"Only race boats need a traveler"... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 55 Old 09-26-2016 Thread Starter
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"Only race boats need a traveler"...

Or so I was told by a sales rep at the boat show this past weekend, while looking at a new model 41' sailboat.
It was hard not to laugh.

Same rep also told me that pressboard was a better material than ply for bulkheads. Yikes.


Just amazed at these statements can be said with a straight face.
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post #2 of 55 Old 09-26-2016
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Re: "Only race boats need a traveler"...

I suppose one could easily cruise without a traveler, but they are certainly not solely for racing.

I actually had a Jeaneau sales guy tell me the teak pressboard stuff was superior to solid or laminate teak board, as they paint the grain on the pressboard and can exactly match any replacement part. :
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Re: "Only race boats need a traveler"...

Even race boats don't need a traveler. are they nice to have yes but do you need one to sail, NO.
Plywood is a terrible material to make bulkheads with. it was used in many boats over the years because it was cheap and already had the finished wood attached so it saved money for the builder.
there are some new epoxy press boards used in boat building that is a good material. does not wick water like plywood and is very strong or at least strong enough to do the job.
Some people are stuck in the 60's when it comes to new materials and can't see the advantages in the new. manufactures are always looking for materials that are better to manufacture a product with to keep cost down and still works as required.
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Re: "Only race boats need a traveler"...

The only advantage to pressboard is that it is cheap to manufacture. It is the wood equivalent of chopped fiberglass.

And who needs twist in their sails? I guess less control is better? Or more likely, it saves the manufacturer a few bucks to leave it out......
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Re: "Only race boats need a traveler"...

back a few years and boat builders used plywood because it was cheap to manufacture and many said it would not work for the job. they said that about chopped fiberglass also and yet it has made it around the world.
I have raced on many older boats a few years ago that did not have travelers and we used many different strings to control the sail shape. sail twist can be controlled in many ways if you do not have a traveler. the double sheet system works well on may large cruising boats as it holds the boom in position better in big seas then a traveler. and it is not in the way in the cockpit. having a traveler crossing near the crew is not the safest thing on a boat.
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post #6 of 55 Old 09-26-2016
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Re: "Only race boats need a traveler"...

If you don't have a traveler, a good boomvang is de rigueur. I fitted a Garhauer rigid vang with lots of purchase, and it works great for controlling twist.

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post #7 of 55 Old 09-26-2016
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Re: "Only race boats need a traveler"...

Technically you don't need sails either on a sailboat, but you know, they help.

Every sail control has a purpose, not every one is necessary. A traveler is a convenience to help with angle of attack, sure you can use a mainsheet, or a vang to get angle of attack, but it isn't a pure control for angle of attack, you lose twist while you adjust angle of attack...

Just like you don't all need continuously adjustable genoa cars.... but boy it sure it nice to granularly control angle of attack AND twist for the genoa.

This is another one of those my way is right everyone else's is wrong threads....

Personally I love to have end boom sheeting, a Vang, a cunningham, outhaul, mainsheet, genoa tracks, and adjustable genoa cars, and halyards, not to mention an adjustable backstay, and jib cunny (would love to set one up). OH and I love my boomkicker (rigid vang works too).

Sail controls (and more of them) - bring them on. I'll decide which ones I don't use.

Oh and to me, it's killer to have the traveler RIGHT next to me where I can reach it... and dang blast the morons who designed all my OD boats and put the winches out of my reach (yeah I solo sail a lot). Moving my winches back is on my list, actually I'd be moving the traveler forward if it wouldn't ruin OD configuration.
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post #8 of 55 Old 09-26-2016
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Re: "Only race boats need a traveler"...

Well, tell that to my wife. Even she can tell when I need to drop the traveler a few inches because she's fighting the wheel. Of course we do race some so I guess according to the sales rep we do need it.
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Re: "Only race boats need a traveler"...

sailordave, you are so wrong... you should vang on and ease sheet (cause that is faster)... hehehe.

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post #10 of 55 Old 09-26-2016
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I don't have a traveller on my cruiser, I have a system of double blocks fixed on pivots outboard to either side, that my main sheet is run through. It functions much like a traveller, I think it trims the sails okay, but it's a bit more work.

One plus i can see with the main sheet running through it 8 timed is its a fantastic shock absorber for hard gybes.

The system keeps the lead to the main sheet vertical through maybe 30-40* (estimate, havent measured).

It works okay, I would actually be a little bit worried about shock loads on a traveller, single handing with such a big rig. My mast is 57 feet.

I do think Lazerbrains is right, if it's just a single block for the main sheet, it's probably a cost saving measure, as are the particle board bulkheads.
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