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Old 06-19-2010
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Single control traveler

I recently sailed on a friends Pearson (33 feet). The Pearson's traveler (in the picture) simply has the Main Sheet running through a clam cleat. The track has rubber stoppers about a foot apart to stop the main sheet car from moving further laterally on the track. The stoppers are screwed in place, and not easily/quickly movable. The traveler on my boat has lines that control the lateral movement of the car. When sailing close hauled, it also allows me to adjust the tension on the Main's Sheet separately via a winch. This allows me to set the main for max wind conditions (Main Sheet tension, out haul etc.), and blow the traveler in the gusts (to depower the main), while maintaining sail shape. On the Pearson, to do the same thing I had to release the main sheet, essentially bagging the main. The only way I could see to keep the sail shape would be to use the Vang. Questions regarding the Pearson's traveler:
1. Is that proper use of the Vang?
2. It seems like the the car stayed in place when I put tension on the main sheet thereby lifting the car. Is that coincidence, or is it designed to lock in place. If so why would the stoppers be needed?
Any tips on using this type of traveler will be appreciated.
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Single control traveler-0618101411.jpg  

Last edited by L124C; 06-20-2010 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 06-19-2010
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Hard to say about lifting of the car; it could have bad bearings which is allowing vertical play.

Some boats have a vang setup that you can really crank down hard on with a winch (racing hulls); others are not designed to have that much load (only for downwind control of the sail trim). If the hardware that mounts the vang to the boom and the mast are robust looking (welded on or bolted with backing plates) then it probably would be OK for sail trim. If they are simply threaded into the mast or on a boom bail then I'd say no; it's only for off-wind downhaul.

That traveler system looks like it could use an upgrade to a Harken windward sheeting traveler. It also looks small for a 33' mid-boom sheeting setup. A two speed mainsheet block set (gross trim/fine trim) would also make trimming the main easier.

Mostly you see this sort of car/track-stop setup on a loose footed self-tacking jib or staysail.

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Old 06-19-2010
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I have a Pearson 323; although the traveler setup looks similar, mine has the typical two control lines through some blocks (makes it easier to adjust), leading through a fairlead to cam cleats on either side. From your photo it looks to me like your friend's boat had a similar setup, as there is what seems to be a fairlead just above the end of the traveler, and what appears to be 3 screw-holes just above that. Perhaps, if one of the original sheaves on the control lines broke and the PO didn't use the traveler, this could have been a cheap fix.

I'm traveling right now or I'd send a photo; IMHO could be expensive to refit as an upgrade is probably called for; my control lines have an inadequate (as I recall) a 3:1 purchase.

Harken have an interesting article at Harken: Traveler Tuning
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