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  #21  
Old 08-16-2014
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Re: Does a sailboat need a travler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svzephyr44 View Post
If you have a tiller that can work. Since I have a wheel it isn't as easy. Also I would not let the main luff, I would take it down. No point in flogging a sail that isn't doing anything.
I go hove-to on my boat by turning the wheel hard into the wind and turning on the wheel brake. This is the same as lashing the tiller on a tiller boat.

Boats hove-to differently, it really takes experimentation to figure out what works best for an individual boat. On my boat (fin/spade/pretty flat bottom) backwinding the jib and letting the main luff results in the boat sitting about 90 degrees off the wind and sliding sideways at about 1-2 knots in the water. This is still useful when reefing, but it isn't really hove to.

Mostly (or completely) rolling up the jib and using the rudder to turn the boat into the wind while the main is trimmed in works better and gets me a proper slick and nearly stops the boat. This is more like safety position than hove-to.

On a schooner I'd just play with the sails to see what configuration of sails allows you to get them fighting each other. I'd guess that a jib + main with the staysail dropped would do the trick. The Lin and Larry Pardy book on Storm Tactics has a good description of how a boat should behave when hove-to.
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  #22  
Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Does a sailboat need a travler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post

I have not found anyone yet that can answer that question for sure.
I found one person who for $60 an hour can come and try to figure it out :P
Heaving to in a Bermuda rigged schooner would be virtually the same as heaving to in a Bermuda rigged ketch like your boat. In both cases, the helm is locked dead down (so the boat tries to turn toward the wind) and the jib is hauled to windward of the centerline and the after most sail (the mizzen on a ketch or the mainsail on a schooner) is sheeted flat with the traveller lowered so that a balance is achieved with the back winded jib trying to force the bow of the boat away from the wind, and the tightly sheeted mizzen/main trying to turn the bow towards the wind. The mainsail on ketch or foresail on schooner would typically be dropped when hove to. In heavy air a small jib and a reefed aft most sail is used. Being able to hove to easily is one of the biggest advantages of a ketch rig. True schooners generally do not hove to very well, at least without reefing the mainsail.

And while I don't want to pick on svsephyr44, the majority of the items that he stated in this thread are in error or misleading. It would take more time to explain than I have this evening. But basically the traveller, working in concert with the sheet, controls the twist of the sail. Being able to control twist is critical to sailing in light air, where the impact of gradient wind effect is greatest, and to safely sailing in heavy air, controlling heel, leeway, and drive. Travelers are especially helpful on split rigs since they can help control down wash (bad air) on the sail operating to leeward of that sail. Also, very few boats can hove to with just a jib, or with the mainsail or mizzen luffing.
Respectfully,
Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 08-17-2014 at 12:56 AM.
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  #23  
Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Does a sailboat need a travler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post

And while I don't want to pick on svsephyr44, the majority of the items that he stated in this thread are in error or misleading. It would take more time to explain than I have this evening. But basically the traveler, working in concert with the sheet, controls the twist of the sail. Being able to control twist is critical to sailing in light air, where the impact of gradient wind effect is greatest, and to safely sailing in heavy air, controlling heel, leeway, and drive. Travelers are especially helpful on split rigs since they can help control down wash (bad air) on the sail operating to leeward of that sail.
Respectfully,
Jeff
I am sorry that you didn't have the time to correct those items that you thought I had stated in error or were misleading. That does not help people reading this thread.

"Twist" simply refers to the changes in the sail's chordlines. Or in simple English, look at your battens. In absolutely dead air, no waves, boat not moving they will all be stacked up parallel to each other. As the wind starts to blow they will no longer be parallel. This is in part because of wind gradient, the fact that the amount of force with which the wind is affecting the sail, varies from the waterline to the top of the mast. The sail is no longer perfectly flat above the boom, the middle of the sail between the boom (the foot) and the head will be pushed out to leeward. So the aft end of the middle battens are pointed further out to the lee than the top and bottom battens. (Of course the front end of the battens are still in a line as they are firmly (we hope) attached to the mast.)

Twist is a function of the relative tension on the clew in two dimensions, down and parallel to the deck. Pull a sail down with no back force and it will balloon out. Pull a sail back with no down force and it will get very flat. (Note that we are not keeping a fixed attachment point on the deck here - I am assuming you are pulling the sail down from directly under the clew or back from an infinite distance behind the boat.

An easy way to see this is by moving the jib cars. If you move the jib cars forward you are increasing down force and releasing back force that is, tightening the leech on the jib. If you move the jib cars aft you are increasing back force while decreasing down force, in essence slacking the leech of the jib. So try it and look at the difference in sail shape. Most people have telltales on their jib. The purpose of the telltales is to get twist right. When all the telltales are streaming back and popping (breaking?) up the entire sail is at its most efficient. Using the telltales and adjusting the jib cars gets the twist right, in other words gets the leech tension on the jib at its most effective (efficient?) point.

On a mainsail on a masthead rig the golden rule is to use leech tension to get the top batten parallel with the boom. One way to get leech tension is using the relative position of the mainsheet and the traveler. A second way is to use vang tension. On most boats in real time the actual trimming (we are not racing here) is a sloppy function of both.

With respect to Jeff - who I infer actually has a lot of knowledge and knows what he is talking about - "perfect" sail trim is impossible to achieve (maybe like in Camelot you can do it "for one brief shining moment.") In the real world you only have (for example) a main and a jib hoisted at any particular moment. If both sails are perfectly trimmed for maximum generated force (perfect trim) then the boat is getting maximum "drive." ("We be racing grandpa!") But is maximum drive desirable for the actual wind and wave conditions? Or do you want something less? In heavy waves you might prefer to go a little slower rather than beating the heck out of the boat and yourself. So you depower the sails (by letting the sails spill some of the air rather than proving maximum drive (i.e. changing the twist) and slow the boat down.

In addition, forward speed is constrained by theoretical hull speed and the impact of wave action. When you hit a wave the apparent wind changes. When you surf down a wave the apparent wind changes. If you bow gets knocked sideways by a wave your apparent wind changes. In anything but flat seas and absolutely constant wind your perfect trim becomes wrong within the first second.

When you change the twist you are "powering up" or "powering down" the sail. Why power it up or power it down? Because the wind speed varies and you only have one sail. Sometimes the wind gives you too much force, sometimes too little force. Since you don't have an infinite number of sails that can be changed out each nanosecond one adjusts the efficiency of the sails to take into account the current conditions and not over stress the rig. Is a mainsail whose top batten is pointing to leeward improperly trimmed? I don't know. Perhaps a purist would say yes, after all the "objective" is to get that batten parallel with the boom. But if getting the batten parallel to the boom means that I am overpowered, crashing the boat and straining the rig I will accept imperfect trim.

My objective as a long distance ocean cruiser is to get my sail plan at about 85% to 90% of optimal. When solo sailing 24/7 for several weeks at a time my desire to "man the winches" is non-existent. I have to do it often enough when the weather or wind changes thank you very much. I would rather reef than power down my sail plan. I will accept less "drive", less "leeway", and less "heel" to enjoy a cup of coffee while petting my cat
and watching the sunrise. When sailing with a Monitor wind vane (a device that steers the boat on a constant angle to the apparent wind without using any power) my most critical sail tuning dimension is getting balance as the Monitor hates fighting an unbalanced plan that is causing lots of lee or weather helm. My objectives were very different than when I did long distance racing with a full crew.

My objective in my original post (the one that Jeff takes issue with) was to simply enlighten readers that a traveler is not just a hunk of metal on the deck that one can get around to understanding when they get around to it but rather an important and effective part of the overall sail control system. I do not hold myself out as an expert or an experienced sailor. I was not trying to write a book on sail trim - I do not feel qualified to do that. I just wrote some off the cuff thoughts about how I view trimming my boat. I am just a guy that has done his 4 hours of learning to sail and am now spending my lifetime trying to learn to do it well.

Fair winds and following seas
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Last edited by svzephyr44; 08-17-2014 at 07:17 AM.
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  #24  
Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Does a sailboat need a travler?

Getting back to the original question: Does a sailboat need a traveler? Does it need adjustable jib cars, Cunningham, preventers, backstay tension adjuster, running backstays, outhaul, topping lift, vang, whisker pole, boat cat, rum? No. It doesn't need any of these things. (OK, it probably needs rum.) But having these things can make your boat faster and/or safer. And if it does have any of these things it is most likely a good idea to understand how they work.

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Last edited by svzephyr44; 08-17-2014 at 07:30 AM.
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  #25  
Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Does a sailboat need a travler?

svzephyr44,

I'm sorry, but I still couldn't get past your first paragraph
Quote:
1. To adjust the "draft." This is the center of effort of the sail and can be moved fore and aft. If you look at the sail the draft is the point in the sail where it is bowed out to the maximum. The location of the draft will influence how much the sail is trying to turn the boat. With a forward draft the lever arm is shorter and the turning force is less. With an aft draft the lever arm is longer and the turning force is greater.
First of all, the traveler has NOTHING to do with controlling draft in the sail.
Secondly, draft position has nothing to do with lever arms. It has everything to do with the lift/drag ratio of the sail.
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  #26  
Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Does a sailboat need a travler?

To get back to UP's original post. If you need to upgrade your traveller(s) have a look at Garhauer's stuff. It is terrific quality and the prices are excellent
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  #27  
Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Does a sailboat need a travler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
To get back to UP's original post. If you need to upgrade your traveller(s) have a look at Garhauer's stuff. It is terrific quality and the prices are excellent
After the long read I decided to keep my traveler. I ordered a 40MM lewmar foot block, and will be downsizing the line to 5/16. The blocks are $20 each, the blocks I was replacing were $70 each, I needed 4, and the line was old.
This should save me a few hundred bucks.
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Old 08-17-2014
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Does a sailboat need a travler?

I appreciate all zephyrs great advice - it all seems spot on (enough) to me. Especially the part about the rum. More than one way to skin a cat (sorry, couldn't help that one!)
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Does a sailboat need a travler?

Hot coffee, rum, cat to pet, a smoke, and a beautiful woman on the boat - who cares about a traveler ?!
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  #30  
Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Does a sailboat need a travler?

Aren't we all travellers on a boat when she is underway?

/ZEN

Medsailor
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