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No Traveler?

19thol

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May 2, 2014
111
Hunter 30 St.Petersburg, Fl
Hey rgranger, that is a pretty fancy tap handle you have there, I'm jealous.
 
May 17, 2004
3,483
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I’ve always preferred using the traveler to de-power the main anyway. Unless the mainsheet tackle is well designed, it’s likely not as fast as dumping the traveler, and/or not as fast to haul back in. De-powering with the traveler also has the advantage of avoiding adding any twist to the mainsail and changing its shape, which is generally what you want anyway because you dump the traveler in a gust and ease it back up with the same shape in the main.
I see what you did there. :)

To each their own I guess. As a wise man once said, your boat your choice. ;) My experience is:

Oday 28 with pin-stop traveler and cam mainsheet. Obviously faster to dump the sheet than mess with the pin stops. Pull the sheet back to the same place after the gust and you’re back to the original twist.

Beneteau 37 - Mid-boom sheeting, with cams for the traveler control lines and a clutch and winch for the mainsheet. Dumping is fast either way, but hard to do too precisely with the traveler, since it’s at mid boom so a small change in distance makes a big change in AoA. Trimming back in is a bit slow with the sheet on the winch, but takes a small gorilla to pull the traveler back up in big winds.

Soverel 27 with end boom sheeting and a proper in-cockpit shin cracking traveler. Yes, on this one we would use the traveler for the most part.

So yeah, on a boat where both are properly designed for sail trim the traveler can be faster/better. But pure existence of a traveler isn’t automatically faster.
 
Jan 18, 2016
686
Catalina 387 Dana Point
On my old C-30, I think the traveler was my most used sail control, ok, maybe not as much as the genny sheet, but close. (Gotta move em both). Definitely needed to get the boom closer to the center for anything under 15 or so to get decent performance close-hauled. When I bought the '30 it had some sort of bizarre double-preventer thing and a nonfunctioning traveler. Some $$$ to Garhauer fixed that.

My current 387 seems a bit more forgiving WRT sail shape, likely because the C-30 had nice fresh sails and I don't know the new boat nearly as well. Still, out this weekend in 20+ conditions, still used the traveler for main control until the point at which the mainsheet is necessary - then vang on and let it out.

Heard an interview with Bob Perry awhile back and he (in his strait spoken/sarcastic way) said something like there no sense putting travelers on cruising boats because cruising sailors don't know what they do.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,853
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Heard an interview with Bob Perry awhile back and he (in his strait spoken/sarcastic way) said something like there no sense putting travelers on cruising boats because cruising sailors don't know what they do.
And this is why every cruiser should crew on a racing boat for a few seasons. Ya learn a lot from a decent competitor. And get spoiled with the fancy go-fast kit.
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,357
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Ya' only need all those sail controls if (1) you know how to use them and (2) you're actually going to use them. Not that I would ever condone improper sail trim, but I've got "a friend" that will go out on a lazy Saturday sail, and just leave the traveler centered 'cause it's a pain to put down the beer every tack and haul it to the right spot. Betcha' that my "friend" has more smiles per miles than those up-tight racers that can't stand a little belly in the main. :beer:
Because that’s were you leave it on lazy sail days........
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,357
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
And this is why every cruiser should crew on a racing boat for a few seasons. Ya learn a lot from a decent competitor. And get spoiled with the fancy go-fast kit.
Or sail a dinghy in stonger winds. You live or.....get wet by proper trim/depowering
 
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Feb 26, 2004
21,959
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
So yeah, on a boat where both are properly designed for sail trim the traveler can be faster/better. But pure existence of a traveler isn’t automatically faster.
Thanks, good point. I guess I shoulda said "Good, working traveler. Mine even pulls UP easy! :biggrin:
 
Jul 12, 2011
985
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
The Catalina does not a traveller, however it has a two sided main sheet (I'm sure there is a fancy name for this). ... Is it as effective as proper traveller, I can't render an opinion. J Boats apparently does have an opinion. The latest JBoat, the J 9, does not have a traveller.
I believe that's called "German sheeting". Yep, it's as effective if you know where (3 dimensionally) you want the boom. Doubles the sheet length. I don't know if a inverted Y in the cockpit is less intrusive than an inverted T.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,142
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
This past summer we saw more high wind than anything else and were constantly adjusting because we were over powered,
Sail trim is not limited to traveler adjustment, Vang adjustment, or Mainsheet adjustment. Perhaps the situation called for an adjustment to the sail size.

Your conclusion that you were overpowered may have been 100% accurate. Time to adjust the sail size, if cruising, by reefing one or more sails.

If racing that is another situation all together.
 
Jun 7, 2016
312
Catalina C30 Warwick, RI
Sail trim is not limited to traveler adjustment, Vang adjustment, or Mainsheet adjustment. Perhaps the situation called for an adjustment to the sail size.

Your conclusion that you were overpowered may have been 100% accurate. Time to adjust the sail size, if cruising, by reefing one or more sails.

If racing that is another situation all together.
Oh we got very proficient at reefing the main this summer;)

This was my first year with this boat and the PO didn't have any reefing lines rigged. I installed 2 reef points and we'd typically do the first reef at 18-20kts apparent. Only had to put the second reef in once but that was blowing 25+ and we had 4 kids and 3 adults on board. (You should have seen the face of our first time guest when I told her to take all the kids below so I could heave to and reef without them being in the way.:biggrin:)
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,142
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I love it. Sounds like you had a full sailing season with lessons. Nothing gets much better.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,959
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
And if you haven't already, buy Don Guillette's excellent Sail Trim book, right here on this 'site. It is by far the best one I have ever read, and I think I've read 'em all, including Gentry. There is also a wonderful "How to start to learn to race" section that is worth the price all by itself.

There is no difference between cruising and racing when it comes to sail trim. Or there shouldn't be...
 
Jan 18, 2016
686
Catalina 387 Dana Point
As always, what Stu said about Don Guillette's book.

First reef went into my C-30 at 15-18, because by that point all I was doing was heeling more or letting the sail luff a bit. 25+ is pretty dang sporting for a C-30, I had a sail back from Catalina at 25+ with just a hanky of jib and doing 6.5 ddw.

I'll note that on both my C-30 and my C-387 the traveler was far easier to move up than pulling in the mainsheet. Both boats I could/can pull the traveler up all the way to the top (boom pretty centered). If I want to flatten the main more, winch on the sheet is needed on the 387, "pull real freakin hard" was the technique on the 30.
 
Jun 7, 2016
312
Catalina C30 Warwick, RI
As always, what Stu said about Don Guillette's book.

First reef went into my C-30 at 15-18, because by that point all I was doing was heeling more or letting the sail luff a bit. 25+ is pretty dang sporting for a C-30, I had a sail back from Catalina at 25+ with just a hanky of jib and doing 6.5 ddw.

I'll note that on both my C-30 and my C-387 the traveler was far easier to move up than pulling in the mainsheet. Both boats I could/can pull the traveler up all the way to the top (boom pretty centered). If I want to flatten the main more, winch on the sheet is needed on the 387, "pull real freakin hard" was the technique on the 30.
I will say that with a double reef and a partially furled genoa she handled great and we were still doing 7+ knots on a close reach. My previous Cat30 was a standard rig shoal keel where this one is a tall rig fin keel. I feel like that extra foot of keel makes a big difference (but I digress from the point of this thread:biggrin:)
 
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Jul 19, 2013
318
Pearson 31-2 Boston
I’ve always preferred using the traveler to de-power the main anyway. Unless the mainsheet tackle is well designed, it’s likely not as fast as dumping the traveler, and/or not as fast to haul back in. De-powering with the traveler also has the advantage of avoiding adding any twist to the mainsail and changing its shape, which is generally what you want anyway because you dump the traveler in a gust and ease it back up with the same shape in the main.
I agree this is good advice for managing sail trim versus heel in gusty conditions, I would just want to point out that, when ducking a starboard tack boat, you should not rely on the traveler to depower the main, but actually release the mainsheet itself, since the traveler alone can only depower the main so far, then stops. Just to cover the subject, as nothing quite spoils the day as not being able to avoid a stand on vessel.
 
Oct 26, 2008
5,020
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I see what you did there. :)

To each their own I guess. As a wise man once said, your boat your choice. ;) My experience is:

Oday 28 with pin-stop traveler and cam mainsheet. Obviously faster to dump the sheet than mess with the pin stops. Pull the sheet back to the same place after the gust and you’re back to the original twist.

Beneteau 37 - Mid-boom sheeting, with cams for the traveler control lines and a clutch and winch for the mainsheet. Dumping is fast either way, but hard to do too precisely with the traveler, since it’s at mid boom so a small change in distance makes a big change in AoA. Trimming back in is a bit slow with the sheet on the winch, but takes a small gorilla to pull the traveler back up in big winds.

Soverel 27 with end boom sheeting and a proper in-cockpit shin cracking traveler. Yes, on this one we would use the traveler for the most part.

So yeah, on a boat where both are properly designed for sail trim the traveler can be faster/better. But pure existence of a traveler isn’t automatically faster.
I think it depends a lot on how the boat is set up. I used the mainsheet primarily on our Starwind because the vang controls were very good at limiting twist, the traveler controls were on the bridge deck and a little awkward to utilize for simply adjusting AOA, and the mainsheet was very easy to use for that purpose. Easing the sheet didn't cause the boom to lift as long as the vang was on.

On our Catalina 320, we use the traveler primarily for easing AOA for gusts. I like the traveler in front of the cockpit because the controls are easily used with cam cleats. I hate the clam cleats that the mainsheets are on (our mainsheet is double-ended so there is a cleat each side). I will change these cleats eventually. The vang control line is on a clutch and it is generally off because I haven't gotten used to its position yet. The spring-loaded Garhauer vang causes the boom to spring like a jumping jack when releasing a main sheet. I find that if I ease the main in a gust, the boom lifts far more than it swings. Therefore, the traveler is my control of choice for this situation.

I much prefer the traveler in front of the cockpit instead of inside the cockpit, as it was on the Starwind.
IMG_2151.jpg

On the stbd side, the mainsheet is leading to the winch from the clam cleat that I can't stand (it is really unreliable). It looks the same on the other side of the companionway.

You can see the cam cleat thru the window at the end of the traveler track. These controls are very convenient to use and adjusting AOA is far more responsive this way. That photo was on Buzzards Bay on the first day of our delivery trip. We were beating upwind in a stiff wind all day long! It looks like we even had a bit of genoa rolled in at that time.
 
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Feb 26, 2004
21,959
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
On the stbd side, the mainsheet is leading to the winch from the clam cleat that I can't stand (it is really unreliable).
Scott, you're right. While I only have a single sided mainsheet, the first thing I did when I bought our (used) boat in 1998 was to remove that dangerous relic of the 1960s. I replaced it with a sheet stopper which remains OPEN when sailing. Why? 1) The sheet stopper provides a perfect fairlead for the sheet to the bottom of the winch. No longer to you have to reach in and hold the sheet down to get it to hit the winch properly; no more two handed mainsheet tricks. 2) You don't need to hang the sheet on the winch when you're not sailing, just close the sheet stopper.

Here's a picture:


The MS stopper is the one inboard of the three on the starboard side. The MS is curled up on the cleat, white with blue tracer.

You don't need a full sheet stopper if cost is an issue, some of those newer quick release cams might do. What you're really looking for is a good thing that provides a fairlead. I'd bet you could get two Garhauer clutches for the cost of one Harken something-else.

Good luck.