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Old 09-07-2014, 16:18   #1
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When do you put out the Drogue?

This guy appears very capable and experienced but still got caught by a rogue wave.
Maybe the real problem was his boat was too short for these out of season conditions.

Sailors rescued from crippled yacht - national | Stuff.co.nz

So good they survived to tell the tale
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Old 09-07-2014, 19:52   #2
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

There but for teh grace of god, go many.

Effectively single handing
Radio (singular) crapped out
Weather deteriorating

Hard to be judgmental as not all facts are known but for me the learning is - the less you know about the weather, the more capable the boat and experienced the crew required.

Knowing the weather may not have saved the day but it may have allowed more time to prepare or inform the skipper how serious the weather was going to get.
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Old 10-07-2014, 00:06   #3
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

I think I remember finn and the owner from when I lived in Wellington. IIRC she is a Atkins Ingrid 38 built of fibreglass. Solid looking boat, experienced skipper.

It does seem to be the rogue waves that get you, certainly my experience of being knocked down has always been in what I thought where rough but fine conditions. Maybe allow for the waves to be twice the height of the bigger ones you are seeing?
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:29   #4
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

Put out a drogue once after a knockdown on snowpetrel, maybe should have had it out earlier but everything felt fine, about two or three feet of furler out, broad reaching in maybe 35-40 knots at 5 knots or so. Then wham... Decided to put the seabrake out for the night, and the bike helmets on.

Another time was sailing a S&S34 from hobart to bluff. Building westerly, great sailing but as the wind built we kept reducing sail. very suddenly it went from fun to scary. the sea changed and you could hear them breaking like distant thunder. She started sliding down the faces kind of sideways. We quickly dropped the 3rd reefed main and ran under a scrap of headsail. The seas kept building, and it got darker as the sun set. We set the drogue and then later a long warp when the drogue kept jumping out of the water. It was a rather uncomfortable night. wave must have been at least 100 meters long as the drogue line was 60 meters and it was only half way to the breaker behind us. We didn't get knocked down, luck? or did we set the drogue early enough? Not sure...
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:08   #5
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

If you think you can beat Neptune with a bigger safer boat and more experienced crew he will make a liar out of you. I was on a US destroyer hit by a rogue before the Navy acknowledged that such things existed. Not till the late 60's were the stories of rogue waves believed. We took 3 feet of water in the pilot house rolled 67 degrees one way then 65 the other. We should have capsized at 59. It hit so fast and so furious no one has a chance to respond or pray even and then it is over just as fast as if it never happened only the damage and having to change your skivvies tell what happened.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:48   #6
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

Got one of those coming back to Newport, RI from the Med. I too was Navy. Dumped a couple of guys out of their bunks. I grabbed the sides of mine for dear life. ( good thing too; top bunk.) It was just the one . I was on a destroyer 2100 class. Talk about pounding heart.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:50   #7
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

A drogue may help with more regular, if big, seas. But an odd wave will just hit and then it only depends on if it had your name on it or not.

A strong boat helps lots. For if you get badly flooded then that's mostly that.

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Old 10-07-2014, 11:52   #8
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Put out a drogue once after a knockdown on snowpetrel, maybe should have had it out earlier but everything felt fine, about two or three feet of furler out, broad reaching in maybe 35-40 knots at 5 knots or so. Then wham... Decided to put the seabrake out for the night, and the bike helmets on.
Skill and luck tend to reinforce each other and you are the first cruiser to mention the rather sensible precaution of bike helmets in crappy weather.

The fact that you needed to add a warp to your drogue may suggest a nice long Jordan Series Drogue might be a good consideration to add to your box of tricks. Unless you had a warp PLUS a JSD, in which case I want to convert to your religion, because I've never heard of the two together being necessary!
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:48   #9
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

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Got one of those coming back to Newport, RI from the Med. I too was Navy. Dumped a couple of guys out of their bunks. I grabbed the sides of mine for dear life. ( good thing too; top bunk.) It was just the one . I was on a destroyer 2100 class. Talk about pounding heart.
We were on way to Med. Stove in forward fan bulkhead and green water break ripped hedge hog mount off deck 01 level water down vent to IC room took out IC switch board and Gyro. Just about everybody was thrown out of their rack happened about 0100. I was on bridge couldn't believe I got wet almost to my waist. Capt. spent a lot of time trying to explain. Came out of no where about 45degrees off starboard bow. It was the DD701 JW Weeks out of Norfolk. DD709 Purvis in Newport.
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Old 10-07-2014, 15:06   #10
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Re: When do you put out the drogue?

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A drogue may help with more regular, if big, seas. But an odd wave will just hit and then it only depends on if it had your name on it or not.

A strong boat helps lots. For if you get badly flooded then that's mostly that.

b.
+1 , especially if its breaking


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Old 29-03-2016, 12:18   #11
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Re: When do you put out the Drogue?

Just ran across this account of Bernard Motissier's trip round the Horn from Tahiti to the Med. His boat Joshua was a 39 ft steel doublender.

It was during the worst one of these gales, with its monstrous seas, that Bernard conceived a bold technique. After a long weary stretch at the helm, while dragging warps to prevent broaching or pitchpoling, it came to Moitessier that Joshua was essentially a trade winds vessel, entirely out of place in these latitudes. He tried to recall what Dumas had said, but could not remember. He called down to Francoise to look it up in the book.(9) The secret was there somewhere. Francoise read aloud to him. Then they came to it. Dumas had followed the Roaring Forties all around the world, not by dragging warps (the Slocum school of thought), but by carrying sail and running with the seas (the Dumas school of thought). His technique was to take the seas at an angle of 15-20 [deg] instead of straight on the stern. That was it!

Bernard immediately cut loose all his warps and let Joshua run. As a big comber came up roaring behind him, Bernard would put the helm down and present Joshua's stern at about a 15 [deg] angle. The vessel would heel over sharply but respond perfectly to the rudder, and the comber would break harmlessly alongside.

He had discovered the secret of Dumas, and it had worked! From then on, the passage around the Cape was easy going.
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Old 29-03-2016, 18:07   #12
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Re: When do you put out the Drogue?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Just ran across this account of Bernard Motissier's trip round the Horn from Tahiti to the Med. His boat Joshua was a 39 ft steel doublender.

It was during the worst one of these gales, with its monstrous seas, that Bernard conceived a bold technique. After a long weary stretch at the helm, while dragging warps to prevent broaching or pitchpoling, it came to Moitessier that Joshua was essentially a trade winds vessel, entirely out of place in these latitudes. He tried to recall what Dumas had said, but could not remember. He called down to Francoise to look it up in the book.(9) The secret was there somewhere. Francoise read aloud to him. Then they came to it. Dumas had followed the Roaring Forties all around the world, not by dragging warps (the Slocum school of thought), but by carrying sail and running with the seas (the Dumas school of thought). His technique was to take the seas at an angle of 15-20 [deg] instead of straight on the stern. That was it!

Bernard immediately cut loose all his warps and let Joshua run. As a big comber came up roaring behind him, Bernard would put the helm down and present Joshua's stern at about a 15 [deg] angle. The vessel would heel over sharply but respond perfectly to the rudder, and the comber would break harmlessly alongside.

He had discovered the secret of Dumas, and it had worked! From then on, the passage around the Cape was easy going.
Thats always been a very interesting observation, arguably Motessiers greatest legacy, the concept of running fast and free, and skidding down the wave at an angle.

This was in the mid 60's and the debate about running free vs drogues has not really been propely settled, though I think series drogues are shifting things into the drogue camp for many cruisers.

Racers have had good success running fast for many years. I think the first account I read of surfing through a storm was the 79 fastnet with 'police car' keeping a storm jib on and steering around the crests as she scooted home, hot on the tails of the maxi's. Now the boats are so fast, and the control at speed is so good that they seem to not consider slowing down as an option. Though its interesting that in the 98 sydney hobart running fast didnt seem to help them much either. Now they are required to carry drogues, so it will be interesting to see how this works outin the next nasty storm to catch a big race fleet.

My own thought on Motessiers experiance is that his drogue setup wasnt optimal. Too many short ropes? Anybody got a copy to refer to? I cant remember exactly how much he had out, but from memory it was lots of shorter ropes. But it also was a terrific storm. He went around the forties 1.5 times in the golden globe and never saw anything as bad.
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Old 29-03-2016, 19:34   #13
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Re: When do you put out the Drogue?

Not sure if the original story from 2014 is refering to a boat running downwind or going to windward which I would have thought more likely , it is a news article for dirt dwellers after all.... 'running through heavy seas'....

We came down from Tonga just after that ( departed Tonga 17th July) and all the heavy weather we had ( 3 or 4 days...seemed like 3 or 4 years) was out of the SW.

I carry a 'seabrake' but have never used it.... I follow the Dumas plan... almost led to tears last trip... sometimes **** just happens.

By memory Motissier was of the habit of going a long way south. Dumas favoured more northerly crossings in all his ocean passages.... not that the weather can't still be a little bit 'ordinary'.....

Edit... just fixed the pics... Lehg II ... boat belongum Vito .. my hero
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Old 29-03-2016, 19:52   #14
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Re: When do you put out the Drogue?

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Originally Posted by DumnMad View Post
got caught by a rogue wave. // Maybe his boat was too short for these out of season conditions.
Please tell me what minimum boat length protects you from what he says happened:

"It was kind of like somebody had just taken a big scoop out of the water, and there was this big hole, and I was looking down into it.
The wave crashed straight over the top of Finn and the boat went almost into free fall off its peak."


Curious to know how you think length protects you from this.

A rogue wave / breaker hits you wrong ... it doesn't really matter what you're sailing or how good you are.
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Old 29-03-2016, 21:44   #15
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Re: When do you put out the Drogue?

^^^ about1400 feet should do it. Ive been on an 800 foot container ship that fell down the mine into a big hole.
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