Originally Posted by Newport41
I know there are lots of varieables like multiple wave fronts but which is most likely to survive the longest and roughest weather? I think that this will boil down to opinions but I've stated mine and I'd like to hear everyone elses.
It's the variables that determine the answer. Some boats don't have the deck gear to comtemplate either, as the forces on chocks and extrusions and winches are considerable.
Other boats will want to run if they can present a stern quarter to the seas (and the size and period of the wave fronts will have a huge effect). Compare a tradition narrowish or canoe-ended transom with a sugar scoop stern, for instance. A different approach to running and steering down waves, not to mention the tendency of certain bow entries to "submarine", is going to make that call for you.
It's like heaving to versus lying a-hull...some boats can't handle one or the other or even either, so there's no use debating a technique meant to save one's boat when one's boat can't attempt it.
I would say in the broadest of generalities that for boats that can run and trail warps or drogues from the stern quarters, that the Jordan series drogue seems to be developing good "real world" reputation. The sea anchor off the bow seems to work better with more race oriented boats, but those can also likely clear the danger area a little faster and work to windward naturally.
See Hal Roth's books (he has a lot of experience), Practical Sailor's tests and "Heavy Weather Sailing" for more. Other than that, go out in rough but not survival conditions and try out different things. You'll get wet and you may find out weak spots in your gear, but you'll probably learn a lot about your particular boat.