Design and Use of Drogues

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  • 23 Feb 2012 19:33
    Reply # 833682 on 833331
    Very many thanks Jonathan for your advice.Lots of good info to ponder on.I have  already fitted two quarter inch thick stainless steel plates, with similar sized backing plates on the stern for a drogue .Will definitely investigate the Jordan.Will come back to you with any queries.Incidently,thoroughly enjoyed your articles .
  • 23 Feb 2012 12:36
    Reply # 833379 on 833331

    Paul, I am an convert to the Jordan Series Drogue (JSD).  Look in the last two newsletters for my account of AZAB 2011.  Mine was manufactured by Oceanbrake, the British manufacturer.   I haven't met Roddy Coleman, the proprietor, but dealt with him by telephone and by e mail.  Unlike so many marine equipment suppliers (!), his service was faultless.  He manufactured a drogue suitable for our 32 foot boat against a very tight timetable.  He stated, and I believe him, that his charge is considerably less than the US or Australian manufacturers.  Many people have made up their own but Roddy Coleman stated that, because he buys the materials in bulk, the savings by doing this are relatively small.  Again I did not query this, having neither the time nor inclination to manufacture one.  I paid £374 for the drogue, £73 for the bridle, £60 for stainless steel quarter chain plates, £75 for a deployment bag, and £23 for delivery.  I returned the deployment bag and bought a builders mortar mixing tub for less than £10 which does the storage and deployment job better.  The stainless steel chain plates came with internal stainless steel backing plates.  I had mine installed by Kevin of Fast Tack Yacht Services at Queen Anne's Battery at Plymouth 01752 255171 07860 679609.  Again, faultless service and money well spent to get it done right.  I am now convinced that there is no substitute for massive chain plates on the quarters;  you are effectively arranging to hang the boat from its transom with a dynamic not static load.  You  have no doubt looked at the Jester web site and the account by Michael Richey of Jester's August 1986 storm from which Mike and the boat were picked up, and you will have seen Blondie Hasler's comments:             

    "Towing warps would have involved getting out on deck to reach the cleats on her quarters. To do this under survival conditions could have been suicidal. ... It would, I suppose, be possible to keep the bight of a long warp ready rigged round her stern, outside the vane gear, with provision for paying it out from the control position, but this would need some ingenious planning. I do not know if she would have been any safer running with a bight of warp astern. Only experience could tell." 

    For permanent attachment to the chain plates, I bought 2 X 3.25 Tonne D Shackles Part Code SKSPD3.25T from COSALT at Plympton near Plymouth for £15.  I then bought 2 x Boa Steel S/G large steel, not aluminium alloy, screw gate karabiners Stock Code C852 from DMM International at Llanberis for £26 to attach the hard eye of the bridle to the shackles.  At the moment the standard arrangement is for the bridle and drogue to end in soft loops and to be connected permanently by cow hitching.  I think that further "ingenious planning" could include the bridle and drogue ending in hard eyes and these being connected by a double strength shackle or karabiner.  This might allow the bridle to be connected permanently, or on the first detioration of weather, and the drogue to be brought up from stowage and connected to the bridle only directly prior to deployement.  I shall take up this suggestion with Oceanbrake. 

    So, several hundred pounds paid for something I hope never to use but ...

    (The drogue is currently at home in Derbyshire because I gave a talk to the Humber Yawl Club last week about my OSTAR attempt and AZAB, and of course, junk rig.  One  highlights of my talk was to put a kitchen timer on a string round the neck of one of the ladies in the audience and set if for ten minutes at a time to emphasise the difficulty of the single handed watch keeping routine.  It made the point.  The other highlight was to deploy the Series Drogue.  The members were very interested and impressed.   I also distributed the paper copies of the information on Jester 2012 and Two STAR 2012 and encouraged them to have a go. We shall see ... ) 

    Best of luck.  Do please ask for any further information or help.  Lexia is still in Millbay marina village in Plymouth and I hope to be there for the start of the Jester, to see you all off, JRA summer rally and the AGM.  Our plans for this year include possibly going to the Helford River, but only if the wind is going that way ... Jonathan

  • 23 Feb 2012 11:07
    Message # 833331

    I would appreciate any comments/experiencies. on the Seabrake.I plan to enter Jester Challenge Azores this May and thinking of purchasing one.

    Last modified: 02 Apr 2018 09:30 | Anonymous
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