat moving - not too fast and not too slow. The decision then begins on which drogue is best for your design.
For an introduction
to storm management and testing of devices, read Adlard Coles "Heavy Weather Sailing"