Para Drogues

A Para Drogue is deployed from the stern and designed to provide greater control, vary the speed of the vessel and improve directional stability downwind. This is particularly important when running before large seas, reducing the risk of broaching, particularly in breaking waves and shallow seas. It can also be rigged as an emergency steering device and help prevent overtaking when under tow.

drogue-640Drogues - Running before it

There are many situations where conditions are poor but not really life-threatening, and you would rather continue sailing and still maintain control. If you're running before big seas, especially breaking seas, broaching can be a danger, notably if you are running dead square to the wind. Whether in the ocean or entering a harbour (perhaps over a bar) even in a narrow channel, broaching can be disastrous. This calls for a drogue. The Para-Drogue is based on parachute technology, but in the case of a drogue we use two parachute sea anchors. The two units are cut differently and closely coupled. They are designed to interact with each other, creating a very high drag and consequent pressure wave. The Para-Drogue will not break free of the water and maintains an even and positive drag on the stern of a vessel. The Para-Drogue has a simple adjustable vent that can be pretensioned to vary the load being applied to the boat.

Para-Drogue test results.

5 knots 265kg 7 knots 480kg 9 knots 890kg

When stowed, the para drogue is able to be stored in a shoe box sized locker. Manufactured from high density nylon with all seams and panels heavily reinforced.

Ice Cat Challenge

Terry Travers and Robin Chamberlin carried both the parachute sea anchor and Para-Drogue on their challenging voyage to Antarctica. Regarding the use of the Para-Drogue, Terry advises "This arrangement served us well for the three days of the gale allowing us to steer by winching in the arm of the bridle in the direction we wished to turn. After the gale passed we retrieved the Para-Drogue and inspected it, finding it like new."

Drogue information

The Para Anchor Drogue comes in three versions, single, tandem and triple. The tandem and triple units are designed to interact with each other maintaining a positive and even drag on the stern of the vessel.

Description Boat size(m) Boat size(ft) Part number
Yacht drogue <15.24m Up to 50ft SAF1200
Yacht Tandem drogue >15.24m Over 50ft SAF1220
Yacht Triple drogue >21m Over 70ft SAF1225

Drogue lines

Drogue lines are made from braided Nylon line and come complete with a thimble and eye at one end allowing easy attachment to the drogue.
 Description  Dimension  Part number
 Single drogue  14mm x 80m SAF1230
 Tandem drogue  16mm x 80m SAF1235
 Triple drogue  16mm x 80m SAF1235
Please note the charts on the Para Anchor and Drogue pages should be used as an approximate guide only. Vessel details should be confirmed with manufacturer before ordering. Two boats of the same length, one with full keel heavy displacement the other light displacement would behave differently on the same Para-Anchor. Therefore each boat would require a different size Para-Anchor.
Please contact our office for more details.

Towing with a para drogue


Under normal circumstances, especially with a sea running, a towed vessel can easily overrun the towing vessel or at least be directionally unstable. When the towed vessel in turn tows a Para-Drogue, towing steerage and manageability becomes a breeze.

Emergency steering with a para drogue

Para-Anchors Australia's Para-Drogue has been approved by the Australian Yachting Federation as an Emergency Steering Device under regulation 15-12, 1995.

On a multi-hull, a bridle is required to be able to vary the drag position on the after end of the boat.

A similar effect can be achieved on a monohull by strapping a spinnaker pole across the transom and rigging a bridle through the end fittings back to the primary winches, allowing easy steerage.