Thank you! My impression was always that my Westsail 32 was hove to better with the backed staysail... I also remember that she would ride much smoother with the staysail backed as much as possible.. I even ended up using a 3 part purchase block and tackle between the staysail clew and a stanchion base to bring the staysail as close to windward as possible.. but that's just my experience with my particular boat.. not necessarily what I'd recommend on other boats..
I'm not sure if having a bigger or smaller parachute would have a made a difference.. I think that the construction was just too light... With military surplus parachutes I also worry that they parachute might just collapse and get fouled in the water without me realizing it... That did happen to me once..
Just before I sold my Westsail 32 I purchased a Gale Rider drogue made mostly of webbing and was impressed by how good the construction seemed. I couldn't imagine it being ripped apart or getting fouled.. But I never got to use it..
It was really hard to not damage the JSD cones in the jib sheet winch when retrieving it, and i did end up having to sew quite a few of them back together.. I'm awestruck by HAL Roth's JSD Retrieval idea that I see in smackdaddy's last post here... I can't imagine that the cones could get damaged in my anchor bow roller or windlass.. WICKED COOL!!!
How come I never thought of that?!? Wow!!!