, , , , , , , ,

When a boat like Bright Water is caught in a storm at sea, the first line of defense is to not get caught in a storm at sea.  That’s why we have lots of electronics and spend a lot of time looking at weather charts.

Sometimes that’s not enough and you get surprised by weather, or sometimes the rig falls over or the engine blows up or the rudder falls off or everyone gets sick or you hit a whale or the sails rip to shreds or you’ve just had a really, really bad day.  Then, the most important thing to do first is stabilize and slow the boat’s movement.

So we ordered a Jordan Series Drogue.  Ours has 132 small parachutes.  When trailed from the transom, it slows (almost stops) the boat, keeps the stern into the wind and waves, and allows the boat to move slowly downwind, pointy end first.  The rudder and the windows are protected as much as possible.

Nancy counts the parachutes.

Each parachute is anchored at the top and the bottom.  The entire drogue moves aft when slack, and the top straps keep the cones from inverting or tangling.

The smartest part of this whole thing is that it was shipped from the UK in an IKEA bag.  These bags are $.70 at the store.  We’re going to buy several of them.  They’re perfect for low-cycle storage.

We bought the drogue from England from http://www.oceanbrake.com/.  Good service, good price.  The website is full of information.

Here’s a calm-water test of various drogue and sea-anchor devices: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4l3CbgUCU8

Here’s another video of the Jordan Drogue being deployed in actual storm conditions: http://vimeo.com/23557335