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Old 11-01-2009, 18:03   #1
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Jordan Series Drogue vs Para-Anchor ?

Wondering if those who have practical experience in using one of these series drogues could relate their experiences? Many good points in the design in my opinion... ease of deployment from the cockpit, superior braking action and surge 'smoothing' if you will....

Parachute type sea anchors are a different approach (pointy end into the seas) and have their own handling challenges.

So what's the consensus?
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Old 12-01-2009, 17:57   #2
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Hal Roth gave us the wisdom of his experience in his book "How to Sail Around the World : Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail". In a section titled along the lines of 'storm management', he has two chapters on drogues & sea anchors.

Hal came across as very strongly in favour of the series drougue. Disadvantages for many modern boats would be the need for very strong anchor points on the stern. I think he said they must bear 50-60% of the weight of the boat. I believe they allow a greater rate of drift vs. sea anchors, which could be a problem with lee shores. But on many points (tank tests, shock absorbtion, ride comfort, orientation to waves, etc) he rated them as superior.

Apologies if you have read his book. I am very interested in seeing how members answer your question too ...
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Old 13-01-2009, 05:19   #3
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Jordan Series Drogues User comments


Dave Pelissier

Some user accounts:
Jordan Series Drogue


[] On Behalf Of kimberlite
Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2009 12:33 AM
Subject: RE: [Amel] New Set of Sails

Here is a video of the coast guard rescue of some of the crew of Free fall.
We heard the helicopters and c130 asking to keep an eye out for men in the
water. You can see 2 in he water and the life raft being blown all over.
One died. 4 boats abandoned.

It was the same hurricane we were in except we were further to sea with MUCH larger seas and stronger winds.

We have adjustable loops added to the bridle of the drogue to change the
angle of the stern of the boat to the seas. The cleats held up to the pull
of the drogue. To retrieve the drogue you will need a block of wood to keep
the bridle out of the Chocks. We had to hand tail the drogue into the boat
using the primary winches. You have to stop once in a while to give the
winches time to cool off .our thermal cutouts on the winches tripped a few
times. You must also hand tail most of the drogue as the lines are much
heavier than the winches were designed for. You also have to go slowly;
otherwise you will tear up the cones in the chocks or in the winch.

Life Floating By: Coast Guard Rescues 2 Mt. Pleasant Sailors

As far as I know we were the only boat that made it through the Hurricane
force wins-36 hours-from the northeast. Branson in his 90 footer had so
much damage he pulled into Bermuda. We passed him and flew past the last 2 storms. The only damage we suffered was that the tabs that hold the rear of the doghouse to the cockpit sole tore.

Considering we had it up in over 80 knots directly into the wind, it as
impressive that it held together.

I know we would have not made it with a sea anchor or any other drogue. To understand how it really works you must see it in action. Which I hope you never do. I also launched this in my 37 foot Tartan in another hurricane
years ago.

Unfortunately Mr Jordan Died a few weeks ago. He never patented the drogue or as far as I know ever made a cent from the sales of the drogue.
Rest in peace my savior.

Fair Winds,
Amel Super Maramu #376 Kimberlite

65' 18 ton sloop, center cockpit "Beyond" John Traylor
"...the series drogue kept the hull very well aligned to the seas...
at most 10 degrees of occasional yaw...Once the hull was held stern to the seas, the wild ride was much smoother.

Contest 40:
The feeling of being elastically attached to the sea itself is hard to imagine. The stern was pointed aggressively into the wind and sea. It was as if we had entered a calm harbor of refuge. With the reduction in the yacht's motion, our situation seemed not too bad.

39í Westerly Sealord, SD4 built in 1984
An email from Mike C.
Hi chaps,

you may or may not remember the will it or wont it arrive on time saga of the jordan drogue i ordered whilst in ushuaia last november (it was sent to my home address in england so's the wife could bring it out with her) , however it did arrive and boy oh boy am i glad.
There is no question about it but that jordan drogue works like a dream.
The attached is an unedited version of our story that was printed in the july 2008 issue of yachting monthly (uk).

I have been asked by a few people how i retrieved the drogue so i thought i may give you my method although i have no doubt that other people use the same.
I first tried pulling in one of the bridles by winch etc etc but that didn't work to great, i then tried using the anchor winch but that caused problems with the boat sailing from side to side and catching the droguettes, the next time i deployed the drogue i attached a polyprop line to the drogue line and then to retrieve just winched it all in over the stern. I found the centre polyprop line to be far easier to use than the bridle lines as it kept the stern central and i didnt need to release either bridle form the cleats until all the pressure was off them.
(the first time i retreived the drogue took 1 1/2 hours, once i 'd got this method sorted it took 20 minutes).
I also used floats on the bridle lines to keep them from snagging my boarding ladder and hydrovane steering sysytem.
All in all everything worked magnificently and i cannot sing the Jordan Drogues praises loud enough, many thanks Mr Jordan and many thanks Ace sailmakers, may all your wishes and dreams come true a thousand times over.

mike clelford

Brilliance left Ushuaia, Argentina, 54 49íS 68 18W, bound for Cape Town, South Africa, Saturday 15th December 2007. 2 POB
The first port of call was Puerto Williams, 54 56S 67 37W a Chilean navy base situated approximately 25 miles east of Ushuaia on the Beagle Channel. The night of the 15th was spent alongside the old navy ship the Micalvi (known as the most southern yacht club in the world) whilst we waited for the following day to clear out of South America and then head for the Falklands.

Sunday 16th December 2007
Clear customs from Puerto Williams and head east again down the beagle channel for another 35 miles or so to an anchorage called Isla Gardiner, 55 01S 66 55W

Monday 17th December 2007
Depart Isla Gardiner 14:12z

Tuesday 18th December 2007
arrive Puerto Hoppner, Islas Estados, 54 46S 64 24W, 05:00z after a night crossing of Estrecho de la Maire, using radar for entrance as pitch black and no moon.
Distance 95nm.
Spend 2 days in the anchorage waiting for a small depression to pass over.

Thursday 20th December 2007
1500z Depart Puerto Hoppner and head NE for the Falklands

Friday 21st December 2007
1840z 53 15S 61 34w

Saturday 22nd December 2007
1300z Anchor in Snug Cove, East Falkland, 52 11S 59 25W.
Distance 250nm
Had to use engine most of the way as very little wind and what there was came from the NE.
Decided to anchor here for the night as although wind was finally beginning to pick up from the SW we didnít fancy the night passage up the south east coast.

Sunday 23rd December 2007
0755z Depart Snug Cove
Arrive Stanley, 51 41S 57 52W, 2230z
Distance 70nm
Clear in with customs.

Spend Christmas and New Year in various anchorages trying to dodge the worst of the constant strong winds, change oil and filter and fill up diesel, gas and water.
Lovely time and lovely memories.

Tuesday 8th January 2008
1310z Depart Stanley bound for Grytviken, South Georgia, 800nm+

Wednesday 9th January 2008
1300z 51 53S 55 36W

Thursday 10th January 2008
1430z 52 18S 54 18W

Friday 11th January 2008
1318z 52 43S 5213W
gales were forecast for 0600z this morning but nothing as yet though the mbs are dropping quite quickly now.
1600z gales a comin storm jibs up.

Saturday 12th January 2008
1600z 52 11S 48 58W
took a lot of water over the stern last night but we were battened down and it was all over by morning, little wind now and mb rising nicely.

Sunday 13th January 2008
1343z 52 52S 46 31W

Monday 14th January 2008
1344z 52 32S 43 52W

Tuesday 15th January 2008
1000z first sighting of ice bergs
1330z 53 13S 40 57W
995mb and dropping, another blow on the way.
2100z hove to.

Wednesday 16th January 2008
1130z begin sailing again.
1330z 53 37s 39 17W
1335z starboard lower shroud breaks away, saddle at deck plate snapped, use ropes to try to secure but they keep on snapping as the forces are too great, eventually manage to use shackles.

Thursday 17th January 2008
0700z Arrive Elsehul, South Georgia, 54 01S 37 57W.
Distance 734nm 9 days

Friday 18th January 2008
At anchor Elsehul
Shower day and pyjama day.

Saturday 19th January 2008
Depart Elsehul 0945
Arrive Blue Whale Harbour 1950z 54 04S 37 01W

Sunday 20th January 2008
Depart Blue Whale Harbour 1300z
Arrive Jason Harbour 2030z 54 12S 36 35W

Monday 21st January 2008
Depart Jason Harbour 1100z
Arrive Grytviken 1400z 54 16S 36 30W

Whilst in Grytviken I replaced the starboard shroud saddle, checked all the other deck fittings and climbed the mast to check all rigging and attachments aloft. All ok.

A small but vital part on the hydrovane wind steering system broke during a blow whilst we were moored at the dock, the nice engineer at the Antarctic survey base offered to make a new one if we would do some painting in return, we were more than happy to oblige, it saved us many days and expense waiting for a new one from England.

Tuesday 29th January 2008
Depart Grytviken 1300z bound for Cape Town, South Africa, 2600nm+
Good wind from SW, 989mb and heading north to clear Antarctic convergence zone.
Dodging ice bergs.

Wednesday 30th January 2008
1330z 52 33S 35 32W SW, 993mb
still dodging icebergs

Thursday 31st January 2008
1250z 5115S 34 44W SW, 993mb
still dodging ice bergs

Friday 1st February 2008
1430z 49 25S 33 58W NW, 1002mb
notice a low developing on grib files so as the evening darkens decide to heave to for the night.
Not seen any ice today.

Saturday 2nd February 2008
1158z 48 50S 32 24W SW8+, 994mb
hove to all last night, launched Jordan Drogue at 1000z this morning, even with drogue out still moving NE at 3-4kts.
1700z Drogue brought in.
storm jib set for evening, heading E.

Sunday 3rd February 2008
1750z 47 57S 30 17W SE5+, 987mb due to start rising by 0000z
heading N.

Monday 4th February 2008
0255z 47 21S 30 08W little wind 989mb
Engine on to keep heading N as quick as possible and its lovely to be able to have the heater on and look forward to having a hot shower.
1000z NW2-3, 993mb,
Engine off, main and genoa out, lovely sailing.

Tuesday 5th February 2008
1400z 46 01S 29 00W N 986mb
heading ENE

Wednesday 6th February 2008
1340z 44 58S 28 25W W5, 1000mb
heading NE

Thursday 7th February 2008
0845z 43 52S 27 34W, N5-6 increasing, 1009mb
heading SE, pressure due to continue to drop all day.
1610z 1002mb NW7-8+ Jordan Drogue deployed.
1730z aerogen wind generator complete blade assembly blown off.
(there is a bolt that holds the assembly onto the shaft, because of the wind strength I can easily uderstand the bolt becoming loose even though I had used loctite on it but there is also a pretty heavy duty spring clip on the end of the shaft and I cannot imagine the force involved to dislodge that, its difficult enough using the proper tool)
2200z 999mb NW8+

Friday 8th February 2008
0500z 44 08S 26 35W W8+ 1001mb
2100z 44 05S 25 54W W7-8 1009mb

Saturday 9th February 2008
0100z 44 03S 25 45W NW6-7 1011mb
0900z 43 58S 25 30W W5 1016mb
1411z 43 54S 25 22W W3-4 1019mb
1500z Drogue recovered.

Sunday 10th February 2008
1000z 43 02S 24 07W W3-4 1017mb
1500z 43 00S 23 40W NW6-7+ 1015mb
Jordan Drogue deployed.
1800z 43 04s 23 40W W 8+ 1011mb

Monday 11th February 2008
0530z 43 24S 23 09W W8+ 1000mb
0935z 43 31S 22 60W 998mb
1309z 43 33s 22 51W 999mb
1630z Drogue recovered.

Tuesday 12th February 2008
0430z Jordan drogue deployed
0512z 43 05S 2217W S8+ 1002mb
1112z 42 50S 22 21W 1017mb
1647z 42 44S 22 25W 1022mb

Wednesday 13th February 2008
0640z 42 27W 22 17W SW5-6 1028mb
wind decreased considerably, went on deck to recover Dogue.
Swell and seas too confused for recovery so went below to wait awhile, within 2 minutes of going below there was a loud bang, on deck the D part of the lower starboard rigging deck plate had sheared at the bolts and the starboard lower shroud was whipping back and forth like a viper on steroids. I quickly attached the spinnaker pole topping lift to the centre cleat and tried to tie the swinging shrouds bottle screw with ropes to same but the ropes kept breaking as soon as a new one was tied, iris went below and got the spare shackles bag. This whole new nightmare was a replay of a couple of weeks ago except this time the deck plate had gone and there was nowhere to attach the shroud to. The mast was now bending like a deranged banana and jumping up and down off the deck with me holding on to the shroud for all I was worth, the motion of the boat wasnít helping as each time it rolled to starboard I was slowly rolling off the side of the boat, although I had clipped myself on I was still getting very close to a salt water bath. Iris was able to hand me the largest shackle which I attached to the saddle of the swinging shroud and then with lucky timing and numerous attempts I was able to attach this to the cap shroud deckplate. The shroud was now temporarily secured but for how long was anybodys guess, because of the angles of attachment it would constantly be under stress. I also attached the spinaker pole topping lift to this point as the centre cleat was starting to bulge out of the deck (cleats are designed for horizontal forces not vertical), for now, things were secure.
We both sat in the cockpit looking up at the mast which had taken on a strange twisted bendy look and were very grateful it had at least happened at a time when we could see what we were doing.
Then we noticed that just where the shroud attached to the mast it was beginning to shred the wires, I considered trying to climb the mast and wrap ropes around the spreaders and back down to the deck but apart from the practical difficulty of that particlular manouvere there was nothing strong enough to tie them to on the deck anyway.
I went to each shroud and stay attachment and straightened the split pins so they would be easier to pull out, we readied the bolt cutters, hacksaw and honda generator/electric grinder, iris cut all the sheets and halyards at the mast and in the cockpit, when the mast goes we may at least have a chance of it going straight over with as little input as possible from ourselves.
The next problem would be, no mast, no comunication as thatís where the SSB aeriel is attached.
If a mast breaks or goes over the side of a boat thatís bad, but if, as is very possible, it goes over the side and puts a hole in the side or hull of the boat, thatís very very bad (this is a plastic/grp boat).
After an hour or more of sitting in the cockpit and watching the mast with bated breath every time the boat rolled on its sides (the winds had died down considerably by this time but the swell was still huge and the waves were very confused) we had debated all the possibilties and unknowns we could think of. As we were smack bang in the middle of the South Atlantic we did not expect any help or rescue but we did want to at least let our predicament be known (so family would know where we went down) and so with a feeling of embarrasment, sadness and emptiness in our stomachs we activated the Electronic Positioning Radio Beacon.
We also tried to call on all the distress frequencies using hf radio but had no luck with any contact. Fortunately I had an email facility (SAILMAIL) using hf radio, digital transmissions tend to be far stronger than voice transmission so I looked up the email address of Falmouth Coastguard and sent a mayday by email. The only problem with this type of communication is it generally takes about 1.5 hrs to receive a reply, I have to send the email to a shore station which then sends it on to the receiving station who then replies to the shore station who then sends it back to the ship.
The mayday was sent at 1146z

Reply received 1405z

We have received your distress message & an EPIRB activation alert.
All details have been passed to Argentina in whose rescue area your position is.
We are speaking to UK authorities in the Falklands to see if there are any assets that can assist.
We will continue to speak to all authorities in an effort to assist you.
What comms do you have on board, including satphone details ?
What lifesaving apparatus do you have on board ?
What are your intentions?
What are your weather conditions?
Falmouth Coastguard
+ 44 1326 317575

Sent 1506z

ssb radio but not for long as mast about to collapse i have jury rigged as best i can and am continually assessing anything else i can do to save it but it is gonna come down sooner or later
vhf radio plus handset
liferaft, flares.
intend to stay on boat as long as possible the only problem is when the mast goes it may put a hole through her grp, ive tried to get things ready to cut away but its not an exact science.
this email connection is very poor as i have to rely on propogation and nobody else being on the freq. please contact sailmail and tell them the situation or they may cut me off anytime as i will be using to much of their airtime.
i lose this facility also when the mast falls down.
do you have a ssb voice frequency i can use?
the emails generally take about 1.5 hrs to go back and forth as it is sent via hf radio.
wx sw4/5 mod sea

ps. we have the castle beach cafe just below falmouth cg so bacon butties all round if we get out of this one and are open for the summer.

Received 1722z

Mayday Yacht BRILLIANCE M E V V 5.
This is Falmouth Coastguard.
We are receiving updates on your position from the EPIRB.
The Tanker WAFRAH C6VX6 is proceeding to your assistance eta 24-28 Hours.
The Tanker will use VHF radio CH 16 - to call when close to your position, ensure you keep your handheld radio with you if it is necessary to abandon
but stay with your vessel for as long as is possible.
Meanwhile to use SSB radio call;
TAUPO Radio ( New Zealand) callsign Z L M on frequencies 8291 mHz, 12290 mhz, 16420 mHz.
or Cape Town Radio who are listening on frequency 4125 kHz & respond on 4417Khz or listen 8255kHz & respond on 8779Khz.
They also maintain a distress watch on 12290 Khz
Either will relay any information to us at Falmouth. This can be used for routine calling to establish contact or if the situation deteriorates.
Could we also have the details of your liferaft - colour, size, canopy ? ballast pockets?

MRCC Falmouth

Sent 1821z

many thanks for the info.

i had already been trying those frequencies all to no avail but i am very grateful that your email confirms that at least i had the correct frequencies set.
the liferaft is a zodiac, black hull with orange canopy, 6 man, water ballast pockets, though we will try to load it with as much weight as possible to stabilize it as there are only 2 of us.
i am not sure how long the battery will last on the epirb, its a tron 40s, should i turn it off and then turn it on every hour for 5 minutes or so, maybe that would save the battery? we should maintain our present drift as the wx is predicted to remain same for a day or 2.
if all else fails thanks for trying
mike and iris

sy brilliance

From Argentine Coast Guard received 2025z

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:39 PM

Falmouth CG received 2029z

This is Falmouth Coastguard.
Leave the EPIRB activating as it provides an accurate updated position. The battery should last for a minimum 72 hours.
The Captain of the WAFRAH is updated on the situation, he is preparing the crew & equipment for recovery.
The Captain is British so comms, when he passes instructions to recover you, will be no problems.
The ETA of the WAFRAH at your position is 1800UTC on 14 Feb.
Have passports and documents ready to go with you. Next port is Longbeach California.
Stay positive, assistance is on its way.
Duty officer MRCC Falmouth

Sent 2038z

many thanks again for the info.
thanks to you we have hope.
mike n iris

sy brilliance

Sent 2051z

i have received this email from the argentine sar but i do not understand what they want from me, please advise, though i do not think i will be able to receive email much longer.
<----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:39 PM

Received 2302z

Received your last email.
MRCC Argentina now have co-ordination of this MAYDAY. They request the present weather conditions.
MT WAFRAH is proceeding to you, ETA 141900UTC.
Leave your EPIRB ON - it will help to locate your vessel.
If you need to abandon to your liferaft, take the EPIRB with you and a portable radio. Also try to send a final message via email.
Good luck
Duty Officer
MRCC Falmouth

Thursday 14th February 2008
0840z 42 10S 21 54W W3-4 1027mb
1110z 42 08S 21 49W W3-4 1027mb

Received 1136z 14th Feb

Good morning,
1. MT WAFRAH is still proceeding to your position at 17kts. Request an update on your situation including your latest position and weather conditions. I am able to confirm that your EPIRB is working well.
Best regards
MRCC Falmouth

Sent 1221z

14th feb 1148z
good morning,
hf reception very poor this morning.
pos: 42 07s 021 48w
wx: 1027mb, sw 3/4, mod sea.
amazingly still have mast, fortunate because of relativey calm wx,
basically shaken but not yet stirred
all well aboard
mike n iris

1330z 42 04S 021 45W W3-4 1027mb

1330z The next communication we heard was over the vhf radio, it was the tanker WAFRAH and they were calling another ship whos name we couldnít make out, it was surprising we heard them at all as they were still 60nm away and our vhf aeriel had been blown away.
1620z spoke to WAFRAH who advised us that another ship PAN VOYAGER was also on its way
1720z 42 00S 021 45W W3-4 1026mb
1749z vhf contact made with Pan Voyager, ETA 1hr.
1811z PAN VOYAGER in sight, 8nm west.
The sight of PAN VOYAGER brought a mixture of emotions, we were relieved that help was at hand but deeply saddened that we would be leaving BRILLIANCE, to all appearances there was nothing wrong with her, but a cursory inspection of the rigging showed that the starboard lower shroud was hanging on by a thread, spider webs were appearing around all the deck plates and every now and then a sharp, heart stopping, cracking sound could be heard. It was amazing that the mast had stayed up for so long, we had been very very fortunate with the weather/wind for the past 35 hours, whilst there was still a 4-5 meter swell the confused seas had died down the rolling motion had eased considerably and the decks were no longer awash though the mast was still lifting from the deck every now and then.
1930z PAN VOYAGER hove to and BRILLIANCE motored up to a ladder that had been thrown over the side, we had prepared a couple of grab bags with basics in case we had to take to the liferaft and these were hoisted up by the crew above us, then Iris had to make a leap for the ladder only to find that during the time from when she left BRILLIANCE the swell had dropped about 14 feet and she was hanging on for dear life, within the next 10 seconds BRILLIANCE was coming back up towards her like a
ballistic missile, the entire crew above had covered their eyes and my heart stopped as Iris deftly stepped back aboard BRILLIANCE like someone stepping off a high speed train without a care in the world. Another 2 heart stopping attempts were made before she finally made it and clambered up to the deck above.
Then came the real heartbreak, I went below switched off the EPIRB, cut open all the sea water pipe inlets and opened the seacocks, with seawater gushing in I took a last look around at my dear ship and wondered if I had really done all I could to save her. The answer is yes, the mast could not of stood up to any more violent rolling and another storm was on its way, if I didnít leave the ship now then it wouldnít be long before I didnít have a choice, we were slap bang in the middle of the South Atlantic ocean and a lot of people had gone to a lot of trouble to come and get us. There was nowhere for me to tie any ropes to to keep the mast up and obvious signs of wear and tear were becoming more apparent every minute. I closed up the hatches stood once more at the wheel to steer her into the PAN VOYAGER then made a mad dash out of the cockpit and leapt over the guardrail as the swell took her up to what I hoped was the highest point on the ladder, it seemed to work as I soon found myself being hauled up on deck by many helping hands.

I havenít mentioned in the log the countless times we were pooped or the countless times we were knocked down, reason being is it happened so often it stopped becoming a novelty. The wind speeds mentioned were taken from grib files of the time as my anenometer had blown off years ago, I would estimate/know they were considerably higher than stated.

The liferaft had been serviced in Ushuaia and already had flares, water, torch, mirror, radar reflector, medical kit and emergency thermal blankets in it but we made up two grab bags with items rated for importance.

1st bag (waterproof), all extra flares, 2 thermal blankets, 2L water, handheld gps, binoculars, 2 toilet rolls (the wifes idea), fishing line and lures, survival handbook (if nothing else it would be something to read), 2 tins heinz baked beans, 2 tins ham. There was no significance to the amount of food, it was all we could fit in, if we had to abandon to the liferaft I doubt we would of lived long enough to of eaten it anyway.
2nd bag (large laundry bag) clothes, 4L water, 4 tins baked beans, 2 tins ham. 4 books.
Fortunatley we didnít need the 1st bag but it was handy to be able to take the 2nd bag on to the Pan Voyager.

In our pockets we carried handheld vhf, compass, passports.

As a pilot I always used to walk around the aircraft and check that everything worked and was screwed or bolted on as it should be, fuel was good, engine was good, oil was good, radios and electrics all good.
I do exactly the same with a boat but sometimes bad things happen and when they do it helps if, when on passage, you always have your toolbox and all spares/shackles/splitpins/hoseclips etc. easily accessible, if things go wrong you donít have time to rummage around under the bunk and you wont be entertaining guests so sitting on a screwdriver wont be a problem.

I normally sail singlehanded and so try to be ready for any thing. My wife Iris was with me on this voyage ostensibly because she Ďsaidí she wanted to visit South Georgia (she later told me she had a bad feeling about the trip when I first mentioned it last year and didnít want me to be on my own) I would not of managed without her, she kept a cool head and great presence of mind all through the experience.

To all the people involved, Coast Guards, Wafrah, Pan Voyager, Sailmail, I could not, in a million years, convey enough thank yous.

I am now looking for another boat to continue the journey, most people think the forestay is the most likely to break and so fit an emegency forestay, as I had, (the westerly also has a baby stay), but after this experience i will make sure the next boat has at least 2 lowers each side.
I will never leave a port without a Jordan series drogue either.

Brilliance was a 39í Westerly Sealord, SD4 built in 1984, I had owned her since 1995.
All new rigging in í97, a new starboard lower shroud had also been fitted in 2002.

If you have any questions that arise from this article please contact yachting monthly and I will answer them in the next issue.

Hi Dave,
I can use something like this to cheer the old man up once in a while. Cheers, Don (Jordan)

----- Original Message
Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2008 10:51 PM
Subject: The Jordan Drogue

Dear Mr. Jordan,
I'm a former pilot and still sail, and am writing to you to express both my amazement and thanks for the marvelous thinking which created the Jordan drogue. Year after this we will return to sea with a different boat, and definitely with a Jordan drogue. I would be mad to leave shore without a Jordan drogue. Far into the future sailors are going to be singing your praises.
Best Regards, John

2 hurricanes a few storms
been in hurricane georges and michelle in my tartan 37.
also in a VERY bad storm in about 2001 3 lows came together-weathermen said to stop and do not go further north in our tartan 37.
wound up with the jordan series drogue out (worked like a charm) about 500 miles south of bermuda. when the srorm was over 7 boats were abandoned. after that 2 water spouts and 2 more gales before reaching bermuda.
this november we were heading to the carib from newport just south of the stream. . we were sailing in 50+ knots on our Amel as was my friend
bill in a 64 Oyster. he was hit with a microburst , which he feels was over 100 knots. knocked down, main destroyed, dodger and bimini mia.
made it to bermuda and ordered new sail.

we dont count Gails it is common to run into one in november or late april in the atlantic.
fair winds
Amel Super Maramu

charlie--jordan series drogue

on my tartan we fastened the drogue to the primary winches and it worked fine.
i know jordan suggests straps on the stern- but when it gets to drogue time i doubt you want to be hanging over the stern. i have the new drogue for my amel set up to attach to my stern cleats and use rolling hitches to adjust the bridle with the primary winches.
the ride on the tattan with the jordan series drogue was smooth and we were only pooped twice by a couple of humongous breaking waves.Nothing would have helped in those conditions.

I am suspicious of the worth of the gail rider and others as they rely on one device. if it pops out of the water you are screwed. watching the jordan working was amazing some of it was in the water some was out but always a constand pull on the bridle and no tugging or jerking of the boat. i doubt one device would behave the same way.
incidentally I had installed 2 inch scuppers in the tartan 37 and the cockpit drained quickly. once i was in the cockpit once i was below. quite an interesting experience to be rolled over by a wave.
fair winds,
Amel Super Maramu


i forgot to mention the retreival.
when the wind dropped to 40 knots the boat started rocking swiftly from beam to beam. Very uncomfortable. We were told by herb to stay where we were and not to head further north (7 boats were abandoned to our North). when morning finally came i called ACE sailmakers and asked Dave about the rolling--he had no answer. he said to call mr jordan (on the sat phone) I discussed the problem with Mr Jordan--he sounded like a very old man. he finally said "i know what the proiblem is" i asked what is it . he said " not enough wind" we all got a chuckle out of that.

later we retreived the drogue. it was rather easy. as the boat rolled we pulled in the drogue when it was slack on a primary winch. when the boat rolled back it tightened up the drogue and when it rolled back we had more slack, i never had to winch it in the rolling and pulling made it simple. it took about 20-30 minutes to pull it all in.

fair winds,

SeaRunner Multihull:

I spent months making it, but I don't regret a minute of the work because it saved our SeaRunner, and us on our maideN sea passage from Florida to the Virgin ISLANDS.
The Jordan Series Drogue deployed easily and smoothly and immediately slowed us from 8 knots to .6 knots under bare poles.

Our strongly built stern lifted easily and smoothly in the oncoming water.
An occasional breaking wave dumped several QUARTS of seawater
in around the window gasket.

Although the rushing and pounding noises were terrific below, we were able to rest because the movement of the boat was quieter regular and predictable.
The pressure on the drogue line alternated rhymmically between the 2 arms of the bridle, the tension was surprisingly light and the winches could be adjusted easily.
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Old 14-02-2009, 03:41   #4
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My family and I were sailing from Hawaii to Alaska in our 48' ketch when we were hit by a 986mb low. Winds were steady at about 40 knots with gusts to 50. Obviously, not hurricane conditions but relatively intense for the 5 of us, just the same. We deployed a Para-Tech 18' sea anchor off our bow and rode out the gale that way. Our experience became a chapter in Steve and Linda Dashew's book, Surviving the Storm Surviving the Storm: Coastal & Offshore Tactics. I have never tried the Jordan drogue.

I felt that, for our situation, the sea anchor was a prudent choice. While we weren't exactly comfortable as we sat through the storm, we did feel safe for the conditions we were experiencing. Obviously, I do not know how things would be had the wind increased significantly. The biggest drawback to the sea anchor, in my opinion, was it's retrieval. Major pain in the ass. Dangerous, too. Once we arrived in Sitka, Alaska, I was talking with some of the local Coast Guard guys and they said that they frequently see people just abandon their sea anchor rather than fight to get it back on board.

Good luck with your decision and I hope, regardless of which model you choose, that you never have to use it.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 14-02-2009, 04:25   #5
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Thanks for the replies.
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Old 30-10-2011, 20:17   #6
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Re: Jordan Series Drogue vs Para-Anchor?

Anyone got some comments / experience with the Para-Anchor? I read the article about Zero Gravityīs action in the Tasman, but would love to get some more feedback.
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anchor, drogue

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