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Solo sailor rescued off Raglan


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I am assuming that in this situation, maybe a sea anchor, and if needed, some propulsion, could have slowed the drift considerably? Maybe not have been a pleasant time, but maybe he would be out there licking his wounds now as opposed to wondering just how close to death he really got.

 

In the footage I saw, the drogue appeared to be only moderately effective - a sea anchor would have provided more drag surely, as well as giving more option to assist with the engine.

 

Or am I totally wrong here?

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Certainly a sea anchor is designed to stop all drift, I wouldn't want to start my engine with one out though. Personal preference is still a drogue.

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Certainly a sea anchor is designed to stop all drift, I wouldn't want to start my engine with one out though. Personal preference is still a drogue.

Can you explain your reasoning to me, as someone with no experience of anything near these conditions.

I would have thought that stopping all drift would be the ideal outcome if you are being blown onto a lee shore. Very uncomfortable and not without it's own issues but surely preferable to continuing downwind.

If you have a sea anchor off the bow what would be the issues with starting the engine? With a drogue off the stern I can understand the risks of lines & props in close proximity, is this still an issue with a sea anchor line off the bow?

Why the preference for a drogue in this situation (if you also had the option of a sea anchor)? With plenty of sea room, sure. But with a looming lee shore?

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Boy , lots of questions. Ok - this is just my take on it, I'm sure there are others.

 

 

Most boats don't have the luxury of carrying both due to weight and space. Yes there are occasions where a sea anchor would be a better option, Alan found one.

But with the choice of one I would still choose the drogue

1) Easier and safer to deploy

2) deploy from cockpit not bow

3) less complicated - lots of stories of sea anchors fouling

4) easier to retrieve - lots of stories of sea anchors cut loose after use

5) these problems can be avoided with practice, but who wants to go out ij 50kn to practice using a sea anchor?

6) when using a drogue it felt "right" to me. Interested that Alan said he was moving at 3-4 kn , exactly where I felt "right" in a 32 ft boat.

But you need to be aware of a drogue's limitations, and needing searoom is one of them. Coming down the coasts of Washington and Oregon (similar to NZ west coast) I was 100 miles offshore.

Circumnavigating NZ is a lot more dongerous than say sailing to Fiji - particularly short handed, my guess is Frolic would have survived had that storm hit half way to Fiji.No hard bits to bump into.

 

I wouldn't start an engine with the sea anchor out as it might allow slack in the rode - dangerous as the idea is to keep it head to wind, slack in the rode would allow the bow to fall off and that would be bad.

I probably wouldn't have used the engine with the drogue either, about the only thing I can think of that I would have tried would be to chuck more stuiff out to add to the drogue, maybe a sail or two or some anchors, anything to slow it down. But I doubt it would have worked.

 

But in the end he got caught without enough searoom by a big long lasting nasty storm. And I think he is to be applauded for realising his plight early, reacting appropriately and getting home to his grand daughter.

 

That probably sounded like a sermon - sorry.

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I wouldn't start an engine with the sea anchor out as it might allow slack in the rode - dangerous as the idea is to keep it head to wind, slack in the rode would allow the bow to fall off and that would be bad.

I probably wouldn't have used the engine with the drogue either, about the only thing I can think of that I would have tried would be to chuck more stuiff out to add to the drogue, maybe a sail or two or some anchors, anything to slow it down. But I doubt it would have worked.

 

Thanks for that. As you have far more experience than myself, I knew full well I may well not have considered everything!. I had considered that the rode would want to be kept taught at all times, but considering that a rode should have a stretch factor of approx 3 times hull length to the best of my knowledge, I had assumed that the motor would reduce the loading/chafing on the rode, and would be immediately available for any situations which demanded it. I do know of sailors who have series drogues which they will deploy either as a drogue or as a sea anchor - maybe that is a good compromise. They still carry a 100M + nylon rode for when its used as a sea anchor, but maybe this is a good compromise when you consider the space and financial costs of carrying both - possibly never to use one. I can imagine that a drogue would be more useful in general than a sea anchor except when the lee shore is nearing. The only sea anchor I have retrieved was on a fishing trawler, and it had a full trip line, so really was as simply as trip it, and retrieve it on a hydraulic capstan. Getting the actual parachute out of the water was hard work, but achievable even on my own.

 

Also, if the sea anchor does require to be cut free, hopefully its done its job and you can then run to the nearest shelter and lick your wounds. And buy another knowing that maybe it saved your boat and more importantly, your, and your crews lives.

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That's an interesting idea. Might not be Plan A but if you found yourself closing on a lee shore and nothing else had worked then it might be a good Plan B to try before resorting to Plan C (abandoning ship as it grounded)?

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In a situation like this would deploying all your anchor tackle stop the boat getting to the beach ?

 

I was just thinking the same thing :lol:

 

assuming you could get on deck and work safely

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i hate to be asking this .... but has anyone thought ..as my wife asked me .... what was this guy doing out in this weahter in the first place....the RNZ boasts left at the same time... and knew they were in for a blow.... this guy has stated he had been preparing for this voyage for some time ..did he have time constraints?... to get to nelson..if cruising why leave with such a forecast??

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In a situation like this would deploying all your anchor tackle stop the boat getting to the beach ?

 

I was just thinking the same thing :lol:

 

assuming you could get on deck and work safely

 

Myself and 'He who mows the Lawns' had this discussion earlier today. He was wondering if you thought of it, prior to abandoning ship, and you threw everything out (your anchor, chain and rode), might the anchor catch on the sea bottom prior to hitting shore, thereby preventing total loss of the boat on the beach.

 

I guess it would depend on a number of variables, but would it be something worth trying?

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I cant remember where I read it but an abandon boat that had been rolled was found anchored in a secluded bay?

 

Fusion would have about 300m of tackle surly once the anchor started dragging it would eventually settle at 5 to 1 ?

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Wouldnt expect many anchors to hold in that stuff? Let alone if the guy reckons the waves were breaking 1KM off the beach?

 

True but I think Fusion and Megwyn are right, if you were literally heading towards a grounding and all else had failed in deep water then as you came into the shallows throwing your full anchor tackle over the bow (plus trying to motor into it) might be the last thing you try before jumping off?

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Another :?:

 

If you had the presence of mind after 2 days of being beaten by bad weather, and you deemed it safe enough to go forward to deploy anchor and tackle, would that interfer with the drogue? Or would you need to pull the drogue in?

 

Asking here: The drogue is supposed to hold the stern into the oncoming waves, slowing the surfing down is it not?

Would deploying an anchor off the bow cause the bow to face in to the waves? If so, this could cause a broach.

If this is correct, what would happen if you deployed the anchor off the stern?

Thinking aloud . . .

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Guest Rocket

I doubt that this guy on his own could have deployed an anchor - remember he had to get in his liferaft (which was tethered to the boat) to get picked up.

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