ABBOTT DROGUE - ADJUSTABLE MEDIUM PULL
DROGUE FOR WINDS TO FIFTY KNOTS
INEXPENSIVE DROGUE THAT YOU CAN CONSTRUCT USING MATERIALS ONBOARD
Most storms at sea are not survival storms, and you don't need to put
out a parachute sea anchor or use a Jordan Series Drogue to survive.
What you need is help controlling your yacht in non-survival conditions. Even though most yachts don't experience survival storms, many still get
out of control and broach because they sail in an uncontrolled manner. These yachts need something to slow them
down and impart directional stability to their vessel to remain in control
in bad weather. On Exit Only, we use an ABBOTT DROGUE constructed of materials that are
readily available on board. We don't need to get out the Series Drogue
because the ABBOTT DROGUE HAS ENOUGH POWER to control our 39 foot catamaran
in winds up to fifty knots. In our eleven year circumnavigation we never
had winds in excess of fifty knots, and we never had to use our Series
The ABBOTT DROGUE consists of one-hundred and eighty feet
of one inch nylon line which forms a giant loop behind the boat. We
attach the loops to the port and starboard winches at the back of the boat.
We then slide weights down the loop of rope to increase the drogue effect.
You can't slide weights down a warp without attaching them to a carrier (to
prevent chafe), and I use water hose as my carrier that transports the
weights down the warp. I slide a meter long piece of flexible plastic water hose over the one
inch warp , and then I shackle the dingy anchor and chain to the water hose
so that it's firmly attached , and it cannot come off the hose carrier.
The hose is the carrier that transports the anchor and chain down the warp
to the center of the one-hundred and eighty foot
rope loop. As soon as the carrier and attached weight hit the
water, they slide rapidly down the warp until they reach the middle of the
loop, This additional weight keeps the warp continually submerged
and substantially increases the effectiveness of the warp in controlling
boat speed. The irregular shape and heavy weight of the chain and
dingy anchor on the carrier creates turbulence in the water increasing the
power of the drogue.
The ABBOTT DROGUE has several advantages.
1. It is adjustable. You can winch the drogue in and out
to control its distance behind your yacht. If you want the drogue
farther out, let out more line. If you want the drogue closer to the
yacht, then winch it in. It's a good idea to vary the distance of the
drogue behind the yacht according the the sea state. You don't want
the drogue to pull out of the front side of a wave which would cause it to
instantly lose it's effectiveness. Instead, you want the drogue in the
middle or the backside of the wave where it will have maximum power.
This is easily done by adjusting the length of the rope loop.
2. The carriers stay centered in the middle of the rope loop where
it has maximum effectiveness.
3. You can vary the power of the drogue. You can send as
many hose carriers down the warp as you want. If you want to increase
the power of the drogue, then put more anchor chain on the hose carriers and
send a second or third carrier down the warp to the back of the loop.
4. It is chafe resistant. We normally use hose on our
boat as chafing gear for our dock lines. We use the same water hose as
the carriers to carry the weights out to the middle of the loop of rope.
If we are worried about chafe in a storm, we can take in or let out a little
more rope so that the position of the carriers on the warp shift slightly
reducing any chafe.
5. It's easily recoverable. When it comes time to pull in
the ABBOTT DROGUE, you simply winch it in. Because the hose carriers
stay centered in the middle of the rope loop, the carriers and attached
weights are easy to recover when they get to the stern of the yacht.
6. It's constructed of materials that you already have on board.
You don't need to spend a thousand dollars to have an ABBOTT DROGUE.
You simply use water hose for carriers, anchors and chains for weight, and
warps that you already have on board.
The ABBOTT DROGUE works well for us
because we are a catamaran. The arms of the drogues are attached to
winches that are twenty feet apart on the stern, and that augments the
ability of the drogue to create directional stability in our yacht. It
also works well because a catamaran has a bridge deck, and when breaking seas
assault the stern of Exit Only, they tend to pass under the bridge deck rather than
come into the cockpit. On a monohull yacht, the same techniques might be
less effective, and you might end up with water in the cockpit. Every yacht
behaves in a different manner when they trail drogues in steep following
An ABBOTT DROGUE isn't a Jordan Series Drogue, and it's not intended to be
used in survival conditions.
The ABBOTT DROGUE is a medium pull drogue intended for use in winds to fifty
knots. It's easily constructed in an emergency, adjustable, chafe
resistant, and inexpensive.
When we find ourselves in trouble offshore, but not in survival conditions,
we construct an ABBOTT DROGUE. If conditions deteriorate further, then
we call upon our Jordan Series Drogue or Parachute Sea Anchor to keep us