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Old 28-12-2005, 10:22   #1
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Mainsheet Traveller vs Hard Point

The boat I'm pursuing has a single hard point abaft the cockpit to which the mainsheet block is attached. As is usually the case with 3-sheave blocks such as this one, the falls are twisted around each other and make it hard to ease the sheet when trying to move the boom off of centerline. I suspect that either end-for-ending the sheet or replacing the sheet will resolve this - but only temporarily. Once the line gets loaded up again over several cycles I'm pretty sure the twist will reappear. This is a double-braid line.

So - can someone tell me the pros & cons of replacing the hard point with a traveller system? I have good access below to reinforce the track attachment points.

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Old 28-12-2005, 10:43   #2
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First it sounds as though you need better line for your blocks. e.g. Staset or Staset X. Something a little more ridgid to keep from knotting up.

And yes, a traveler will improve performance. By pulling the main over center the vessel will point up more..................._/)
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Old 28-12-2005, 10:46   #3
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Adding a traveller will not solve your "twisting" problem but will allow you to sheet in your sail with more control and better shape. You will still have the same block setup as you currently have.
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Old 28-12-2005, 10:54   #4
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Twist and Shout (or Curse)

This sounds like a problem with twist in the sheet itself, not the relative attachment point.

End-for-ending the sheet means running the current, untwisted, tail through the blocks, and this may just solve the problem outright. If the problem persists, I would expect replacing the sheet to cure the twist.

I don't see this as related to traveler existence or position, but I'm just sitting in an armchair. I'm sure someone else could give a definitive answer.
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Old 28-12-2005, 12:15   #5
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My mistake for not being clear... I realize the mainsheet twist issue is an aside. I mentioned it only as part of the description of the current setup. I agree a new and/or stiffer line would help resolve this one.

Once I get the twist issue resolved, I was wondering about the advantages / disadvantages of a hardpoint as compared to a traveller system.

delmarrey - I'm a bit unclear about how a traveller would help me sail closer to the wind though. The hard point is on the centerline already (of course)... Is it because the traveller could move the angle of force more to windward and thereby allow me to get the boom closer to centerline?
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Old 28-12-2005, 12:53   #6
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With a hardpoint sheeting the mainsail can not reach center due to the flex and force on the main.

With a traveler the lower blocks can be brought to windward and that'll pull the main over or even past center. This brings the point closer in the wind.

Also, with the traveler and the blocks to leeward on a light air reach you can form the main to catch that light air (loosen the boomvang a bit), and you'll gain more speed.

There are no advantages to a hardpoint other then simplicity, that I know of.................................._/)
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Old 28-12-2005, 12:57   #7
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gotcha - many thanks!
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Old 28-12-2005, 16:21   #8
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I would heartily endorse the idea of introducing a traveller: Not just for increased pointing ability, but, just as importantly, the ability to be able to drop down the trveller in gusts, rather than dumping sheet.

I would also suggest that you should make the traveller as long as possible - preferably from rail to rail. In strong conditions, this allows you to drop your traveller right down, and keep your sail strapped-in, and hencerelatively flat (which is almost impossible to do when dumping sheet, unless you have a gargantuan vang.
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Old 28-12-2005, 23:00   #9
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Or a bendy mast..

Its what they work best at..

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Old 28-12-2005, 23:54   #10
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I have a question related to this:
Have also got the 3-sheave setup, and also have problems with twisting, but do have a traveller. The 3-sheave setup seems like overkill - I presume the hardest you would have to pull on the maisheet would be when pulling it in in preparation for a jibe, but even that doesn't require much strength, just pulling miles of line!
Light winds dont have enough power to overcome the friction of the sheaves and lines, so I gotta help it along. The 3-shaeve setup gives a 5:1 advantage, so would there be any reason not to go to fewer sheaves and a 3:1 or 4:1 advantage? The mainsail is about 280 Sq. ft.
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Old 29-12-2005, 06:21   #11
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I strongly endourse the idea of adding a traveller and learning how to use it. Travelers allow you to precisely control mainsail twist, which is critical to controlling heel, weather helm and light air performance.

As to the problem of the multi-part blocks twisting, this is not a problem of the type of line being used for the blocks but the way that the lines have been coiled. We all grew up coiling a line in open loops. This actually puts a twist into the line and when you ease the sail this twist is carried into the blocks adding a torque that causes the blocks to twist.

To prevent this from happening the trick is to coil the line in a figure 8. The easiest way to do that is to use a winch to hold one end of the coil, and your open cupped hand (fingers up) to hold the other end of the coil. As you coil the line pay attention to how the line lays and be careful to shake out any twist in the line as you coil the line. The combination of figure 8 coils and untwisting the line as you coil it takes the twists out of the rope and is really critical with newer high teck lines. Lines coiled in a figure 8 also are less likely to jamb as they run out.

To fix your current problem, I would suggest that you unreave the mainsheet from the blocks and stretch it out along a dock and then recoil the line in a figure 8. Then re-reave it through blocks. If you are religious about coiling the line using a figure 8 coil you should never have the problem again.

Good luck,
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Old 29-12-2005, 07:39   #12
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Thermal - @ 280 s.f. it sounds like you are set up correctly. In even moderate air, you should notice significant effort required to control that sheet and if you are a strong guy remember not all that sail with you are.
As to single point and travellers, my boat has single point. Are travellers better ? Yes ! More control over the main, ability to achieve better shape. On my boat (Bristol 31.1) a traveller cannot be located within reach of the helm unless it spanned the cockpit.
My main sheet is right at the wheel so I can adjust myself. The crew can reach the main and jib sheets as well. I think the builder made the right compromise.
On the Bristol 35.5, they set up a traveller forward and ran the lines to the cockpit. (builder option) It would improve sailing performance but, IMO, takes away some of the convenience of having that main sheet right at hand.
everything is a trade-off. I like my current set up.
Finally, I only rarely get a twist in my main sheet blocks. since the main sheet is right there, I reach out and turn the block to remove the twist.
If you are a cruiser - keep it simple. Quick access to running lines is, for me, a safety issue, not performance.

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Old 30-12-2005, 21:39   #13
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BTW, there is an easier way to cure the twist in the mainsheet.

I'll bet that the prior owner was coiling the long tail of the sheet in nice neat loops before hanging it up in the cockpit. That would have imparted twist to the line, which would work it's way back up into the blocks.

Instead you could coil the tail in a figure 8 manner and still hang it up in the cockpit. This avoids sending the twist back up into the blocks.
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Old 31-12-2005, 00:21   #14
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Well, maybe you could sail hard to weather (Main all the way in, most of the mainsheet is in a pile) and toss the pile of the mainsheet overboard. Let it stream beind you for about an hour. That'll take the twist outta' it.



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Old 31-12-2005, 09:52   #15
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Yup - I considered that also but was not sure how double-braid reacts to being dragged. I've done that with 3-strand before... and there's no better way to clean a swab (mop for all you non-Navy types) than to drag it for a while. Has also been known to clean-up a shipmate or two...

Has anyone tried this with double-braid?
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