Jordan Series Drogue-Real World Survival Experience

Drouge on Deck thumb

During our research for Surviving the Storm, the one heavy weather drogue system that stood out was Donald Jordan’s series drogue design. John Harries has a fascinating account of a true survival storm and the use of a JSD on his website, Attainable Adventure Cruising. You can read this account by clicking here. This long, detailed post is worth your time.

Photo courtesy of Attainable Adventure Cruising.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 22, 2013)

8 Responses to “Jordan Series Drogue-Real World Survival Experience”

  1. Howard Bowman, MD Says:

    Steve, are JSD’s available for vessels as large as the FPB’? Has anyone equipped their boat with one? And what is the problem with an upset line attached to the far end of the drogue? Seems like a simple solution to me and I never understood the disrecommendation for this.

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    We carried a JSD on Wind Horse,but thankfully never had a chance to test it in the real world. In fact, we should add we have NEVER found it necessary to stream any form of drogue off the transom or bow. Of course steering control off the wind helps with this. Recovery does not seem to be that hard IF you have a power winch (we have tested a JSD for handling but never in a real blow).

  3. Warren Cottis Says:

    Hi Steve

    Clearly an outstanding product but the jury appears to be out on how to retrieve it.

    I have several of your books but not Surviving the Storm… so how would you retrieve it?

    And if you were dead dog tired and needed to leave it out until it was so calm it literally sank and you were doing an almost vertical retrieval… would that matter?


  4. Steve Dashew Says:

    Electric winches do wonders in such a situation. The load is not that great when retrieving, but there are a lot of cones and line to pull in.

  5. Russel Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I read through the JSD links as well as the article on stern versus bow anchoring here: .

    I remember reading an old version of the cruising encylopedia that said you would prefer to turn your nose into the wind when it got to survival storm conditions.

    Is this still the case? – or do you believe there is validity that newer boats with a further forward mast, larger rudder and cut away underbody actually sit steadier with their stern to the breeze?

    Thanks for all the articles – they’re great.

  6. Steve Dashew Says:

    When you run out of control downhill and or the seas are overwhelmingly chaotic, IF you have steering control and speed, then actively heading into the waves, and positioning yourself to mitigate damage, in many cases will prove best. See Surviving the Storm on the 1998 Sydney Hobart blow and Queens Birthday Storm. But for some vessels this will not be possible and then it is the JSD. Basic rule is there is no golden bullet, tactics need to adjust consantly.

  7. Russel Says:

    OK – I note that you say “actively” heading into the waves. So I am guessing this means you don’t subscribe to lying to a parachute or JSD off the bow, Rather have storm canvas up taking you into it? (rather like that classic picture of the sailors with disabilities boat in the 1998 hobart who were said to have basically sailed straight through the eye of that storm as I recall)

  8. Steve Dashew Says:

    No time now for details, but sailing/powering/motorsailing is often the best way of reducing risks in survival storms.Lying a hull, in our opinion, is the worst. JSDs are designed for the stern, NOT the bow.