Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Safety first!

About a month ago I invested in a Jordan Series Drogue.  I have done a lot of studying about sea anchors and drogues and although there are varied opinions and preferences when it comes to these simple but curious devices that no sailor ever wants to be in a situation where you would need to use one, I have come to the conclusion that the Jordan Series Drogue (JSD) is the best option of the group.  I had decided 2-3 years ago that at some point I would have one aboard as insurance against a dreadful situation that I hope that never crosses my path.

40' lengths of rode and mini chutes

In La Cruz they had their bi-weekly swap meet and among the piles of stuff were various pieces of equipment from SV Rage that sadly was crushed on the rocks just a few hundred yards from us here in La Cruz about a month ago.  One of the items for sale was a JSD.  I have looked at a few in the past but the size of the bag (that I will probably never pull out of the locker) is quite large and heavy as it has 350'-400' of large diameter line with 100 or so small cones attached to it.  Certainly, a downside as far as storage and weight is concerned.  This particular JSD was made with all Spectra line, weighs maybe 7 pounds and is stowed in a very small duffel.  The minimal size and weight is due to the very high tech characteristics of Spectra line.

One of the individual chutes

As for the intended purpose of a drogue...I will give you a VERY brief explanation.  If you want more just Google Jordan Series Drogue and you can read until your heart is content.  A JSD is basically a device that is deployed off the stern of the boat in extreme conditions in order to slow the boat down and stabilize it.  "Extreme conditions" being huge seas (20-60' waves) and gale to hurricane force winds.  When running from such a storm the boat can easily get out of control surfing down the waves and being blown into a broach position sideways to the waves...that is where a boat can get into serious trouble.  Once the JSD is deployed the boat takes on a much "quieter" disposition and slowing the boat from surfing speeds of 15+ knots down to 3-5 knots.  JSDs have been in use for over 20 years now and in every case where they have been put to use there has never been any loss to vessel or crew nor has any boat ever sustained damage while using the JSD.  Nuff said!

All packed and ready for easy deployment.

The Liahona is happy to have such a great piece of safety equipment aboard and with it we check off one more "must have" item off the list for our passage across the Pacific in the next few years.

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne


  1. I love this blog. I just signed up.

  2. Awesome Tom! Just trying to share the adventure and hopefully convince someone out there that there is more to life than a 9-5. If I can do it, anyone can! It doesn't have to be a sailboat...just get out of the box any way that suits you...and do it sooner than later. Financial security is WAY overrated.