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· Chastened
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To summarize the first bit of what Jon is saying:

Skip's advice is for people like Skip, sailing boats like Skip's.
It might not be the best advice for the rest of us.

Evans Starzinger sails a high-latitude, expeditionary boat, and even he has deployed a drogue twice, in anger (that I'm aware of). I'd have to ask him directly, but I don't think he's a fan of lying a-hull.

I agree with Jon that probably the safest way to deploy a drogue, is to "park" for a few moments while deploying the thing off the stern, and then resume a downwind heading.

Although I highly respect all these famous, blue-water sailors who write these articles and make these video series, I kind of wish they'd gear some of their advice for the "rest of us" who are sailing ordinary, production boats.

You'd think that Catalina, Hunter and Beneteau would jump at the chance to prove that their production boats can withstand serious storms, when handled by serious, capable sailors, and perhaps help out with such a venture.
 

· Chastened
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I think the trick is to be pro-active. You do this before things have gotten so bad, that moving around on deck is an impossibility.

You've checked the weather, you know that a system is going to pass by, and that you can't outrun it. You run off as far as you can before deploying the drogue, but you don't wait so long that now you're getting your ass kicked, and can't safely deploy any of your storm gear.

It's the same thing with reefing. People often say that by the time you ask the question aloud, you're already too late, or at least pushing the envelope.

I sail solo and have hank-on headsails and slab reefing, and most of my lines are at the mast. I have to be two steps ahead of all you guys with roller-furling, single-line reefing, and all your lines back at the cockpit, so I'm always trying to look further into the future and take action earlier.

Sometimes that means I'm sailing under powered, waiting for the system to arrive, but it's better than wrestling a 155% genoa down in 25 kts of breeze by myself.
 
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