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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after reading Hal Roth's "Handling Storms at Sea" again, I began to second guess our decision not to have a drogue (or sea anchor) onboard. I've talked to the sailors I know and of course their opinions span the gamut.

The most convincing point boiled down to, with our cruising grounds (east coast & soon the islands) and todays access to weather you wont need it. Making this decision is also nice, I wasn't looking forward to adding the necessary chainplates to the stern for a Jordan Drogue. And I would opt for a drogue over a parachute btw.

So my question to sailors here that cruise our distances or farther, do you carry either and where do you cruise? I'd love to hear some arguments pro/against to help us decide.
 

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I would ask experienced owners of your particular boat, rather than the general boating public. Our boats, for instance, are nothing alike, though similar in size, and I'm not sure you would want to tackle heavy weather as I do. Roth's boat, Whisper, from which he wrote "Handling Storms at Sea" is not very similar to your 50 footer, either.
In any event, each storm is different and each situation must be assessed and dealt with on an individual basis. Having something aboard that you never need to use is vastly superior to not having something aboard you need. But does it need to be a dedicated piece of equipment, or something that can be macgyvered together to suit the situation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response, asking in the Jeanneau owners forum is not a bad idea.

I'm clear on how vastly different our boats are, I'm just curious if the coastal cruisers here carry a sea anchor or drogue or not.
 

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The most convincing point boiled down to, with our cruising grounds (east coast & soon the islands) and todays access to weather you wont need it. Making this decision is also nice, I wasn't looking forward to adding the necessary chainplates to the stern for a Jordan Drogue. And I would opt for a drogue over a parachute btw.
Modern "access to weather" hardly sounds like a compelling argument for going without a drag device offshore, to me... Any passage in excess of 3 or 4 days, the 'Weather Window' you started the trip with can go away completely, and you might have to deal with whatever comes your way. Putting all your eggs in the basket of Weather Routing Infallibility can be a fool's errand, as many people heading south offshore in the fall in recent years can attest to...

For coastal cruising up and down the East coast, with a port of refuge available within a day or two of sailing, you can most likely get away without a drag device most of the time... But there is always the possible exceptional circumstance, some sort of breakdown off a lee shore where a sea anchor could be really nice to have, for instance...

You say you'll be heading for "The Islands" eventually - will that be and offshore passage from the NE, or island hopping via the Thorny Path? Again, you'd be very unlikely to really need a drag device if doing the latter, but a run straight from the NE or via Bermuda, a drogue might really come in handy if TSHTF... The real determining factor for me would be, how well or easily can your boat be made to heave-to? I'm guessing your Jeanneau does not exactly have a natural tendency to do so, so I'd suggest that weighs a bit in favor of carrying some sort of drag device - if not a series drogue, perhaps at least a Galerider...

Other big determining factor will be your crew... Will you be sailing with a full crew of capable helming for an extended duration in heavy weather? Or, sailing more shorthanded? If the latter, again that argues in favor of having some relief in the form of a drag device...

i do a fair amount of singlehanded and shorthanded sailing, and although my boat heaves-to quite nicely, I still carry both a JSD, and a parachute... Because, well, You never know... :))
 

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Actually Roth's book "Handling Storms at Sea" was written quite recently - 2008. It was his last book. After Whisper Hal had a Wauquiez Pretorien 35 for many years.

While the first Whisper was a Spencer 35 with a full keel and attached rudder the Pretorien was a fin keel boat with the rudder all the way aft on a thin skeg.
Much more similar to the Jeanneau than the Spencer was. Shown below.



 

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We carry a "Sea Brake" with almost $1,000 of dedicated line and shackles. It can also be used as an emergency steering device.

I agree with Jon, you need one if you go 'down island' off-shore but the "Thorny Path' would not need a drogue unless you knocked your rudder off which is possible with a spade rudder.

Spade rudders on cruising boats make me nervous, I saw two being rebuilt in Panama last month...one boat spent some time on a reef and the other just failed at the bearings after an easy grounding bent the shaft.

However, both boats were relying on chart plotters and not their eyes!!!!

Phil
 

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Actually Roth's book "Handling Storms at Sea" was written quite recently - 2008. It was his last book. After Whisper Hal had a Wauquiez Pretorien 35 for many years...
That Pretorien must'a been one fine boat to inspire such a great read. Perhaps I should look into pickin' one of those up......oh dayum, I guess I already did.









:D
 

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Have the brand name JSD. When boat was built had them install polished stainless plates running all the way aft to prevent any possibility of chaff even though cleats are extreme stern cleats. Remember this is a set and forget device. Likely you will set it -lash the helm, put in the duck boards and stay below for a time. Look at your cleats backing plates ( washers not usually good enough) and when you get it deploy it to make sure runs are good. I need some chafing gear where bridle passes by davits.
Did use a stern drogue once off a T37 I owned. Worked great and gave everyone a rest when it was sorely needed. Think Sea anchors dangerous on spade rudder boats. Think more security with multiple small cones than a single drag device like a gale rider. Like the idea of being able to get rid of most of the cones ( I have cones on two lines so can adjust how many are out) which allows using it if rudder fails. Sits it the lazorette. Hopefully it will never get wet in anger.
 
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