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Old 11-12-2008, 19:43   #16
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Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
Ive always liked hunters solution in mounting the traveler to an arch overhead. Kinda the best of both worlds being out of the way and end boom. Pretty big project though. Have to be a strong arch.
I considered an arch. But the side load requirements would have made it so heavy it would have been expensive, about twice that of a standard equipment arch (bout $5k). Plus, if the mainsheets ever got tangled in a rough sea it could be a major problem having to climb up to undo the mess.

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Old 11-12-2008, 21:21   #17

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My own 2 cents worth:

My boat is a centercockpit ketch with endboom sheeting. I rigged a 3:1/6:1 two speed mainsheet tackle on a traveler behind the helm station. It works just great, I can ALWAYS trim by hand even on a 330 sq foot mainsail. Yes, in an accidental jibe the mainsheet becomes a deadly weapon. But I know how to avoid that with preventers.

The sailing school I teach at has Catalina 32's and 36's with midboom sheets. They are rigged with 6:1 tackels lead to winches. They are BRUTAL to sheet in. Many's the time when someone has cranked on the winch as hard as they can, and the sail still isn't in tight enouch. I reach up, grap the end of the boom BY HAND and pull it in for them. Just awful. And that's not counting the tangles and other issues.

I know mid-boom sheeting CAN work, but I do really prefer end-boom if at all possible. That of course assume "all other things equal" and they NEVER are. Each boat has it's own set of compromises, and I hesitate to suggest wht is right for YOUR boat.

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Old 12-12-2008, 07:22   #18
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Shear and Bending in Boom Sections:

IMHO I think it unwise for a layman to relocate mainsheet/boom connection points absent consulting with a knowledgeable spar/rigging engineer beforehand. He may be setting himself up for a boom failure in even moderate conditions.

Unless one’s mainsail sail is loose footed with the mainsheet/boom connection very close to the clew attachment (in which case a boom acts like a tent pole with buckling but not bending loads), a main boom is subject to bending loads imposed by transverse wind loads on the main sail; compression loads introduced by the action of the outhaul on the clew; and, transverse shearing loads introduced by the boom/sheet connection itself. Further compression and shear loading will also be introduced by the connection of a diagonal vang, if any, or in the case of off-wind sailing, a preventer.

A rectangular boom section, unless it can rotate at its connection to the mast (the “gooseneck”) so that the vertical axis aligns with the foot of the sail—which, unfortunately, seems to be rare in “modern” rig designs—is subject to simultaneous bending about both its vertical and horizontal axes. The compressive loads on the inside corner of the section due to such bending, coupled with the compressive load of the outhaul, can result in local buckling that gives rise to rupture of the opposing corner as, there, the elongation of the section may exceed the elastic limit of the material (the classic "broken boom" syndrome). Particularly so in the event of an uncontrolled gybe with impact loads that may be several hundred percent of the otherwise, essentially, static loads.

If a sail is continuously connected along the foot by either a bolt rope or slides, near mid-boom sheeting will introduce less overall bending in the section than will end boom sheeting—although greater shear as more of the sail’s load will be carried in the sheet than at the gooseneck. (The same does not hold for a loose footed sail since, as noted above, with the mainsheet/boom connection very close to the clew attachment point, the boom acts like much like a tent pole, with compressive but little bending load.) If a section has been designed for a continuously supported sail with near mid-boom sheeting, it may prove insufficient for end boom sheeting and, in any case, may develop undesirable curvature when heavily loaded that will adversely impact sail shape and particularly ones ability to control the sail’s maximum draft location in heavy air. This will be less the case relocating mid-boom sheeting designed for a loose footed sail although in that case one would have to examine the section’s ability to sustain the increased buckling that will be introduced by the increase in its “unbraced length” and the eccentricity of the sheet/sail loads.

In view of the foregoing, for a yacht of any size it would seem wise to consult with a professional before undertaking any mods.


s/v HyLyte

PS: My personal preference is for end-boom sheeting that I can reach from the helm.
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Old 12-12-2008, 16:14   #19
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First as svHyLyte says I would also suggest getting professional advice if considering modifying the existing. Like all things, a mid sheeted boom is fine as long as designed for the loads under the conditions the boat is likely to be sailed in. I know of some new production boats that when imported for delivery get reboomed down here because booms not up to the heavy sailing condition we encounter - so sailing intentions have to be considered.

As far as location of the mainsheet/traveller is concerned it becomes a personal thing. But some things to consider.

If sheeted at the end of the boom you end up with a lot more of the ropey stuff to pull in when sheeting compared to mid boom with few parts and a powerful enough winch. Some modern boats get around this by having a single line as a sheet going from the end of the boom to the traveller (or often just a centrally located block if the boat is set up for vang sheeting) to a winch.

One needs to consider how often one is at the wheel or elsewhere in the boat. On cruising boats undertaking passages (coastal or ocean) the usual by far is that there is no one at the wheel most of the time. Mid boom sheeting with a winch by the companionway may then be more convenient and drier if seas rough or raining and one has a dodger. However, one can often also set this up, if wanted on occasion, so the sheet is also by the helm at times by taking one turn around the winch adjacent to the companionway to give a fair lead and then taking the free end of the sheet back to the secondary winches which are often located beside the helm.

If just generally day sailing around the bay for the fun of sailing and wanting to steer and adjust all the ropey bits all the time, then it may be handier and more fun to have sheeting and the traveller at the helm.

Many modern boats the boom does not extend behind the helm much or at all - which means in an in cockpit traveller if end of boom sheeting is wanted.

Depending on your boat if you become overpowered in gusts the usual practice would be to drop the traveller first, not release the sheet, so access to the traveller can be handy. But not so important if one is cruising conservatively or if not and one has a fully battened main one can sail like a dinghy and pinch up to depower the sail in gusts.

All just my opinion .
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Old 17-12-2008, 19:17   #20
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i know the hunter arch has been mentioned....has anybody ever seen or used a traveler on top of a hard dodger? seems like it would be hard to route the lines.
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Old 18-12-2008, 04:53   #21
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My setup is mid boom on top of a hard dodger. There is a clutch bank just behind and outside the dodger compiling of headsail furler, vang and traveller. The traveller line runs with the vang line to the mast base and via blocks up the mast to the boom where it turns and runs along the boom and down to the traveller with corresponding blocks to reduce effort. This is all from memory as I'm away from the boat at the moment. Unfortunately the mizzen is end boom with a fixed location and no vang, now that's a pain in the bum. (I must get around to rectifying that).
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:45   #22
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The traveler is best located in the Bahamas or further south this time of year. !! Seriously, In 3 years in the Carribean I probably adjusted my traveler every once in while. More often used a preventer to hold the main out and not flop on a reach. The traveler just doesn't get out that far.
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Old 18-12-2008, 11:06   #23
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We have end boom sheeting on our Fulmar, with the traveller crossing over the head of the tiller. Very nice to sail with, but we can't put a bimini up because of it.

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Old 18-12-2008, 11:59   #24
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HyLyte's comments are appropriate but I've seen some odd traveler arrangements on production boats like the Hunter. How do you get to the sheet block and traveler if it jams in a blow while you are heeled 45 degrees?
My approach to relocating and rebuilding is to just do it and sort things out later. That makes my life interesting and it shows me how things work for good or bad. I've had sheeting in both areas and I'd prefer an arrangement here in the tropics where I can sail with a dodger and a bimini if needed.
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