Test Proves Concept, But How Practical Is It?

After you watch the video below, you will see that the same drogue MOB recovery technique can be used on powercraft by substituting the dinghy hoist for a boom. As you will see, you would still have to unwind the hoist cable to put the hook at the correct height and secure the davit at the correct angle. 

Even though the video is proof of concept, the question must be: How practical is this use for a drogue for powerboats? First of all the demonstration assumes the MOB is conscious. If that's the case, why wouldn't you bring the vessel alongside the MOB, place the engine(s) in neutral and, using a line with or without a horseshoe buoy, lead the MOB to the swim platform.

In any event, the Fiorentino Para-Anchor people have put together an interesting demonstration, which they describe below:

Can storm drogues be used to pull sailors who have fallen overboard from the water? A new first–ever video by Fiorentino Para-Anchor a manufacturer of para-anchors and the Shark drogue, Newport Beach, California, shows sailors what works and what doesn’t. 

“Our video shows the pros and cons of any crew overboard retrieval system involving the use of a para-anchor or storm drogue,” says Zack Smith, head of Fiorentino’s research team. “Our goal is to help sailors decide what system might work best for them. It’s particularly critical that sailors consider the drawbacks of each system as well as the pluses so they are better prepared for emergencies.”

Equipment deployed from Fiorentino’s test boat includes a block and tackle system using a Fiorentino para-anchor, two purpose-built storm drogues, and the old fashion halyard line. Sailors will be able to see what system is the easiest, fastest, and safest to use.