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Old 03-01-2006, 21:58   #16
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I always thought a traveller would give me more options for sail handling, in keeping the main flat while sheeted at the proper angle. My boat furthermore was designed as a sedate cruiser, and had the mainsheet attached to the back stay, meaning if it snaps, it all goes.... I always felt like every sheeting weakens my backstay in some way. Installing a traveller between cockpit seats would have been the only option, other than it would have really made the cockpit impractical. I chose instead to make some aluminium extrusions, and attach some LONG Harken high beam to some aluminum square tubing. The result is something really strong -- you can jump on it easily. The aluminum extrusions fit the track with one long pin, meaning the whole thing is removable. This spans from one cockpit coaming to the other, meaning I still get end-boom sheeting (very important I think), and making everything flexible. When I have people to entertain I use the original sheeting to the backstay. When cruising I fit the traveller, and it takes 2 minutes to get the push pins through, and the snap shackle of the main sheet block off the backstay and onto the traveller. Furthermore, I fitted the tiller pilot to the traveller -- hence no holes drilled in the boat. It works. Drawback -- access to the outboard motor is more limited -- I actually have to take the traveller off to be able to manover in the marina. But it works, because when i cruise I don't need to manover a lot.

My point is that it's all possible -- if you're willing to think with some design in mind. And finding a way to get a traveller on your boat will increase exponentially your enjoyment of sailing, as well as your skills.
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Old 10-01-2006, 23:43   #17
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The problem of twisted sheets can be from many sources - but many a time it has to do with the core of the line being used. A line with a stranded core will tend to twist under strain, and continued strain will 'iron in ' the twist. It's actually an easy fix - on most blocks, the swivel has a small set screw which locks the swivel in place. Set those in and 95.875% (scientifically verified) of your problems are gone.

As far as a traveler, I think alot depends on boat size. A school I work at has Catalina 25's with travelers that span the cockpit. In a perfect world, these would be good for dumping the main, as most books tell you. In reality, the cam cleats have been stepped on and the mounts are bent, so it is nigh impossible to cleat the traveller under pressure. The mainsheet, meanwhile, is right there and on a cam, so it's much easier to just dump it. The vangs aren't too powerful, so I just crank on the main as much as I can, snug up the vang, and then re-trim the main.

Remember the two rules of sailing:
1. Always look good (and yes, this goes beyond sagging headsails and screaming at your wife when docking; it includes the obvious like not falling overboard).
2. Don't do any work you don't have to. Does the dodger make it a pain to use the traveler to dump in a gust? Hell, man, just use the wheel and feather up a bit - that gust will pass, and then you don't have to set down your beer...
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:24   #18
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I thought Rule #1 was "The Captain is always right."

Rule #2 being "If the Captain is wrong, see Rule #1."

whaddya mean no yelling at the wife while docking??

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Old 11-01-2006, 23:39   #19
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I always figure the harder you make the crew work, the less likely they are to buy you a beer afterwards...
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Old 12-01-2006, 19:13   #20
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Thermal - In rereading this thread, I would add.....
The line should run freely. Twist will greatly reduce the proper function of the sheet. If it still feeds slowly without twist, I would check size of line and free operation of sheaves without line. Easiest first steps would be to confirm diameter of line (sheave is wider than line, not equal to it), then remove sheet, check and clean/lube all sheaves and then re-feed sheet from opposite end and see if that helps.

Larry
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