"Speaking of old boats, drogues, trailing warps, etc. I've read accounts of cruising done 40 to 80 years ago where the cruiser talks about trailing x many hundred feet of line, or trailing 2 lines of x many feet long or even 3 lines of x many feet long. I've not heard any recent accounts of doing this--is it still done? Or, have all cruisers sensibly gone onto the use of drogues, sea anchors....and spare tires?
I ALWAYS trail at least one line when offshore, It's knotted about every six feet or so with a couple of small loops big enough to stick your hand (second to last) and foot (the last one)thru at the end. Gives a MOB a fair shot at staying close to the boat while you scream your head off for the off deck watch.
On one my boats it was possible to rig it thru a shock cord to the tiller, when you jerked it, it was enough to pull the tiller over causing the boat to round up. On my big boat had a hydraulic wheel. Harder to rig, Fixxed it to pull the wheel off course hopefully putting it into circle eventually bringing the boat to a stop one way or another. In a blow bad enough to run from, I try to warp from the two stern cleats, with a bight as I posted before. This is enough to ensure your tail end doesn't swap places with the bow. In a bad news storm, u need to gauge what speed works best for the conditions (I'm a "runner" when it gets bad news...lots easier on crew and craft assuming you have a clear field to run ...if you are on a lee shore, you got a bigger problem ). When you need more than the bight gives you, a tire with 3 or 4 wraps around the tread will give you more drag... if you REALLY wish you had a reef to hook onto, then set your tire up before hand with a 4 or 5 point bridle , 3 or 4 wraps at each point then terminating into a central steel ring. Tie your rode into that to minimize chafe. Steel on steel works best so a shackle thru an eye onto the ring will serve you well. you can have that set up in advance so you can either go for the wraps on the perimeter or the center ring as conditions require. Set up in a bridle, be advised this is serious droguishness you're laying out, so make sure your warp and cleats are up to it. As the previous poster pointed out. Samsons at the aft quarters and one on the bow are darned useful, especially if you have to tow or be towed. I'll leave it to the CG or ex CG's here to tell some good 'almost successful tow" stories.