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Old 21-06-2019, 11:37   #1
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Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

As if I need a reason to spend any more money on gear, I'm wondering if anyone keeps more than one drogue on board. Last year I installed chainplates and got a Jordan Series Drogue. I've practiced its deployment and I'll set it up on the rail if sailing offshore in bad weather. I can't imagine actually using it in anything less than a survival situation, though.

On the other hand, I could imagine a smaller, more easily retrieved drogue being useful in other conditions. Loss of steering, rigging, another equipment problem that needed attention, or even just severe fatigue from a long storm (assuming ample sea room).

Does anyone have a drogue on board for these purposes? If so, what kind and what would you use it for? Did you rig an adjustable bridle for steering?

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Old 21-06-2019, 11:48   #2
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Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

Some carry a small drogue for emergency steering. I carry a gale rider. I have not made a bridle, will do so if and when itís needed as it is just a line.
Itís my understanding that you run the lines to the midship cleats and then back to the winches for steering. This assumes of course that the rudder isnít bent hard over of course.
Iíve not tried it, but see no reason why it shouldnít work as advertised, however the lines apparently do need to be run to the center of the boat, being pulled from the stern isnít apparently as effective to steering as being pulled from amidships.

Now my plan in if it hits the fan is different, I plan to lay to a sea anchor.
However I think it best to have deployed it well in advance of it becoming a survival situation. I donít want to be on deck if itís that bad, and I figure the odds of getting something wrong are much better, the worse the weather is, and if I lay to anchor for a day and it didnít get that bad, so what. Iíve only lost a day or so.
My luck Iíd get the line wrapped around my ankle on deployment if I waited until it got real bad.
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Old 21-06-2019, 14:16   #3
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

One of the downsides to the Jordan drogue is that you can't reuse the deployment line. So if you have a second drogue you'll also need a second long line. Storage starts to become an issue on a typical cruising boat.
Are you planning an East about circumnavigation or extensive high latitudes passage making?
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Old 21-06-2019, 14:36   #4
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

I have been thinking about few"normal" drogues. One or two in a gale, four to unlimited in a real storm. Would not have to carry extra ropes/lines...
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Old 21-06-2019, 15:21   #5
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

I have a JSD, but if I wanted to slow down a bit in big weather to aid the autopilot/windvane, i have a 300ft line that I'd trail off the edge in a big bight.

I also have a small sea parachute I can heave-to with off the bow, I guess I could use that off the stern as well to reduce speed a bit

I probably wouldn't use either method for steering - my windvane doubles as an emergency rudder
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Old 21-06-2019, 16:21   #6
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

A drogue can be used for emergency steering, indeed, even with the rudder jammed over (been there, had that happen). I've published several articles on the topic, using several different drogues, including a fender/anchor combo.



You do NOT need a bridle for steering; the spin sheets will do very well, probably using the existing turning blocks. You do want the ropes near the widest part of the boat. On a multihull, the transom is fine. On most boat, 1/3 forward is enough. If you think about it, on a straight course it is the width that matters. Too far forward increases the chance of getting the bridle caught in the rudder, which I have done. It's a pain. Normally the drogue will be quite close behind the boat, often only 15-25 feet, since this gives better control.


Yes, for storms you do need more, but often the secondary anchor rode (nylon plus a little chain) is often just right. You don't need both at the same time! This makes it separate from the JSD.


A JSD section can be used as a steering drogue, but it is not optimal. It is designed to run deep at low speed, not 4-5 knots near the surface. Different.


Would I carry both? That really depends on where I'm going and the boat. Maybe just one or the other, maybe neither. Maybe a parachute. Big question.


---


The main thing about drogues of ALL types is that they are not idiot proof. You need to read up AND you need to test it in near gale conditions to understand it.
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Old 21-06-2019, 16:39   #7
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

on using a warp (without drogue) - to stabilize things is strong but nor survival conditions - my experience is that it works well on more traditional underbodies, on boats which do not surf easily. But that it does not do well on bigger more modern underbodies which do surf more easily - does not offer enough drag for those boats.

as to the OP's question, yes on our last boat we carried both a JSD and single element drogues. Our initial thinking was the jorden series was for those few/infrequent survival conditions, and the single elements were for when we wanted to stabilize the boat, keep going at a decent speed but stop it from surfing and reduce its yawing on big waves. The boat really liked/responded well to the single elements. And they are less work than the JSD. The single elements stow pretty compactly.

We did not carry special purpose rode for the single elements. We had extra anchor rodes and shorelines (for Chilean cove stern ties) and used those.
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Old 21-06-2019, 16:46   #8
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

I assumed that a rudder hard over would either overwhelm a drogue or if it didnít that it would pretty much stop the boat.
I guess I was wrong. Good thing cause if it were bent hard over, I have no plan on being able to clear it, but on my boat that would be very difficult to have to fail in that manner.
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Old 21-06-2019, 17:46   #9
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

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I assumed that a rudder hard over would either overwhelm a drogue or if it didn’t that it would pretty much stop the boat.
I guess I was wrong. Good thing cause if it were bent hard over, I have no plan on being able to clear it, but on my boat that would be very difficult to have to fail in that manner.
Might be a multi vs mono thing. Thinwater was testing multi dynamics. Like you, I have some difficulty seeing a drogue successfully countering a jammed over mono mainrudder. I know for a fact that a WindPilot aux rudder could not counter a jammed over main rudder (in actual ocean conditions). But I also know for a fact that a drogue will successfully help steer a mono (long distance in actual ocean conditions) with the bottom 2/3 of rudder sheared off.

I mention in actual “ocean conditions”, because decent size waves impose greater steering challenges, especially for a mono, than flat water testing.
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Old 21-06-2019, 19:17   #10
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

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Might be a multi vs mono thing. Thinwater was testing multi dynamics. Like you, I have some difficulty seeing a drogue successfully countering a jammed over mono mainrudder. I know for a fact that a WindPilot aux rudder could not counter a jammed over main rudder (in actual ocean conditions). But I also know for a fact that a drogue will successfully help steer a mono (long distance in actual ocean conditions) with the bottom 2/3 of rudder sheared off.

I mention in actual “ocean conditions”, because decent size waves impose greater steering challenges, especially for a mono, than flat water testing.

Specifically, I was considering the case of Be Good Two, a catamaran which was lost due a rudder jammed to one side.

More likely, the rudder will either shear off or jam a little one side. If jammed to the side, with a drogue or even an emergency rudder, you will probably lose some courses. You won't be able to sail to weather on one tack, for example. But consider also that the drogue can produce MORE drag than the stalled rudder (and it will be stalled if hard over), so you should still be able to steer any course under power. I tried this by not taking the drogue to the extreme beam (I tested at only 10-foot, which is reasonable for a 34' mono).


Yes, waves make a difference. In moderate conditions (10 knots or a little more) you can sail slightly to weather with a drogue. It seems implausible, but it works. But once the waves get up, keeping the bow in the "groove" becomes too difficult, and courses above a broad reach become increasingly difficult. Common sense. Under power the problems are less, but waves are still a problem.


Remember, there is no reason to believe you will be under sail the whole time. Even with limited fuel, you can still add a little boost sometimes when helpful. Even very low RPMs can add a lot of stability. Don't be a purist. Just sail when you can.


But PLEASE do not take my word for it. Take the drogue out in both fair and then somewhat nasty weather and test the common theories of drogue steering. I was quite surprised by how well it can work. You will be surprised. But it takes practice. The last time I rigged a drogue it was to demonstrate how to use the main anchor and fenders as a jury drogue for an article. It took less than 10 minutes from fetching parts to a stable course, but this because I had PRACTICED with drogues so many times I knew what would work. PRACTICE. Every boat is different, and every situation is different, just like sail trim for storms.



I tested with a variety of bridle spacings, including as narrow as 10 feet. Under power I could steer even at narrow spacing, even with the rudder over. Under sail you will also need to adjust trim if the rudder is to one side and drop the main if sailing deep.

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Old 22-06-2019, 12:16   #11
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

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But consider also that the drogue can produce MORE drag than the stalled rudder (and it will be stalled if hard over), so you should still be able to steer any course under power.

Unfortunately not in the one case I tried it 'for real'. We put the rudder into/onto rocks and it bent the shaft a little (which then jammed in the bearing) and jammed the rudder against the hull about half way over. I tried about everything I could think of, including the wind vane aux rudder and the drogue, to no positive effect. I then fabricated a jerry rig 'screw jack' and pushed the shaft down about 50mm, which freed it up and allowed steering, which worked ok except the steering and autopilot linkages were not aligned very well, and the bottom of the rudder was a bit bent, but it got us to a port with repair capability.

I will comment that this boat had a particularly big spade main rudder. I believe multi's tend to have proportionately rather smaller rudders than this one was.

Regarding power - I don't know the dynamics on a multi, but on a mono the prop wash tends to accentuates the turning moment of a rudder, so in principle makes the drogue work harder rather than easier. Now if your intended course has the wind forward, and you are heeled enough to affect hull balance, and using the power allows you to heel less (providing better hull balance and less hull turning moment), then it might possibly be a net gain. But I would just comment using power is likely not a certain gain at least on a mono.


Specifically, I was considering the case of Be Good Two, a catamaran which was lost due a rudder jammed to one side.

My memory is . . . they did not try a drogue, or have I got that wrong?

I remember I was surprised they did not push the shaft down a bit, like I did, as it seemed that would have immediately have fixed their problem.

My sense is that the owner just wanted off, and an insurance payout, because the boat had turned out to be a total piece of crap.

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Old 22-06-2019, 12:42   #12
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

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Good point on power. In my case, prop wash did not go over the rudder.


Yeah, there are always bad cases. Normally "bent over" is something that happens as part of a grounding rather than at sea. In the case of Be Good Two the quadrant was badly designed and slipped. I know a number of people who have bent rudders on the bottom. I hit a log once, but in that sort of case, the bend is generally backwards, slight, or sheared off.


I would probably have tried using a wisker pole to leverage the bridle farther out on one side. Another possibility (I have done this) is to release the quadrant and rotate the rudder so that it is crosswise. Then there is no bias. Not easy, but it worked. Slow sailing, but in the right direction.


I imagine there could be times when dropping the rudder might be the answer. That would take guts and planning, depending on the rudder tube design (is it above the waterline?). With a big spade pointing the wrong way, there may be no alternative.
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Old 22-06-2019, 15:18   #13
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

I have used car tyres wrapped in carpet as fenders--and when three of them are tied in series, they make a great drogue. Cost only a trip to a dump or "Recycling centre".

I would certainly not be fastening a drogue to any railings though. I used a long bridle which was fastened to my aft mooring cleats, with a third line tied to the apex of the bridle used to retrieve the bridle and tyres using a Genoa winch.

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Old 22-06-2019, 16:17   #14
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Specifically, I was considering the case of Be Good Two, a catamaran which was lost due a rudder jammed to one side.

More likely, the rudder will either shear off or jam a little one side. If jammed to the side, with a drogue or even an emergency rudder, you will probably lose some courses. You won't be able to sail to weather on one tack, for example. But consider also that the drogue can produce MORE drag than the stalled rudder (and it will be stalled if hard over), so you should still be able to steer any course under power. I tried this by not taking the drogue to the extreme beam (I tested at only 10-foot, which is reasonable for a 34' mono).


Yes, waves make a difference. In moderate conditions (10 knots or a little more) you can sail slightly to weather with a drogue. It seems implausible, but it works. But once the waves get up, keeping the bow in the "groove" becomes too difficult, and courses above a broad reach become increasingly difficult. Common sense. Under power the problems are less, but waves are still a problem.


Remember, there is no reason to believe you will be under sail the whole time. Even with limited fuel, you can still add a little boost sometimes when helpful. Even very low RPMs can add a lot of stability. Don't be a purist. Just sail when you can.


But PLEASE do not take my word for it. Take the drogue out in both fair and then somewhat nasty weather and test the common theories of drogue steering. I was quite surprised by how well it can work. You will be surprised. But it takes practice. The last time I rigged a drogue it was to demonstrate how to use the main anchor and fenders as a jury drogue for an article. It took less than 10 minutes from fetching parts to a stable course, but this because I had PRACTICED with drogues so many times I knew what would work. PRACTICE. Every boat is different, and every situation is different, just like sail trim for storms.



I tested with a variety of bridle spacings, including as narrow as 10 feet. Under power I could steer even at narrow spacing, even with the rudder over. Under sail you will also need to adjust trim if the rudder is to one side and drop the main if sailing deep.

Which rogue is the yellow one in the photograph?
Thanks!
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Old 22-06-2019, 16:58   #15
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Re: Another Drogue Besides Jordan Series Drogue?

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Which rogue is the yellow one in the photograph?
Thanks!
Galerider drogue.


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