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Old 12-01-2018, 09:35   #1
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hardest wearing line for traveller

I'm looking to replace the line in a traveller on a catamaran and I need a very hard wearing sheath due to the nature of the setup. If anyone can recommend one they've been impressed with I'd love to know.

With the long running catamaran traveller I feel some elasticity is advisable given the potential speed of a gybe, although perhaps I'm wrong here and the strength of dyneema is more sensible.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:15   #2
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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Originally Posted by barrymac View Post
I'm looking to replace the line in a traveller on a catamaran and I need a very hard wearing sheath due to the nature of the setup. If anyone can recommend one they've been impressed with I'd love to know.

With the long running catamaran traveller I feel some elasticity is advisable given the potential speed of a gybe, although perhaps I'm wrong here and the strength of dyneema is more sensible.
Don't use Dyneema. I tried that on my cat, and it was like jibing against a brick wall, even in moderate conditions.

In fact, I went to nylon climbing rope, which gave a nice soft jibe. I got the idea from Starzinger. But polyester is fine.
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Old 12-01-2018, 14:39   #3
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Don't use Dyneema. I tried that on my cat, and it was like jibing against a brick wall, even in moderate conditions.

In fact, I went to nylon climbing rope, which gave a nice soft jibe. I got the idea from Starzinger. But polyester is fine.
Oh so true! We used a spectra cored line for traveler control on our monohull, and the first hard gybe resulted in lots of broken plastic ball bearings rolling around on the deck. Looked like a spilt bag of split peas!

Lesson learned!

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Old 12-01-2018, 15:32   #4
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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I got the idea from Starzinger. But polyester is fine.
Just to place proper credit - I borrowed the idea from Stan Honey, who had vast jybing experience racing to Hawaii (and elsewhere) where they pretty much always did 'slam jybes'.

Climbing line generally has pretty durable covers.

There are some ropes with more durable covers (dynema and/or technora and/or nomex blends depending on the heat generated - smoking a spin sheet on a volvo boat can melt normal cover material) but the lines (that I am aware of) are all low stretch. You could possibly put one of these sorts of covers on a more elastic core, but the cover would have to be loose, and I'm not sure how well it would run thru blocks (might be ok, might not).

So, I would start with the climbing line and see if it meets you needs. You want to use knots at the ends, because splicing tends to be difficult and reduces elasticity. I tended to use a buntline hitch (or an estar, which is basically a more secure buntline) because it is decently strong and compact. I tended to sew the ends down just for neatness.
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Old 12-01-2018, 19:53   #5
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

Ooookay. I've been listening to this recommendation for a while, and acknowledging that a stretchy traveller makes sense, I wonder if there is a downside to it.

When going to weather and a puff hits the main, and I see the traveller car move a couple of inches to leeward, I can't help thinking that a bit of wind energy is absorbed instead of pushing the boat harder, faster. I mean, you don't want stretchy shrouds! The set of the main changes, not sure if that's good or bad here.

For the record, my traveller is low grade double braid dacron that does stretch. On a previous cat the original traveller line was real stretchy, nylon I wondered. I can't remember why but I replaced it, probably worn out, and what I got was StasetX. Boy, the give during puffs was gone! I don't recall any problems when jibing though.

So, when I don't have anything to think about, I wonder about using a low stretch line and a mechanism at the car that can provide engage-able shock absorption when needed.

Thoughts? I wonder what the Cup boats use for traveller lines.
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Old 12-01-2018, 21:29   #6
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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Ooookay. I've been listening to this recommendation for a while, and acknowledging that a stretchy traveller makes sense, I wonder if there is a downside to it.

When going to weather and a puff hits the main, and I see the traveller car move a couple of inches to leeward, I can't help thinking that a bit of wind energy is absorbed instead of pushing the boat harder, faster. I mean, you don't want stretchy shrouds! The set of the main changes, not sure if that's good or bad here.

For the record, my traveller is low grade double braid dacron that does stretch. On a previous cat the original traveller line was real stretchy, nylon I wondered. I can't remember why but I replaced it, probably worn out, and what I got was StasetX. Boy, the give during puffs was gone! I don't recall any problems when jibing though.

So, when I don't have anything to think about, I wonder about using a low stretch line and a mechanism at the car that can provide engage-able shock absorption when needed.

Thoughts? I wonder what the Cup boats use for traveller lines.
Was the traveler line hand tensioned or on a winch? This relates to stretch and sizing. A few inches seems like a lot. It would also be astounding if you could feel the difference of a few inches at the boom end for a few moments.

That said, I was happy enough with polyester. My current boat is polyester and I won't be changing it. It was just the Dyneema I really did not like. In truth, with multihulls there is seldom a good reason to jibe with a bunch of mainsheet out.
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Old 13-01-2018, 02:43   #7
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Was the traveler line hand tensioned or on a winch? This relates to stretch and sizing. A few inches seems like a lot. It would also be astounding if you could feel the difference of a few inches at the boom end for a few moments.

. . .
I think you would feel it, but I also think it would be all good, especially on a cat which doesn't heel. Unlike a stretchy sheet, which will power up a flattened sheet, a stretchy traveler will allow the main to feather off a little -- just what you want in a puff.

I never slam gybe (except if I screw up) -- I always keep the lazy traveler control line hardened up. Why I would like to have a different system than what I have now, with maybe a single central powered winch and clutches.

I wonder if there is some other way to introduce elasticity in the control line -- Maybe some springs or snubbers at the car. My control lines are quite light and I wouldn't want them to be nylon. On the contrary, I thought about making them Dyneema (like almost every single other item of running rigging on board by now), but stopped because of this issue.
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Old 13-01-2018, 04:38   #8
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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Was the traveler line hand tensioned or on a winch?
Tension the leeward side? No more than pulling the slack out, but that could certainly help, and I should have thought about it. Pull out the stretch!

I will start doing that in stronger winds. Thanks!
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Old 13-01-2018, 04:43   #9
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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I wonder if there is some other way to introduce elasticity in the control line -- Maybe some springs or snubbers at the car.
Yes, that's exactly what I had in mind, but couldn't imagine a simple way I could doit short of engaging Harken Engineering.

Thinwater's suggestion should lessen the need for more contemplating on that solution.
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Old 13-01-2018, 07:01   #10
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

Nice informative replies here, thanks! Given it's a cruising boat and can't guarantee that crew will always be highly attentive, I'll be going for a line with some stretch and a sheath with technora component to improve abrasion resistance.

Nice tip there dockhead about pre-streching the line if you want to have the setting stay more precise upwind.
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Old 13-01-2018, 10:57   #11
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Cool Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

Why not use a preventer...and a boom brake and avoid hard gybes altogether? Dyneema is fine then...
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Old 13-01-2018, 11:12   #12
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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Why not use a preventer...and a boom brake and avoid hard gybes altogether? Dyneema is fine then...
The combination of boom end sheeting and full width travelers makes a boom brake redundant on most cats, just like a vang is generally redundant. We generally reach down wind, with little slack in the sheet, and so locking the traveler to leeward prevents jibes. I will rig a preventer if running wing-and-wing for long periods; this lets me sail slightly by the lee, stabilizing the genoa without the need for a pole.

I've tested boom brakes of many types (magazine work); on a cat they are more fooling than they are worth. Heck, with a cat you can generally just pull the boom across with the traveler, if you want to.

----

Something worth clarifying; nylon rope works well for this If the lines are sized for hand tensioning using a tackle, not winching. If they are sized to use a winch, they will probably stretch too much. If they are tensioned by hand, the rope is sized for hand, not strength, and the stretch is not that great. It is a matter of balancing the stretch to the load.

There are also two general sizes of climbing rope. I have a light cat and use 8mm. Starzinger had a much heavier boat and was using 10mm, I think. There is 11mm. Mid-boom vs. boom-end will also make a difference.

As a general rule, one size does not fit all.
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Old 13-01-2018, 15:47   #13
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Re: hardest wearing line for traveller

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There are also two general sizes of climbing rope. I have a light cat and use 8mm. Starzinger had a much heavier boat and was using 10mm, I think. There is 11mm.
There are actually three different categories of dynamic climbing rope: single-ropes, half-ropes and twin-ropes. The elastic properties of a rope will be controlled by which of these uses they are designed for (single-ropes being the least stretchy, half-ropes a bit more stretchy, and twin-ropes requiring two strands to pass the same test as a single-rope). Although the single-ropes are generally the thickest and twin ropes the thinnest, it is possible to get a light weight single-rope that is thinner than a heavy-weight twin-rope. The elastic properties are engineered so that the dynamic forces in a worst-case fall onto the rope will not snap a human spine.

Climbers also use static nylon cord for auxiliary purposes. Although no doubt stretchier than polyester yacht rope, it is very different stuff from the dynamic climbing ropes.
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