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The part of a boat called a drogue is used to slow down a boat in rough waters. Without this device, a boat would not be able to decelerate, which, in turn, would cause the boat to crash. In addition, drogues help a boat's captain to control the vessel. Essentially, a drogue acts as a type of anchor that creates a substantial amount of resistance.
Drogues are attached to the back of a boat with a lengthy nylon cord. In order to prevent the drogue from floating to the surface of a body of water, chains are also attached to the device. Frequently, the term sea anchor is used interchangeably with the term drogue. However, a sea anchor is slightly different, since is is significantly larger in size and different in shape. A sea anchor will bring a vessel almost to a complete stop, though this is not possible when using a drogue.
Drogues vary in shape and size, though most drogues are constructed in the form of a parachute. Made from flexible material, parachute drogues work a lot like an actual parachute, though these objects use the force of water, instead of air, to slow down a boat. Small slits may be cut into a drogue for stability reasons. Experienced sailors can effectively judge the distance at which drogues should be deployed. The aim of this device is to use the natural force of a wave to slow a boat down. Therefore, a drogue must be dropped into a body of water at intervals. Drogues should ascend a wave while a boat is in the process of descending a wave.
Many people who own boats often attempt to created homemade drogues. These drogues are often crafted from old tires, pieces of rubber, and other scrap materials. While some of these objects may slow down a boat slightly, they are highly unlikely to bring a boat to a complete standstill. Thus, most naval experts agree that manufactured drogues are the only drogues that should be used.
Otherwise, a boat may wind up crashing into another object when a storm strikes. Also, a sole chain is not an effective stopping device. Any vessel that is meant to sail should have an effective way of stopping when a storm strikes. Drogues are the best possible way of slowing down a boat. Some large boats may contain two or more drogues, though most small boats can be effectively slowed with just one.