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  #1  
Old 01-24-2009
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Mainsheet traveler opinions?

I'm just seeking some input. I have a 26 foot fractionally rigged sloop. The mainsheet is connected at about 3/4 boom and has no traveler. I have room for only about 2 feet of track. Are the benefits enough to outway the cost and work of installing one?

Doug
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Old 01-24-2009
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More info req'd... specifically what boat exactly, what kind of sailing are you planning to do, what's the cockpit layout?

A 2 foot traveler is a bit minimal, but would still offer benefits if you really want to get the most out of the boat. It's a rare boat that can't be adapted to a longer traveler one way or the other.
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I agree with Faster, more info needed. My boat has boom end sheeting and the ends just before the wheel. The boat was originally designed to have a traveler on the Coach roof. I do most of my sail alone and sense boom end sheeting is stronger I use that. I have a 7 to 1 main sheet that from the boom end goes to a pay eye on the cockpit sole. This way I can trim all my sheets while seated in the cockpit. I need not to get behind the wheel or move forward. But this is all a compromise to sail shape.
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Boccata d'Aria is one of the older swing keel Macgregors we daysail on the mountain lakes here in Oregon. I could easily install a longer track (about 4 feet) but that would involve getting the admiral's OK for displaced cockpit cushions. Since comfort is a higher priority than performance for ranking member of the crew I need to keep that in mind.
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In our experience cockpit cushions are in the way when we're actually sailing.. ours only come out when we're moored/anchored (or on a long motoring leg) and about to reward ourselves with a cool one...

If you ran a traveler track across the cockpit your cushions would probably still work ok when you're not underway under sail. Alternatively you could cut the cushions to fit fore and aft of the traveler itself.

Another possibility would be to move the traveler aft, go to end-boom sheeting and open up more cockpit space that way.

If you really want to ramp up the performance and be able to more easily and effectively adapt to changing wind conditions, a good traveler setup is the way to go. But it must also be easily adjustable under all conditions, and that requirement means it won't be real cheap....
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couldn't imagine sailing without one anymore.
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Are the benefits enough to outway the cost and work of installing one?
Yes
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Are you racing?

If yes, then find a way to get a longer traveler.

If no, then don't bother. A two-foot traveler is not going to make a substantial difference in your performance, and you probably won't notice it at all if you're just cruising. Likewise, if you start racing and want to get competitive, you'll find that the two-foot traveler won't give you enough of the adjustment you'll end up wanting.

Just my two cents.
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