Storms happen and really, who wants to be tossed around like a salad? It takes only one big wave on the beam to ruin your (last) day. The boat must be slowed down or stopped. This is usually done with a drogue or a sea anchor. I looked into Jordan drogues, which are made of a series of fabric cones attached to a line. They have a good reputation but a one-hundred-cone drogue for Dagny would cost about a thousand dollars. A drogue is deployed from the stern and slows the boat down. You are still moving with the storm. If it is in your intended direction all is fine, except that you might spend a bit more time inside the storm. If a rocky shore lies ahead, well.. You need very strong attachment points and the rudder is still exposed to the waves.
A sea anchor is basically a parachute deployed from the bow. It practically stops the boat, bow to the waves. A better way to deploy it is explained in “Storm Tactics” by Lin and Larry Pardey. A briddle is set-up so that the sea anchor is at a slight angle from the boat, heaving-to as it normally would using sails and rudder only, but without drifting too much.
I decided to go with a sea anchor, ordered one this morning, a Fiorentino
offshore model, which set me back $400. Oh well.. I hope I never have to use it. I would use my anchor rode with it, 250′ of 5/8″ and 300′ of 1/2″ if needed. I need a block for the briddle and some kind of chafe prevention gizmo, maybe a rubber hose of some sort.
I am working on my rudder right now, waiting to build the new companionway hatch. It has been more than a month since I last saw Dagny and I worry a lot. My worst nightmare would be receiving a call telling me only the mast is sticking out of the water! Knock on wood.. The bilge pump is powered by the battery, which is charged by solar panels, so all should be well. Still, I need to get there asap.