Traveler positions - pros and cons - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 41 Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

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Surely a fixed mainsheet and a vang together can produce precisely the same sail control as a traveler. The adjustment just becomes more complicated, that's all.

Simply impossible. The vang drops the boom and tightens the leech. It has nothing to do with angle of attack. If you loosen the mainsheet going upwind, you change the shape of the sail. If you adjust the traveler when going upwind, you simply change the angle of attack.

You may be interested in this: Sail Trim Chart and Sail Trim Guide
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post #32 of 41 Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

That's true but the Garhauer I have was not expensive, is strongly built, comes with very strong fittings, has plenty of mechanical reduction (not sure exact number, maybe 10:1), AND it holds the boom up!

So this setup has the advantages that :

The mainsheet is right next to the helm, on a barney post, so it's super easy to ease in a blow. (and controlled gybes are easy)

Boom end sheeting places less load on the boom & less load on the sheet, and blocks can be smaller.

The cabin top is uncluttered. (and vs. a cockpit traveler the cockpit is uncluttered)

With the vang sheet brought back to the cockpit both adjustments are easy.

No topping lift to mess about with.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay

Last edited by MarkSF; 10-29-2012 at 02:52 PM.
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post #33 of 41 Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

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Simply impossible. The vang drops the boom and tightens the leech. It has nothing to do with angle of attack. If you loosen the mainsheet going upwind, you change the shape of the sail. If you adjust the traveler when going upwind, you simply change the angle of attack.

You may be interested in this: Sail Trim Chart and Sail Trim Guide
Both the vang and the mainsheet act on a (almost) rigid boom. Think of the situation where the traveler is out and the boom is over the end of the traveler. With a fixed mainsheet, the sheet is no longer vertical with reference to the boom, and the boom can rise a little. The vang can then be adjusted to apply the "missing" vertical force on the boom.

If the vector sum of forces is the same, how can the result be different?

What I am saying is that easing the mainsheet and trimming the vang together have the same effect as easing the traveler.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay

Last edited by MarkSF; 10-29-2012 at 02:53 PM.
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post #34 of 41 Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Simply impossible. The vang drops the boom and tightens the leech. It has nothing to do with angle of attack. If you loosen the mainsheet going upwind, you change the shape of the sail. If you adjust the traveler when going upwind, you simply change the angle of attack.

You may be interested in this: Sail Trim Chart and Sail Trim Guide
Im not sure I would go so far as to say impossible, but it is certainly less than ideal! In theory you could pull the sheet on hard, tighten the vang, then ease the sheet and the vang should maintain leech tension, but think about the loads you are putting on that vang! The vang attachment is much closer to the mast than any mainsheet AND it is pulling at an angle to the mast base, not straight down as a mainsheet does. You would need a VERY powerful vang to make any upwind adjustments in breeze. My boat has a hydraulic vang, and there is a slight bend in the boom where it attaches. If it was used as the main source of leech tension upwind it could easily snap the boom!

The vang is not an upwind tool!

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post #35 of 41 Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

Are a vang and boom end sheeting together really placing more load on the boom than a mid-boom traveller?

Imagine going upwind with the sheet really tight. Now tighten the vang. The vertical load on the boom is now SHARED between two points instead of one, and the bending moment on the boom just got less.

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post #36 of 41 Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

Hunter may have done allot of things poorly over the years, but in my opinion the arch mounted traveler was a great idea. Keeping the purchase point at the rear of the boom and keeping a sweeping boom above head level. My prior boat had a cabin top mounted traveler which was usable while single handing, but the Hunter is more convenient and I use it every time I go out. In gusty conditions I can be at the helm with one hand on the wheel and the other on the traveler sheet.
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post #37 of 41 Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

It seems to me that once you tighten the vang and ease the sheet you are transfering all of the vertical load to the vang attachment point a few feet from the mast. The only load left on the sheet is the horizontal load which is far less. That vertical load is then multiplied by the fact that the fulcrum is so much further forward. You would essentially be giving up most of the advantage gained by the end boom sheeting.

A typical example comes to mind; it a race the main trimmer is late in pulling the traveller up after a tack, the sheet is still on, but the boom is down to low. It is no big deal for the helmsman standing in the cockpit grab the end of the boom and push it to weather until the slack is taken out of the traveller. That is because the bulk of the load is vertical. That is also why many travellers only have 2:1 or 4:1 purchase.

(Keep in mind i am referencing a 30ft masthead boat! I realizebigger boats have higher loads, but the proportins are similar!)

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post #38 of 41 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

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The vang is not an upwind tool!
I beg to disagree completely. It certainly is. Sail upwind. Set the mainsheet for the conditions. If the wind is light, the mainsheet alone is simply not enough to flatten the sail, so you use the vang. As the wind increases, release the vang to give the sail more body for medium winds. As the wind increases even more, use the vang to flatten the sail in high winds. This is basic sail trim.

Off the wind, once the traveler is down all the way and the boom is out, the vang is used to flatten the sail when going from a beam reach down to broach or ddw.

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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

I'm with Schock. The vang isn't necessary for upwind use unless your traveler is too short. The worst travelers are the ones directly in front of the wheel that span between the cockpit seats, not full width but only between the seats- maybe 1-1/2 feet long. Too short for anything useful.
Back to the original post, my favorite traveler location is just ahead of the wheel where I can get at it at any time without leaving the helm, but that's a personal preference. All locations have their pros and cons.
I much prefer the traveler directly in front of the wheel than blocking the companionway.

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Re: Traveler positions - pros and cons

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I beg to disagree completely. It certainly is. Sail upwind. Set the mainsheet for the conditions. If the wind is light, the mainsheet alone is simply not enough to flatten the sail, so you use the vang. As the wind increases, release the vang to give the sail more body for medium winds. As the wind increases even more, use the vang to flatten the sail in high winds. This is basic sail trim.

Off the wind, once the traveler is down all the way and the boom is out, the vang is used to flatten the sail when going from a beam reach down to broach or ddw.
In light wind the only useful vang is one that can lift the boom when eased allowing better twist control. Other than that it is completely irrelevant if you have a traveler. In breeze the mainsheet will control the twist, and the traveler will control the angle of attack. The mainsheet has better mechanical advantage due to it's aft position, AND it typically has far better purchase system as well. Once again the vang is rendered irrelevant due to the superior power of the sheet. The vang only comes into play when you are eased off beyond the traveller and still want to maintain leech tension.
As for using the vang as a flatenning tool in light wind? The only thing that would acomplish would be to over tension the leech and hook it to weather! Outhaul, mast bend and cunningham are flatenning tools, not sheet and vang! But now we are drifting even further off topic!

On the original topic, my boat came from the factory with a cabin top traveler, but the PO moved it into the cockpit for racing. The cockpit is a better place for it from a sailing standpoint, but I moved it back to the cabintop to make the cockpit clear and safe for my toddler son. Fortunately i can still control the traveller and sheet from the helm position because I have a tiller, but it is definitely more awkward.
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Last edited by SchockT; 10-30-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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