Parachute drogues

Parachute drogues slow the boat down. They are parachutes made of strong canvas; in the case of Bit-by-Bit about 12 feet in diameter, hooked to a bridle of rope capable of bearing several tons of strain (which is why Josh would use the main halyard to secure it if he were to rig one).

He would hang the drogue off the stern of the boat, so that he’s running before the wind, but also because of the reverse-sloped transoms of the cat’s sterns. If the drogue is hung off the bows, and for some reason collapses, or the line breaks, the boat surges backwards and the reverse slope of the sterns push underwater and the boat turns turtle. It is worth noting that some sailors don’t believe in tying the boat to a relatively unyielding object, believing it places too much strain on the attachment points and hull. Others swear by the devices because they allow the crew to sit relatively inactive while in the thick of storm conditions. Having read both sides’ views, I fitted Bit-by-Bit with one of them when crossing large expanses of water, as it seemed that the people who had used them in heavy weather all ensured that they had another for their next cruise.

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