Subject: Re: [harryproa] Drogues and Para Anchors in practice
From: jerry freedomev
Date: 2/15/2006, 9:36 AM

                Hi Mark and All,
                        I agree using a variable distance bridle on the Harryproa boats for both your reason and that many times you don't want to sit to the wind but to the seas. With a adjustable bridle you can make it sit in almost any direction to the wind, tide you want.
                     I've always found putting the nose into the wave by far the best way to handle heavy seas. And sitting beam to is the best way to get beat.
                     Notice the one reference where the monohull people laid in the cabin sole so not to get rolled to death laying side to. I moved into multihulls because of this. I owned a Columbia 24, similar to  Pradey's famous boat hull, rig and while singlehanding, tried to stop during a 50 knot storm by laying ahull but it was miserible, being more work, harder on my body  than sailing the boat despite being up for 36 hrs!! I ended up running aground on a lee shore though luckily I got out of it safely because of fatigue and I swore I'd never get caught like that again.
                   Yet on my cats, tri's and proas, simply hanging from an anchor or sea anchor, can easily rest in 6-10' breaking waves, about the worst you can get as they are close together. But the fine lines of the hulls just averaged them out and quite comfortable aboard, reading, cooking or anything else I wanted to do while the storms pass over. Then being rested, put the sails back up and scream off at 15+ knots back on track. Most of the talk about 20' + seas is interesting as when that size, they are so far apart that you just rise, fall slowly and much less dangerous than steep, close together waves even at much less height.
                 Abeam the seas in either a mono or to lessor degree, a multi, a sailor will be tired, beat and likely to sustain damage. It's really just basic physics. 
               Also I don't think many here have much idea in a storm just how much pressure is on a sea anchor and much worse, a parachute size one. It's line should always be lead back to a large winch.
               Everyone should once they have their boats done, go out in 25k or so winds and try out deploying, recovering, laying too in different ways to see how your boat works instead of trying to figure out in an emergency. It will give you much more confindence afterward.
              You don't need expensive drogues, ect as you can just take a 100 sq' sail and clip it's corners together preferably with a swivel to use. You can try a larger sail to see what a para anchor will be like. I luckily found some surplus lifeboat drogues about 8' acrossed that worked great on mu 26-36' multi's.
               As for off the stern, in a proa like yours, that's not a big detail but many boats have shapes not conductive to that. As cabin wind flow works best from forward usually and in storms you need ventilation, I put my bows forward. I like pointing the designed end into a sea.

   From: "Chris Ostlind" <>
Subject: Re: safely using Drogues and Para Anchors

Hi Jerry,

I take it then, that the drogue method of heaving-to at a 45 degree angle to the seas, as presented by long time cruiser, Larry Pardey, in his monohulls is not suitable, from your experience?

Don't take this the wrong way... I'm not experienced in being in a multihull in truly bad weather and wish to gather as much info as possible before setting-out on my own adventure
           While that's about as good as you can get in a monohull and the way they fight rolling your guts out though not what one would call comfortable. By laying 45deg to the wind, the wind pressure on a small storm sail or just the masts, keeps the boat heeled to one side, dampening the rolling so they can rest.
            But in a multi, you don't roll per se, so you can face directly into the waves for a much more comfortable ride, pleasent in fact once you get over the fact there is a bad storm outside.. 
This is conventional wisdom. Check out  for comparitive trials for very
different conclusions
         Robert, they can have their conclusions all they want. But they are talking about very different boats too. While for some boats, going downwind slowly can be cool, it's rather hard on steering gear, ect.
         But a really cool thing about multihulls is you can sail fast enough to outrun most storms and fun while doing it!!! 
Paul wrote
Drogues go from the stern. Parachute anchors go from the bow.
In a proa using a drogue means you will have to change ends when you
When anchoring you don't need to change tack.

How about with a harry, hanging the parachute off the windward hull,
lying beam
on to the waves and protecting from wave induced capsize. Perhaps
but safe?
Paul Nudd
        I use Marks variable length bridle method to balance the windage to get the angle to the waves you want.  Using 2 sea anchors is asking for trouble as they are bound to wrap around each other. You can just put a loop of line on the anchor line run though the opposite end and winch it over to the new bow if one wants to shuttle.
        Wave induced capsize is more likely with the beam to the seas as most boats are shorter length beam wise, thus easier to roll.  And a bow gently cuts though the largest waves where the beam to hull takles it on the chin, no thanks !!
         And yes Steve Brown was a cool dude to work with, talented in many areas I wasn't at the time and he taught me about being more artistic instead of more utilitarian, ect. If anyone knows where he can be found, please let me know as I've lost track of him.
         So let's be safe out there!!!
                                   Jerry Dycus

Mark Stephens <> wrote:
I have no experience of hanging off drogues or parachutes but John Hitch, who designed the ubiquitous Hitchiker cats, recommended not using a bridle as the tensioned part of the bridle has the tendency to trip what would be the leeward bow.
Having said that I would have thought an adjustable bridle set with the windward arm slightly shorter would tend to keep the boat pointing just off the wind to leeward so that any 'tripping' effect would be on the leeward hull.
When working out where to put the anchor roller on the Visionarry there was a lot of debate over which way the boat would tend due to windage. I ended up putting it about 300mm to leeward of the midpoint between the hulls, more from convenience than any great incite. When anchored off a beach recently in 20 knots she laid dead to wind.
Mark Stephens
0431 486814
----- Original Message -----
From: proaconstrictor
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 5:48 AM
Subject: [harryproa] Drogues and Para Anchors

Anyone have any ideas or experiences (second hand welcome) of drogues
or para anchors on pros?

The thing I like about the proa platform is that sometimes folks
carry both drogues and anchors, deploying one off the the stern and
the other off the bow.  Starting with the drogue and moving to the
para if conditions worsen.  This can lead to complications with
reversing the boat to get the para out even as conditions are ramping
up.  The obvious point being a proa is lonigtudinally symetrical, and
therefore one can throw the drag device off of either end.  The boats
and rig are also symetrically placed.

There may be bad news also such as the uneven windage on the hulls
once streaming the drag device.

Any thoughts about how this could work, broadly from attachment
points to lights to storage and deployment, all idea welcome?

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