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Old 22-04-2013, 17:25   #31
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Question was do I need a traveler? Nope you don't. But it is a nice piece of technology to have
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:41   #32
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Actually I saw a number of new boats at recent boatshow without travelers, just multipoint pad-eye And block setup I did not quite examine too well. One of the was Hanse, I think around 40'. There were others.
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:48   #33
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

Yes, you can do away with the traveler. Yes, there will be a downside. The traveler presents a more efficient way to control mainsail shape. Think of it as a way to reduce weather helm while keeping up boat speed. In your boat you'll use it a lot at 15 + knots of wind, which is great sailing wind for your boat. Just my opinion.
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Old 22-04-2013, 18:00   #34
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

Twin sheets are a good solution in some ways for offshore cruising.

Fiddly in comparison with a traveller but more versatile, as others have outlined (eg immobilising the boom, by setting them both up hard against the topping lift, when reefing in a jerky chop)

As Growley points out, it's quite an bonus to be able to get away with less 'gearing', ie 3:1 instead of the usual 5 or 6. You end up with about the same amount of rope, but you have a faster her 'gear' available for gybing.

The setup is also a bit safer for gybing in strong winds if you get the method dialled in: having hauled the boom in to about 40 degrees from centre (more or less, depending on the angle of spread of your twin tackles), you can tighten and cleat the new windward tackle so it will 'catch' the boom, and carry on inhauling using the old windward tackle to initiate the gybe.

Don't cleat the old tackle when you swap to the new tackle to uncleat and ease the boom to complete the gybe, then you can take it forward to be the preventer on the new gybe.

What I have seen done to eliminate the need to move the fiddle block forward, is a strong 'cow horn' cleat on each sidedeck just aft of the aft chainplate, with the horn facing outboard. The old windward/new leeward mainsheet falls (the multirope section of the purchase) can be loosened off, and the whole bunch of falls hooked around the horn. Then the tackle is tightened to secure it.

When time comes to gybe, it's just a matter of flicking the falls out from behind the horn.

Another nice feature of twin mainsheets is that you've got some redundancy if something jams or breaks at a bad moment, and they're also ready-rigged if you have to reduce to trisail.
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Old 22-04-2013, 18:45   #35
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

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Originally Posted by irwin37 View Post
I think I have a plan of action. Going to mount a pad eye amidships for main sheet attachment for now. I can add or reinstall traveler later if I feel it is needed.
Before you go drilling holes, do a bit of research on "Barney Post." It's a good alternative for a mainsheet attachment point for small boats without a traveler.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:25   #36
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

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OK do I really need a traveler? I am rebuilding an Irwin 37, it had a traveler which ran across the top of the cockpit seat back. I removed to refinish and paint and would rather not put it back as it would be in the way of a complete inclosure I would like to have made in the future. There is a single amidships pad where I could attach the main sheet. I also considered placing two more fixed attach points on the outboard sides of the couch roof and using a snap shackle on the end of my main sheet so I could move it to the outside if I wanted. The vessel will be used strictly for cursing and I thought this might work out..... Any comments?
Yes you NEED a traveller. When you release the main you alter the shape of the sail regardless of the vang tension. In heavier winds you can keep the main nice and flat and ease the traveller rather than the main.

With the traveller you can keep a nice tight leech, flat sail and prevent twist. easing minimises weather helm in a blow.

The opposite for light winds. The main can be eased and the traveller brought to windward to centre the boom. This increases leech twist and powers up somewhat.

I guess you need to ask yourself the question. The marine architect put it there, do I know more than him?
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Old 22-04-2013, 20:42   #37
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

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Before you go drilling holes, do a bit of research on "Barney Post." It's a good alternative for a mainsheet attachment point for small boats without a traveler.
Second Bash’s advice to research and mock up temporary solutions before drilling holes. I went thru a similar evolution.

1……When I first bought SG it had its Mizzen sheeting rove between 2 deck pad eyes so that it was controlled by one line….Problem when sailing high, I could not get Mizzen in tight enough to match the good shape of Main sail which did have a traveler.

2……Cheap solution was to run Mizzen with 2 separate sheets so that I could center aft boom for close reach. (2nd Photo)… this worked much better to get the best sail shape on close reach… but was messy to handle

3…..Now, I am now in process of installing traveler bar further aft by dingy davits, so as to clear this primarily reaching sail off of aft deck… Doing this for many reasons from aft BBQ tables to Solar installation. But I thought long and hard about priorities before making these permanent changes.

Just received my Ronstan Traveler blocks last week.
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Old 22-04-2013, 21:08   #38
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

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Originally Posted by capttman View Post
Question was do I need a traveler? Nope you don't. But it is a nice piece of technology to have

My smaller boat had sheet leads on the left and right of the cabin top, which was a lot better than nothing and adequate for a 25', 8' wide boat.

Now I have a large-for-her-length 31' boat with a tall rig, and I like having the traveler. What's the point of having all that sail if I don't use it well ... It brings liabilities. It might as well bring benefits as well. Some boats have the traveler in the floor of the cockpit in front of the companionway.

I don't see myself changing my boat to a $10,000 or more remake with gaffe rig, extra blocks and lines, etc. Personally I think I would talk with a naval architect who specializes in sail boats before eliminating the traveler. The more I think about it, the more I think it would be a really bad idea for my boat. Might be just fine on that 37' Irwin. By the way, is that boat center cockpit design? Ketch or sloop?
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Old 22-04-2013, 21:10   #39
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

Our last yacht was a 37 footer and a very sucessfull racer with placing in the Sydney Hobart and Melbourne Osaka races, among others, before we bought her.
There was no traveller just the mainsheet fixed to the cockpit floor.
The main sheet had several blocks for purchase and a further set of blocks with seperate sheet for the last run from the boom to the cockpit floor.
This worked well as it acted as a fine tune much easier to pull on and equally easier to dump if overpowered.
We adjusted the height of the cockpit blocks to minimize risk of getting hit in a gybe but still needed to look out and warn crew.
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Old 22-04-2013, 21:22   #40
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

I once saw an old converted fishing schooner with a primitive sort of traveler... a 5/8" or so wire rope running from a chainplate on the starboard side through a deadeye off a chainplate on the port side and aft via a chain and binder arrangement for tension. An ordinary wood cheeked snatch block ran upside down along this wire, with the bail moused so it couldn't shake open. A pair of fiddle blocks made a 3:1 purchase between the snatch block and its boom. The hauling part was made off on a cleat on its respective boom but it could have ran through a heel block and down to the step of the mast, thence through another block and aft to a cockpit, in a more modern cruiser. There were control lines port and starboard, but apparently they were not always used. Instead the tension of the traveler wire was balanced against the tension of the sheet. Less tension on the traveler wire and more on the sheet keep the boom closer in. More tension on the traveler wire allowed the traveler block to travel more. I thought the rig was pretty clever. Sort of a poor man's traveler. The rig could easily be set to self-tack. I would not be surprised if that is how the boat was originally rigged when fishing. I only met one crew member, who spoke no language known to me, other than a few words of French and English, and he didn't seem to be very knowledgeable anyway. But you could see plain enough how it worked. He did understand that he was showing me something uncommon, and was proud of the design.
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Old 22-04-2013, 21:28   #41
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Visarend View Post
1) when running, the sheet that is not working can be used as a preventer.
Good idea! This would be very practical if the lower block was made fast via a large sail shackle or self mousing hook or some other quickly detachable/retachable bit of hardware. I am always rigging preventers on the fly out of whatever is at hand.
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Old 22-04-2013, 21:35   #42
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

HI, I have not read the whole thread so forgive me if someone else said this.

Look at a twin sheet system, its fantastic!
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Old 22-04-2013, 22:16   #43
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I am stunned at the responses here. Do you have to have a traveller, absolutely not!!! Travelers as many have pointed out allows you to keep leach tight while depowering, although most cruising boats have such a ridiculously short traveller that it is mute, coupled with displacement that makes it unnecessary. Also can be used to effect twist in very light air upwind, traveller way to weather, and sheet eased to center line, or even above center line. Is an Irwin going to notice this effect at all ( only applies to to upwind anyway)? Probably just start the engine when the wind drop 3 knots. Any, I mean anything from one design keel boat to maxis, can effect traveller function with a vang. Maxis have helm person panic buttons at the helm to blow out the leach while reaching - effect blowing main sheet without traveller. Rigid versus soft vangs mean nothing, rigid vangs allow you to dispense with a topping lift, they do nothing to increase vang effect. However most rigid vangs do have cascading purchase systems, this is the key... If you want to replicate traveller function with a vang you need massive purchase. Etchells one design racing boats have up to 24 to 1 cascading vangs, 30 foot boat. Racing keel boats quickly get into hydraulics as boat size increases. Most cruising boats have 4:1, meaningless for upwind work, and really only usable for off the wind, especially reaching if it was set before loading.

Off my rant now, take a look at some older J boat pictures and see if you can spot the traveller... 120 feet on up.
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Old 22-04-2013, 22:18   #44
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

"Off my rant now, take a look at some older J boat pictures and see if you can spot the traveller... 120 feet on up. "

Those boats were designed to be without a traveler. I think it was quite reasonable for the OP to ask about removing it, and the wide range of answers were illuminating.
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Old 12-08-2013, 14:56   #45
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Re: Do I Really Need a Traveler?

Let me know if you decide to get rid of the traveller. I have an irwin 37cc that does not have one. And I for one would like one.

Cheers,
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