We recommend the bridle legs (2) should be made from Nylon double braid rope. Wire or 3 strand could be also used for this component. Chosing a different coloured nylon helps to locate the bridle quickly. The bridle line should match or exceed the largest line used in the drogue. The length of each leg is calculated in the following way:-
2.5 x beam at fixing points plus an additional 3 metres to provide for the 20cm soft eye splices at each end of the leg
The U.S. Coast Guard tests concluded that 3 strand rope unravels when subjected to high tension loads. For this reason, all traditional line used should be double braid Nylon. Cones are spaced every 50cms (20″) To facilitate fitting, it is recommended that cones are loaded onto a 1 metre length of plastic plumbing pipe. The line is passed through the centre of the pipe. Cones can then slipped off the pipe onto the drogue line and attached. As more line is required, it can be drawn off the reel and through the pipe into the work area. This area can be a table or board marked with coloured lines at the correct centres, to simplify locating the exact point for each cone attachment.
Attachment of cones to double braid line is straightforward, requiring more patience than skill. Once mastered, each cone should take about 4 minutes to attach. Using our simple tool made from bent wire rod or a latch hook, the cone tape is inserted at approximately 45 degrees to the line between the outer and inner braids, then pulled through and knotted with a “figure 8” knot. These tapes are held securely when the cones fill with water causing the line to stretch and the subsequent friction gripping the knotted tape. Each cone is held in place on the line by 3 tapes attached top and bottom, making a total of 6 knots.. The Sailrite video on youtube is worth viewing to fully understand this procedure.
Alternative rode materials:
Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber ropes – Spectra© and Dyneema©
As time has moved on, new materials have emerged to take on more roles in the general rigging of sailing boats. UHMWPE ropes are suitable for use in drogue construction, and in some cases even preferable as the weight saving is dramatic. Currently the base cost of UHMWPE ropes makes this a pricey alternative, but for those who worry about space and weight saving, it can seem viable.
The weight at the end of the drogue can be a mushroom style anchor or diving weights, chain or anything that can be securely attached to the end of the drogue. Recommended weights are show on the Details & Prices table.
The Series Drogue is designed for deployment from the stern. It should not be set from the bow as a sea anchor.
Choice of bridle legs attachment points require careful consideration and should be as far aft as possible. These should be either solid deck fittings or purpose made chain plates ‘through-bolted’. Existing hardware such as sheet winches should be inspected by a qualified person to ensure they are capable of withstanding loads greater than breaking strain of the line.