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Some of the best sailing navigation equipment out there is designed to help you predict possible difficulties when offshore sailing. But, sometimes circumstances occur that forces you to stop your boat at sea without much warning. These circumstances can include high wind, rough seas or a storm. If you do much ocean sailing, sooner or later you're likely to hit a storm so you should be ready for it.
One device that can help is a drogue. This device is towed at the stern of a boat with the intention of slowing, not stopping, its progress. In difficult sea sailing conditions, a drogue can reduce the forward speed of a boat, especially when it is threatening to broach or trip end over end. The lines where a drogue is secured will take a tremendous amount of force if you choose to deploy it, so pay careful attention when installing it. Double-check the manufacturer's guidelines.
Another device you can deploy in such a situation is a sea anchor. This is actually a parachute-like device that will deploy and nearly stop the boat--even head to waves and wind. As such, it is used in more extreme conditions. If you plan to do offshore sailing, you should know how to use a sea anchor. A sea anchor is made of fabric and deployed off the bow. Sea anchors utilize a swivel so they can maneuver without breaking a line.
If you are trained as a day sailor and you want to get experience sea sailing, you should spend a great deal of time with an expert learning and understanding how to use these devices and other techniques designed to help you manage ocean sailing. Be aware that some debate exists in most sailing communities about these devices and procedures. So, you may want to ask more than one expert and compare answers. You may also find more information online or at your local library.