Can this traveler be upgraded? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-17-2009
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Can this traveler be upgraded?

The traveler on my 1975 Newport 28 is awful. As you can see, there is a single sheave on each side of the car, and the attached lines are merely tied off at one end, led through the sheaves and then led to a cleat on the other end. There's only a 1:1 pull available, which means it's impossible to pull the traveler in against any real wind, and a bit scary letting it out, either.

Do you think I'd be able to find hardware to upgrade what I have, or is replacement my only option on this 34-year-old piece of equipment?

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Last edited by jaschrumpf; 05-17-2009 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 05-17-2009
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While that system is bad, and probably the best suggestion would be to upgrade it with a Harken or Garhauer system, it isn't the worst I've seen.
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Old 05-17-2009
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It might be worth a try to mount a block at the point where the line is now knoted and then tie the end to an eye mounted on the traveler. This is only possible if the the existing eye strap screws can accomodate a strap under them and still keep proper thread engagement. The resulting improvement in leverage may be enough to satisfy you. If not, time for a new traveler.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Looks like an old Nico-Fico arrangement. You really need to upgrade...Try Garhauer....best bang for the buck.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Actually, it's a 2:1 setup since there are two lines through the load. See the following link for a more detailed explanation. Dog's right. It's not the worst setup; kind of common for the boat's vintage.

http://www.ent.ohiou.edu/~bobw/html/...at/Pulleys.pdf

The others are right that Lewmar or Garhauser are great options. In the mean time, you could easily (i.e., cheaply) turn the rig into a 3:1 setup, gaining a 50% advantage.

1. Install a small cheek block vertically on the port & stbd side where the bitter end is now.
2. Put a shackle on either side of the double mainsheet block
3. Attach the end of the traveler control line to the new shackle
4. Run it a) to the new cheek block, then b) to the original traveler block, and then c) to the cleat.
5. I can't see how much room you have on top of the traveler, but you might be able to add another cheek block horizontally where the cleats are now. It would act as a turning block, leading the lines to the cockpit and eliminating the need to reach over the companionway.

Presto! 3:1 purchase for very little coin. The loads aren't that great and 3:1 should do the job. I did something similar to my vang. It was 3:1 (what was Sabre thinking?) and I added 2 double fiddle blocks for a 7:1 purchase.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Upgrading the blocks to give you a 3/1 advantage and adding camcleats to permit easy operation would make a big difference. I rerigged mine in a similar fashion a number of years ago and it was a really worthwhile upgrade.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Thanks for the ideas. Easy, i.e., cheaply, is exactly what I'm looking for at the moment. I'm thinking that switching to the Harken or Garhauer systems would mean replacing the entire traveler system, correct? And that's not in the budget for this year.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-17-2009
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Yes, to upgrade the whole system, you'd replace the track, car, and probaby the entire bridge too. Harken is really high quality with a corresponding price, Garhauer is high quality without the advertising. The finish isn't quite as good as then name brands, but it's what Catalina uses and is perfectly suitable for your application. If you do it yourself, figure about $500. Their site is

Garhauer Marine Hardware -8754047
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Old 05-18-2009
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If it's a nico fico product, new bearings and double cars are still available from rigrite dot com.
I just got new bearings for my ancient traveller and it works great.
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Old 05-18-2009
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I changed the traveler on my 72 Columbia. It was a nightmare. I bought a Harken track & car. The track was bent to match my old bridge. It was night, and day. Not to mention a pleasure to pull the sail to windward. Where as before I could never pull the sail to windward without slacking the sheet......i2f
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