Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Thanked 309 Times in 299 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Moving the traveler even more forward will reduce further any mechanical advantage the mainsheet has now, although if you utilize the existing bales the effect may not be noticable. The 'pull', though, will become less downward and have a forward component that could put added strain on the gooseneck fitting... simply put you're reducing the efficiency of an already compromised setup.
Installing the track across the cockpit just ahead of the helm binnacle should work OK, and as you say not cause any new significant obstacle there. Having your mainsheet - probably a simple 4 part tackle (using good low friction blocks) would be adequate- pulling on the end of the boom offers you a 6 foot longer lever to work with and it's handy to the helmsman. That location also deals with any dodger interference issues (including running the existing setup back into/under the dodger area). With a swivel fiddle block/camcleat on the mainsheet it will be equally accessible to the helmsman or anyone in the cockpit area.
Mid boom sheeting arrangements are more likely to fail in a hard gybe because the inertia of the end of the boom (and a large portion of the force on the sail) wants to carry on when the forward-mounted mainsheet pulls up short. Admittedly it rarely happens, but the effect can be imagined as being similar to breaking a yardstick over your knee. Try breaking that yardstick with the ends supported and striking it in the middle... it will take more force to do so.
btw - the picture shows no vang rigged - hopefully you do have one - it's one of the more important safety features of a well rigged boat.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Last edited by Faster; 09-03-2009 at 06:57 PM.