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Old 15-09-2009, 19:30   #16
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Thanks guys. Pretty much as I thought... get the hell out of it.

And I sure doint intend on getting into any major current without a good weather window.

Thanks
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Old 15-09-2009, 22:21   #17
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Crossing the Gulf Stream during a storm is dumb, though we ran with it during a gale once, made a lot of miles in a hurry.
If I am stuck in a storm with breaking seas depending on wind strength, the size of the seas, how they are breaking and where I want to go would determine whether I use a drogue or parachute anchor.
I would use a drogue if I can head where I want to go would be the first option provided my stern doesnít get kicked around too much, nothing is breaking over the stern and I can keep my speed to about ĺ of hull speed. Donít want to get going too fast as that is when you will trip up or the autopilot begins to complain.
The next option would be a parachute anchor if I do not want to go where the storm is pushing me or the seas are too big for comfort. I would not wait too long to deploy it if I sense that the storm is building. They tend to take a bit of time to fully deploy as the chute tends to hang in the eddies created by the boat when you are hove to. Takes a bit to straighten out and get all that line out. I would also reef the mizzen and wing it out 45 degrees to keep myself on one tack, no rolling to upset the stomach.
After spending 5 days hanging on a parachute anchor on the edge of a cat 5 hurricane having 100 knot plus winds blowing through the rigging I value my parachute anchor. We had dishes thrown out of the galley sink mounted slightly forward of amidships on the centerline of our boat.
Any piece of gear onboard (old sail, swim ladder, etc.) can be tied to a line and used as a drogue, no need for anything fancy.
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Old 20-09-2009, 16:50   #18
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there are numerous very informative books on
"extreme weather or extreme conditions sailing"
and to save you reading them all ........
(but they do make very informative - if rather nerve-racking reading)

I think it would be fair to say that a VERY BRIEF synopsis
or consensus of the opinions of the authors and seamen asked would be that

each and every situation needs to be assessed on its individual merits
and skippers who have been in "Survival condition" storms or situations
virtually all said that "they found or arrived at the right tactic by trial and error"
or by "experience in similar situations in the same boat"

in other words they tried or experimented with numerous sail settings,
ie running in front of, or away from the storm,
heaving to,
bare poles,
drogues & parachute anchors etc

until they found the the one that best suited the particular situation and the boat...

Incidentially if you do intend to deploy a parachute anchor or drogue
I really recommend that you practice under reasonable conditions a few times.
they can be awkward to deploy and recover especially in bad weather,
and a rope around your props is the last thing you need

a method I have used very successfully on a few occassions
(on a monhull) is using a long heavy sinking line (anchor rode is good) in a loop,

(either on its own or with an additional drag in the loop - this can be anything - see above by Mesquaukee) both ends of the loop return back on the boat,
that way you can control the amount of drag or resistance
by adjusting the length you have deployed
by belaying to a strong point and a robust winch

It is important to still be able to control the boat speed
and get the boat to lie comfortably to the wind & waves

of course prevention is better than cure
so a good weather watch should help you avoid most such situations

fair winds out there
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:19   #19
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I tried 300 feet line in a loop and the same length tied one end only. Surprisingly, the drag is bigger when only one end is tied to the boat. (I have measured the forces). Sort of counter-intuitive. Perhaps someone with good education in physics could explain why.

The problem we had with towing warps was that the early stage of acceleration was not limited until the line 'took' up the slack.

Now we have a small drogue at the end of (a shorter length of) line that starts acting much more promptly, but I feel I would like an in-between solution - something that would let the boat fly and act as a brake only when our speed exceeds say 6 knots (I have a smallish boat).

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Old 20-09-2009, 17:28   #20
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Barnakiel...you have to add the force on each end of the loop to end up with the total drag.
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:32   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I tried 300 feet line in a loop and the same length tied one end only. Surprisingly, the drag is bigger when only one end is tied to the boat. (I have measured the forces). Sort of counter-intuitive. Perhaps someone with good education in physics could explain why.



b.
Understood, .......

that is why it is necessary to experiment with various methods.

as I mentioned it worked well for me
on my boat in the given circumstance !!

No one solution fits all I am afraid !!
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:40   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I tried 300 feet line in a loop and the same length tied one end only. Surprisingly, the drag is bigger when only one end is tied to the boat. (I have measured the forces). Sort of counter-intuitive. Perhaps someone with good education in physics could explain why.


b.
The main objective of having the "loop" is to be flexible
to have control over the amount of drag

ie able to adjust the drag
without having to recover the whole drogue line everytime

but again if the drag is totally insufficient with the full loop deployed,
secure something else in the bight of the loop,
can anything, a tire, an old sail,

experiment !
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:59   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Barnakiel...you have to add the force on each end of the loop to end up with the total drag.
Message taken. Physics and mathematics taught well even in grammar schools here ;-)

Off course, I allowed for this fact. I mean the net force was still bigger - may have something to do with the turbulence created by the line (?)

I also thought about the Jordan - but would have to devote a pretty long piece of line to this purpose only - not something I do willingly on my smallish boat. But perhaps two smaller drogues in a tandem are better than one at the end of the warp?

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Old 21-09-2009, 01:48   #24
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I have found that the drogue works best if it is the same distance behind you as the distance between the waves. Otherwise the line goes slack and then the tension builds up, it has to do with the lateral movenent of water in a wave.
We use an old mizzen sail, if it cuts our speed too much we hank on a storm sail on the innner forestay or unroll some of the headsail.
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Old 21-09-2009, 10:03   #25
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Having purchased a complete parachute setup and tried deploying it on my catamaran in 10-20 knots of wind and moderate seas, I can tell you it is a large task to deploy and retrieve even in the mild weather mentioned. Frankly I cant imagine doing it in heavy weather. You may be risking you life more by trying to do so then not having it at all. If I was world sailing again, I would never buy one. Take my chances by running or other methods for sure.... and frankly, how many smart people actually ever see the "perfect storm" anyway?
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Old 21-09-2009, 10:32   #26
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... Frankly I cant imagine doing it in heavy weather. ... how many smart people actually ever see the "perfect storm" anyway?
You can still use the drogue - deployment takes us like 5 minutes and we do it from the cockpit. Sure, only if your boat can ride the storm downwind or nearly so.

I have not seen the perfect storm, this would be like a hurricane, I guess? But I have seen a real bad extra tropical storm. Very, very beautiful but probably not the place to be. Still, a view (and roar) to behold.

And being smart or not may have little to do with it if you look back. But having a better weatherfax would (have) help(ed) and a lot so (still - S Pacific 22, 138 - out of range and no radiofax from otherwise very likable French authorities).

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Old 21-09-2009, 10:34   #27
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...I have found that the drogue works best if it is the same distance behind you as the distance between the waves....
And I have found that the distances vary and it is easy to get caught even when 5 minutes earlier you seemed to have the perfect match. Thus the idea of towing two tandem smaller dia drogues (???).

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Old 21-09-2009, 10:42   #28
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Has anyone tried towing a Jordan drogue with a long line off the end, so you could loop that around and adjust the amount of resistance from the number of drogues?
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Old 21-09-2009, 11:15   #29
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I was using an 18ft diameter parachute off the bow. If you are talking about a drogues to slow the boat down, that is much more "do-able". The Jordan series drogue looks like the ticket..
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Old 23-09-2009, 08:06   #30
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- - The original question was specific to narrow high speed currents and not open ocean. I have been caught halfway across the Gulfstream from Abacos to Fort Pierce when all heck broke loose. A much faster than forecast squall line/cold front. You do not want to stop in 14+ foot "square waves" that exist in these high speed currents with a contrary wind. You will be rolled over at worst and buried in vertical waves over the bow at best. In snow skiing think moguls versus low rises. Maintaining control and steerage to keep from rolling while getting the heck out of there is the objective.
- - My 60 ft 46,000 lb boat was literally falling 14ft off the top of one wave crest into the trough between the waves. Like being dropped by a travellift. You are talking teeth clattering crashes/impacts when the you arrive at the bottom of the trough. I found screwdrivers left on my workbench stuck into the ceiling.
- - Turning into the waves is not better as your vessel will pitch down as you leave the crest of a wave and try to make like a submarine as it punches into the next wave. The width of the stream, assuming you are on a shoreward direction means a nasty lee shore should you try to stop and hang on a parachute anchor. Can you imagine trying to launch a parachute anchor in conditions varying between spreader in the water and 6 to 10 feet of wave water washing across your decks?
- - Based on the limitations set by the initial poster - getting the heck out of there is the prudent answer. It took me 3 hours of pounding and crashing to exit the stream back into "normal" 5-8 foot waters close to shore then turn north for another 5 hours to motorsail 15 nm to enter the port.
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