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Bridge deck travellers: safe? covenient?


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11 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I think that this may be partly a climate-related difference in how we use our boats.  On the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic, we go to sea to get wind and spray in our faces, and even on a 30-foot boat there are not many days when holding a drink is an easy option.  That "sun" thing is an occasional and feeble visitor, and the fun comes from active sailing rather than sunbathing.

OTOH, if you are drifting around in 5 knots of breeze on the east coast of Murica, the traveller is not so heavily loaded, and bikini-wearers can sip pina colada while their Irish counterparts are wearing fleecy jackets and waterproofs.

TwoLegged, my wife and I sail a Frers 33 with a bridge deck traveler, set up with a Harken windward sheeting car. We sail double-handed most of the time, with one of us driving and the other trimming. Although we are in a mostly light-air venue, we do get a couple of months a year of good breeze- the past few weekends we've seen mid 20s pretty consistently. We have no dodger, and other than when sailing well off the wind, we sit outboard on the side decks, out in the wind and spray. On the wind we play the traveler all the time, with the trimmer facing inboard, control line between the knees. The bridge deck location is very good for this- vastly preferable  IMO to a cabin-top setup. We've come to like it pretty well- we don't sit back against the cabin bulkheads while sailing, so the loss of seating position doesn't really come into play. Horses for courses, naturally, so your mileage may vary.

IMG_3032.jpg

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8 hours ago, DDW said:

Of course anything can be executed badly. That is not an indictment of the concept. Everything on a boat is a compromise, just a bridgedeck traveller seems a particularly bad one. 

I've eliminated the traveller entirely, and use the vang for downward force and the sheet for boom position. 

I feel like boats with solid vangs (aka kickers) really don't need a traveler. You can put the boom wherever you want it using the sheet and vang. Even without a solid vang, I guess you could crank on the topping lift if the wind was really light and you wanted to twist the main.

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2 hours ago, Grizz said:

TwoLegged, my wife and I sail a Frers 33 with a bridge deck traveler, set up with a Harken windward sheeting car. We sail double-handed most of the time, with one of us driving and the other trimming. Although we are in a mostly light-air venue, we do get a couple of months a year of good breeze- the past few weekends we've seen mid 20s pretty consistently. We have no dodger, and other than when sailing well off the wind, we sit outboard on the side decks, out in the wind and spray. On the wind we play the traveler all the time, with the trimmer facing inboard, control line between the knees. The bridge deck location is very good for this- vastly preferable  IMO to a cabin-top setup. We've come to like it pretty well- we don't sit back against the cabin bulkheads while sailing, so the loss of seating position doesn't really come into play. Horses for courses, naturally, so your mileage may vary.

IMG_3032.jpg

I guess if at home, you've installed a lampost directly in front of and obstructing the door, and run some trip wiring left and right at shoe level, that boat must feel like home. 

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1 hour ago, DDW said:

I guess if at home, you've installed a lampost directly in front of and obstructing the door, and run some trip wiring left and right at shoe level, that boat must feel like home. 

Every traveller location has it's advantages and drawbacks.  

End boom sheeting with stern traveller you have more limited scope (i.e when you want main on and boom out) you have to resort to vang sheeting much sooner.  You end up with miles of macrame in the stern - which you need to constantly tidy up - especially with an open transom.  I've never seen it, but I've heard of helmsman being badly injured when getting caught by the sheet in a gybe.   Could be urban legend, IDK.

The vang sheeting option some have suggested works - but you have less control over leech tension.  By control, I mean reaction time.  On bigger boats the vang is usually ended through a clutch and winch.  The main problem I have with van sheeting is the load being put on the boom and gooseneck.

3 hours ago, Grizz said:

TwoLegged, my wife and I sail a Frers 33 with a bridge deck traveler, set up with a Harken windward sheeting car. We sail double-handed most of the time, with one of us driving and the other trimming. Although we are in a mostly light-air venue, we do get a couple of months a year of good breeze- the past few weekends we've seen mid 20s pretty consistently. We have no dodger, and other than when sailing well off the wind, we sit outboard on the side decks, out in the wind and spray. On the wind we play the traveler all the time, with the trimmer facing inboard, control line between the knees. The bridge deck location is very good for this- vastly preferable  IMO to a cabin-top setup. We've come to like it pretty well- we don't sit back against the cabin bulkheads while sailing, so the loss of seating position doesn't really come into play. Horses for courses, naturally, so your mileage may vary.

IMG_3032.jpg

But I will confess I don't like this location.  As I mentioned in the other thread, this is way too close to the companionway and there is an immediate step down to the cockpit sole of probably 18" or so.  You would have to be ever vigilant.

The other issue I have with this one is - from a structural perspective, it has a vestigial bridgedeck.  It should be maybe a foot or more longer. 

I believe Lapworth said words to the effect that an offshore yacht should have a bridgedeck as they add to the rigidity of the aft end of the boat.  Actually, when I looked up the Cal 40 on Sailboatdata to see if he practiced what he preached - In the picture below I see he designed it with both a fore and aft bridgedeck each at least 18" in length I would estimate.  He did locate the traveller on the aft bridgedeck - and with the tiller and vertical mainsheet alignment, I can't see the mainsheet ever tangling up with the helmsman.  So offhand that looks like a good arrangement to me.  If your boat permits it.

Below that is a photo of a Dash 34 with a recessed traveller attached to a lengthy (18") false bridgedeck.  That 18" creates a clear lane for either the mainsheet trimmer or headsail grinder/trimmer to pass though.  Now some of the Dash owners have removed the false bridgedeck and moved the traveller to mid cockpit.  Personal preference - but for single handing makes it difficult to access the primary winches (you have to step over the traveller).

 

 

cal_40_drawing.jpg

4086327_20120924120836_4_XLARGE.jpg

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5 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

OK, so if bridge deck travelers are almost as deadly as off center companionways, what is the casualty rate for a boat with 2 travelers, one on the cabin top and one by the helm?

FB- Doug

I've seen that, aft for racing, forward for cruising. Of course, only one is rigged at a time. Rather an elegant solution, I think. 

Didn't the C&C35 Mk1 have a bridgedeck traveler? Our Cheoy Lee Offshore 40 did. I don't believe them to be dangerous at all, as long as the crew is in the least bit competent.

Mine is aft of the cockpit, with a large, long boom and a giant main. Presents it's own issues. 

 

 

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On 10/17/2021 at 1:21 AM, ProaSailor said:

This doesn't sound like an accurate analysis of the loads.  It's the side load that will impact a person (or dog) sitting on the traveler, not the tail load of the sheet.  The side load could be far higher than 150 lbs., especially in a jibe.  Even without a jibe, it's possible to have a side load that cannot be adjusted by hand and someone might not realize that until they release the jam cleat to ease or trim the traveler, and WHAM!  Down goes the traveler with ~300 lbs. of force, or more.

With care, this accident waiting to happen is usually avoided or injuries are minor.  But it's a classic way to get a "boat bite".

the tail load matters because:

  1. it is the standing tension in the line and influences how likely the line is to break, and...
  2. combined with the mechanical advantage of the traveler, it provides a starting point for estimating the total side load, which, as you point out is higher.

 

Where do you think I went wrong with the analysis?  Yes, it's a static analysis and doesn't address shock loads or knockdown conditions... but I think it's sufficient to make the basic point: travelers don't experience large side loads during ordinary sailing.

People look at the mainsheet and see a lot of tension.  But most of that tension comes from the vertical load needed to keep the leech taught.  The side force is comparatively small.  This is born out by the aerodynamics.  I just dug up some old CFD results for a 45 foot racing sloop going upwind in 13.5 knots of breeze to see if I was way off.  The moments on the mainsail are such that they can be resisted by a 38 lb force at the 3/4 point of the boom.  So my estimate of 90 - 150 lbs is pretty conservative... which makes sense, since it's based on the largest loads which might allow you to still operate the traveler.

Can you get larger loads during jibes or knockdowns?  Of course.  Can someone hurt themselves with the traveler of a 30 foot boat?  Absolutely.  But the real risks here do not come from the traveler sliding down into someone.  It's unlikely to happen, and in any conditions in which someone might wish to sprawl on the leeward cockpit seat, the forces involved on a 30 something foot cruising sailboat are not terribly dangerous. They are "leave a bruise" not "crush you" sized.  They are way too low for the mainsheet to slice through flesh as was vividly imagined above.

I wouldn't particularly want to spend time hanging out on the lee side of the traveler., but I don't consider being there particularly dangerous nor is it high on the list of safety concerns I have on a small cruising boat.

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For a cruiser The defect with a cabin top or bridge deck traveler is that the helmsman is too far away and can’t handle the main from the steering wheel 

cabin top travelers are difficult the engineer , bridge deck travelers have natural longitudinal bulkheads , engine room ,to prevent the mainsheet from lifting the deck 

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19 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

Your disparaging remarks indicate that you are "firmly convinced" your opinion is more valid than hers.  Guess what?  Opinions can be flat out wrong, no matter how firmly convinced one may be.

I spoke recently with someone who works in retail and was firmly convinced that her O- blood type and strong immune system made the COVID vaccination completely unnecessary, and after all (according to her), it was only another variant of the flu.  Her husband was recovering now from his second bout of COVID...  I skipped the critical differences between the two and asked if she believed it was possible to be asymptomatic and still spread COVID to others, as reported since the earliest days of this pandemic.  She said yes.  * * *  Will it ever occur to her that she may have exposed her husband to COVID, twice?  The possibility is pretty damn obvious, eh?

Your example is what Two Legged would cite as a 'strawman argument'. Covid and immune response has been widely examined in numerous scientific studies due to the pandemic. There are scientific facts that have come out of this research. AFAIK there has never been a scientific study of the hazards of bridge deck travellers. Harken, Garhauer, et al are not required to put Surgeon General or California Proposition warning stickers on their traveller products...yet.

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7 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

So, you didn't go for the "God, give me a free boat for life" deal, either?

- DSK

I asked but my prayers were not answered and so have been cursed with this succession of compromises and endless cost and toil.

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1 hour ago, MFH125 said:

travelers don't experience large side loads during ordinary sailing.

People look at the mainsheet and see a lot of tension.  But most of that tension comes from the vertical load needed to keep the leech taught.  The side force is comparatively small.  This is born out by the aerodynamics.  I just dug up some old CFD results for a 45 foot racing sloop going upwind in 13.5 knots of breeze to see if I was way off.  The moments on the mainsail are such that they can be resisted by a 38 lb force at the 3/4 point of the boom.  So my estimate of 90 - 150 lbs is pretty conservative...

I misspoke when I referred to the "tail load of the sheet".  I meant to say "tail load of the traveler control line".

13.5 knots of true wind might be uncommon in the PNW but two or even three times that wind speed are routine in other areas, like San Francisco Bay.  The difference between "leave a bruise" and "crush you" describes the degree of danger, it doesn't mean there isn't any danger at all.

"According to Harken, the typical lateral load on a mainsheet traveler is about 20 percent of the mainsheet load. For example, the maximum vertical mainsheet load on the traveler car on a 35-footer might be about 1,000 lbs (454 kg) with about 200 pounds (91 kg) of sideways pull on the car.
In the example above, if the traveler has a 3:1 purchase, which is typical on older boats, there could be as much as 70 pounds (32 kg) of load on the traveler line when you want to move the car uphill or, more likely, let it down. That's a lot of work for all but the strongest sailor."
-- Brion Toss

https://www.harken.com/en/support/tech-articles/traveler-know-how/

And the worst case cannot be ignored, a jibe when the traveler is not properly fixed for the new tack.

Danger can be managed, of course, but to say there is none from a bridge deck traveler, as some here would have us believe, is delusional.

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6 hours ago, DDW said:

I guess if at home, you've installed a lampost directly in front of and obstructing the door, and run some trip wiring left and right at shoe level, that boat must feel like home. 

DDW, the other option, assuming we want to actively play the traveler, would be further aft across the cockpit in front of the helm. Any further aft of that we run out of boom. For pure racing I would prefer the mid-cockpit location, and we race on several boats with this configuration. For a racer/cruiser, it makes a lot of the cockpit unusable for relaxing post-sail, and seriously restricts the potential size and layout of cockpit lockers. We are pretty used to the current setup, and getting around it to go below has become second nature.

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i've sailed a few times,  including several ocean passages,  on the new swan 54.., which has the main sheet forward of the companionway.

Initially, I didn't think it was a good idea.., but i have come around to thinking that for a larger cruising boat it makes a lot of sense.

everything is a compromise on boats, and there is no question that it is quite a bit safer than having the main sheet in the cockpit.

yes, you give up a little upwind ability. I suppose one could mount a small traveler where the blocks are on the deck, but i doubt it would do that much, and you would probably need two more winches.

The bigger the boat, the more damage the main sheet can do to someone in the cockpit.., and the greater the likelihood of having non-sailors aboard as guests.

cannes-yachting-festival-2016-swan-54-preview-_16546.png

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10 hours ago, Grizz said:

TwoLegged, my wife and I sail a Frers 33 with a bridge deck traveler, set up with a Harken windward sheeting car. We sail double-handed most of the time, with one of us driving and the other trimming. Although we are in a mostly light-air venue, we do get a couple of months a year of good breeze- the past few weekends we've seen mid 20s pretty consistently. We have no dodger, and other than when sailing well off the wind, we sit outboard on the side decks, out in the wind and spray. On the wind we play the traveler all the time, with the trimmer facing inboard, control line between the knees. The bridge deck location is very good for this- vastly preferable  IMO to a cabin-top setup. We've come to like it pretty well- we don't sit back against the cabin bulkheads while sailing, so the loss of seating position doesn't really come into play. Horses for courses, naturally, so your mileage may vary.

IMG_3032.jpg

I think it depends HUGELY on how you use your boat. That thing would be an automatic "no way in hell for me", but if I was mostly racing the boat I might like it. I can just imagine my wife or one of the dogs making an appearance right when an accidental gybe slams the traveler across the boat :angry: And no I don't gybe all the time, but all it takes is launching the wife off the boat with broken ribs ONE time and you'll never hear the end of it.

Besides for that, I installed a SSB and water maker and a few other things on a boat like that and after the 20th time trying to hold a bunch of gear in my arms and limbo up the bridge deck, around the main sheet, and under the dodger I was 99% of the way to chain-sawing the bridge deck off the boat!

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1 hour ago, us7070 said:

i've sailed a few times,  including several ocean passages,  on the new swan 54.., which has the main sheet forward of the companionway.

Initially, I didn't think it was a good idea.., but i have come around to thinking that for a larger cruising boat it makes a lot of sense.

everything is a compromise on boats, and there is no question that it is quite a bit safer than having the main sheet in the cockpit.

yes, you give up a little upwind ability. I suppose one could mount a small traveler where the blocks are on the deck, but i doubt it would do that much, and you would probably need two more winches.

The bigger the boat, the more damage the main sheet can do to someone in the cockpit.., and the greater the likelihood of having non-sailors aboard as guests.

cannes-yachting-festival-2016-swan-54-preview-_16546.png

I recently replaced the steering pedestal    on a yacht with the traveler in front of the wheel

poorly executed jibe .. mainsheet caught the   pedestal 

 

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@TwoLegged In the one boat for life deal, what traveler arrangement did you ask for?

I chose a BB10. I think the BB10's traveler set up is pretty good. Is it convenient and out of the way? Yes. Is it effective in all conditions? Maybe not. Would I change it? No. 

image.png.d4c7f60770f0fa49ffc9fec2ce257fd0.png

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10 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

I recently replaced the steering pedestal    on a yacht with the traveler in front of the wheel

poorly executed jibe .. mainsheet caught the   pedestal 

 

How did that end up?

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15 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

I recently replaced the steering pedestal    on a yacht with the traveler in front of the wheel

poorly executed jibe .. mainsheet caught the   pedestal 

 

Friends have a J34c and had the same binnacle extraction. They were un experienced at the time, but I just checked the specs for mainsheet: 

1387053483_ScreenShot2021-10-18at9_27_06AM.png.ec40da7423df1ded28659da76e0e56ea.png

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11 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

poorly executed jibe .. mainsheet caught the   pedestal 

it definitely happens - main sheet needs to be controlled in the gybe

the j boat style travelers with the track immediately in front of the pedestal seem pretty prone to this, but i have seen it happen on a variety of boats.

modern twin helm boats are not immune to it either

for a racing boat, good traveler control is essential

for a cruising boat, it depends on the sailor - but even if you come to it from racing, you might be able to get used to not having it

That's what happened to me with the swan 54 i posted above. i'm mostly a racing sailor and i got on the boat the first time and thought "well, this sucks".., but once you realize what is gained in terms of safety.., it's not so bad.

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26 minutes ago, us7070 said:

it definitely happens - main sheet needs to be controlled in the gybe

the j boat style travelers with the track immediately in front of the pedestal seem pretty prone to this, but i have seen it happen on a variety of boats.

modern twin helm boats are not immune to it either

for a racing boat, good traveler control is essential

for a cruising boat, it depends on the sailor - but even if you come to it from racing, you might be able to get used to not having it

That's what happened to me with the swan 54 i posted above. i'm mostly a racing sailor and i got on the boat the first time and thought "well, this sucks".., but once you realize what is gained in terms of safety.., it's not so bad.

On racer cruisers it’s important to spread out the cockpit crew to avoid congestion during maneuvers 

nothing wrong with a cabin top traveler

very  common on racer cruisers like Swans 

 

 

 

49722410-E17B-471F-9AC7-C2F314D20B95.jpeg

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39 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I think it depends HUGELY on how you use your boat. That thing would be an automatic "no way in hell for me", but if I was mostly racing the boat I might like it. I can just imagine my wife or one of the dogs making an appearance right when an accidental gybe slams the traveler across the boat :angry: And no I don't gybe all the time, but all it takes is launching the wife off the boat with broken ribs ONE time and you'll never hear the end of it.

Besides for that, I installed a SSB and water maker and a few other things on a boat like that and after the 20th time trying to hold a bunch of gear in my arms and limbo up the bridge deck, around the main sheet, and under the dodger I was 99% of the way to chain-sawing the bridge deck off the boat!

Kent_island-sailor, we just move the traveler car to one side when carrying stuff up and down.  Also, the Harken windward sheeting car is pretty good for dealing with accidental gibes- the traveler locks automatically on the loaded side. We run a preventer on long downhill legs anyway. In fairness, we do a lot of day sailing and occasional racing, and playing the traveler upwind is kind of critical with just the two of us on the rail. When we cruise, it’s usually only for a week or so at a time, and pretty much coastal, hence our lack of canvas!

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12 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

Yes, on that sort of boat the traveller has nowhere else to go except bridge deck.   A necessary evil on that design.

As to how much travel you actually need, the pinned nature of the old traveller may be a clue.  I have little experience of sailing IOR-style boats, but i did some calcs off SailBoatData and estimate that the 150% genoa is 2.5 times the size of the wee sliver main.  So piling the main makes little difference, which make me wonder: do you actually need to play the traveller at all?

Main~175sqft, G1=355, sym spi=750.:o  Mainsail is somewhat of a trim tab, but an important one for keeping the helm balanced. We are reducing the G1 from 150% to 135-ish and putting it on a good furler, might eventually extend the boom 18" and roach up the main. It's a common mod on cruisified IOR boats and doesn't really change the net center of effort.

Our intended cruising grounds is daysailing the Sea of Cortez, where you have considerable wind range, lots of terrain effect, wind-over-tide-and-chop, and more beating than tradewind sailors probably do. It sounds a lot like the inland and Great Lakes sailing I grew up on (and mostly do now), where you spend the entire day tacking upwind and somehow still end up back at your dock.:lol: I enjoy that kind of sailing, and I like pulling strings.

(Favorite lifetime sailing day ever was the 16 mile beat along Catalina Island from Avalon to Two Harbors, 12kts on the nose and long-period swells, in our 1400# San Juan 21. Wind swirls around the cliff face and the boat corkscrews in the troughs, so you have play the sheet and tiller together. No traveler. I was grinning like a stoned monkey the whole distance. The other transiting sailboats were motoring, every single one.)

 

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I used to own an Albin Ballad.  The bridge deck traveler and mainsheet set up was ideal.  One hand on the tiller and the other on the sheet/traveler line, sitting at the front of the cockpit.  When cruising, tucked under the spray hood and when racing, with the winch staff all behind you and not blocking your view  forward.

For real danger, what about a four part mainsheet at the aft end of the cockpit just itching to throttle the helmsman.

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1 minute ago, Whinging Pom said:

I used to own an Albin Ballad.  The bridge deck traveler and mainsheet set up was ideal.  One hand on the tiller and the other on the sheet/traveler line, sitting at the front of the cockpit.  When cruising, tucked under the spray hood and when racing, with the winch staff all behind you and not blocking your view  forward.

For real danger, what about a four part mainsheet at the aft end of the cockpit just itching to throttle the helmsman.

Did you run into any conflicts between the mainsheet & spray hood? Would you advise, say, a 3' track instead of a 5'? (Yeah, the tiller is practically long enuf to sit in the companionway and steer!)

https://dailyboats.com/bimg/5/2/1/8/7/boat/3.jpg

Our SJ21 came stock with the triangular mainsheet setup: blocks at the aft corners, down to a rotating cleat on the cockpit sole. Miles and miles of line, and a jibe was guaranteed to behead everyone in the cockpit. I changed to mid-boom tackle with a padeye on the sole, and it's really good. Kneel on the floor, grab the whole bundle, throw the boom across, cushion the shock with your hand. Crew quickly figures out how the tackle moves and avoids its path.

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IIRC it wasn't a problem,  sure there wasn't a great deal of overlap aft and one's head would stick out.  In cold weather one felt either like a boiled egg with the top sliced off or one of those poor monkeys that have their brains eaten whilst still alive.

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9 hours ago, 12 metre said:

I've never seen it, but I've heard of helmsman being badly injured when getting caught by the sheet in a gybe.   Could be urban legend, IDK.

....

The vang sheeting option some have suggested works - but you have less control over leech tension.  By control, I mean reaction time.  On bigger boats the vang is usually ended through a clutch and winch.  The main problem I have with van sheeting is the load being put on the boom and gooseneck.

....

The other issue I have with this one is - from a structural perspective, it has a vestigial bridgedeck.  It should be maybe a foot or more longer. 

I've seen plenty of carnage from a main sheet in a gybe, including the forcible removal and burial at sea of equipment, and serious rope burns. 

On big boats, the vang is generally hydraulic. And usually, you are playing boom position with the traveller, not main twist (which is very slow anyway, requires adjusting both traveller position and sheet in concert). In a vang sheeted boat, these are independent functions, and the sheet (AKA cross haul) is as quick to adjust as a traveller. 

The length of the bridgedeck is not particularly material  to its structural strength. If the top where made twice as thick, it will be as strong as twice as long and weigh the same. 

5 hours ago, Grizz said:

DDW, the other option, assuming we want to actively play the traveler, would be further aft across the cockpit in front of the helm. Any further aft of that we run out of boom. For pure racing I would prefer the mid-cockpit location, and we race on several boats with this configuration. For a racer/cruiser, it makes a lot of the cockpit unusable for relaxing post-sail, and seriously restricts the potential size and layout of cockpit lockers. We are pretty used to the current setup, and getting around it to go below has become second nature.

That is an answer to the question "Can it be made to work" rather than "Is there a better way to do this". In a built boat you take what you get as a whole, I understand that. But would you design that feature into a new custom build?

4 hours ago, us7070 said:

i've sailed a few times,  including several ocean passages,  on the new swan 54.., which has the main sheet forward of the companionway.

Initially, I didn't think it was a good idea.., but i have come around to thinking that for a larger cruising boat it makes a lot of sense.

everything is a compromise on boats, and there is no question that it is quite a bit safer than having the main sheet in the cockpit.

yes, you give up a little upwind ability. I suppose one could mount a small traveler where the blocks are on the deck, but i doubt it would do that much, and you would probably need two more winches.

The bigger the boat, the more damage the main sheet can do to someone in the cockpit.., and the greater the likelihood of having non-sailors aboard as guests.

cannes-yachting-festival-2016-swan-54-preview-_16546.png

That boat is effectively vang sheeted, just like mine. The objection of not begin able to control the boom position could be solved with twin sheets, just as I did. You can then sheet it to windward if you like - between the vang and sheets the boom can be set in any position you desire. It gives up nothing over a conventional traveller, and is simpler to operate (3 controls, not 4). 

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9 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

Kneel on the floor, grab the whole bundle, throw the boom across, cushion the shock with your hand. 

That's what causes the serious rope burns. Might work on a dinghy or 21'er, don't try that on an 800 sq ft mainsail, even in light wind.....

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3 minutes ago, DDW said:
14 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

Kneel on the floor, grab the whole bundle, throw the boom across, cushion the shock with your hand. 

That's what causes the serious rope burns. Might work on a dinghy or 21'er, don't try that on an 800 sq ft mainsail, even in light wind.....

Depends. I've done grab-the-whole-mainsheet-tackle gybes on 40+ footers in fairly strong breeze. When reefed, a couple of times.

You have to understand how the fall of the sheet is going to lay, use your weight, and have good coordination with the helm. I wouldn't suggest it for newbies. And I'm sure there are boats that it won't work for, one way another. I wouldn't try it on a J-Class or a German-style sheet, for example.

FB- Doug

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Am I the only one who sheets in to centerline and then eases the boom out to the other side? I'm just a cruiser but I don't like a lot of rapid decelerations of my rig.

 

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I do. I don't want to rip my dinghy off the deck or damage any gear.

I have a cabin top traveler. It's an okay compromise for cruising.  Yes, it clears out the cockpit, but the half-German mainsheet system has more friction despite good, properly sized hardware.  Same with the traveler controls.  Incidentally I find I end up needing the traveler more because of the less than ideal sheeting angle. Too slow to be properly responsive in puffs. 

 

 

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Life is not risk free.  Not any facet of it.  In every aspect of our lives, we look to mitigate risk.  Be that crossing the street (look both ways!), riding a bike (wearing a helmet), driving in a car (Airbags, antilock brakes), raising our children (babies should sleep on their backs), surviving pandemics (get vaccinated/wear a mask when appropriate), and on and on.  Sailing is no different.  There are risks inherent to sailing, and in any and all aspects of sailing, including traveler location.  The two questions that need to be asked are, at what point does the risk grow to the point that I can't reasonably mitigate it, thereby reaching a level of danger, and at what level am I willing to accept risk that may not be able to be mitigated?

The answer to those two questions will determine an individual's risk tolerance.  I believe all of the risks inherent in a bridgedeck traveler can be mitigated in one manner or another, so its a compromise I am willing to make to gain certain other benefits.  In the case as originally presented, I would offer there are at least 4 ways to reasonable mitigate the risk:

1. Drop the traveler to the end of its track so that it is to leeward of "Pal" who can now sit safely under the dodger on the leeward side.  As always, cleat said traveler on both ends.  Yes you might give up a couple degrees to windward (though if reefed already, probably not to much), but as I'm not racing in this scenario, who cares?

2.  Use a extra piece of line to loop through the traveler car U bolt, and the U bolt on the upwind face of the cockpit, thus preventing the traveler from dropping if the line is kicked out of the cam cleat.  Yes, in a puff, I can no longer drop the trav, and will have to resort to easing mainsheet, but as before, seeing as I'm not racing, I can live with the less than perfect sail trim for a little while, until the puff passes.

3. Install as set of horned cleats near the traveler contol line cam cleats so I can actually tie off the traveler control lines, thus preventing the traveler from moving.  As in #2, I'll have to live with easing the mainsheet in a puff.

4.  Install a set of pin stops on either end of the traveler.  When racing they can live at the ends of the traveler.  Yes I'd lose a couple inches of traveler travel, but when cruising, I could use them to "pin" the traveler car inplace, protecting "Pal" while he lounges to leeward.  Yep, still would be forced to ease the mainsheet in a puff.

Are the above 4 mitigation strategies perfect?  No.  Would they reasonably mitigate the traveler unexpected dropping and injuring "Pal" in someway?  Yes, I believe so.  Is any of this going to convince the OP or DDW, or anyone who feels bridgedeck travelers are inherently dangerous, that they actually are not so dangerous?  No, I don't think so.  But that's why some people free climb tall mountains, and others don't.  I don't believe your traveler choice makes you a daredevil or a sissy.

Now, who's starting a thread on the dangers of the offset companionway?  Or is that already "settled science?":rolleyes:

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14 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

 Kneel on the floor, grab the whole bundle, throw the boom across, cushion the shock with your hand. Crew quickly figures out how the tackle moves and avoids its path.

Try that on Restive and you've got the makings of a very bad day. The main is enormous, and with the traveler aft of the cockpit there is a LOT of mainsheet out. I can do it racing in very light air with Kevlar gloves. Leather gloves?   Burn through in one gybe, even in light air. No gloves? Don't, just don't. 

Your tactic is appropriate for small boats, say 33' or less, and good for small IOR type mains. It doesn't scale well. 

I have swept back spreaders, so the main doesn't go out to 90 degrees, I sail angles downwind. If sailing alone or with just the wife, gybing is 1.)roll up the jib 2.) chicken gybe 3.) roll out the jib, or don't. There is plenty of power in the main.  The good news about chicken gybing this boat is she spins in her own length so it only takes a couple of seconds. It's much faster than trying to grind the main amidship. 

This is a machine to be respected or it WILL hurt you. Manage it right and the fun is incredible. I invite you to find out for yourself sometime. I think I'd like very much to sail with you.

L1030935.thumb.jpeg.1055ef5e8a39929cd6d3f42c6a903c88.jpeg

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6 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

"According to Harken, the typical lateral load on a mainsheet traveler is about 20 percent of the mainsheet load. For example, the maximum vertical mainsheet load on the traveler car on a 35-footer might be about 1,000 lbs (454 kg) with about 200 pounds (91 kg) of sideways pull on the car.
In the example above, if the traveler has a 3:1 purchase, which is typical on older boats, there could be as much as 70 pounds (32 kg) of load on the traveler line when you want to move the car uphill or, more likely, let it down. That's a lot of work for all but the strongest sailor."
-- Brion Toss

https://www.harken.com/en/support/tech-articles/traveler-know-how/

That Brion Toss quote seems in line with my estimate.  They're giving maximum estimated loads, here.  Loads under normal conditions will be much lower.

6 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

Danger can be managed, of course, but to say there is none from a bridge deck traveler, as some here would have us believe, is delusional.

Undoubtedly.  Being close to the traveler is more dangerous than being far from it.  However, if your friend is lounging to leeward of the traveler on a comfy upwind leg, they aren't in serious danger.  They're probably safer there than they would be standing on deck or getting into and out of the dinghy.  You probably do more for their safety by coiling down the various sheets and halyards in the cockpit (so they run smoothly and won't tangle someone up) than by asking your friend to move. 

The traveler is unlikely to slip, and if it does, the loads are not very large. That doesn't hold for every possible scenario, of course.  Heavy winds, jibes, etc... one must use common sense.

It's just low on my list of things that could go wrong.

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49 minutes ago, IStream said:

Am I the only one who sheets in to centerline and then eases the boom out to the other side? I'm just a cruiser but I don't like a lot of rapid decelerations of my rig.

 

Depends on the boat and rig. On an una rig (like a Nonsuch or Wyliecat) it is normal for experienced sailors to do a Hudson River gybe. These boats have long booms, end boom sheeting, and a LOT of sheet. Sail by the lee as far as you dare (this will be at least 45 deg on the wrong side of the stern), then but the wheel down, turn around and face the sheet which is behind the helm. When the boat turns enough, the main will be caught aback, and will come *smartly* across. The boom end of the sheet is flung by centrifugal force well aft of the stern, but the deck end should be deftly flipped across anything it may tangle with just the right timing. Anything it tangles with will be removed from the boat. The boom comes to rest on the new side, luffing, with a slack sheet. There is no stress or drama or shock on anything - provided the sheet was flicked properly. I've done it in 30 knots on a Nonsuch 36 (about 800 sq ft sail). Early in my experience curve I tried it on my 30 in less than 5 knots, thinking I would arrest its travel towards the end with a grip on the two parts and had a nasty rope burn for weeks afterwards for my trouble, even through a leather glove. Now, this is unlikely to work on a Marconi sloop because you cannot ease the boom enough on either side. 

On Anomaly, in theory I could do the same thing but for one detail: the sheet (on Anomaly the sheet is 280' of cordage!) is ahead of the cockpit and helm on the coachroof. It will rake the cockpit and mizzenmast and do God only knows what sort of carnage. I've been afraid to try. But I can do a controlled gybe by cranking in both sheets until about the close hauled position, crank the windward sheet more to center the boom, then turn the boat to gybe, boom stays stationary held by the twin sheets, then let it out on the new side. The powerful vang helps as well, as it keeps the leach tensioned and controlled. I've done that at full hoist at >30 knots, single handed. Just under 1000 sq ft main. It would be far more dramatic with a traveller, which allows at least some uncontrolled motion. 

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38 minutes ago, DDW said:

On big boats, the vang is generally hydraulic. And usually, you are playing boom position with the traveller, not main twist (which is very slow anyway, requires adjusting both traveller position and sheet in concert). In a vang sheeted boat, these are independent functions, and the sheet (AKA cross haul) is as quick to adjust as a traveller. 

The length of the bridgedeck is not particularly material  to its structural strength. If the top where made twice as thick, it will be as strong as twice as long and weigh the same. 

Apologies, when I said bigger boats, I meant over say 24 ft  with a solid vang.  I didn't consider hydraulic.

And yes, when vang sheeting, the mainsheet is as fast or faster than a traveller in normal use.  But a solid vang is IMO slower than a mainsheet in normal use.

But I don't consider vang sheeting until I have run out of scope on the traveller - and even then I'm a bit leery due to the loads induced on the boom and gooseneck.

I will concede that structurally a narrow thicker bridgedeck is equally strong and stiff.  But I wouldn't want to step on one that is shorter than my boot is long.

 

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3 hours ago, Grizz said:

the Harken windward sheeting car is pretty good for dealing with accidental gibes- the traveler locks automatically on the loaded side

I've never heard of that but if I understand you correctly, it sounds like a great safety innovation.

From 2005:

And from May, 2021 - with video.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

But I don't consider vang sheeting until I have run out of scope on the traveller - and even then I'm a bit leery due to the loads induced on the boom and gooseneck.

 

I'd not blindly convert a boat to vang sheeting without due consideration to the strength of the existing equipment. But the forces are easily designed to on a new rig in these days of titanium and carbon. And the forces on the mainsheet are now considerably lighter. 

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16 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

I have always wondered about these boom brakes. They have been around for a long time but look to have continued to evolve.

image.png.5887e8f2385b4b81e83f27c8d4db8e52.png

I've sailed with friends who have them, they reduce the speed of the boom crossing but there is still a lot of force... the fall of the sheet can still get tangled on something/someone, etc etc. If I sailed a big boat short handed, or short on training time, I'd definitely consider getting one.

Are we discussing gybe techniques? I learned to do S-gybes in dinghies with spinnakers and this works so well, and I've been doing it for so long, that if driving thru a gybe I have to focus on NOT doing it if not desired. A lot of people who have trouble controlling the main thru a gybe probably are not controlling helm as well as they should, either.

I strongly dislike hauling in the main to centerline, or nearly, before gybing. It brings on more problems than it solves, in the boats I've done it on. The boat slows down and is more difficult to steer, is more subject to yawing in waves, and if it's going kick hard it still does. Good chance of rope burn if you let the sheet run out. It can be different if you ease the vang a little before gybing although this has to be done with an eye to avoid that roll to windward that easing the vang brings on.

Different techniques work for different boats. That's part of what makes it a challenge, and fun.

FB- Doug

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49 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Your tactic is appropriate for small boats, say 33' or less, and good for small IOR type mains. It doesn't scale well. 

Agreed! Lots of things involving fluid dynamics don't scale well. ;) Second and third order equations, and all that. I've done that 'controlled crash jibe' trick in 30+ knots on our smaller boat, tho, and it's remarkably uneventful. We were having trouble sheeting to center then easing out the boom in a blow, because the flat bottom and swept-back swing keel makes the boat want to round up violently as soon as the wind gets onto the other side of the leech. Also, in high winds, the SJ21 is happiest with no headsail. Throwing the boom across gets the CofE forward of the mast again in two seconds. It's basically a fat dinghy, so we sail it that way. :)

Inertial loads will be more on the Ballad, tho the main is hardly larger than the SJ21. A boat like Restive will dislocate or remove body parts if handled that way, for sure! Any loaded line probably ought to be treated like a crane hawser.

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30 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I've sailed with friends who have them, they reduce the speed of the boom crossing but there is still a lot of force... the fall of the sheet can still get tangled on something/someone, etc etc. If I sailed a big boat short handed, or short on training time, I'd definitely consider getting one.

Are we discussing gybe techniques? I learned to do S-gybes in dinghies with spinnakers and this works so well, and I've been doing it for so long, that if driving thru a gybe I have to focus on NOT doing it if not desired. A lot of people who have trouble controlling the main thru a gybe probably are not controlling helm as well as they should, either.

I strongly dislike hauling in the main to centerline, or nearly, before gybing. It brings on more problems than it solves, in the boats I've done it on. The boat slows down and is more difficult to steer, is more subject to yawing in waves, and if it's going kick hard it still does. Good chance of rope burn if you let the sheet run out. It can be different if you ease the vang a little before gybing although this has to be done with an eye to avoid that roll to windward that easing the vang brings on.

Different techniques work for different boats. That's part of what makes it a challenge, and fun.

FB- Doug

In my mind it really depends on the boat. In the skiff or windsurfing, speed is your friend. Limited to displacement speeds it's a different matter. Cruising I gybe in a slow version of the late main gybe.  

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On 10/16/2021 at 7:01 PM, IStream said:

Then again, what do I know? I own a boat with (*gasp*) mid-boom sheeting. And my traveler stays safely forward of my dodger where it won't hurt anyone and by virtue of its (*gasp*) mid-boom placement, is effective over about 90 degrees of boom swing.

Why are we supposed to hate mid-boom sheeting?  It seems kinda nice to get the sheet and the traveler out of the cockpit, and better distributes the sheeting loads along the boom.  Not only that, it keeps the sheet inboard of the gunwales so it stays out of the way when docking under sail.

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1 hour ago, Rasputin22 said:

I have always wondered about these boom brakes. They have been around for a long time but look to have continued to evolve.

image.png.5887e8f2385b4b81e83f27c8d4db8e52.png

Don't these guys have proofreaders? Boat lenght?

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20 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

Why are we supposed to hate mid-boom sheeting?  It seems kinda nice to get the sheet and the traveler out of the cockpit, and better distributes the sheeting loads along the boom.  Not only that, it keeps the sheet inboard of the gunwales so it stays out of the way when docking under sail.

Much easier to brake the boom in an uncontrolled jibe, if mid-boom sheeting, I believe.

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1 minute ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Much easier to brake the boom in an uncontrolled jibe, if mid-boom sheeting, I believe.

One of the booms in our club (with mid-boom sheeting) has a noticeable upward bend. 

I've wondered though, whether the reverse might be true for end-sheeted booms if you spend a lot of time deeply reefed.  That would seem to move the upward force of the sail forward of the end, but maybe not far enough that it matters.

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8 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Much easier to brake the boom in an uncontrolled jibe, if mid-boom sheeting, I believe.

Um, we talking about boom brakes or boom breaks?  Boom brakes are a good thing.

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31 minutes ago, Elegua said:

In my mind it really depends on the boat. In the skiff or windsurfing, speed is your friend. Limited to displacement speeds it's a different matter. Cruising I gybe in a slow version of the late main gybe.  

Good point. Sail loads are very light in a gybe if boatspeed is close to (or even faster than) windspeed.  

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31 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

Why are we supposed to hate mid-boom sheeting?  It seems kinda nice to get the sheet and the traveler out of the cockpit, and better distributes the sheeting loads along the boom.  Not only that, it keeps the sheet inboard of the gunwales so it stays out of the way when docking under sail.

Actually it doesn't.  You lose half the length of your lever arm, so need 2x the force.  T= F x L.  Now admittedly, you typically see 3 blocks, attached to the boom, but they are still carrying more force between them then a single block at the end of the boom would.

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3 minutes ago, Crash said:

Actually it doesn't.  You lose half the length of your lever arm, so need 2x the force.  T= F x L.  Now admittedly, you typically see 3 blocks, attached to the boom, but they are still carrying more force between them then a single block at the end of the boom would.

Yes, mid-boom sheeting introduces a bending moment where end-boom load is entirely compression. Presumably, rig designers take this into account. I think for a cruiser the advantages of safety and clearing the cockpit make the cabintop traveler and mid-boom sheeting very much preferable. Cruisers can easily perform chicken gybes or extra reefs...and I regularly do if the wind is up. Otherwise, taking the time and effort to winch the boom to centerline while DDW is standard procedure.

The bridge deck traveler is an abomination best left to certain race boats where it might have some advantage or be unavoidable. The aft sheeting on wheel steered cruising boat is a real danger to crew and equipment, too.

Doesn't a bridgedeck traveler preempt a properly shady full dodger?

I would prohibit crew from lounging with any body part across the traveler unless the car is lashed or pinned somehow. Certainly not rely on a windward sheeting car.

My all-time favorite is a boat here with a flying block in the tackle for fine-tune. Murder.

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3 hours ago, DDW said:

The objection of not begin able to control the boom position could be solved with twin sheets, just as I did. You can then sheet it to windward if you like - between the vang and sheets the boom can be set in any position you desire. It gives up nothing over a conventional traveller, and is simpler to operate (3 controls, not 4). 

i wondered if anyone was using a setup like that...

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The best arrangement I've ever seen was Dick Newick's legendary MOXIE, the 50 foot trimaran that won the 1980 singlehanded Trans-Atlantic race.

The traveler was on the aft crossbeam behind the cockpit.  Lines attached to either side of the boom end ran out to each ama and back to winches on either side, so the boom didn't move at all in a jibe.  The mainsheet was led forward inside the boom to its own winch just forward of the wheel.  FANTASTIC!  What a boat.

These pics look a little different from what I remember, as if later owners re-purposed some winches and led lines differently?  From here:
http://www.goldenoldies.biz/Moxie US - Multicoques World.pdf

mcw_port_aft.jpg.9ea18ebf1a30317ef9930d12058d9b80.jpg

mcw_stern.thumb.jpg.543788638d11f7f3b11ce9d41dce9de5.jpg

Moxie_dodger.jpg.cd18fc276510325195ecdc61ebcfbe12.jpg

mcw_overhead.thumb.jpg.ed03a94c46883921675978d61bdc7073.jpg

 

 

Another fine day sailing MOXIE out of Vineyard Haven, 1987 though 1989.

 

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50 minutes ago, El Borracho said:

Yes, mid-boom sheeting introduces a bending moment where end-boom load is entirely compression.

It is more complicated than that. If your sail foot is attached to the boom, there is a distributed up load along the boom which loads it in bending. In that case mid-boom sheeting at the right place will reduce the bending load. In addition, the vang may be on and it introduces an additional bending load. With a loose footed main and no vang it is simple. 

33 minutes ago, us7070 said:

i wondered if anyone was using a setup like that...

I've used it for years. The only downside is the need to tend two sheets when running off, in practice not that big a problem. On mine I can open two clutches and convert it to a bridle system like the boat pictured, but I rarely do. On a beat, the leeward sheet is lazy and the windward sheet is the active one, carrying all the load but pulling almost horizontal without nearly the load of a traditional sheet and traveller, which must also carry all the leach tension. 

I also use a twin sheet on the mizzen, which is a dinky 230 sq ft. This was forced on me by the dinghy garage door, however I've grown to like it for its own sake. With twin sheets you can immobilize the boom in sloppy conditions and at anchor, no banging about. When maneuvering or gybing, I just get the mizzen boom near the center and tension both sheets, then ignore it until work load allows. It can gybe, tack, whatever without attention. 

JfzErUZ.jpg

 

K6iW56V.jpg

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6 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

The best arrangement I've ever seen was Dick Newick's legendary MOXIE, the 50 foot trimaran that won the 1980 singlehanded Trans-Atlantic race.

Who's that skinny fuck on the back of boat in the first video? And the white haired guy? the grouchy guy I remember. Who took the video? What a boat!

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16 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

Why are we supposed to hate mid-boom sheeting?  It seems kinda nice to get the sheet and the traveler out of the cockpit, and better distributes the sheeting loads along the boom.  Not only that, it keeps the sheet inboard of the gunwales so it stays out of the way when docking under sail.

Physics, you end up with higher loads in the mainsheet, the boom, the gooseneck and the kicker plus the luff becomes harder to tighten.

Ergonomics and safety, the tiller man can't dump the traveller if the boat becomes overpowered. You can't really control the boom during a gybe. With an aft traveller, you can gybe without the kicker with the luff semi tight thus with a very low risk of a death roll.

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8 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Physics, you end up with higher loads in the mainsheet, the boom, the gooseneck and the kicker plus the luff becomes harder to tighten.

Ergonomics and safety, the tiller man can't dump the traveller if the boat becomes overpowered. You can't really control the boom during a gybe. With an aft traveller, you can gybe without the kicker with the luff semi tight thus with a very low risk of a death roll.

I have extra-long lines on my mid-boom traveller control so I can  control the traveller from behind the wheel, with cam cleats mounted on the aft edge of the cabintop so I can cleat and uncleat from a distance. I can also control the mainsheet from back there by leading it to a primary or cleating it off in a jam cleat.

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I can’t believe the hissy-fits here about bridge deck travelers.  It’s 9 pm.  I just got down from the mast after drilling holes, wearing a headlamp, to mount turning blocks for lazy jacks.  IBecause I had a few hours free time after work today.  And it’s day two of a two-day clear weather window before strong winds and rain set in for however many more day to come.  It’s finally done.  Time to row home.  Bonus: full moon.  It takes work sometimes, people.  Sometimes it’s hard.  If you can’t take the heat, get outta the kitchen :-)  Er, off the bridge deck, I mean.

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6 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I can’t believe the hissy-fits here about bridge deck travelers.  It’s 9 pm.  I just got down from the mast after drilling holes, wearing a headlamp, to mount turning blocks for lazy jacks.  IBecause I had a few hours free time after work today.  And it’s day two of a two-day clear weather window before strong winds and rain set in for however many more day to come.  It’s finally done.  Time to row home.  Bonus: full moon.  It takes work sometimes, people.  Sometimes it’s hard.  If you can’t take the heat, get outta the kitchen :-)  Er, off the bridge deck, I mean.

Get off my lawn.

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23 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Physics, you end up with higher loads in the mainsheet, the boom, the gooseneck and the kicker plus the luff becomes harder to tighten.

Ergonomics and safety, the tiller man can't dump the traveller if the boat becomes overpowered. You can't really control the boom during a gybe. With an aft traveller, you can gybe without the kicker with the luff semi tight thus with a very low risk of a death roll.

The engineering loads on the boom and cabin top are known 

it’s not an issue 

ergonomics … how the captain sails the boat is what dictates traveller location 

 

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47 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

The engineering loads on the boom and cabin top are known 

it’s not an issue 

ergonomics … how the captain sails the boat is what dictates traveller location 

 

Complexity is an issue... If you have high loads you need to over engineer stuff and you end up with something heavy, complicated and expensive.

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On 10/19/2021 at 4:45 AM, Panoramix said:

Physics, you end up with higher loads in the mainsheet, the boom, the gooseneck and the kicker plus the luff becomes harder to tighten.

Ergonomics and safety, the tiller man can't dump the traveller if the boat becomes overpowered. You can't really control the boom during a gybe. With an aft traveller, you can gybe without the kicker with the luff semi tight thus with a very low risk of a death roll.

Every claim in that post depends entirely on the particular installation. I can draw bad and good layouts for both. I'd say: a bad implementation is bad no matter where you land the sheet. On some boats, a midboom sheet is a MUCH better solution than any end boom sheeting.

I guess if you believe in traditional rigs and rigging, and are designing the entire boat around and starting with the mainsheet, then end boom is preferable. Otherwise you put it in the best place given the other constraints.  

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57 minutes ago, DDW said:

Every claim in that post depends entirely on the particular installation. I can draw bad and good layouts for both. I'd say: a bad implementation is bad no matter where you land the sheet. On some boats, a midboom sheet is a MUCH better solution than any end boom sheeting.

I guess if you believe in traditional rigs and rigging, and are designing the entire boat around and starting with the mainsheet, then end boom is preferable. Otherwise you put it in the best place given the other constraints.  

Certainly not for the physics aspect of it, whatever you do a mid boom mainsheet will attract higher loads.

As for the ergonomics, possibly but the most ergonomic boats I've used were tiller boats with an endboom arrangement and the traveller, mainsheet and backstay controls next to the legs of the helm. You can modulate boat power and steer at the same time without moving your butt (one hand on the tiller extension and the other one to tune the boat). Takeovers (mainsheet or tiller) are very natural and fluid. New person in charge sit next to the other, take the control and says "I have it" and the other just goes.

I've never used twin sheets boats but I've heard that it works well also. You basically use the leeward sheet to tweak the mainsail twist instead of playing the traveller AFAIU

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2 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Certainly not for the physics aspect of it, whatever you do a mid boom mainsheet will attract higher loads.

As for the ergonomics, possibly but the most ergonomic boats I've used were tiller boats with an endboom arrangement and the traveller, mainsheet and backstay controls next to the legs of the helm. You can modulate boat power and steer at the same time without moving your butt (one hand on the tiller extension and the other one to tune the boat). Takeovers (mainsheet or tiller) are very natural and fluid. New person in charge sit next to the other, take the control and says "I have it" and the other just goes.

I've never used twin sheets boats but I've heard that it works well also. You basically use the leeward sheet to tweak the mainsail twist instead of playing the traveller AFAIU

Again it all depends. If the main foot is attached to the boom, the minimum stress requires the sheet to be attached forward of the end. That is the physics. 

Ergonomics depends far more on the specifics of the installation than where the sheet is landed. On my boat which might be called midboom sheeting, every sail control is within easy reach of the helm. 

With the twin sheets on my boat, the leeward (lazy) sheet is slack, as it has been adjusted to be the windward (active) sheet on the other tack. Mainsail twist is controlled exclusively by the vang on any point of sail. With a traveller, if you want to tweak twist you must move two controls: traveller and sheet, and possibly also vang. The sheet affects both twist and trim, the traveller affects only trim, the vang only twist. 

Now on a racing mission with plenty of crew you can assign as many as you like to as many controls as you like. Cruising is entirely different - for one thing the helm is going to be driven by the autopilot 99% of the time and trim can be gotten to in its own good time. So some of the difference of opinion about travellers can be laid on different ideas of what the mission is and what size the boat is. 

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24 minutes ago, DDW said:

Again it all depends. If the main foot is attached to the boom, the minimum stress requires the sheet to be attached forward of the end. That is the physics.

Assuming that the main foot is pulling up on the boom.  A lot of sails with attached feet have a baggy foot where it is providing no more load than a loose footed sail.  My last mainsail with an attached foot using 1.5oz nylon for the foot -- it was just closing off the gap.

I've sailed (both racing and cruising) a lot with boats that have the traveler on the cabintop, on the bridgedeck aft of the companionway, cutting the cockpit in half, and aft of the cockpit.  I find that the bridgedeck option (about 30cm/12" aft of the companionway bulkhead) to be the best combo of getting good traveler range, aft enough for lower mainsheet loads, and not in the way when at anchor.  I wouldn't rule out an otherwise great boat based on traveler location, but I know where I want my traveler. 

 

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1 hour ago, DDW said:

Again it all depends. If the main foot is attached to the boom, the minimum stress requires the sheet to be attached forward of the end. That is the physics. 

Ergonomics depends far more on the specifics of the installation than where the sheet is landed. On my boat which might be called midboom sheeting, every sail control is within easy reach of the helm. 

With the twin sheets on my boat, the leeward (lazy) sheet is slack, as it has been adjusted to be the windward (active) sheet on the other tack. Mainsail twist is controlled exclusively by the vang on any point of sail. With a traveller, if you want to tweak twist you must move two controls: traveller and sheet, and possibly also vang. The sheet affects both twist and trim, the traveller affects only trim, the vang only twist. 

Now on a racing mission with plenty of crew you can assign as many as you like to as many controls as you like. Cruising is entirely different - for one thing the helm is going to be driven by the autopilot 99% of the time and trim can be gotten to in its own good time. So some of the difference of opinion about travellers can be laid on different ideas of what the mission is and what size the boat is. 

If you actually control leech tension and twist by pulling on the foot of the sail, the bottom of the sail is going to be completely flat, that's slow as you want a low centre of effort. On a properly cut mainsail, there is little tension from the foot thus that irrelevant to the forces on the boom...

Using the kicker instead of the traveller works but that stresses the gooseneck and the mast so not a very good idea.On a cruising boat I just use the traveller to depower.

When I cruise I steer, on a 3 hours watch, filling the log, listenig to the weather forecast, navigating, preparing tea might keep you busy for an hour or 2 if weather is cooperative, the rest of the time, I will actively sail the boat and steer, it's fun!

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A baggy foot main is the same as a loose foot. But look upthread at the picture of the Swan Katima, or C. Losin' boat. They may both be roller furling but are definitely loading the boom some. My sail was originally made with the sail attached to slides on the boom track and the load was significant enough to break some slides. 

Everyone will have a preference where they want a traveller, or if they want one at all. Given complete freedom on a cruising boat though, I'd bet that those choosing a bridgedeck traveller would be a small minority. Not because it is dangerous - because it is in the way. And on many boats, the boom will not reach the bridgedeck - it wouldn't on mine - so that option isn't an option. 

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1 minute ago, Panoramix said:

If you actually control leech tension and twist by pulling on the foot of the sail, the bottom of the sail is going to be completely flat, that's slow as you want a low centre of effort. On a properly cut mainsail, there is little tension from the foot thus that irrelevant to the forces on the boom...

Using the kicker instead of the traveller works but that stresses the gooseneck and the mast so not a very good idea.On a cruising boat I just use the traveller to depower.

When I cruise I steer, on a 3 hours watch, filling the log, listenig to the weather forecast, navigating, preparing tea might keep you busy for an hour or 2 if weather is cooperative, the rest of the time, I will actively sail the boat and steer, it's fun!

Agree that a loose footed sail is better. But not an option on boom furling boats as one example. 

I believe we have had this discussion in other threads, your cruising profile is short sails between harbors. When I go out for a daysail I might steer for an hour or two for the fun of it. But on the 2AM moonless watch on the third watch rotation or so, the fun has diminished a great deal,  about day 5 it is completely gone for everyone. And the fun of playing the traveller to every puff was gone well before that. This is Cruising Anarchy, and I am going to make the bold claim that for 95% of longer distance cruisers, the autopilot (or vane for luddites) steers 95% of the time. That effectively makes the wheel vs. tiller and helm vs. sail control locations discussions moot for that group. 

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