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For interest I have a drogue permanently set up for deployment over the stern. It was fitted after I realised just how quickly the boat could accelorate when caught on a wave. The actual occasion was crossing Bideford Bar from seaward when a long, hardly noticeable, Atlantic swell rose to braking waves as the depth swiftly decreased to 5m. Pitch-poling a Tiki 26 is not where I intend to go. The drogue is packed with its daisy-chained warp in a package on the stern trampoline and connected to a stern bridle. If I think it may be needed in a hurry then the package straps are unfastened and the retrieval line taken into the cockpit. From there it is a matter of releasing the drogue and throwing it over the stern when needed in only two movements. Be absolutely sure that the drogue and system is correctly packed (as with a parachute) and throw it on the correct side of the mainsheet. Any mistake is likely to rip something off the stern. I have used it in anger once and several times just to calm the boat down on long rough passages.

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Neat idea, I might give it a go on mine. What sort of drogue is it, how big, and how long a line do you use?  How much did it slow you down when you did use it?

Thanks for sharing!

Rob

Robert, Bear in mind that it was fitted as an emergency handbrake to allow waves to pass ahead and with the warps and drogue I already had.  I cannot remember the brand of the drogue but there is something that looks exactly the same on the Force 4 website.  It is the smallest of the Force 4 Sea Anchors at 65x75cm.  The warp is an old 9mm climbing rope (with good stretch) at 20m between the drogue and where it attaches to the bridle eye, then 5m which connects the bridle eye to the cockpit for recovery.  The stern bridle has legs of just under 5m which are looped over the stern beam outer cleats through fairleads on the inner sides of each hull very near to the stern.  I do not have a tripping line and need to slow the boat to recover which is quite hard work.  It could be helped by using one of the winches but I have not yet had to resort to that yet.  The boat does remain reasonably responsive but it is not something to trail if not required. It probably reduces the speed by around 30-40% perhaps more.  I used it for roughly half way across the North Sea from Lowestoft to Den Helder in a Force 5 and my average speed was 5 kts with a fully reefed main and no jib for much of the way.  It does however make a huge difference to comfort and conserving energy when solo. Cooking was also possible. When set the drogue is visible quite near to the surface but it does not seem to loose traction and there is nothing more than a small shackle on the end.  The moment it actually sets there is no snatch but a longer warp or fully stretchable bridle may give a better margin if you need it.  Should you choose a larger drogue then definately increase the length of warp.   As I said in the first post it is absolutely essential to check and recheck the packing and how the rope is daisy chained.  If it were to deploy on a short tangled warp the snatch would be considerably increased.  I have considered adding U-bolts to the inner stern beam hull lashing pads but from there the bridle will interfere with my main track.  A picture is attached of the warp which is zig-zagged into the drogue to make a package. Hope this helps.  The sunbleached un daisy-chained section is permanently attached to the bridle and sits outside the bag. By the way Zest looks very tidy and I particularly like the retractable chart table.  I do not have that option in a wooden hull but am currently working on an improved design for mine. I have also added Allplas netting.  



Robert Hughes said:

Neat idea, I might give it a go on mine. What sort of drogue is it, how big, and how long a line do you use?  How much did it slow you down when you did use it?

Thanks for sharing!

Rob

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Thanks Jerry, that's very helpful.  I could have used something like an emergency handbrake on our crossing of Lyme bay a while ago.  We were surfing down the backs of waves, sometimes hitting 14 kts under just the jib.  We never broached but it felt like it was going to a few times, and I think a drogue would have helped keep us straight and allowed for cooking a hot meal.

I've added new fairleads recently, including a pair on the insides of the sterns.  I'll heed your warning about the loads involved and the potentail for accidents, and try different ways of deploying it first in moderate conditions!

All the best, and thanks again.

Rob

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