rope bridles vs rope travelers - SailNet Community

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Old 05-25-2011
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rope bridles vs rope travelers

I'm fixing a Rhodes 19, a very old one (1961), for a friend. It's been in his family all that time and is currently in bad shape. The mainsheet rigging appears to be especially messed up.

From what I can tell, original equipment on this model appears to be a rope bridle and a mid boom mainsheet block and tackle with the sheet fed back along the boom to the bridle. (I guess it's called a bridle.) How it could function as a real traveler isn't apparent to me. I've seen some rope travelers on newer Rhodes where the mainsheet block and tackle can actually be adjusted under sail to port or starboard.

Can anyone explain how a bridle functions and what it's supposed to do? I can't find out much about it.

Now for the screwy, at least I think so, mainsheet rigging. The main sheet currently goes through a cam cleat on the mainsheet block and tackle (from a catamaran no less!!), the whole assembly connected to a horizontal steel bar about 3 inches off the deck just behind the cockpit, and just under the end of the boom. I can't believe this could be correct but my friend disagrees. As it's set up now, one has to, say on a starboard tack, handle the tiller, which runs under the bar, with the left hand and hold the mainsheet with the right as it crosses back across the body to the cam cleat. Tacking is a nightmare even in moderate winds.

We hit some unexpected high winds on the lake one day (25mph + ) and almost broached at one point because of difficulty easing the main in a puff. Had to turn her quickly up into the wind but we almost went over.

(I've got some other questions but they can wait )

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Last edited by allergic1; 05-25-2011 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 05-25-2011
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The setup you're describing sounds awkward to use. Here's a link to a site that seems to have some useful info on these boats, incl a mainsheet modification that makes sense:

Stuart Marine Corp. - Mid-boom Sheeting - rhodes 19 cb mid boom sheeting.jpg

Perhaps this will be helpful.
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