Ive been looking at the Jeanneau 409 and it looks great. Only issue is the main being too far and theyve marketed this as great for shorthanded sailing. How do you work the traveler on this boat? Hope this isnt a stupid question.
On the contrary, I think this is a very intelligent question!
I agree with Paulo that the possibility to fit a bimini is probably the most important reason why so many production boats have only a short traveler on the coach roof. Charterers want bimini’s and charter companies are very important clients for mass production boatyards.
Otherwise it is really a pity, because modern sailplans reduce the foretriangle for easy handling, down to an little as 100% for self tacking jibs. So for a given sail area the mainsail becomes a lot bigger and efficient control is even more important.
Having the downhaul at hand to release it in case of emergency is a good thing. But to be able to master and trim a big mainsail, especially upwind, a performant traveler is essential. Unless you have a very powerful downhaul to control the leach and twist of the sail efficiently, which production boats almost never provide. In addition, the increasingly popular German sheeting system is not practical to respond quickly to puffs and lulls by means of the main sheet.
A traveler on the coachroof is completely out of hand, impossible to manage without using the winches and therefore almost never used. So I wonder why most builders even bother to fit it…