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So far, I have only been using the traveler to move the boom out of the way when the main sail is down and I want to have a better view and more space to eat lunch in a calm :)

Kacper
Frankly that is indeed a valid use of the traveler. Especially on the anchor or at the dock. It also helps in moving the boom so I can get the sail cover on.
My traveler serves as a back rest (read - annoyance under sail) when it is centered.


Mostly I use it not for performance, but to spill air and manage heel - something that is a nice side affect and beneficial to cruisers who don't too much care about the extra .1kt but do indeed care about not waking up the off watch.
 

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Nutshell:

Mainsheet changes camber, traveler changes angle of attack
With all due respect, while that is partially right, it over-simplifies how these controls work, and minimizes the impact of the other controls to the point that it is not really an accurate statement.
 

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When close hauled in light winds, moving the traveler towards the wind - make the boat go faster. In heavy winds moving traveler downwind makes the boat heel less. Also, you can move the traveler using the main sail like an air rudder to balance the helm. Its a lot of fun.
 

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Jeff's description of what a traveler does for you is spot on.

I totally get cruisers "poo-pooing" in that .1 knot of speed (but I'd argue we are talking as much as 1.0 knot of speed, but OK).

Perhaps it's just my ignorance, but do cruisers NEVER go to windward? If that being the case there must be MANY cruising spinnakers then.... or even as well go to windward in current? Or is the iron genny really the only thing used while going to windward in those situations?

I'd think a necessary grasp of coarse adjustments of trim being essential for all sailors, you know, JUST IN CASE?... After all I've seen many a cruising sailboat have travelers, surely they can't ALL be using them for beer movement. As well, backstay adjusters, vangs (or was it bangs?), and moveable jib cars. Surely a minor adjustment in all of the above only gaining .1-.2 knot a piece could easily garner a full knot when taken in total, and frankly overcome much lost headway upstream at the very least, again, likely unnecessary if fossil fuels are being burned I am sure (but what if motor sailing)?

Perhaps I lost the sarcasm in the posts.
 

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Jeff- I'm curious as to the order in which you use your controls. I find after just a few day sails you kind of know how much backstay tension to put on for various wind speeds. So generally set it and forget it. Of course think about decreasing it when going down wind. I find the first control for me is halyard tension and outhaul, then backstay, then vang and traveler. Do you think this varies by boat ( e.g. more effect from backstay on a fractional rig then masthead) or do you have a favorite order?
 

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Jeff,
So many thanks!!!! I've picked up a sailboat six months ago, on a huge learning curve, really want to ride the wind!!!!!! The owner passed away 17 years ago, the boat was rough, but no one to direct me with what was there. Again, thanks, this was a question I needed to ask, but didn't know what to ask! Still on that learning cure, but nuggets of info are so enjoyable!!!! Merry Christmas & a Very Happy New Year
blparrot PS, my 1st sailboat!!
 

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.... but do cruisers NEVER go to windward?
Totally with you, SHNOOL... We raced for quite a long time, don't any more but I honestly don't think we sail any differently when sailing than we did if we were racing (other than being more cautions setting the kite in a breeze, with only two on board)

That extra .2, .5, 1.0 knot attainable by good sail trim and smart 'tactics' wrt the course being sailed can mean the difference between getting that last marina spot, favoured mooring buoy at your favourite park, or simply getting to your destination before the bay 'fills up'.. it can get you on the right side of a tide shift, catching a tidal narrows at a better time, etc etc...

To my wife's chagrin I'm a constant tweaker.. sheets, traveller, vang and she's not allowed to sit anywhere that blocks my view of the knotmeter (not the GPS!) We'll tack several times to avoid adverse current...

We DO see so many 'cruisers' motoring upwind in stellar conditions with plenty of daylight left.. hell we even see boats motoring across the strait in a 12 knot beam breeze and can only just shake our heads.

There are many, many skilled and dedicated sailors out there, no mistake... but there are also the others...
 

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this cal 27 will be my first boat to actually have a traveler. the dinghy has a bridle and the holiday runs the sheet from the end of the boom to a block at the starboard corner then to a block to the port corner and then to a block on the boom and on up til it drops to hand, about mid boom.
 

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I'll admit I do tend to poo-poo the .1kt extra that good trim provides..but I'm doing it (currently) as a day sailor.
As a cruiser that .1 kt, and admittedly sometimes even 1kt, can mean several more miles per day - and that matters greatly on arrival time and perhaps even arrival day.

That said - even for cruising - I'd prefer to spend those extra hours/day under way at 5 degrees as opposed to 10.

I can fill the Rum mug fuller at 5 degrees, that makes for less trips to the below decks barrels.
 

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Chuckles... have you not heard of gimbaled drink holders? Geesh. Heel away!

5? not 10?
How about 15 to 20, or you just aren't going to windward. Now if we're racing? Ok, so we'll throw some crew at the rail to get us to 10 or less.
 

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Cameraman went forward being a wise aker, puff hit... after a pretty easy sail up to that point.

Then fat driver went highside (me), and dropped traveler, but not until I used all my "skill" to try to dump said cameraman overboard. A man's got to have a hobby. Sadly the 55 degree water didn't claim camera or cameraman... although it was riotous to see him standing on the lifelines trying to hold on!

Oh outhaul was "fixed" by the PO... so my present 1:1 outhaul will be getting replaced with a more appropriate 6:1 or 8:1 internal system this winter.
 

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Oh outhaul was "fixed" by the PO... so my present 1:1 outhaul will be getting replaced with a more appropriate 6:1 or 8:1 internal system this winter.
I had "hack job" 1:1 outhaul as well, makes a huge difference. I'll probably go to a 6:1 as my 4:1 doesn't quite have enough umph when it's blowin.
 

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Great explanations! While I am just lake sailing right now and more likely to have to tack to avoid the shore than have time to fully set all of my controls, I'll have to keep this in mind on any upcoming Superior trips.
 

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Update, 8:1 outhaul installed now too! The operating distance is short, but more than enough for what I need... moves about 4-5 inches.

and


Seems to work well.
 
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