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Old 14-09-2015, 18:53   #1
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Eliminate main sheet traveller?

I was thinking about eliminating the traveller on my cape dory 28. How bad of an idea do you guys think this would be? Do you think I would regret it?

How important are they for mainsheet sail trim and unwind performance? Downwind? I was think of putting a big Schaefer, what are they called, like a u block, a really strong arch looking block in the center and attaching a beefy 6:1 mainsheet system to this.

Right now I think my mainsheet traveller looks like a really week point. The traveller track won't accept other cars and the car they have has a really dinky looking hook to accept the harken mainsheet cam block.
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Old 14-09-2015, 19:07   #2
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I was thinking about eliminating the traveller on my cape dory 28. How bad of an idea do you guys think this would be? Do you think I would regret it?

How important are they for mainsheet sail trim and unwind performance? Downwind? I was think of putting a big Schaefer, what are they called, like a u block, a really strong arch looking block in the center and attaching a beefy 6:1 mainsheet system to this.

Right now I think my mainsheet traveller looks like a really week point. The traveller track won't accept other cars and the car they have has a really dinky looking hook to accept the harken mainsheet cam block.
I wouldn't do it. The traveler is just as important as the mainsheet for trim. Basically the sheet controls leech twist and the traveler controls the sheeting angle. If you get bad weather helm you drop the traveler to leeward and keep pointing upwind. Without a traveler, you ease the sheet, the top twists way off and you lose a lot of angle. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 14-09-2015, 19:09   #3
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

Not sure it is a weak point, but it certainly adds some complexity.

If you want to maintain the same trim properties you have now, but eliminate the traveller, you need a good vang system.

Idea of traveller is to adjust main angle of attack without changing sheet tension (opening or closing the leech). Angle of attack changes the helm dramatically, which is why dropping the traveler in a puff is more effective than easing the sheet. Same can be accomplished with proper vang tension - sometimes called vang sheeting while going to weather, with a tight vang, changing sheet tension changes angle of attack without opening or closing the leech.


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Old 15-09-2015, 00:09   #4
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

The traveller is indispensable in my boat for mainsheet trim. The vang is not strong enough, and I also use it opposite my preventer to keep the main from slatting. I would get rid of other things and update the traveller.
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Old 15-09-2015, 07:31   #5
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

Vang sheeting works well for dinghys but on a larger boat like yours I would be afraid of breaking something. Get your traveler system working well and play around with it. You will be glad you have it.
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Old 15-09-2015, 08:20   #6
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

It depends on what kind of sailing you are doing. If coastal cruising then you will probably be looking for upwind performance, in which case the traveller will be quite important as it will allow you to get the boom right on the centreline. On a raceboat, or if you like to set too much canvas then a traveller is invaluable as it allows you to depower the sail without losing the shape. If offshore cruising I haven't found it so important. I took mine off to save on complexity (well, it blew up in a gale between the Canaries and Antigua) and haven't regretted it. Sail shape can be controlled well enough using the sheet, vang and topping lift.
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Old 15-09-2015, 08:43   #7
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

Garhauer has real good traveler systems for not much $$. You might want to look into installing one of their systems.
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Old 15-09-2015, 09:17   #8
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

The traveller is important for sail trim, so keep the traveller. It is particularly handy in gusty conditions, when the gust comes up, drop the traveler instead of easing the mainsheet. You will retain more power and speed, especially up wind.

However, the traveller that is installed is not all that user friendly. The stops have to be moved in order to adjust the traveller. Something that most sailors with this system wouldn't do all that often.

A modern traveller will have a ball bearing car with 3:1 or 4:1 adjustable leads that allow for easy changes in traveller position.

Garhauer makes good solid products. Harken has a more informative website. Take a look at the Harken site for ideas on how to set up the traveller, price it out and compare to Garhauer. It will be a worthwhile improvement.
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Old 15-09-2015, 09:30   #9
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

I periodically sail a Jeanneau 33i that is rigged without a traveler. Much easier to sail with a bunch of non sailors on board (one less piece of equipment to deal with) and vang sheeting works well enough (obviously or they wouldn't rig it this way at the factory).

That said, if it were my boat you are talking about I would replace the traveler rather than remove it.

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Old 15-09-2015, 10:02   #10
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

Alberg 35 s came w/o travelers. Just about every one has updated to a traveler system. Karen's traveler is worn out and will be replaced with a Garhaur.
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Old 15-09-2015, 10:02   #11
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

My boat does not have traveller. The main sheet block terminates and exits on the deck via a heavy duty weldment or cleat if you will. We can adjust the position of the boom with our vang/preventer setup. Our boom is always under control. It takes a bit more work but is very safe and virtually nothing to break or come apart.
I did have a traveller come apart on a previous boat and it was exciting.
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Old 15-09-2015, 10:09   #12
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

My Niagara 35 had two main sheets on the cabin top in lieu of a traveller. I quite liked the system.
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Old 15-09-2015, 10:26   #13
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

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Garhauer has real good traveler systems for not much $$. You might want to look into installing one of their systems.
I have to agree. Garhauer has always done me right by price and quality. Love those guys
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Old 15-09-2015, 10:27   #14
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

If you already have it I would leave it. It helps on a reach anyway.
If you like simplicity and didn't already have a traveler, a barber hauler/block and tackle is more effective for other points of sail.
Most the travelers I've had aren't wide enough to be real effective anyway. But they are handy on certain points of sail.
Why do you think it's a weak point?
You are at anchor probably 90% of the time, and a traveler helps keep the boom stable and not gyrating at anchor also. Allows you to set the boom off center from the companionway for ease too.
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Old 15-09-2015, 11:10   #15
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Re: Eliminate main sheet traveller?

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My Niagara 35 had two main sheets on the cabin top in lieu of a traveller. I quite liked the system.
My Cal25 had the same thing, as did my paceship 29. I think this would be a reasonable alternative, rather than a single point.

The old Tanzer 22 originally came with the main sheet attached to a single point on the cockpit floor. Almost every one has been upgraded to a traveller system. On my T22, I removed the traveller, and went back to the single point. I may have lost a tiny bit of speed due to sail shape, but I never noticed it. I was still able to trim well in all conditions and enjoyed the simplicity of getting all that hardware out of the cockpit.
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