"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andre Gide

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rigging a Drogue

After the boom failure a couple months ago I decided to do a couple blogs on methods for continuing a journey after various types of failure. First up is a rudder failure which can be overcome with a simple drogue. A drogue is created by hanging stuff off the back of a boat to slow the vessel and give the crew some sort of control. It is most often used in heavy storm weather when no sails are set and the tendency of most mono-hull boats is to lie with the side facing the oncoming waves.  The drogue is set to drag behind the boat and keep the aft (back) of the boat to the wave.  It slows the boat so that it doesn't surf down the front of a wave and bury the bow in the front of the next wave.

A drogue can also steer the boat. I have seen a few different methods of creating a drogue. The November issue of Cruising World had a great sidebar "Rig a Drogue" in the article "Up the Creek without a Rudder". This took the basic drogue design shown below and modified it to allow steerage.

All the needs to be done is to extend the length of the bridle and run each end to blocks located forward of the Genoa winches (usually the strongest winches). You can then use the winches to shorten a side of the bridle and pull the drogue to one side or the other creating more drag and causing the boat to turn. As is usually for sailing control still comes down to a balancing act. You have to experiment with balancing the amount of weight on the drogue with how much sail is up to have control and keep a straight course. 

The diagram above shows an actual store bought drogue line but a drogue can be made with materials already on most boats. The drogue line can be your standard anchor line with knots tied in it for drag and a couple sections of anchor rode chain for some weight.

More detailed discussions are available in the links below.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! Unfortunately, we cannot reply privately by email. Please look for our reply to your comment on the blog!