Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-24-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
Guru
 
MurrayM's Avatar
 
City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,321
Towing a Drogue

Anybody have experience in towing a drouge?

We live at the head of a 50 mile long, narrow, mountainous channel which is subject to strong summer winds as the mainland heats up during the day pulling cool air off the ocean, which also lines up perfectly with storms coming in off the Pacific. Steep, breaking, closely spaced seas are the norm.

I've been reading how towing a drouge can "settle a boat down" allowing it to track a straighter line with less yawing or broaching, making it easier at the helm and more comfortable for all aboard.

While this would impact speed and fuel consumption, does a more comfortable ride make up for that? Do they create new problems if they hold the stern lower in the water? Any other things to consider?
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
MurrayM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,685
I would think it definitely would impact speed and fuel consumption. How much effect it would have would depend on the size of the drogue and how fast you're towing it.

I've heard (but never tried) towing a 5-gallon bucket can have a similar effect without the cost of the drogue. If you tried that once you'd know the answers to all your questions and wouldn't have spent a ton of money on a drogue.

I'd use a floating line so it avoids the props. In my non-engineering mind it would seem the further you trailed the bucket/drogue behind you the more impact it would have on the motion of the boat in those waves. I'm thinking 50'-75' behind rather than 10'-15' behind.

If you try a bucket, c'mon back and let us know how it worked.
__________________

__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
Guru
 
MurrayM's Avatar
 
City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,321
Quote:
Originally Posted by GFC View Post
If you try a bucket, c'mon back and let us know how it worked.
As long as I don't kick it

Good point to try an el-cheapo floating line version first, when conditions aren't too gnarly.
__________________
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
MurrayM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 04:03 PM   #4
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,881
I've used drogues many times when towing vessels...in fact towing a vessel is like towing a drogue so you could say I have thousands of days towing drogues of all shapes and sizes.

When towing sailboats and many catamarans... sail or power...you have to have a drogue on them or they will easily slide by you or be out of control from yawing.

The trouble with a drogue for your own boat is that you need different sizes for different conditions, situations.

If you are primarily looking for a breaking bar crosser...then you just need to try out a couple sizes that will be resistant enough to keep your stern straing as you start to surf the wave.

As for drag...sure they kill your fuel consumption and slow you down...but you would only use one if losing your boat is in question. If your boat really handles poorly in a following sea...you can drag a couple hundred feet of line behnd you and you would be supprised at how that helps. It doesn't slow you too much (it can be one iece or several shorter pieces ...you really have to play around to see what works) and really keeps you from yawing badly. They do not usually significantly change your trim.

5 gallon buckets do work..I keep 2 on the assistance boat rigged for drogue work. Lose the handles and drill 4 holes under the second lip and put line in them. Definitely only light duty work there as depending on the quality/age of the plastic. Thoght I have had them suprise me in both durability and others just have just disappeared...

When I have lost steering I have steered miles up windy creeks to boat ramps usung buckets to steer so they are versitile..

There are many commercially produced drogues so there is quite a selection. There are also as many opinions on their use and worth...so take it all in.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
Guru
 
MurrayM's Avatar
 
City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,321
Much thanks psneeld. Do I remember correctly from my sea kayaking days that dragging a line off the stern is called 'trailing a warp'?
__________________
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
MurrayM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayM View Post
Much thanks psneeld. Do I remember correctly from my sea kayaking days that dragging a line off the stern is called 'trailing a warp'?
I believe that is correct.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 06:34 AM   #7
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,518
The loading is way to high for a pail.

Use a car tire with a chain wrap , then a nylon line that is not too thin, 5/8 or so.

Simplest recovery is a saliboat self tailing winch on the stern quarter , which has other good uses.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 07:34 AM   #8
Guru
 
Northern Spy's Avatar
 
City: Powell River, BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Northern Spy
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 26
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,666
Check out the Jordan series drogue. You could make a modified smaller modular version.
Northern Spy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 10:14 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
bobsyiruncle's Avatar
 
City: Winnipeg
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Brass Ring
Vessel Model: 38 bayliner
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 147
OK Northern Spy, I read the Jordan Series information and I am quite impressed but also quite puzzled.

1) What they describe is a counter intuitive deployment from the stern meaning that the traditional wisdom of "bow into the waves" may be wrong under some circumstances. Just what those circumstances are might determine the appropriate emergency reversal response?

2) Might this technology apply to smaller more square waves found on the Great Lakes?

3) Could you replicate at least some of the benefit by dragging a line with a few towels or other obstacles tied on and some chain?

4) It might make sense for a sail boat but I do not know if I want to try it with a low cockpit and a relatively weak transom door.

5) Lastly, I am surprised that I have never heard of this before - thanks
bobsyiruncle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 10:40 AM   #10
Guru
 
MurrayM's Avatar
 
City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,321
I'll take a crack at it...

The Jordan Series Drogue was designed for use in survival situations while running before a storm on the open ocean. In all the examples given, the crews wanted to travel the same direction as the storm, but were in danger of capsize from surfing uncontrollably down the wave faces. My guess is that if they wanted to hold, or stay close to their position as the storm passed over them, they would have deployed a sea anchor off the bow.

This type of drogue is designed to sink as the boat slows or moves backwards in a trough, to keep constant tension on the drogue...something cone drogues don't do because they collapse when not under tension. This could be problematic for our prop driven craft!

I foresee using a towing bridle and floating towline, a chunk of chain at the end (well away from the prop and rudder) to hold it down in the water, and 'some stuff' attached near the end. In theory, I wouldn't want one as effective as the Jordan drogue because I'll still be under power and still want to make good forward progress, just in a calmer, more controlled state than if there was no drogue being used at all.

Navel gazing is fun
__________________
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
MurrayM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 10:49 AM   #11
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,881
Actually FF's suggestion of a tire is right on other than storage...it's tough, they float and are effective for fairly large vessels (adjust the size for boat/conditions...use studded for really tough water).

I have used them a lot....

The only thing that becomes an issue is if you can't stop to retrieve it. Thus the nice attributes of a fabric cone drogue with trip line.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 11:36 AM   #12
Guru
 
MurrayM's Avatar
 
City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,321
Anybody with about a half hour to kill can read this PDF file of emails from 'Kensblog' discussing how the Jordan Series Drogue applies to larger passage making trawlers;

http://www.kensblog.com/uploads/1676...roguePosts.pdf
__________________
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
MurrayM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 02:19 PM   #13
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
It seems a sea anchor and/or drogue are basically the same. Sea anchor is attached to the bow and a drogue is attached to the stern. The sea anchor connected to the bow is to keep the bow into the wind/waves when the boat has lost forward motion and slow the speed of the drift. Where as a drogue the boat still has forward motion is connect to the stern to slow the forward motion and/or to keep the stern from wandering. Even back in the Viking days they dragged long ropes from their boat to keep tracking in a straight line.

I could see a drogue would be good for towing to slow the tow and keep the tow straight, and also at anchor to keep the boat from swinging in stead of a steadying sail
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 02:24 PM   #14
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Fill View Post
It seems a sea anchor and/or drogue are basically the same. Sea anchor is attached to the bow and a drogue is attached to the stern. The sea anchor connected to the bow is to keep the bow into the wind/waves when the boat has lost forward motion and slow the speed of the drift. Where as a drogue the boat still has forward motion is connect to the stern to slow the forward motion and/or to keep the stern from wandering. Even back in the Viking days they dragged long ropes from their boat to keep tracking in a straight line.

I could see a drogue would be good for towing to slow the tow and keep the tow straight, and also at anchor to keep the boat from swinging in stead of a steadying sail
Similar but different...a sea anchor should all but stop a drifting boat while a drogue is used to control a vessel that is intending to keep going.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 01:50 PM   #15
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
I thought the primary reason was to keep the bow into the wind/waves and second to slow/stop the speed. The Sea anchor we have is more of a drogue for the Eagle size. I bought it 10+ years ago when there was a discussion on the old PMM board, where only keeping the bow into the wind was talked about.
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 02:08 PM   #16
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,881
Sea ANCHOR - hold position
Drogue - control but progress. If a drogue slows you too much it isn't helping...you might as well turn around and deploy a sea anchor.....and that may mean waiting and letting the worst come over you.

Another way of looking at it is the sea anchor may be the only thing that can keep you off a lee shore and a drogue will allow you to run to safety or at some angle to get out of the path of a storm. It's needed when conditions are so bad you may broach without it or just overwhelm your steering control.

A drogue for a breaking inlet would definitely have to be sized correctly because you don't want to remain in the dnger zone one second longer than necessary.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 02:13 PM   #17
Guru
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
City: Hailing Port: Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,848
I have only done this once, but went into Perdido Pass after dark with about 5' breaking waves. I was towing a disabled boat with my Blackfin. To say that I was apprehensive would be an understatement. When my boat would try to shear off the towed boat would yank me back. When his bow went off my boat would yank him back. We went in the pass like we were on rails. Seams to me that a drogue could work as well.
__________________
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
http://moonstruckblog.wordpress.com/
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 07:31 PM   #18
Hospitality Officer
 
Andy G's Avatar
 
City: Pittwater
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Sarawana
Vessel Model: IG 36 Quad Cabin
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,557
Interesting thread.Given that most here do not own boats that have any right/reason to be out in some of the weather discussed in Murray M's post, are smaller Drogue's a useful/necessary piece of kit for the average river/coastal cruiser?

One of the interesting points that arose in that blog is that even those with true passage makers and a lot of off shore experience, very few have ever deployed a sea anchor or Drogue in earnest, or even in practice.
Andy G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 07:59 PM   #19
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy G View Post
Interesting thread.Given that most here do not own boats that have any right/reason to be out in some of the weather discussed in Murray M's post, are smaller Drogue's a useful/necessary piece of kit for the average river/coastal cruiser?

One of the interesting points that arose in that blog is that even those with true passage makers and a lot of off shore experience, very few have ever deployed a sea anchor or Drogue in earnest, or even in practice.
I have..what's are you tying to say?

Sea anchors are usually a last resort, a survival tactic...

Drogues are much more common and useful to the knowledgeable.

I have use drogues dozens of times...several to help steer a rudderless boat or one with jammed steerig just to get home/safe port.

You don't necessarily have to have a "manufactured drogue" aboard...but understanding the concept and jury rigging one may be the ticket and even a lifesaver to any boater one day.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #20
Guru
 
LarryM's Avatar
 
City: League City, TX
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Pelago
Vessel Model: Wellcraft 3300 Coastal
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 843
On Boomarang I carry a Seabrake just in case. Thankfully I have never had to deploy it, but it is there if I need it. It is made in Australia and highly regarded by mariners the world over. It can be used as a sea anchor, drogue, emergency steering, flopper stopper and even a MOB sling or bosun's chair in a pinch. It is collapsible and stows flat. It did get used a bit more on my sailboats which were more likely to get caught out in snotty weather.

You might want to take a look.

Larry
m/v Boomarang
__________________

LarryM is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012