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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #441  
Old 03-04-2011
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I for one am sick of SD's condescending smarmy attitude. Yes I understand he does not have a life, but come on. Does the guy actually have any experience himself? If anyone tries to challenge his opinion he goes off the deep end!
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  #442  
Old 03-04-2011
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Should Smack and SD be on Celebrity Death Match.
I know who my monies on.
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  #443  
Old 03-04-2011
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I guess I'm not in the "bulk" of the forum population, because I disagree with that assesment.

I've definitely decided that I will no longer pay the price of wading through SD's condescencion and sanctimoniousness for access to his knowledge.

He uses the word "stupid" as a pronoun an awful lot, even when no one has insulted him and he gets away with it, because he's supposedly this infallible oracle of sailing knowledge. If any of the rest of us did this, we'd be on probation for sure.

It's obvious that he has years of sailing experience which is wonderful, but it also appears that he doesn't sail much or at all anymore (unless he's posting at sea via a satellite connection) as evidenced by his ever-swelling post count, even during sailing season.

I think the least I'd like to see here, is equal treatment under the rules. The rest of us get put in our place when we step out of line, and the next time I see a veteran member calling someone "stupid" for voicing a dissenting opinion, I'd like to see that person reminded of the rules as well.

As a self-appointed moderator, and major contributing member, he really sets a poor example to the new people sometimes.
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Last edited by BubbleheadMd; 03-04-2011 at 08:35 PM.
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  #444  
Old 03-04-2011
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Total agreement with above posts. Also am tired of monos continually being referred to as leadmines. Make a comment about a certain tri and you will be censored. (right Jeff H)
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  #445  
Old 03-05-2011
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Okay, so back to the JSD. As I said, I've been reading the Hal Roth book mentioned above and it has some very interesting (and complimentary) takes on the JSD.

As for the "you only deploy under bare poles" dictum above, this seems to not be so cut and dried according to the experts. So be careful. For example, Roth cites numerous examples where boats deployed the JSD while running with a headsail to maintain directional stability. One example of this was Egress II, a Discovery 42 that was caught in a 5-day Force 10 storm near Tonga. They kept the headsail up as they deployed, then doused it shortly after. They did fine. Then you also have Jeanne's mention of Tony Gooch who said:

Quote:
He told me that before he deploys it he could well be running under a headsail (probably staysail) alone.
And, though most of the examples of the JSD usage on the JSD website mention that those boats were, in fact, running under bare poles at deployment, it does not seem to be any kind of "requirement", or even recommendation, in the actual instructions for launch:

Jordan Series Drogue - Launching and Retrieval

Quote:
One of the design objectives of the drogue is that it may be launched with one hand under storm conditions without leaving the cockpit and that it will not foul even if the boat is rolling or yawing. This capability has convincingly been confirmed as described in Performance at Sea.

To prepare for instant launching, the drogue is faked down with the bridle end at the bottom of the bag and the bridle legs led up the sides and fastened to the attachments at the corners of the transom. The weight (chain) is at the top of the bag.

To launch the drogue, the chain is dropped overboard and the drogue permitted to feed out. Within a few minutes, the drogue will gently take hold with no abrupt deceleration.

Through many launchings the drogue has never fouled. In fact, this launching capability has probably saved the lives of a number of sailors.
So what's the big deal about bare-poles- or sail-up-deployment? According to Roth, it's all about the design of the boat and the timing of the deployment (i.e. - the conditions). His 4 "on-boat" tactics in order are as follows:

1. Reefing sails (Force 6)
2. Heaving-to (Force 7)
3. Lying a-hull (Force 8)
4. Running off (Force 9)

So in his method, bare poles come third. But he cautions that this method can be dangerous depending on the design of the boat, its windage, and the conditions (e.g. - it's easy to get beam-on to the waves). He uses the Banjo disaster as an example of how things can go bad lying a-hull. He also mentions that you can get a great deal of roll, making for a very uncomfortable ride.

Then comes 4 - Running off, at Force 9, which is pre-deployment of the JSD. He talks at length about using the sails (specifically the headsail) to help the boat maintain directional control:

Quote:
In strong winds, a tiny hanked jib or staysail up forward will help the yacht stay on course. If the boat is still overpowered, try dropping most of the sail and show just the head.
So, it's clear that as conditions build, Roth recommends going from bare poles at Force 8 (to lie a-hull), to showing a bit of headsail to start running as conditions go to Force 9. Then if you have too much speed as conditions build to upper Force 9, lower Force 10 - he says you go to bare poles. It's this middle ground between lying a-hull and running under bare poles that can be the most dangerous in terms of a wave strike....unless you gain the downwind momentum through use of some sail.

Therefore, it all comes down to the timing of when you actually drop the JSD chain over the side. On the one hand, according to the examples, you can deploy it a little earlier (while running with a headsail but before you go to bare poles), or you can deploy it a little later (after you've doused all sail and are running too fast under bare poles). Both have been done successfully as shown in these many examples. Clearly, neither technique is "wrong".

Now let's look at Jeanne's case...

She was basically at Roth's step 2 with conditions building from Force 7 to Force 8. Also, bear in mind that this is the southern ocean off Cape Horn, where seas can be way crazier than localized conditions. The critical issue here, according to Roth, is that, again depending on the boat, you'll not be able to effectively run off under bare poles until the wind has built considerably. And depending on sea conditions, lying a-hull can be one of the most dangerous techniques.

So, Jeanne opts to skip step 3 and prepares to quickly deploy the JSD (i.e. - earlier in the process rather than later). The chain is secure for the existing conditions:

Quote:
With the boat upright, even well-heeled, I made sure the chain stayed put without a problem.
She's waiting for the right time to move from step 2 to step 4 for deployment when she's struck by a wave and knocked down. The boat is now no longer "upright" - it's mayhem. During the knockdown (which happens while she's hove to) the prepped JSD deploys. Note that from that point on, she has no further knockdowns or serious danger, counter to what has been implied above. Obviously, its quite the opposite.

Not knowing the JSD has deployed, she tries to immediately move to step 4 and head downwind and drop the chain. Yet the mainsail won't fully douse - and as she tries to let out some more headsail to move downwind, the furling line breaks and the sail unfurls and flogs, so she has to douse it.

For a while, the remaining mainsail fights with the JSD which she now notices has already deployed. And though this would have been the point she would have actually dropped the chain over the side as would be the "proper order", she's fine, the boat's fine, it's all good. She sets the AP and goes to sleep.

The point is that it's all a matter of timing and situational judgment in horrific conditions far more than a matter of "strict technique". In fact, she was following the "proper technique" (per Hal Roth) for the existing conditions. And she had all the right equipment prepared and readied. What interfered with all this was a freakin' wave strike off Cape Horn (where "rookies" rarely survive) which resulted in a knockdown - which broke a lot of stuff on the boat (lines, cars, poles, etc.) - and which washed the chain and/or the body of the prepped JSD overboard. That's really the bottom line here IMUSO (in my usually superior opinion).

Jeanne sails very big. Jeanne handled a knockdown off Cape Horn, which even Hal Roth will acknowledge, requires serious seamanship. Jeanne rocks. She has earned respect.

End of story.



+++++++++++++++++++++++

One other interesting thing from Roth's book is a pretty cool retrieval idea for the JSD (retrieval being its Achilles' Heel). Check this out...



The question he has is how the windlass would handle the cones. So who knows? But it's the coolest idea I've seen in a while. Anyone want to test it?

In the mean time, you really should read Roth's book.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 03-09-2011 at 11:01 AM.
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  #446  
Old 03-05-2011
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Smack, after all this, I still don't see why anybody would include lying ahull in their repertoire. It's known to be uncomfortable (at a time when you really need to eat or sleep) and dangerous. There are two alternatives (stick with step 2 if you're confident your sails can take it, or move on to step 4), each of which is more attractive than lying ahull. So why ever do it?
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  #447  
Old 03-05-2011
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Quote:
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Smack, after all this, I still don't see why anybody would include lying ahull in their repertoire. It's known to be uncomfortable (at a time when you really need to eat or sleep) and dangerous. There are two alternatives (stick with step 2 if you're confident your sails can take it, or move on to step 4), each of which is more attractive than lying ahull. So why ever do it?
I agree with you, AL. I don't see a big advantage - and Roth certainly doesn't seem to advocate it very strongly, especially with more modern boats, even though it is one of his steps. He lists a whole lot of "ifs" in that chapter and stresses the need for predictable seas. He has this sentence as its only real justification:

Quote:
Remember that our little game in a strong wind is to play for time and a change in the weather. With luck, after 4 or 5 hours of lying a hull, the storm may decrease and move off.
So what you say above about sticking with 2, then moving to 4 is exactly what Jeanne seemed to be doing, with the intent to run just long enough to deploy the JSD - and it makes a lot of sense, especially in sketchy seas like those she was in.

I think you could also argue that waiting to the point that you're moving too fast while running under bare poles has its dangers as well, making an earlier deployment of the JSD an attractive (and conservative) option.
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  #448  
Old 03-06-2011
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Haven,t read Hal Roth yet and hope I never have to chose but the Pardey`s don,t seem to favor running at all.
They make a compelling case for remaining hoveto to a sea anchor off the bow. Seems this was Jeans strategy also.
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  #449  
Old 03-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centaursailor View Post
Haven,t read Hal Roth yet and hope I never have to chose but the Pardey`s don,t seem to favor running at all.
They make a compelling case for remaining hoveto to a sea anchor off the bow. Seems this was Jeans strategy also.
Safe sailing
I hope I never have to choose either! Roth actually recommends carrying both a drogue and a sea anchor. I read the Pardey's book (Storm Tactics) and they do make a good case for it. They also pop in here every once in a while - so hopefully they'll come in and give us some more perspective.

According to Roth, the downside is that, especially with newer designs, you can get quite a bit of yaw since you've got a single anchor point (as opposed to the series drogue) and a lot of relatively stretchy line - and the structural stress from the set-up is huge. Also, he doesn't like that fact that if you have to adjust the length of the rhode (for wave period) you have to go up on the deck...in the piss.

Finally, because the chute takes a few seconds to grab the boat, and because the chute can pull out of the face of a wave, you can get beam on during that lull and/or damage your rudder due to the reverse force.

In the end, he recommends having some kind of sea anchor, but his chapter on the JSD is titled "A New Idea" - which tells you something.
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  #450  
Old 03-06-2011
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In my limited experience of heavy weather I have found that any time you're standing still you're taking a hiding (hove to, sea anchor, whatever). I have never used a JSD or a sea anchor neither do I intend to.

I have had satisfactory success with ordinary drogues. As far as I can tell, as long as you can slow your boat to prevent surfing (and that's not all that hard because swells/waves run at a fair old lick), it is better to run off the wind at an appropriate angle to the storm's path and safe sector.

My piece of kit is 140 metres of 35mm sheet into which I will tie knots at 15 metre spacing. I have tested this motoring with lesser pieces of line and it reduces boat speed significantly. I was given the 140m line so I will tie it in knots and test it, I reckon it will bring my powered speed from 8 knots to about 3. At this speed, the boat will not surf.

Please understand I don't argue that others shouldn't use these devices, as far as I'm concerned you can a put a line on the USS Ronald Reagan if it makes you feel safer. I know that there are reams of writings from far more experienced sailors than me saying that they are indispensable but still, they're just not for me.
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