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Old 02-08-2008, 12:10   #1
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Double Mainsheet vs Traveler

I would be interested to hear from those who have or have sailed cats with a double mainsheet arrangement in place of a single mainsheet and traveler.
What do you like/dislike about the setup? Is it simpler? More work when short tacking? Does it effectively eliminate a string from the cockpit?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:16   #2
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Seems a traveler would give you more control in where you can place the boom and better control over leech tension/twist. Seems a double main sheet is simpler. I'm curious to know from the experts as well
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Seems a traveler would give you more control in where you can place the boom and better control over leech tension/twist. Seems a double main sheet is simpler. I'm curious to know from the experts as well
Hallo David , I am no expert but I find that a double main sheet gives better control and is simpler, a traveler set on a bimini or Targa bar has a reasonable short main sheet but this main sheet can only hold the boom down in one direction so when going downwind jibing can not be controlled as well as with a double main sheet.
With this system you can set your boom exactly where you want it and this in combination with a controllable outhaul from your cockpit gives fantastic control over your main.
Also having 2 extra main sheet points for downwind sailing on each walkway will help in controlling the boom
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Old 03-08-2008, 13:57   #4
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I use a combination, using a traveller at deck level that goes out to about 2 feet from the edge of the deck. as with most cats, I have no Vang. Once I need to let the main further out, I use an extra "loose" mainsheet. First attachment point is the cleat at the edge of the deck. If I need the main further out, I have mounted a strongly reinforced padeye (u-bolt type) further forward at the edge of the deck. I use a piece of rope around the boom to attach the extra mainsheet to. This gives me the means to control the shape of the main much better.

I use a similar but more lightweight system as a barber-haul for the jib and Code 0.

When short tacking up a channel, I really like the traveller car set-up, I adjust it to the correct "travel" and then don't need to bother with mainsail trim.

For cats that have short travellers, like those on targas, the lack of trim possibilities must be even more of an issue.

But hey! This is the Cruisers Forum .

The downside of the traveller, is that you need a really good one, i.e. expensive. You need to go for one designed for maybe a 60 ft mono on a 40 ft cat. My traveller has a 4:1 sideways control, but close hauled at 20 knot WS it is nearly impossible to move inboard. I have just bought an Andersen Line tender that I need to figure out where to mount, as nobody else who sails with me can budge the car otherwise.

I could of course luff up, unload the main, trim it and fall off again.... but not my temperament..

Soory that my answer isn't a clear vote for one or the other.

cheers

Alan
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Old 03-08-2008, 14:48   #5
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From my limited experience I certainly prefer prefer the double main sheet when compared to a traveler on a targa bar or similar.I find it quicker and simpler to use with no loss of control and some degree of accidental gybe prevention.

At the risk of diverting the thread why are so many cats built with out boom vang ?

Regards

Dick
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Old 03-08-2008, 15:32   #6
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At the risk of diverting the thread why are so many cats built with out boom vang ?

Regards

Dick

I think that is because the mast is normally up against the forward end of the saloon, so that the angle one can get is too "shallow" as the boom to coachroof height is also relatively low.

Also the loads on a cats' rig is several times larger than on a comparable length mono, so the forces involved are very high. So cost comes into it as well, strong vang and mast/boom attachments, stronger boom to handle the loads = higher costs.

One could of course have a vang from the mast down to the boom as Eric Sponberg has done on some of his freestanding rigs.


cheers

Alan
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Old 04-08-2008, 19:25   #7
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I decided on using the two-mainsheet method, I really like the fact that the aft cross beam is now a comfortable seat without any very expensive hardware getting in the way.
As for sail trim I find it easy to trim, I have a couple of pad eyes close to the center of the beam where I can attach 2 snatch blocks, I then lead one of the main sheets through the snatch blocks when doing a lot of short tacking effectively "putting the traveler in the middle"

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Old 04-08-2008, 19:31   #8
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The Gunboat 62 uses a double mainsheet.
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Old 04-08-2008, 19:33   #9
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I have a monohull and have been thinking about retiring my near useless old traveler in favor of a double mainsheet, Any of you have this rig on a monohull?
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Old 04-08-2008, 22:58   #10
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I think that is because the mast is normally up against the forward end of the saloon, so that the angle one can get is too "shallow" as the boom to coachroof height is also relatively low.

Also the loads on a cats' rig is several times larger than on a comparable length mono, so the forces involved are very high. So cost comes into it as well, strong vang and mast/boom attachments, stronger boom to handle the loads = higher costs.

One could of course have a vang from the mast down to the boom as Eric Sponberg has done on some of his freestanding rigs.

And just before I tack, I just run the traveller over to the windward side so the boom is already set in place so I don't have to winch it in place.


cheers

Alan
Also from what I've read (I don't own a Cat yet ) the absents of a vang helps to prevent a shock load in a gust, helping to prevent a possible lifting of the windward hull, and possible breach.

BTW I considered a double main sheets until I calculated how much line I would have laying around in the cockpit. It's bad enough with a genoa, second jib and a main sheet.

And just before I tack I move the traveller over to the windward side which pre-sets it, so I don't have to winch it over to reset. Plus I use a boom brake which keeps the boom from banging at the bitter end of the main halyard.
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Old 04-08-2008, 23:09   #11
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My Martzcraft, which is a mono, has the normal traveler and a set of blocks from there to the boom but then it has 2 main sheets coming out of the blocks. Don't know why and find it a bit of a pain. Would love some knowledgable person to explain what it is all about. All my sailing up to now has been with 1 sheet in what I thought was the normal setup.
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Old 04-08-2008, 23:20   #12
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My Martzcraft, which is a mono, has the normal traveler and a set of blocks from there to the boom but then it has 2 main sheets coming out of the blocks. Don't know why and find it a bit of a pain. Would love some knowledgable person to explain what it is all about. All my sailing up to now has been with 1 sheet in what I thought was the normal setup.
Garry
That may be a cascading system. If it has two sets of purchases, one with a higher ratio (e.g.4:1 and 16:1). The 4:1 is for quick action like tacking and the 16:1 for fine tuning, usually on race boats.
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Old 05-08-2008, 00:13   #13
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Good thought delmarrey but no. Both sheets have the same purchase. Will try to get a pic of the setup, It is just like a normal mainsheet block setup except one end of the sheet isn't shackled to the blocks with the other being the end you use. Instead both ends hang out of the blocks with a snap cleat on each.
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:16   #14
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At the risk of diverting the thread why are so many cats built with out boom vang ?

Regards

Dick
G'day,

Same reason they have 3 stay rigs with diamonds, underhung rudders, overlapping headsails and daggerboards without crash boxes. Because it is what the racers use.

Travellers or 2 part sheets work on boats which jibe downwind with big assymetric spinnakers, but are lousy on boats which are not able to broad reach at or near windspeed (which is almost all the boats on this forum) who would get downwind faster, with less effort if they had a rig which allowed them to do so. That is, a mainsail which could be eased to near athwartships, a boom which kept the leech straight while still allowing the angle of inciodence to be changed and a headsail which was easily poled out on the other side or a large symmetrical spinnaker tacked to the bows.

I have sailed with both main sheet systems and they are an expensive pain. On my boats, I have a deep boom (doubles as sail stowage and rainwater collector) permanently attached to the mast so it can not move vertically. On the wing mast rigs, the boom is restrained from vertical movement, but can rotate independantly of the mast.

The sheet loads are very low (maybe one tenth of the load on a traveller line as there is much less friction) as the sheet is only adjusting the angle of incidence of the sail, not trying to keep the leech straight. This job is done by a purchase on the end of the boom. As it only moves 300mm/12" or so, compared to 4m/13' with a conventional set up it does not require huge amounts of sheet floating round in the cockpit. It has the added advantage that in most cases it is set and forget, whereas each time you alter the mainsheet in a conventional set up you have to grind all that leech tension back into the sail.

regards,

Rob
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Old 05-08-2008, 14:55   #15
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I have to agree that double mainsheet system is much better on cats. My experience was on a Catana 58, and even with a main that large trim was very smooth without a traveler. Control was never an issue, even when jibing under race conditions. An added benefit, is when motoring, the boom is completely stablized because it's loaded from two angles. On a boat with a traveler, the boom tends to move back when encountering cross seas.
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