Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
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Re: What strategy do you employ when using a drogue
The obvious purpose of a drogue is to slow the boat so that it doesn't surf uncontrollably which is again obviously most important with a big sea.
If you have achieved the slowing of the boat, my approach is to sail as close to my desired course and make some ground. this may be done with some sail up or if the wind is really boisterous, under bare poles.
The course would preferably be not too close to beam-on because if a wave breaks alongside you, the white water will be enough for at least a knockdown and in really heavy conditions, a roll-over, both of which are best avoided.
If you have a quartering sea you may have some challenging helming to deal with and if you're running directly ahead of a following sea you stand the chance of being pooped. Both conditions can be a little scary but they're better than the alternatives described earlier.
The bigger issue for me is recovering the drogue.
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