I''m a novice sailor with a C320 still trying to learn and improve sail trimming techniques. I''ve been concentrating recently on traveler technique, but have been unsuccessful in gaining desired results consistently. What I''m curious to understand now is under what conditions are average weekend sailors compelled to adjust the traveler? My curiosity was further piqued after I scanned about a dozen sailing mags looking at action photos of many (100+) boats underway - I counted on one hand the number of boats that had their traveler in any other position than centered, in wide ranging weather/sea conditions.
I''ve been experimenting with the traveler adjustments in light winds trying to induce more twist and power-up the mainsail (traveler to windward, ease the mainsheet) - this did not gain me boatspeed. In heavier winds, I''ve had to depower the main by dropping the traveler to leeward - this does work well in gaining better boat control and limiting apparent wind speed.
I understand that I need more trimming practice and to develop a better feel for my specific boat. And I know that I''ll need to master the traveler as I contemplate racing one of these days. So, is it only the anal, sailing perfectionist (or club racer) that spends time on the traveler?