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Old 09-08-2013
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Re: series drogue or para anchor?

[QUOTE=Omatako;1085635]With respect, you're either very brave, have really low survival instinct or have a real slow boat. At between 7 and 9 knots downwind with a 30ft following sea, I don't need white water to get my boat surfing - the boat takes off. And when there is no white water, you don't have any idea when that is going to happen. Until you're doing 15 knots into the trough. No thanks, not for me.
With respect, I don't think it's either a matter of being "very brave, have really low survival instinct or have a real slow boat"; when you are out there, you are out there, and there's not much one can do but survive.
As for white water, every monohull I've been on was way too heavy to "surf" the white water, they would virtually sink to the gunnels or more, slowing the boat enough for the wave to pass under. The surfing was done before the white water arrived and going across the wave face and it, I believe, kept me from driving her bow into the bottom of the wave and pitch poling, though I never tried it to find out. You are never going to have a cruising monohull that will outrun the waves, so it becomes necessary to work out a safe way to allow them to pass by.
I would wholeheartedly agree, "No thanks, not for me"; I hope never to have to experience that again. I was in my 30's; very much younger than I am now, with a lot more endurance. I've surfed many a boat for short periods and that is not quite the same thing as I am talking about. To be quite frank, in those conditions, I was not checking my knot meter and noting the speed, I had other, much more important things occupying me. The longest I had to actually steer was 22 hours, not that bad for a 30 something guy in pretty good shape.

As for "Oh and a cockpit is generally not more than about 4 cubic metres in volume which is less than 4 tons. And if my cockpit drains can't cope with that then in New Zealand I would not get a Cat 1 cruising clearance - they wouldn't let me leave."
I think it very much depends on the wave period.
The Atlantic is quite different from the Pacific, in wave period and shape. I'm not saying that the Pac has kinder storms than the Atlantic, only different. Having sailed from Fiji to NZ, to Oz and back up to the SoPac islands, I've had my share of pretty unpleasant weather in your area. There is a reason why the NZ coast is called the "iron coast". Had I been older and wiser I would not have delivered that cold molded 36' Kiwi boat to OZ from Auckland. No way that boat should have been sailed outside Auckland harbour in hindsight, even though it was certified for ocean racing, if I remember right.
Try a drogue and if it doesn't help, then cut it loose and try w/o. I'm not saying not to use them, only recounting my experiences with them and my preferences.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.

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