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Old 06-02-2010, 22:44   #16
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Had an interesting situation in Sept. 2006. 38ft catamaran, 30 NM South of Grand Cayman, 2 AM, Overcast, winds East 20, damaged and stowed main sail, full 120 % jib - tightly sheeted, making way North. Squall hit with winds solidly in the 50's, heavy rain, spray, zero visibility, lasted about 30 min. Boat immediately "weather vaned" almost dead downwind, helm had no response. We were essentially hove-to, stern to the wind, under full jib. (one sheet to the wind). Very stable motion making about 6 Kts. Wind dropped back to 20's, steering returned and we carried on like nothing happened. Rest of the crew never woke up.

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Interesting story Dave. I am no expert on the subject...the most I have sailed in is 35 knots...I am however a student in this subject...

the way I read your situation is you where running with the storm which is a valid defense.. the problem that could have arisen (but didn't) is that either your speed might increase so much under bare poles (or a small amount of sail) that it would put you in danger of pitch poling...this is where the use of drouges comes in.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:12   #17
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Or while running from the storm you run into the dryland...

This is a great read, thanks everyone for sharing their know-how and experience.
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Old 07-02-2010, 18:02   #18
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OMG - why does it always have to drift towards 'this better than that' ?

The guy who suggests drogues over anchors PLS think there is a shore in the lee and you do not want to be drifted onto it. Still use the drogue?

All techniques have their time and place and it is nice to have both the anchor and drogue (s) on board. And sure know how to heave to, too.

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Old 07-02-2010, 18:15   #19
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Or, ideally, buy a submarine and laugh at rough weather! Also, never worry about mosquitoes ever again...

=P
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Old 06-05-2010, 22:50   #20
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Sorry Roveri but you should remember that what works for one boat under one condition may not be rigth for anohter. My boat floats easily over 50 ft waves on a sea anchor providing a fairly comfortable ride and never had a wave break on deck in 24 hours. No back sliding at all. 300' road 17,000 pound 47' crowther cat. Running may not be an option with a lee shore. Or shorthanded crew may make running not an option.
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Old 16-05-2010, 16:29   #21
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Running with a following sea is incredibly tiring. You have to get the angle just right to avoid and breakers and to keep from coming down them sideways and ending up beam to in a trough.

And you get to repeat that for every wave. No thanks.
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Old 16-05-2010, 18:13   #22
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I carry a large drogue, but it has nothing to do with lying to. Rather, it's to keep my boat from surfing once the crew have become exhausted dealing with following seas. The drogue is one of those things like the emergency rudder that I've never used in actual conditions, and hope to keep it that way.

We have a fairly big lee shore here in California--it's called "North America." But in the prevailing northwesterlies you can always run south, and when you run due south you'll find yourself further and further offshore as the continent drops away to the east. Which is why I'd much prefer a drogue here than a sea anchor.

The worse a boat points, the better it is a heaving to. Modern fin-keeled boats, especially if they are fraction rigged, have a tough go of heaving to in a significant blow. My experience has been that while I can get the boat to heave to if I'm reefed deeply enough, I need to stand by on the traveler to make it work. A great way to burn off a few hours while waiting for enough sunlight to make it into a strange anchorage, but not a real good storm tactic for my boat.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:04   #23
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remember that what works for one boat under one condition may not be rigth for anohter...
Having no experience in these more severe conditions, this is my question… are there thoughts on what type of hull behaves best (under whatever winds, seas…) with one method or another. It is clear that multis seem to demand a different technique than monos, but for years I supposed that if I ever had to I’d use the Pardey method (from their book and video); however, it seems there is a divergence of opinions on this and I’m not seeing the guidelines

Does either drogue, “sea-anchor” or whatever work (skipper’s preference), or is there a set of sea conditions that seem to favor/demand one method over another depending on boat type… the only thing I’m seeing that is universal is “slow the boat down…” But like I said, this is all conjecture where I’m concerned.

(Yeah, I know we could spend a couple million tax-dollars researching this, but surely experienced delivery skippers who cope with diffrent types of vessels must have given it some thought…)
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Old 18-05-2010, 12:25   #24
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what type of hull behaves best (under whatever winds, seas…) with one method or another.

Boats that don't sail very close hauled (shallow long keeled, ketches) will heave to better than those that sail very close angle (fin keels with spade rudders and fractional rigs). The close angled boats tend to prefer to forereach rather than heave-to.

Short fat boats with barn door rudders often don't run very well and could prefer to lie bow to the wind (heaving to, forereaching, para-anchor) rather than stern to the wind, running, drogues. While long narrow spade rudder boats often tend to run fast under complete control and can use those techniques.

Boats with big forward glass windows might not want to sit on a para-anchor, while those with weak companionway hatches might not want to sit on a drogue.

The para-anchor technique seems to be more appropriate for smaller boats than bigger boats.

etc etc . . . its all pretty much common sense.

is there a set of sea conditions that seem to favor/demand one method over another depending on boat type

Sure, but again its all common sense. For example if you are in the gulf stream you are probably better off with a technique that will take you out of the stream (forereaching or drouge) than one that keeps you in the stream (heaving to or para-anchor). If you are in a shipping lane you are better off with a technique that would allow you to maneuver to avoid a ship than one where you are unmaneuverable. If you are off a lee shore you are better off with a technique that sails you off (forereaching) than one that takes you on (drogue or para-anchor). etc . . . etc
There just is not any one single magic bullet technique. The competent offshore sailors understands all the techniques and is prepared to use any of them, and perhaps change from one to another as a storm develops.
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Old 18-05-2010, 12:39   #25
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Having no experience in these more severe conditions, this is my question… are there thoughts on what type of hull behaves best (under whatever winds, seas…) with one method or another. It is clear that multis seem to demand a different technique than monos, but for years I supposed that if I ever had to I’d use the Pardey method (from their book and video); however, it seems there is a divergence of opinions on this and I’m not seeing the guidelines

Does either drogue, “sea-anchor” or whatever work (skipper’s preference), or is there a set of sea conditions that seem to favor/demand one method over another depending on boat type… the only thing I’m seeing that is universal is “slow the boat down…” But like I said, this is all conjecture where I’m concerned.

(Yeah, I know we could spend a couple million tax-dollars researching this, but surely experienced delivery skippers who cope with diffrent types of vessels must have given it some thought…)

Everyone will probably have a different opinion but the difference between a drogue and a sea anchor is that the drogue slows you down when running before the wind, a properly sized sea acnchor will virtually stop you dead in the water with only current moving the boat. With a drogue it's nice to have more sea room than you may need with a sea anchor, bearing in mine how far you are off the coast, the direction of the wind etc.

There are other considerations, including rigging a sea anchor from a bow in really rough weather, though many blue water cruisers have a bridle rigged and brought to the stern outside the stanchions fastened with cable ties (I do).

I have a motor cruiser now but when I had a sail boat I was a great fan of the Jordan Series Drogue. Now I have both a drouge and a sea anchor and I tend towards having a preference for the sea anchor for most situations I can imagine.

P.

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Old 19-05-2010, 06:41   #26
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There just is not any one single magic bullet technique. The competent offshore sailors understands all the techniques and is prepared to use any of them, and perhaps change from one to another as a storm develops.
Thanks for fleshing out this discussion y'all… I’m beginning to see the pattern -- of what seemed to be a rather arcane science apparently only knowable by those who have “been there..” This helps !
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Old 19-05-2010, 07:01   #27
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Try reading Storm Tactics by the Pardys. It will tell you how to heave to with a parachute and bridle, and will explain why this is a safer way to ride out bad weather than running.
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Old 19-05-2010, 11:25   #28
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Try reading Storm Tactics by the Pardys...
Yep, I have it and their fine DVD as well, and assumed it authoritative; however, there seemed to be differing opinions here so not having actually experienced it, I was trying to see where the decision lines might lay...
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Old 19-05-2010, 13:05   #29
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Cool. Except calling lying ahull one of the ways to heave to ... sort of mixing up to many. I (personally) only use heaving to in relation to 'heaving to under reduced sail'. Lying ahull is another thing and lying to a parachute anchor yet another.

How dangerous lying ahull or heaving to (under reduced sail) in bad seas is, I have learned this the hardest way. From then on we either keep on going, or else run (with a drogue or without). If we had a huge parachute I would probably try this one too.

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Old 19-05-2010, 13:57   #30
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Lying ahull and heaving to are two completely different things.

With the parachute, you heave to first, then deploy the chute. The chute and bridle simply keep the boat hove to in the proper orientation, with the bow about 50 degrees off the wind.
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