Flapper stoppers

Kukaro

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29 Apr 2015
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Uk
Hi all has anyone use flopper stoppers on there boat if so how did you find them were they good, bad,

I have a heritage east Sundeck 40 which rolls in even the lightest conditions and was thinking of fitting them, have any of you fitted them to one of there boats.
 
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BobnLesley

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1 Dec 2005
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Aground in Yorkshire awaiting a very high tide
Built and tried a box-with-flaps in the bottom and a triangle-weighted-at one corner design too, I didn't think either made enough difference to warrant the effort/storage space. I noticed a lot of US boats in the Bahamas were rigging/deploying what looked like a series of mini road-cones off the side, no idea how well they work. After a while you only ever notice the very worst pitching & rolling
 

vyv_cox

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16 May 2001
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France, sailing Aegean Sea.
A recent article in YM tested them. The conclusion is that they can never totally stop rolling, as the 'valve', of whatever type it is, has to perform its opening or closing at the end of each stroke. Beyond this they are fairly effective. My thought is that if you had several little triangles instead of one big one, maybe built into a box, it might be more effective.
 

GrahamM376

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30 Oct 2010
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Swing mooring Faro
Many years ago we bought a set of plastic ones a bit like road cones with wider base. May be OK in non-tidal situations but we found they only worked at slack water as tide would sweep them back even with weights on so, not much use.
 

Squeaky

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25 Mar 2008
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Marmaris, Turkey
Good afternoon:

Many years ago when I purchased my second yacht in the UK I discovered a proper commercially produced "drogue" included in it's inventory. At the time I had no intentions of ever being in a situation which would warrant it's use however I stored it away in the bottom of a locker and forgot about it until the summer when I spent a lot of time in San Antonio, Ibiza. I used to go out to anchor in the local bays, usually with some nubile young ladies I had met in one of the bars, and found that the lumpy sea left over from the northerly winds made life quite uncomfortable.

I thought about the problem for a while and decided to try securing the "drogue" to the main sheet and pushing the boom out and lashing it to the shroud on which ever side I thought would be the most effective . I found a large round rock and dropped it into the bottom of the "drogue" to plug the hole and lowered it over the side until the top of the "drogue" was a few inches under water.

The first result was that my yacht moved around to face into the waves rather that lying beam on to the incoming waves as it was inclined to do plus each time it tried to roll the weight of the water in the "drogue" would resist this action and it remained relatively stable.

Not a perfect solution as I suspect the only perfect solution is to leave it chocked up on land but it gave me an excuse for carrying the "drogue" - unfortunately I left in on the yacht when I sold it and have never got around to purchasing another.

When I decided to leave the anchorage it was a simple matter to recover it and drop it back into the locker.

Cheers

P.S. I have since found that a large bucket with a strong handle full of water will produce the same effect and comfort.
Squeaky
 
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billcowan

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20 Mar 2005
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Drumadoon
If the rolling is due to the swell being in a different direction to the wind, try this that I learned from watching a french boat;
Anchor in the normal way, wait til the boat is head to wind, tie a rope to the anchor chain, let out more chain and take the other end of the rope back to a stern or center cleat on the side that the swell isn't coming from. now adjust the chain and rope length so that the boat points into the swell, not the wind.
only works in fairly light winds though, but it turns rolling into less uncomfortable pitching, or in the case of a long keeler, hardly any pitching at all.

I tried all the bucket stuff, it doesn't work very well.
 

Neil_Y

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28 Oct 2004
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Devon
Tried a few variations some years ago now and as they have to move to resist the roll the boat still rolled, best investment was a decent kedge with a goo bit of chain which we'd take out in the dinghy to swing the bow into the swell. It was quite common on the smaller Caribbean islands to have the swell wrapping around the island as the boat sat head to wind or nearly beam on to the swell. A kedge set up cancelled all the roll leaving a gentle pitching which didn't topple any wind glasses.
 

Mrnotming

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1 Mar 2005
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Dublin
Currently I use a lidl collapsible gardeners large leaf bucket type thing.
I chuck various weights in there,like say the dinghy grapnel anchor.Rigged on the spi pole well guyed and braced,it seems to work in nuisance strength conditions.
 
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Jeva

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24 Jan 2011
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182
Yes, we use flopper stoppers. We use them at sea if the seas are beam on and they do reduce the roll, but in recent years we've used the sails - However the big difference is at anchor. We were recently in Syracuse, and with the floppers out were the only boat to have a peaceful night without being thrown out of our bed.
Flopper Stoppers, as far as I know, were originally devised by fishermen off the NE coast of America. If you've seen the film 'Perfect Storm' that's what all the fuss was about.
One of the Italian chandlers still have them in their catalogue, of the 'folding door' type - so two plates about 1 metre long joined down a long edge with a hinge. As the boat rolls toward it, it folds and sinks, as the boat rolls back it opens and creates slows the roll. One on each side is better than a single unit on one side.
If you like to sleep at night, it's the best thing since a sprung mattress.
 

macd

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25 Jan 2004
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Bricks & mortar: Italy. Boat: Aegean
I've used drogue-type flopper stoppers and have spoken with advocates of 'weighted triangle' types. Both work best with long period waves...swell, in other words. The first time I used one, anchored off St Kilda in a slight swell, the boat was engaged in rhythmic rolling, a purgatory like no other. The gunwhales were literally going under. The weighted drogue seemed to stop the process initiating, giving a joyfully peaceful night (unlike the HR anchored 100m away, which rolled to hell and back all night).

In shorter seas, the drogue simply couldn't deploy itself quickly enough to be effective. In such conditions, as Charles wrote, a kedge holding bow to sea is more effective.
 
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