PaddleWise Discussion on Sea Chutes and Drogues

From: Wayne Langmaid 
Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Sea Chutes/Drogues
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 20:57:02 +1500

G'day -

Does anyone have any advice on using sea chutes with kayaks on long open
water crossings??

I am specifically looking for information on deployment and recovery;
stowage suggestions; length of attachment line; suggested size of the
chute for a single kayak loaded with expedition gear; suggested
materials; suggested floatation size, etc.

AND  Do's and Don'ts.

Thanks in advance

Wayne Langmaid

From: rdiaz Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Sea Chutes/Drogues Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 07:54:34 -0800 My only experience is with the Driftstopper made by Boulter of Earth. It is beautifully setup and well made. I have not used it in long crossings but experimented with it in strong winds that were trying to send me backwards at a very fast clip. The Driftstopper stops this on a dime and pretty much keeps you in place with possibly a bit of backdrift if the winds are real severe. Dos and Donts: I did everything stupid one can imagine with the thing. Would have made a wonderful movie! For example, it has a small float and I tried absentmindly one time to just throw the float out. That, of course, did nothing as you have to pull the drogue from its storage sleeve on deck in front of you. I have also in trying to recover it, have come up on it too fast and had the drogue wrap itself around my bow as it an octupus. Things like that. All of this is to say to practice with such a piece of gear and don't let your mind wander. ralph diaz --
From: Brian Jones Subject: [Paddlewise] Sea Chutes/Drogues Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 08:45:10 -0500 I'd be interested in making a drogue or sea anchor myself. Does anyone have a pattern? Can someone submit a diagram, materials list and/or dimensions from one he or she might have?
From: Jackie Fenton Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Sea Chutes/Drogues Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 09:51:01 -0800 (PST) Besides being interested in this myself, if anyone has such a diagram for making a drogue, I would be glad to place it on the website I'm setting up for PaddleWise (where I will also be including the archive of the sponsons thread - good idea, Ralph). I also might like to include a picture of that kayak with both a rudder and skeg. ???? 8-} However, I think the cost of sea anchors (if I remember correctly) is not in the extreme range. Cheers! Jackie
From: Jim Champoux Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Sea Chutes/Drogues Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 13:10:18 +030 Theres a couple of pix at this site No plans; its a commercial site, but if one was a seamstron... Jim Champoux
From: R. Walker Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Sea Chutes/Drogues Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 12:41:00 +0000 Mine was $20-$30...
From: Jackie Fenton Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Sea Chutes/Drogues Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 10:52:19 -0800 (PST) Cheaper than what I remember! Not worth making one unless you just enjoy sewing. Where was that? Can you get it mail-order? Cheers Jackie
From: R. Walker Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Sea Chutes/Drogues Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 13:30:43 +0000 > > Where was that? Can you get it mail-order? I don't know about mail-order... I got mine at Oshmans. It was just the chute, I did the rigging. You might look at Bass Proshops web page, saltwater fishercritters use them to slow their boats drift while fishing. Which is basically what I use mine for, in those situations where anchoring up will make people mad, though it really does slow me down to much. I'll probably break down and add a little rigging to reduce its drag a bit so that my drift rate will be similar to other boats. Currently I run mine from an anchor cleat behind the cockpit, but if I were rigging it for an open crossing, it'd have to go forward, like Dowd's book illustrates. Other posters indicated what a pain retrieval can be when its setup that way though...
From: Julio MacWilliams Subject: [Paddlewise] use of chutes and drogues Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 15:42:35 -0800 (PST I just went through that page about anchor chutes and droges that someone forwarded to this list. That page talks about the different uses of chutes and droges, chutes are used to maintain position and to keep a boat facing to the waves, while drogues are used to reduce speed and as a steering device (??!!!!). They even say that drogues have been used for a long time to steer boats, so... how do you do that? Do you tie the drogue to the front to face to the wind, and to the stern to face downwind? Can you still paddle with that? One of the problems of assisting or rescueing a partner in high winds is that some boats become impossible to turn (mine was like that until I added a retractable skeg). Maybe a drogue could solve that problem, but its use does not look ovbious to me. Does anyone have experience using a drogue to steer a boat? Happy paddling, - Julio
From: Keith Kaste Subject: [Paddlewise] sea chutes revisited Date: Sat, 07 Feb 1998 10:43:52 -0800 Wayne Langmaid introduced this topic back on Feb 4. I still have a few questions. I agree with Julio that the information on the web page about sea chutes was a bit confusing and seemed to apply more to sail boats. The section in John Dowd's book on sea chutes does not go into much detail, either. I have a feeling that a sea chute would be a good addition to my safety arsenal (after reading Deep Trouble I'm interested in just about every safety device and skill known), but I'm not sure. I have been out on the ocean in scary high seas. Fortunately there was a sheltered beach to land on. But I know that's not always the case. What if you're really tired and the wind and waves are forcing you into a cliff? Could you paddle directly into the waves say a half mile off shore, set your sea chute and then using your rudder, or maybe your paddle as a rudder, steer your kayak down the coast while you attempt to scout out a suitable beach to land on? We were taking 10 foot seas with gnarly white caps off the rear quarter. It was a lot of work but we weren't overly tired. If we had needed to I know we could have rested by pointing our bows into the waves, but then we would have been heading away from shore. My vision of the sea chute would be that you would get out of the immediate danger of the rocks near shore, set your chute, and drift slowly in a controlled manner. Your bow would still be pointed out to see, but you would be stable, and you could look over your shoulder for a landing site, possibly using the Steph Dutton technique of keeping the chute deployed through the surf zone. Is this what sea chutes can be used for? Has anybody used one for similar purposes? Thanks, Keith Kaste
From: Wayne Langmaid Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] sea chutes revisited Date: Sun, 08 Feb 1998 11:22:33 +1500 G'day - Keith points out another situation in which I am interested in having a sea chute available, along side of having it for extended open water expedition style paddling. Not so much for having to use it on a regular basis, but for those instances that it would be a good "ace up the sleeve" so to speak. I quite enjoy paddling in the conditions Keith refers to (when we get them) but would like to have yet another "fall back or back up" to the skills, preparation and equipment that I normally paddle with. I am really happy with the response so far - this list is showing good form. Thank you everyone. I really would appreciate some more detail regarding drogues/sea chute use along the lines that Ralph Diaz and others supplied. An example of details required: 1. Just how long does the line between the kayak and the chute need to be and what are the exceptions or rules? 2. How long should the lines between the chute and the swivel be? 3. Just what size of sea chute is sufficient - is there a size that is too large? 4. Just how strong would the attachment point need to be on the kayak - is there a lot of heavy loading on that point? 5. Would shock cord be effective to negate some of the effects of that loading or yanking? I'm trying to reduce the learning curve on this thing here. I do understand that once I have one that there will most definitely be the need to sort out m own procedure for it - but I want to avoid having to reinvent any part of the wheel again. Regards Wayne Langmaid Australia