Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Thanked 36 Times in 33 Posts
Rep Power: 14
Re: Sea anchor or Drogue
Yep drogues/sea anchors and anchors is about the same, there will be differing opinions which will all be right for the people who hold them.
Personally I will never lie bow-on to a sea anchor for reasons of steering gear already mentioned. My probably naive view is that if the boat is moving with the weather no matter how slowly, it has to be better than standing still and taking what comes.
Having had a 35ft swell break and send 10ft of white water onto my boat, I wonder about the ability of a parachute to stop the boat going backwards and threatening the steering systems.
Bare poles is no good - my boat easily does 9 knots downwind under bare poles on 75+ knots (been there) and at that speed it surfs. There are some on this board that say they love surfing their boats but a 44ft boat taking off down a swell of unknown but obviously very large proportions in the dead of night takes a very stout heart, better than the one I have.
So for me it's a drogue that keeps the boat at 4 - 5 knots, stops it from surfing and allows me to travel with the forces that are threatening to kill me rather than wait around for them to achieve it. Drogues are also easier to recover than parachutes - I am putting a small capstan on the aft deck for this purpose. I'm getting too old to manually recover either.
I wouldn't know where to stow a tyre wrapped in chain - I have 140 metres of 30mm line (old superyacht jib sheet) with big knots tied every 10 metres. It slows my boat from 10 knots to an stable, manageable 4. Frankly, I don't know where I'm going to stow that either but it is a lot less agricultural.
Different strokes, different folks, there will no doubt be many who disagreee with the above - I don't care.
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