Pros and cons of split mainsheet system - SailNet Community

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Old 05-02-2009
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Pros and cons of split mainsheet system

Can someone weigh the pros and cons of a boat rigged with a split mainsheet system as opposed to mainsheet traveler?

I'm going to look at such a boat soon.

From the photos I'm having trouble spotting a boom vang too...
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Old 05-02-2009
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My son's Bayfield 36 has a split mainsheet. I was on the boat for several days and I liked it, it was easy to adjust and it also acts as kind of a preventer. I don't know that you get as much precise control as with a single sheet and traveller, but unless you are racing I think it works very well.
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Old 05-03-2009
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That does make sense. Easier is good. I guess the important thing would be the ability to quickly release the mainsheet. And the preventer would be good for keeping the sail steady downwind while crossing wakes.
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Old 05-04-2009
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I think you can get just as good control with a split mainsheet setup as a traveler... but much less conveniently. It's usually easier to adjust a good traveler setup than to "tweak" the sheet, esp at the higher wind ranges, so having to adjust two mainsheets (often far apart) won't be as smooth or as accessible.

Also, more line on the cockpit floor..... On the plus side, less cost, the cockpit is clear of traveler obstruction and at anchor you can secure the boom very well with the two sheets pulling against the topping lift/halyard - much less tendency for the boom to swing in some waves and a more secure grab point too.

btw - re the Vang... a missing vang is not deal breaker, but should be way up on your list of things to do as soon as possible....
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Old 05-04-2009
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[quote=Faster;482463] On the plus side, less cost, the cockpit is clear of traveler obstruction and at anchor you can secure the boom very well with the two sheets pulling against the topping lift/halyard . . . [quote]

Another one on the plus side is that the absence of a traveller (depending on its location of course) will not result in anybody's fingers lying twitching on the deck.
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Old 05-04-2009
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I thought of another point.

With travelers you can have settings and pre-assigned "gears", numbered even.

Can't see how you can do that with split mainsheets.

Quote:
Another one on the plus side is that the absence of a traveller (depending on its location of course) will not result in anybody's fingers lying twitching on the deck.
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Old 05-05-2009
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the traveler system is simpler. Nothing wrong with a split mainsheet, it's just more complicated.

Me, when close-hauled, I'd rather have just one system for the Up-down component (mainsheet) and just one for in-out component (the traveller).

Just my own opinion.
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Old 05-26-2009
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Do check that the boom and goose neck can handle a vang.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I think you can get just as good control with a split mainsheet setup as a traveler... but much less conveniently. It's usually easier to adjust a good traveler setup than to "tweak" the sheet, esp at the higher wind ranges, so having to adjust two mainsheets (often far apart) won't be as smooth or as accessible.

Also, more line on the cockpit floor..... On the plus side, less cost, the cockpit is clear of traveler obstruction and at anchor you can secure the boom very well with the two sheets pulling against the topping lift/halyard - much less tendency for the boom to swing in some waves and a more secure grab point too.

btw - re the Vang... a missing vang is not deal breaker, but should be way up on your list of things to do as soon as possible....
Check if other boats in the class use a vang.

In some cases, if it was designed for, the goose neck or boom can break.
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Old 06-06-2009
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I'm rather a novice. By split mainsheet do you mean a line from
the boom to Port through a block, and a line to starboard through
a block where you pull on one and release the other to control
the angle of the boom?
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Old 06-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt440 View Post
I'm rather a novice. By split mainsheet do you mean a line from
the boom to Port through a block, and a line to starboard through
a block where you pull on one and release the other to control
the angle of the boom?
Yep, it's a 3:1 or higher purchase system run through blocks on the cabin roof, situated on either side of the companionway entrance. There's no mainsheet traveller. Pull one end, the boom goes that way, pull the other end, the boom goes this way, let both out on a broad reach or run. I've never used it, but that's my understanding.
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