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Harken Traveler Issues


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I've got a Corsair Sprint 750 and the mainsheet traveler is a really important tool to have working nicely on this boat. I really don't sheet the main in out much just keep main flat and travel up down. In fact you can't bear away without travel down. So sailing Sunday with gust up to 30, the fuker locks up in both directions. A half hour later it unlocks and works fine the rest of the day. fNow before you jump to conclusions, I replaced the torlon bearings 2 years ago. I have never lubed these as well. So is it common for these to wear out often?? Or could there be something else wrong with the traveler that I'm overlooking? I found some chatter nicks on the very top top of the rail but no bearings ride on that part.

This is what I found in 2018

torlon.thumb.jpg.cbd0a3284644ae10ea28190787f2cedd.jpg

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Yeah, the picture from ‘18 looks like the balls were sliding not rolling. A good fresh water rinse and one drop oil should help, but it does sound like the traveler is seeing some heavy loads. Another car could help. Is the traveler spec’d appropriately?

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It's a straight track and the it's stock equipment that all these Corsairs have. It does see very high loads... kinda scary high for such a smaller boat. I was told not to oil and that would cause flat spotting since the ball would slide instead of rolling. I just really didn't understand the chatter on top of the track.

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Without seeing a picture it’s hard to think the top of the track is an issue. It’s possible some bits got down into the bearings though. 
 

as for lubrication, the bearings are wearing flat as it is. Harken One Drop Oil works well when applied correctly.

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13 hours ago, mgs said:

Without seeing a picture it’s hard to think the top of the track is an issue. It’s possible some bits got down into the bearings though. 
 

as for lubrication, the bearings are wearing flat as it is. Harken One Drop Oil works well when applied correctly.

Thanks... I'll try that. Says it's specifically for travelers!!

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Take the car off, clean the shit out of the track and the car and inspect them closely for wear/damage, use the One Drop, flush the track and bearings with soapy water periodically, dry and re-lube. Pay particular attention to the car's end caps. If they wear out, the race can distort and hinder the balls from recirculating, leading to skid damage.

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16 hours ago, mgs said:

Without seeing a picture it’s hard to think the top of the track is an issue. It’s possible some bits got down into the bearings though. 
 

as for lubrication, the bearings are wearing flat as it is. Harken One Drop Oil works well when applied correctly.

ditto on the one drop. also as mentioned above, always a good fresh water wash after sailing.

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3 hours ago, IStream said:

Take the car off, clean the shit out of the track and the car and inspect them closely for wear/damage, use the One Drop, flush the track and bearings with soapy water periodically, dry and re-lube. Pay particular attention to the car's end caps. If they wear out, the race can distort and hinder the balls from recirculating, leading to skid damage.

This is the best answer. Flushing doesn't always clean thoroughly. Make sure the track is clean and smooth on the upper/underside of the groove where you maybe cannot see. I use dish scrubber pads. 

Test before each race by pulling UP hard and running back and forth.  I've seen goofballs push down to test and think everything is okay...

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Thanks for the help guys!! I bought the one drop yesterday at West Marine. Also, I'm a fresh water lake sailor so I don't worry about that salt water too much!!

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On 5/6/2020 at 1:17 PM, El Boracho said:

This is the best answer. Flushing doesn't always clean thoroughly. Make sure the track is clean and smooth on the upper/underside of the groove where you maybe cannot see. I use dish scrubber pads. 

Test before each race by pulling UP hard and running back and forth.  I've seen goofballs push down to test and think everything is okay...

The part here about the scrubbing pads is probably the most important part. When torlon balls don't roll, they get flat spots (as seen in the picture) and those flat spots indicate that the torlon has transferred to bearing race. That "skidmark" is becomes a location where the balls no longer want to roll past, and the problem snowballs into big issues. 

The hardcoating use on Harken track is resilient to ultrafine (gray) scotch brite, and using that and some dawn dish detergent on both the track, and the bearing races on the inside of the car will remove any torlon build up. Many people do the tracks, but forget the do the inside races of the car which is the most important place to get clean. 

The OneDrop oil isn't meant the lubricate the track, but because each balling is rolling in the same direction where each ball touches the next ones, they are moving in opposite directions. When the balls are dry or a little chalky, the friction prevents them from rolling, and they skid down the track. A little OneDrop on the bearings fixes the problem right away. DON'T use McLube Sailkote; it removes the shiny surface of the ball and makes the breakdown even faster. I think the propellant in the aerosol show above will also damage the surface of the bearing, and also add too much lubrication to the surface of the track. You actually want the track clean and dry because the friction of the ball on the track will keep it rolling smoothy. 

Bam Miller 

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On 5/7/2020 at 10:24 AM, DaveK said:

Thanks for the help guys!! I bought the one drop yesterday at West Marine. Also, I'm a fresh water lake sailor so I don't worry about that salt water too much!!

Harken has very good support. Don't hesitate to call or email them.

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  • 2 months later...

You wash your boat because dirt gets on it from just flying around the moorage don't ya, think the track and the balls don't get dirty? Dawn and a scrub brush on the track, and a little dawn mixed with some water squirted into the car move the car around, spray with a hose directly into the car. Lube with Boeing or McLube it's hard to get onto the balls so lube the track it will free up.

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On 8/4/2020 at 10:23 PM, alifish said:

You wash your boat because dirt gets on it from just flying around the moorage don't ya, think the track and the balls don't get dirty? Dawn and a scrub brush on the track, and a little dawn mixed with some water squirted into the car move the car around, spray with a hose directly into the car. Lube with Boeing or McLube it's hard to get onto the balls so lube the track it will free up.

NO! Don't use Mclube sailkote - it will trash the balls - the propellant dissolves the outer layer of torlon and makes them hard to roll. Yes - use McLube One Drop when ever the car doesn't roll freely! 

Bam Miller

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Do you get water spots on  your hull? If yes, then lake gunk might be clogging your traveler. An overnight soak of the traveler car in white vinegar while it's apart and a good scrub of the races will help a lot. 

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On 5/5/2020 at 4:00 PM, DaveK said:

I've got a Corsair Sprint 750 and the mainsheet traveler is a really important tool to have working nicely on this boat. I really don't sheet the main in out much just keep main flat and travel up down. In fact you can't bear away without travel down. So sailing Sunday with gust up to 30, the fuker locks up in both directions. A half hour later it unlocks and works fine the rest of the day. fNow before you jump to conclusions, I replaced the torlon bearings 2 years ago. I have never lubed these as well. So is it common for these to wear out often?? Or could there be something else wrong with the traveler that I'm overlooking? I found some chatter nicks on the very top top of the rail but no bearings ride on that part.

 

Just dropping the traveler isn't enough to bear away in high winds.  Don't ask me how I know.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/7/2020 at 2:22 PM, gbkersey said:

Just dropping the traveler isn't enough to bear away in high winds.  Don't ask me how I know.

 

It is on my boat..... but maybe not on a killer 31'er that like to hit things!! :P

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