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Old 13-10-2015, 05:03   #1
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Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Hello Cruisers,

I have been pondering our mainsheet traveller lately. It is about 4 or 5 feet long, conveniently placed just behind your backside when steering, close enough to reach but not so close that you end up sitting on it.

It is the basic sort, with the sliding "stoppers" that you can set to a position in advance to limit the movement of the traveller car or jamb the car in an upwind position, etc.

The thing is, human nature being what it is, the stoppers are a bit of a pain to move, so they don't get moved as much as they should, often resulting in less than decent mainsail shape.

I am contemplating fitting a reasonable traveller system, with a 2:1 or probably 3:1 purchase. Of course, if I do this, I am adding complexity to a nice simple system. What do people think about the pros and cons of the two systems? Is the extra complexity warranted on a cruising boat?

Matt
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Old 13-10-2015, 05:10   #2
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

I've got the same pin stop traveler, but it's only 2.5' wide so I'm suffering with the pins. If I had a traveler as wide as yours I wouldn't even be asking about it. I would have the traveler ordered already!!!


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Old 13-10-2015, 05:16   #3
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

So, I'll take that as a yes then.
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Old 13-10-2015, 05:19   #4
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Another vote for yes. If you're going to put up with a traveller at all, it may as well be one can be used for it's purpose.
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Old 13-10-2015, 06:38   #5
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Absolutely yes. You'll use it every day.
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Old 13-10-2015, 07:01   #6
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Another "Heck Yes!"

The pin stop hassle encourages you to not do what your easily could...
And want to do!
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:22   #7
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Heavy wind on SF Bay (20-25 knts) calls for a traveler that can be controlled under load. No way to move slides under heavy load except on a tack. It is a most us tool to depower (spill wind) when you become overpowered as well as pulling the traveler to weather in very light air to help pointing.
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:27   #8
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Fit a recirculating ball traveler with a 4:1 purchase and flip release jammers
You will use it every day of sailing.
So easy and effortless to adjust trim and sail form at a moment without fiddling with main sheets and vang all the time
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:49   #9
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

What about setting up a tackle each side to try it, can usually be done with a few lashings. See if you like it and get an idea of how much purchase you really need. Then if you use it invest in a new traveler.
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Old 13-10-2015, 11:38   #10
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

If you have a boom vang, you don't even really need a traveler(if you don't have one you probably should get one). The only thing a traveler can do that a boom vang can't, is to close the leach to windward. But a windward leach actually slows your boat down.
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Old 13-10-2015, 11:46   #11
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmz View Post
If you have a boom vang, you don't even really need a traveler(if you don't have one you probably should get one). The only thing a traveler can do that a boom vang can't, is to close the leach to windward. .........
Wrong.

A good well placed traveler changes the angle of attack of the mainsail without changing the trim of the sail.

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Old 13-10-2015, 11:53   #12
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msrcal36 View Post
Heavy wind on SF Bay (20-25 knts) calls for a traveler that can be controlled under load. No way to move slides under heavy load except on a tack. It is a most us tool to depower (spill wind) when you become overpowered as well as pulling the traveler to weather in very light air to help pointing.
+1. We're cruisers not racers.

On a 46' boat a pulley car system with mechanical advantage is mandatory. I find if I regularly wash the line, clean the tracks and apply mclube then all runs well. There is obviously more maintenance but worth it IMHO.

We also run barber haulers on our jib sheets for the same reason. Repositioning cars is a pain but necessary to fine tune sail shape after a tack or gybe.

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Old 13-10-2015, 12:57   #13
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Wrong.

A good well placed traveler changes the angle of attack of the mainsail without changing the trim of the sail.

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But you want the trim of the sail to change when you change the angle of attack. You want a tighter leech when close hauled than when off the wind. If you set your traveler for the correct leech tension off the wind, as you change the angle of attack with your main sheet, it tightens the leech when you sheet in--which is what you want.
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Old 13-10-2015, 13:12   #14
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmz View Post
If you have a boom vang, you don't even really need a traveler(if you don't have one you probably should get one). The only thing a traveler can do that a boom vang can't, is to close the leach to windward. But a windward leach actually slows your boat down.
It takes a really really powerful vang to replace a traveller on a 40ft plus boat and there is no room for one on a Swanson 42 as the dog house gets in the way. With a powerful vang you also have two adjustments to make when you want to change the angle of attack without changing the main shape. A powerful vang also changes the mast and boom curvature which may or may not be desired. Finally a vang cannot replicate the effect of a traveller set up to windward which can open the upper leach of the main.

Our Bavaria 49 has a traveller that's only about two feet long; it is definitely on the make it longer list. Even at such a small size we have a 4:1 purchase on it and use it often.
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Old 13-10-2015, 13:45   #15
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Re: Fit a mainsheet traveller system or leave well alone?

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Originally Posted by bmz View Post
But you want the trim of the sail to change when you change the angle of attack. You want a tighter leech when close hauled than when off the wind. If you set your traveler for the correct leech tension off the wind, as you change the angle of attack with your main sheet, it tightens the leech when you sheet in--which is what you want.
My error, it should have read: "if you set your boom vang for the correct leech tension off the wind,"
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