Category Archives: DB Reports

Submit Your Own Case Report

Have you been in a storm? Whether or not you used a drag device, please send us your experiences so that others can learn from them. The more reports we have, from as wide a range of vessels and conditions, the better we can draw consistent conclusions from them.

Please provide us with as much information as you can. If you wish us to withhold any details (for example, your own name or that of your boat) please just let us know.

There are multiple ways in which you can send us your report, for example:

  1. Fill in the online form below as fully as possible
  2. Download the form as a Word document, fill it in, and upload it.
  3. Download the form as a PDF document, print it out, fill it in by hand, then take a photo or scan of it and upload it.
  4. Write the report in longhand or just use your log entries, take a photo or scan of it and upload it using the form below.

Or any combination of the above.

Please also send us photos, videos, or even photos of your log entries!

NOTE: The form does have some required fields, even if you are uploading your report, please do fill in those fields (shown in red below). Normally we will also try to contact you with clarifying questions so that we can extract the maximum benefit out of your experience.

Thank you for your contribution to the DataBase! Every bit helps improve our understanding and knowledge of surviving the storms that nature throws at us.

Your Details:

Your Boat's Details

Sailing Vessels

Power Vessels
Rowing Boats

Drag Device Used

Rode Particulars

How and to what is your bridle attached? E.g. Are you using a custom chainplate?

Incident Details

Weather Details

Please upload any pictures or other documents. In particular, we would value a photo of the side of the boat, including keel if possible, and also a photo of how the bridle is attached to the boat.

Acceptable file types: doc,docx,pdf,txt,gif,jpg,jpeg,png,mp3,mp4,zip,rar.
Maximum file size: 2mb.

Statement of Release

Read and Search the Case Reports

To date there are 142 reports in the database. To browse them, just select from the right the category of reports in which you are interested.

Alternatively, you can search for specific items using the search box below, and you can further  narrow and filter your search by combing your search terms with the checkbox options below:

  • Boat Type

  • Length of Boat

  • Keel Style

About the sea

"Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm has bound the restless wave...

O hear us when we cry to thee, for those in peril on the sea."

 William Whiting


"Every small vessel venturing offshore is a lonely entity, face to face with the most elemental force on the planet earth."

    Carleton Mitchell


"The sea drives truth into a man like salt."

 Hilaire Belloc


"The time to take measures for a ship's safety is while still able to do so. Nothing is more dangerous than for a seaman to be grudging in taking precautions, lest they turn out to have been unnecessary. Safety at sea, for a thousand years, has depended on exactly the opposite philosophy."

  Chester W. Nimitz,
Admiral, U.S. Navy


"At sea, man is always at war with the elements."



"When the wind rises to Force 10 or more, and the gray beards ride over the ocean, we arrive at totally different conditions, and for yachts it is battle for survival, as indeed it sometimes may be for big ships."

     K. Adlard Coles


"The fallacy lies in expecting anything at sea to be as it `should be'."

     Webb Chiles


"In the 1979 race, the sea showed that it can be a deadly enemy, and that those who go to sea for pleasure must do so in the full knowledge that they may encounter dangers of the highest order."

Official Inquiry,  Fastnet tragedy of 1979

Praise for DDDB

"Living to tell the tale is proof enough of a successful method. Victor Shane's concept to compile such information is to be congratulated, considering a lack of knowledge has existed for as long as the problem itself. I look forward to the day when such information becomes a basic fixture on all sea going vessels."

John Abernethy, Founder, Seabrake


"This is a valuable collection of information regarding the use of parachute-type sea anchors and various types of drogues on the sort of boats we use. The case histories are interesting and revealing. The author pioneered the use of former USN ordnance parachutes on multihulls, and founded the company based on that experience. But this is more than an argument for his product. It is an honest presentation of frightening experiences made more bearable by these devices. Highly recommended for anyone who goes to sea...."

Captain John Bonds, Executive Director, U.S. SAILING (Courtesy American Sailor, The News Magazine of U.S. Sailing)


"I read through virtually the entire book without stopping. The cases were fascinating. What really made the reading educational, however, was your immediate analysis of each case. It is not the ultimate success or lack of success that makes the case studies worthwhile, but the factors leading to the result. I would think that anyone considering a voyage offshore should read the DDDB before selecting a sea anchor or drogue. I hope that the publishing of this inspires more people to submit their case histories to you and enlarge the base of information."

Cameron Bright, Associate Editor, Ocean Navigator


"I have read the DDDB from its inception and believe that it is, in context, a valuable contribution to safety at sea."

Peter Bruce, Editor, Heavy Weather Sailing


"I think your research can be a great contribution to the safety of small vessels at sea. I would like to suggest that you might consider expanding the DDDB so that, in the future, one could access a new design or an existing vessel and pass an intelligent judgment on its behavior in gale force winds. I hold the opinion that the prismatic coefficient, location and shape of the maximum section, shape of the buttocks, shape of the keel, rig, and shape of the hull above the waterline all play an important role in the behavior of the vessel in gales and the probability of needing to deploy a drag device."

Thomas E. Colvin, Naval Architect


"Victor has done a great job with his Drag Device Data Base. We must all support his efforts. He needs as many records as he can get, both the successes and the relative failures. This record is a vital part of research into survival at sea."

Professor Noël Dilly, University of London


"At the Wolfson Unit we specialize, and have complete faith, in physical testing, difficulties, time scales and safety. This is usually conducted in a controlled environment, often with scale models. Correlation of test results with full scale experience is invaluable but often difficult to achieve. The DDDB provides a compilation of experience which supports our limited experimental data. Whilst our recommendations for yacht stability have been much publicized, our advice on the value of drogues and sea anchors appears to have been overlooked. The evidence in this publication should be brought to the attention of all who operate ocean going yachts and other small craft."

Barry Deakin, Wolfson Unit, University of Southampton, England


"Prior to reading your book on sea anchors and drogues, I had numerous misconceptions about storm survival tactics and deployment of drag devices. Your extensive documentation of case histories was a source of tremendous enlightenment. I will incorporate much of this information in future safety lectures."

Charles Hawley, Moderator & Speaker, Cruising World Safety Seminars


"I am very impressed with your work on drag devices and feel that your collection of actual incidents of blue water sailors using drag devices is very beneficial to the improvement of safety at sea. Your Fourth Edition is a fine book which I can highly recommend to blue water sailors who want to buy real insurance, and not simply the kind printed on paper."

Earl R. Hinz, Author, Understanding Sea Anchors and Drogues


"The DDDB is a real and important contribution to our knowledge of storm tactics. You are to be commended for organizing and maintaining the data collection process and for presenting the results in such a clear and useful fashion."

Donald J. Jordan, Co-Author, Investigation Of The Use Of Drogues to Improve The Safety Of Sailing Yachts (U.S. CG-D-20-87)


"There is ever more evidence that the catamaran configuration is rather more seaworthy than even the most enthusiastic of its proponents amongst us anticipated. In my view, the two items that will add the `seal' to the catamaran's place as a fully seaworthy, go-anywhere yacht are the drogue and the sea-anchor. No serious trans-ocean yacht should leave port without one. To go with the equipment we need to know how best to use it. Not something we can just go out and test - the DDDB is the next best thing. Keep up the good work."

Derek Kelsall, Kelsall Yacht Designs, Ltd.


"A very good effort!"

Richard Newick, Newick Multihulls


"Keep up the good work!"

Daniel C. Shewmon, Shewmon Sea Anchors, Inc.


Download to Read Offline!

You can read the entire DDDB online for free. But what if you are out at sea without an internet connection? Wouldn't it be good to read it then? Or to have it available on your Kindle, iPad, Sony Reader or other device?

Now, for a very nominal cost, you can instantly download the eBook version of the DDDB and read it on your preferred device. Just select which version you want below, and click the green button: