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Thread: Traveler usage? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-17-2007 10:54 AM
Melrna First I want to say this is a great discussion. Thanks guys. As a cruiser type sailor and occasional racer no matter what boat I am on I am always learning new tricks in sail trim. Each boat trims a little differently depending on what hardware and sail plan each boat has. When I got my present boat, 05 Hunter 33, I spent all last season trying to figure out sail trim on this boat. With no backstay, furling main, traveller over my head, and small jib, I had to relearn how to control the mainsail sail shape which is different from my other boat, a Tanzer for which I raced. The concepts are basically the same but which lines to tweak where a little different.
I cannot agree more with what is said about racers and sail trim. Once season on the race circuit is worth more than ten seasons cruising. I just believe it just makes for a smarter sailor and seamanship.

Since there was considerable discussion on the slot, I will share one of the new tricks I learned from racing last season to my current boat. When close hauled I could never achieve a good slot using the normal outside track for the jib lines. I have a coach roof track that I never figured out how to use properly until I did the Manhansett Race in Long Island Sound. What I learned was, I now have two jibs sheets attached to my jib; one for the coach roof track for close hauling and one for the outside track for close haul in big wind (20knots >) and running. This helps me from re-running my lines for different tacks since I am usually short handed in crew and on the Hunter I am cruising ( being lazy and enjoying the sail). When using the coach roof tracks, it creates a very nice slot, I get a little more speed out of the boat, especially in light winds and I find I have better control over the whole sail plan. Using this technique, I find my boat faster than the Bennie toys, Catalina's and other mass production boats while on the water. Just my one cent worth.
S/V Freedom
Here is me runing circles around the Volvo racers last year!
02-15-2007 09:35 PM
chris_gee My two cents. To try to keep it simple. If the boom is sheeted to the centre of the boat, ie no traveller, all the force is straight up and down, which flattens the sail. The further you let it out the greater the force in the horizontal direction and the less vertically, so the sail becomes less flat. Draw the triangle where the hypotenuse is the mainsheet.

Put in the traveller and as the boom goes outboard to leeward you can keep the pull vertical, to a certain point, because the traveller isn't wide enough to cover the full range.

Without a traveller as you pull the boom in you increasingly pull more vertically and get a flatter sail, and as you let it out you get less vertical pull and a fuller sail which you may not want.

The practical effect of this is that you set the mainsheet and traveller to get the sail shape you want and then leave the mainsheet and trim via the traveller.

The shape in light winds is a balance between twist via less vertical downpull, and traveller to windward, and flatter shape in the very light, then more shape as it gets a bit stronger set through other controls ie outhaul, cunningham and halyard, through to flat shape with stronger winds using all those plus the traveller to leeward.

When I put a traveller on a class trailer sailer the effect was dramatic, in pointing ability, speed and standing up. You could see the results in racing. There's nothing like carving through the fleet as feedback.

In essence then use the mainsheet and the other controls to set your shape for the wind and conditions and your traveller for trim. This is the opposite to just using the mainsheet, with the traveller as only semi-moveable. It is also useful cruising, though then you don't have to trim so often.

I hope this attempt to explain the basic principles helps though after three years the original poster probably has it sorted lol.
02-15-2007 04:38 PM
kennya The main sheet traveler has the primary function of controlling the point of trim, inboard or outboard, of where the main sheet block attaches to the boat. I find the following baseline settings to work as the starting place to fine tune the main sail. Wind 0- 5 set the main boom slightly to windward of the boat’s center line. 5-10 set the main boom at boats center line. 10-15 set the traveler to the full outboard position, this reduces heeling and allows the air to escape more freely from the leach area of the mainsail. 15-25 set the traveler ½ the distance between the centerline of the boat and the leeward aft corner of the boat. Letting the boom out any further will now bring into play the boom vang but that another question. As I have stated this is my approach and the others may have different thoughts.
02-15-2007 04:25 PM
Originally Posted by foolishzeros
Sorry if you think I'm spamming, but this is my first post, I'm just bored and have no one to talk to so I'm just hanging out.. waiting on someone to give me something I can interact with. Glad I could be a part of your community, once again, Thanks!
Uh...shure. No problem. I never thought this was spam anyway.... We should thank you for resurrecting a great thread.
02-15-2007 04:14 PM
pigslo I am certain that the previous post is spam but when it gets deleted, my having made this post will keep it where I can read the whole thread when I have time.
02-15-2007 03:56 PM
Sorry, A little confused, bored and wanting attention!

First, my name is Bryin and I currently live in Brooklyn, New York. I stumbled across this forum while surfing the web for various other topics and browsed around a bit and though I would stop in and see if I could add anything to your community.

Hopefully I go mostly unnoticed as I am unsure how I may contribute but I am going to do my best to try and add something beneficial.

So, as an introduction I'm an information security professional and work for a large data security house as an analyst for large corporations requiring an immediate technician to evaluate their network infrastructure for attacks and vulnerabilities.

Okay, no more gobble-de-gook. If this post is within the wrong category, mod, please adjust it.

On another note, did anyone ever experience the website that was marketing snakes on a plane, that samuel l jackson flick? There is another website setup that you can use to send similar messages to people, not that you care but its called Pretty interesting stuff.

Sorry if you think I'm spamming, but this is my first post, I'm just bored and have no one to talk to so I'm just hanging out.. waiting on someone to give me something I can interact with. Glad I could be a part of your community, once again, Thanks!
02-29-2004 04:56 AM
Traveler usage?


As Jeff points out, easing the traveller is one way of reducing weather helm, especially in gusts, but there can be different causes of weather helm, and there are, likewise, different ways that you can reduce weather helm. For example, you can affect weather helm by sail trim, by adjusting sail area, and by adjusting the mast itself. If you are interested in learning more about it, you might want to read another discussion on this forum entitled "Factors Influencing Boat Balance," where it is being discussed in some detail.
02-29-2004 04:06 AM
Traveler usage?

Hi Sasha,

There is nothing wrong with using your traveller to reduce weather helm. It is a quick way of reducing the angle of attack of the sail, (the angle between the apparent wind and the sail). This is one quick step step in the process of ''blading out''. It is a very good way to go since when you drop the traveller in building winds rather than ease the mainsheet, you are not ''powering up'' the sail (see explanation above). This should reduce both heeling and weather helm and may be all that you need to do in a gust.

On raceboats in gusty conditions, we are constantly playing the traveller with the changes in windspeed and to a great extent use the traveller to steer the boat in big winds and waves.

If you are sailing in heavier winds for a sustained period, tightening the halyards, backystay, and outhaul, combined with moving the jib lead a notch or two aft, will further reduce weather helm and heeling up to the point that you need to reef or change down to a smaller jib.

02-28-2004 11:55 PM
Traveler usage?

Wow. That was lot of interesting stuff to digest. thanks folks.

As A bit of a begginner myself, I ahve to admit that I tend to use my main traveller as a steering tool to balance the boat''s weather helm/lee helm tendencies.

From my point of view, changing the angle of pull away from the boat''s centreline introduces a directional change that means you can have your rudder "in the middle" except when you actually want to change direction.

This has actually been workin quite well for us. It puzzles me to learn that this isn''t what it is for (since it works so well at it).

Oh well.

09-12-2003 07:53 AM
Traveler usage?

Sailormon6 infers, what I believe to be true, that Dinghy sailing / racing is the very quickest way to improve your sailing skills.(ie: Dinghy Sailors don''t need/use knotlogs/windspeed indicators etc)
Those little beasts are very eager to tell you when you''ve done something right or wrong, and they do it in an emphatic manner.
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