Traveller - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-13-2016 Thread Starter
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Traveller

I notice that so many new boats do away with the Traveller and rely on on the main sheet. Is the Traveller really needed?

Shari
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-13-2016
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Re: Traveller

Nope it's not needed... neither are the sails, boom, mast, or rigging... In fact, you could technically ditch the motor too.. and paddle your way around, but where's the fun in that?

Honestly there are tons of examples of boats without travelers. The extra control it gives you though, is welcomed when attempting to get every last ounce of performance out of your mainsail.

If you spend all your time 60 degrees or better off the wind, then a traveler is almost superfluous.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-13-2016
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Re: Traveller

You could read this and get the answers to WHY

Sail Trim Users Guide

I find it indispensable.

Only one L, too.
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Stu Jackson, Catalina 34, 1986, M25 engine, Rocna 10 (22#), Maple Bay, BC, Canada
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-13-2016
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Re: Traveller

It mostly depends on the attachment point for the main sheet on the boom. The wind load against the sail will raise the boom which draws the boom toward center. using a traveler, in light winds, one moves the traveler to windward, to allow the boom to rise easily. In heavy winds, the traveler is moved more toward the center, as the stronger wind will cause the boom to rise. So the trick is, that if your main sheet attachment point results in less leverage downward on the boom, the boom will rise more easily. Put the main sheet in the middle of the boom, and it doesn't take much wind to get the boom to rise. So with a mid-sheet attachment point, the boom rises easily, this allows the vang to have a greater range of adjustment all the way up to very light winds. If the main sheet attachment point is at the end of the boom, that may be OK for heavy winds, but does not work for light winds, as the wind is not strong enough to lift the boom much. This means the vang has doesn't do much.

I will say that moving the attachment point farther forward is not a perfect alternative to a traveler, but it does make the traveler less important. I would also suggest that not having a traveler is going to more tedious to get the sail twist correct for any given condition.

Dave
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-14-2016
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Re: Traveller

If there's no traveler I'd want a very powerful rigid vang. A good vang that can also provide boom lift can make a traveler somewhat superfluous.... It would have to be as easily adjustable and you'll still lose some trimming options, though.

Good traveler setups are costly - probably the main reason for fewer builders providing them. Both is always better.

Ron

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".. 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)
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-14-2016
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Re: Traveller

I assumed the main reason was to avoid cutting the cockpit in two. Cruisers have different priorities

Dave
RL 24 NEW to me April 25th 2014
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Sunfish project boat

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-14-2016
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Re: Traveller

My only issue with our traveler is where it is placed. Right at the companionway entrance is a pain.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-14-2016
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Re: Traveller

Travelers came about before the advent of boom to mast (rigid) vangs. Without a traveller, the boom rises as soon the sheet is eased resulting in poor main sail shape. The traveller allowed you to keep control of the boom through a greater, though still limited, range. Back in the good old days a vang was a tackle the you ran from the boom to a strong point on the deck to give downward pull on the boom. Worked fine but had to be constantly adjusted as sheet/boom position changed. Going to a mid mast traveller gave further range of control but still ultimately limited. With the boom to mast vang, the boom is in a more or less fixed position and the traveller becomes a bit of an anomaly. It makes little difference what the tension on the mainsheet has in relation to the boom and sail shape. Grew up with sailing in the old days and still like to have a traveller as it takes most of the considerable downward force needed on the boom when beating or close reaching, I don't have a rigid vang as I didn't want to give up the storage space on deck wiped out by a rigid traveller. My boom is long and height from deck to boom is short so a rigid vang would be at a very steep angle with correspondingly high loads on the hardware. Just didn't want to risk tearing out the anchor points for the rigid vang which is not an unheard of experience.
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