Emergency Steering with a Drogue: A New Approach

April 11, 2014

By John Rousmaniere

Steering a boat that's lost her rudder is one of the most daunting problems a crew must anticipate and prepare to manage.  

The tests were done with a Swan 44 whose rudder had been removed
Drogue steering under power and sail was tested and videotaped on this rudderless Swan 44.

The Newport Bermuda Race Safety Requirement is:  “4.1 Steering in an Emergency: A yacht's crew shall be aware of multiple methods of steering the yacht with the rudder disabled, and shall have chosen and practiced one method and be prepared to demonstrate it while sailing both upwind and downwind.”

One method is dragging a drogue astern.  A new technique has been developed by Michael Keyworth, an experienced offshore sailor, a Newport Bermuda Race inspector, and a presenter at safety seminars.

His video, below, How to Steer with a Drogue: Don’t  Lose Your Boat When You Lose Your Rudder demonstrates emergency steering under power and sail using a Galerider.  Adam Loory produced the video.              

For additional information, see FAQ 4.1, Steering in an Emergency,

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