I have gone back and reread Humpwalker,your original post and my response. To begin with I sincerely apologize to you if you read my response to your original post as "grossly unfair, plainly wrong and mean-spirited, and I really donít understand what prompted them." I really did not mean them that way. My comments were meant to answer the original question as it was asked dealing with use of the traveler in the wide range of conditions encountered by a weekend sailor. My critique of your post were not intended as a personal attack, but were intended, for your sake, to correct some errors in thinking that your posting appeared to making.
As I read your original post I felt and still feel that the question was about how to use the traveller under conditions that an average weekend sailors is compelled to adjust the traveler. In rereading your response I felt and feel that your post missed the key point in responding to the question at hand, namely that the traveler only does two things, control twist and control angle of attack. (I elaborated beyond those two items so as to put the concept of twist and angle of attack into perspective.)It is for that reason that I said, "You....really don''t seem to understand the role of the traveler in powering up or down the sail plan". That probably should have been phrased "Your post does not explain the role of the traveler in powering up or down the sail plan" which is at the heart of the question being asked.
I still think that your post places too much emphasis on the slot. You spend a lot of time talking about optomizing the width of the slot. Except in light air, the slot shape plays a pretty minor part role sail trim. If you reread your post, with nearly every suggestion of a change in sail trim you talk about the shape of the slot. At the same time your post never really talks about the sail trimming factors that predominantly control drive and side force, namely camber, and angle of attack. That was the point of my comment, "that you are way too obsessed with the slot". That comment probably should have read "Your post appears to be way too obsessed with the slot."
I do admit that perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying in your post when you were discussing what happens when a boat is overpowered. You discuss a couple of ways of dealing with being overpowered but again only as they affect the slot, without ever talking about how they affected whether the boat was too powered up or too bladed out which is far more significant to how the boat is performing.
Again I should probably have said "Your post does not appear to understand the concept of powering up or down a sail plan" rather than say that you didn''t seem to understand these concepts. My point here was that for all of the discussion within your post, there was never any reference to the concepts involved in powering up and down and that the basics of sail trim really deal with shifting gears between being appropriately powered for the conditions and point of sail.
Lastly, you and I appear to disagree on the accuracy of a knotmeter as a sail trim tool. This may result from how we each use a knotmeter and the equipment we are using in conjunction with the knotmeter. I use the knotmeter a lot. I use it in conjunction with a wind instrument set to reflect the true wind. I keep my eyes moving between the knotmeter, wind instrument, the sails (mostly the teletales), and the masthead fly. Each gives different information, but cumulatively it is pretty easy to correlate speed with windspeed and direction to develop a sense of the performance of the boat for that windspeed (which will sometimes be different from one tack to the other)and sea state. While it is true that in many, if not most, conditions these instruments will jump around a lot, it is not hard to develop a sense of the pattern of change and to tell if even small adjustments help or hurt that pattern. while individual minor changes may result on small performance gains, the combined impact of these changes can often result in big gains. This is especially true when pointing or when sailing at deep wind angles.
Again, I apologize if my comments came off as being a personal attack. They were in no way meant as such.