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kimberlite 02-06-2001 05:43 PM

jordan series drogue
does anyone have first hand knowledge of the jordan drogue?

sailandoar 06-17-2007 02:30 PM

Inquiring minds want to know!

From Pardey website:

Series Drogues: Can They Work Like a Para-anchor?

We have had several folks ask if a Series Drogue could be used in place of a para-anchor. They also ask our opinion of this gear for storm usage. Though many people talk about series drogues we do not recall meeting anyone who has actually used them in storm situations. The series drogue appears to present a problem when it comes time to recover it. A few months ago we interviewed David Armstrong a New Zealand sailor who lay to a para-anchor for three days during a passage from New Zealand to Tahiti on his 40 foot race boat. Part of that report makes interesting reading before you consider adding a series drogue to your list of cruising gear.
David not only cruises on his own boat but voyages with Henk Haazan on his 50 foot steel Artic island exploration vessel Tiama. As the para-anchor recommended for a boat of this size is not only expensive but large and potentially difficult to handle, David generously offered to make up a series drogue which he felt could be used either over the stern or over the bow. The drogue consisted of more than 40 cones on 250 feet of 1-3/8” diameter line. Once at sea David and Henk decided to test this while running in winds of 20 knots. The series drogue did slow the boat down to about two knots and held her almost directly before the wind. But, as we have read before with the series drogues, retrieval was extremely difficult. “Six strong crew took almost 3 hours to retrieve it and we were totally exhausted even though there was only 20 knots of wind. I doubt a series drogue could be retrieved in 30 knots of wind.”

Sailing with Lin & Larry Pardey

Note: Jordan Series Drogue

Idiens 06-17-2007 04:56 PM

I wonder how the six strong folk were trying to recover it? As it was a 20 knot practice, and even if they did not set a trip line, why not stop the boat?

Valiente 06-17-2007 07:00 PM

Maybe I'm being a little dense here, but why couldn't you attach a couple of floats to the thing and just cut it loose when seas permitted? Then you can circle about and pick it up alongside with little way on.

Given the general idea is free and the fact that one can make them with six hours of effort on a sewing machine, is it ridiculous to consider them disposable post-storm? I wouldn't want to dump a para-anchor-type sea anchor (too expensive) but a Jordan series drogue is simply a hundred cloth cones on the sort of line you can easily replace.

Or am I missing something?

sailingdog 06-17-2007 10:05 PM

I have a Jordan Series Drogue for my boat. I spoke with Don Jordan regarding it and the specifications for one for my boat. He's a pretty interesting fellow to talk to.

The JSD is not designed to be used as an anchor—it is a drogue, and is designed to be deployed only from the stern of a boat. The drogue described above is a series drogue, but not a Jordan Series Drogue, as a Jordan series drogue would have a lot more cones. The JSD for my boat is one of the smaller ones and has 130 cones on 270' of line. Line would be 5/8" tapering to " for the last 75 cones.

I would not consider them "disposable" for several reasons. First, "disposing" of one violates the MARPOL international treaty. Second, chances are likely that you might need it again, and unless you've got a dozen tucked away in the bilge, disposing of it is rather stupid and foolish. Third, I also don't believe you can make one in six hours on a sewing machine. While you maybe able to make the cones in that period of time, you still require much more time to attach the cones to the line or rode.

A trip line isn't recommended for a JSD as it can interfere with the proper operation of it. Retrieving the JSD is an issue since the cones tend to open as you try to retreive it. Attaching a float doesn't really help you any, since either way, you still have to retrieve it—and it is fairly long—almost 300' on my boat if you count the bridle for it. You really just need to winch it in a bit at a time. It really isn't recommended that you recover one until the wind has basically died down quite a bit.

If you are racing, and need to get back up to speed quickly, you could always turn the boat and sail in the direction of the drogue deployment, and lift it aboard as it slackens—however, you'd have to do so quickly, as the weighted end of the JSD will tend to pull it down if the tension on it disappears. That would probably allow you to retreive it a bit more quickly, but it would take some brute force to do so. :D

A Jordan Series Drogue is a fairly bulky item... being that it is, in my case, 270' of 5/8" rope with 130 6" cones attached to it, and 15' of chain, and 40' of bridle. I doubt that anyone is generally going to be carrying more than one aboard a vessel.

sailaway21 06-17-2007 10:20 PM

I would expect that, from the Pardey's viewpoint, they would want more than a one time sea anchor or drogue. I would also speculate that they would be ready to resume sailing prior to conditions completely abating. Numerous oceanic areas are more remarkable for their brief lulls than they are for the rarity of heavy weather. Bringing 250' of line, even at diameters less than 1-3/8", back on board with the cones would be taxing and I wonder if most boats would have a capstan on board of a size to handle it complete with the cones. I'm not entirely sure you could buoy it and have it still perform it's job. The Pardey's sail without motor and so, manoeuvering about for recovery would be somewhat complicated, if even possible.

Valiente 06-17-2007 10:57 PM

Thanks for the clarifications. I didn't mean to imply that it would be a good idea to dump the series drogue, but that it would be less economically prohibitive to do so than a para-anchor style of sea anchor.

I like the idea of the Jordan series drogue due to my fairly heavy aft bollards and the fact I would need a bridle of some scope to clear my wind vane. Given my windage aft, I think if I needed to "slow down" in a following sea, this sort of drogue would provide exactly the sort of non shock loading drag I would want in a bad blow.

I have enough purchase points (a crane off the stern, various hard points to which I could lash tackle) that getting it aboard would be, if not easy, easier than on some styles of boat, hence my interest.

sailingdog 06-17-2007 11:06 PM

The bridle for a JSD is recommended that it be 2.5x the width between the attachment points IIRC.

Idiens 06-18-2007 03:43 AM

SD - Have you tried using your Jordan drogue? It was on my list until now, but if recovering it single-handed is a problem....

sailingdog 06-18-2007 08:00 AM


I have deployed it to test it... but have never had to use it in a heavy weather situation on my boat. Recovering it isn't too bad...just tedious and time-consuming IMHO.

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