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Old 07-09-2012, 12:55 AM   #21
Join Date: Sep 2004
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Gone Troppo
Posts: 103

On Gone Troppo we hove to with just the main up, the number of reefs in depends on the wind at the time. Normally the main is way out but we sometimes tighten the sheet to change the angle to find the most comfortable ride. This works well for squalls and to have a time out to relax and think. With practice it gets really easy to start sailing again.
It does not work when the wind really gets up as in a TRS, the sail just starts to really flog itself to death and as the wind comes in amazing gusts all sorts of woes may happen. We had to go from hove-to to a parachute anchor(at night) in a TRS, it took several hours, but once the sail was down and away it was OK for the next couple of days. The wind and current were in agreement so the seas were not too bad, and we went backward in the desired direction at (from memory)about 2 knots first day and 4 knots on the last. When the wind dropped(<50) the parachute was not as hard to recover as we thought it would be.
The parachute line was 16mm nylon and about 200 meters long. It suffered stress damaged and had many hard lumps where it had been heat stressed.

Happy Sailing,


Crowther Windspeed 36

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Old 10-23-2014, 05:18 AM   #22
Giellie's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2014
Home Port: Jeffrieysbay
Vessel Name: Symphony
Posts: 7

Drogues seems to be a good solution and I am of opinion that when one do an extended cruise any or all safety precautions would be a non negotiable. I have heard that parachutes was also very effective in keeping a boat stable in a storm but never actually used nor have it.

I have a overkill drogue suitable for a 50' cat ready to deploy in seconds connected to 2 bollards stored in a box aft. In the cockpit I have two drain grits to drain any water from wave hit which I bought at the St Francis marine boat yard.

I know that this configuration could amplify a following seas fill up but weighing the option I concluded that empting the cockpit from a wave water ASAP would be preferable and less risky than following seas.

Last but not least I had the cockpit saloon door reinforced to withstand a big bang from a large wave and just in the event the door did not hold I installed a pool pump on a remote start control with a moveable 40mm pipe that really pump water at a great speed.

I found these preparations not to be too expensive, excluding the drogue, but generally the question is, can there be a set price for safety?
Fair winds and safe sailing!

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Old 10-23-2014, 01:32 PM   #23
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,912

Hi Giellie and welcome aboard. I wonder about your drogue. There can be problems with those which are designed for a bigger boat. If the drogue is too oversized, the boat may be slowed too much in a following sea. If the boat is moving at say four knots it can be steered. If it is slowed to below two knots there may be insufficient water flowing past the rudders to allow for any steering; this will mean you have to go below, wedge yourself in and leave the boat to battle on its own.

I believe a towed drogue is traditionally used to slow the boat sufficiently to allow continued control as the big seas roll forward beneath the hull.

Best wishes
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 10-23-2014, 01:53 PM   #24
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Home Port: Jeffrieysbay
Vessel Name: Symphony
Posts: 7
Default Drogue

Hallo Ausie,

Thanks for the welcome and yes indeed, I neglected to say that I have removed some of the pouches as exactly that you described, happened. In fact it kept me at almost a standstill.

Thanks for noticing that and allowing me to rectify what I have actually done to the drogue after I tested it.


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