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Old 17-11-2019, 19:21   #1
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Moving mainsheet traveler

Hello all, quick technical question. I have a Pearson 30 with the mainsheet traveler located behind my steering wheel. I am thinking of moving it over the main hatch to free up some space. I am a bit concerned about the geometry and stressing the boom and the deck by fitting it there. I dont think I have seen a Pearson 30 with this modification. Any thoughts?
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Old 17-11-2019, 19:39   #2
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Re: Moving mainsheet traveler

Hi
I am not familiar with your boat, but you have identified the concerns. No theoretical reason if the boom is strong enough (I suspect most are), the fittings are up to the task & the track is securely fastened. You may also have to increase the number of blocks in the main sheet system.
All my yachts have had center boom attached main sheet systems - can bend a bit, but only breakage ever was where the boom vang attached.

Good luck.
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Old 17-11-2019, 21:08   #3
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Re: Moving mainsheet traveler

You are right to be concerned about the geometry and stressing the boom and deck. As Kiwi suggests, if the boom and deck are strong enough, the fittings up to the task, and the track is securely fastened, there should be no problem. The problem is that most booms and decks are NOT strong enough without modification and the securely fastened track rips the top off the cabin and/or deck while the poorly calculated point loading on the boom snaps it in two.
Pearson 30’s have the sheet led from the back of the cockpit to the end of the boom because it is the best way to reduce loads on the boom. This enables a lighter boom, which is not only cheaper to produce but less weight also improves sailing performance. The long lever arm of the boom reduces the force you need to pull in the sheet too. Moving the sheet to mid-boom will double the force required to pull in the sheet, and double the force acting upon the boom as well. To prevent it breaking, this load has to be spread out on the boom, either by reinforcing the boom itself with a sleeve or more often by having several blocks at intervals along it for the main sheet. The increased load (doubled, you will recall, if you are moving the sheet to mid-boom) will now also be acting upon the traveler that you will have to move to the cabin top. The cabin top of a Pearson 30 was not designed to handle the upward pull of the mainsheet cranking in (at 6:1? More if you install a winch for it! ) for sailing upwind in a 15 knot breeze. It will need reinforcement, likely tying it in to the cabin trunk, deck and hull/deck joint, to keep the traveler from ripping all these things apart. This is going to take up space in the cabin or mess up the lines of the boat quite a bit.
The changes are also going to be expensive.
An simpler alternative might be to use an easily opened shackle to attach the mainsheet to the existing traveler. Easing the traveler to leeward will get it out of the way when you’re sailing. In port when you want the sheet out of the way you can detach the shackle and move the end of the sheet to the toerail or to a stanchion base. This gets the boom out of the way of the companionway as well.
It may be that the problem you have is less of a problem than you think.
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Old 18-11-2019, 19:07   #4
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Re: Moving mainsheet traveler

Thank you so much, very useful information. I think after reading all this I rather leave it the way it is. I dont think it's worth the trouble.
Thank you
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