To Travel or Not?

NotEnough

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I’ve got a question, and am looking for input from the knowledge base here (which is largely impressive, shit fights excepted…)

Should I replace our mainsheet bridle arrangement with a real traveler, or leave well enough alone?

The boat is a Niagara 42, and like all Niagaras, has a 2 sheet bridle for the main. We love the boat, but I haven’t warmed up to the bridle:

  • It’s like having an extra 10 mile long mainsheet cluttering up the cockpit.
  • When jibing, the “extra” sheet sometimes flails around (we’re sailing shorthanded) and either snags or wraps around the dorade vent or such. Easier to control the main with just one sheet
  • Most importantly, I’m finding it easier to get the sail shape I want with mainsheet/traveler/vang, than with this silly bridle and vang
Any real reason I shouldn’t spend the $1k for a nice Garhauer traveler and ditch the bridle? The only advantage of the status quo is it’s in place and paid for.

BTW unsolicited plug: Mr Gatekeeper made a gorgeous half hull model, which occupies place of pride in our house.

Thanks

 

Bob Perry

Super Anarchist
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I've done some boats with bridle mainsheets and no trav. In the end I'd always prefer the adjustments a trav allows.

 
Is this a double ended mainsheet?

New Morning has no traveler, but one end is fixed. I never missed the traveler, except for the fact that it meant there was no traveler to break (saw one explode on a jib during the Cal Coastal race in 40kts) and it couldn't clip someone's fingers.

But I agree that double ended mainsheets are annoying.

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
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lake michigan
Niagara 42 seems kinda.cruisy. But, bridle arrangements have drag at tbree different places. You know tbe routine when hou are pulling slack line through blocks and it twists and hangs loose etc. A traveller the mess is all in one place. If it is sail shape the traveller is mandatory. If you're cruising you might consider a single braid Salsa type to see if that makes life better. Would the traveller or the main sheet parts get in your way when the traveller is midships? See, no shit fights.

 
As the N42 is pretty cruisy as identified, I think a better bridle system could be designed with just one main sheet. This would make handling through tacks and gybes easier. To reduce friction, use good blocks and a dyneema cored sheet that you can strip the cover. The existing system should provide you the required backing or re-inforcement points to allow for a single sheet system.

I think Hanse has many boats with a single sheet mainsheet system without a traveller.

As pointed out if you are looking to improve sail shape or control, then either add a traveller or a great boom vang system.

 

warbird

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lake michigan
What I see online is a traveller would prevent a dodger from being fitted. Seems it would be ahead of companionway hatch or on the bridgedeck just aft of the hatch. If a dodger is not in your future go with a traveller.

 

sailman

Super Anarchist
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Portsmouth, RI
Here's one with a traveler:

niagara_42_photo.jpg

It is the exact same setup I have on my boat, here's a not so great shot but you should get the idea:

image4116.png


It works just fine. Mine is a harken setup but I have seen garhaur setups that work just as well.

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
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lake michigan
Here's one with a traveler:

attachicon.gif
niagara_42_photo.jpg

It is the exact same setup I have on my boat, here's a not so great shot but you should get the idea:

image4116.png


It works just fine. Mine is a harken setup but I have seen garhaur setups that work just as well.
I see better now thanks. With semi mid boom sheeting you get pretty high loads on the traveller control lines. Go 3:1 or 4:1 and avoid StaSet and find a line tbat doesn't snakefuck (hockle) and runs easily through the turning blocks. I have raced on a Catalina 34 with that cabin top set up and except for snakefucks in the StaSet control lines when tacking or gybing the system worked nicely.
 

Ishmael

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
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Fuctifino
Regatta Braid works well in our trav setup, no hockling ever, the stretch gives a nice bit of bounce on a jibe, too.

 

NotEnough

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I love getting other people's ideas - keeps my tiny brain working. And yes, Niagara 42 is pretty cruisy, but it doesn't sail badly at all and has a big fridge full of cold beer.

The stock setup from Hinterhoeller was not exactly a bridle - it is two separate mainsheets, each lead to one side of the coach house, so it only looks sort of like a bridle, but a little more controllability. But it results in 2 big piles of cordage, instead of just one. The boat has a nice Navtec hydraulic vang, so I can use that to help shape the main - maybe I'm just too used to controlling main shape via traveler while racing. I'm just trying to weigh the trade offs.

Have seen a couple Niagaras with a proper traveler replacing the 2 main sheet system, and it fits nicely where the 2 main sheet system is currently located - mid-boom. This boat has a hard dodger (added), and main sheet system fits nicely in front of it.

I use Swiftcord on the race boat, and it's great stuff - no hockling. Salsa behaves well, but the softer cover sometimes gets snagged on one thing or another.

 

Bob Perry

Super Anarchist
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I'm not keen on two independant mainsheets. I think of a worse case situation where you are hard pressed and need to bare off quickly. Now you have two mainsheets to ease.

On the original Valiant 40's I had a double ended mainsheet with one tail coming aft from the mast and the other coming off the trav aft of the cockpit, (Trav was aft on the original boats) Over time I noticed that no one adjusted the main from the aft tail.

I did a similar mainsheet on WILD HORSES with both tails aft leading to winches port and starboard. One winch was electric. Over time I realized that everyone used the electric winch. Duh.

 

Steam Flyer

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40,199
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Eastern NC
Niagara 42 seems kinda.cruisy. But, bridle arrangements have drag at tbree different places. You know tbe routine when hou are pulling slack line through blocks and it twists and hangs loose etc. A traveller the mess is all in one place. If it is sail shape the traveller is mandatory. If you're cruising you might consider a single braid Salsa type to see if that makes life better. Would the traveller or the main sheet parts get in your way when the traveller is midships? See, no shit fights.
IMHO it depends on what you have or can arrange for a vang. A lot of racing boats are giving up travelers, with a vang and a Y-bridle (what I think of as a mainsheet bridle seems to be a very different rig than what people are showing here as "bridles") the main can be controlled exactly the same as with a traveler, and less control lines.

Doesn't look like there's a lot of room under the Niagra's boom for a powerful vang, so a mid-boom traveler is probably the way to go.

FB- Doug

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
16,474
1,238
lake michigan
Niagara 42 seems kinda.cruisy. But, bridle arrangements have drag at tbree different places. You know tbe routine when hou are pulling slack line through blocks and it twists and hangs loose etc. A traveller the mess is all in one place. If it is sail shape the traveller is mandatory. If you're cruising you might consider a single braid Salsa type to see if that makes life better. Would the traveller or the main sheet parts get in your way when the traveller is midships? See, no shit fights.
IMHO it depends on what you have or can arrange for a vang. A lot of racing boats are giving up travelers, with a vang and a Y-bridle (what I think of as a mainsheet bridle seems to be a very different rig than what people are showing here as "bridles") the main can be controlled exactly the same as with a traveler, and less control lines.

Doesn't look like there's a lot of room under the Niagra's boom for a powerful vang, so a mid-boom traveler is probably the way to go.

FB- Doug
Steam, I'd love to use just a vang. I don't think most booms will stand up to those loades how ever, I would gues that the spar maker needs to know up front that kind of arrangement. A sistership of mine broke a boom shaking out a reef, well shook the front half and not the back half and the leech tension of an aggressive hoist broke the boom at the vang joint.

 

sailman

Super Anarchist
8,289
416
Portsmouth, RI
If you switch to mid-boom sheeting you will need to sleeve the boom.

Niagara 42 seems kinda.cruisy. But, bridle arrangements have drag at tbree different places. You know tbe routine when hou are pulling slack line through blocks and it twists and hangs loose etc. A traveller the mess is all in one place. If it is sail shape the traveller is mandatory. If you're cruising you might consider a single braid Salsa type to see if that makes life better. Would the traveller or the main sheet parts get in your way when the traveller is midships? See, no shit fights.
IMHO it depends on what you have or can arrange for a vang. A lot of racing boats are giving up travelers, with a vang and a Y-bridle (what I think of as a mainsheet bridle seems to be a very different rig than what people are showing here as "bridles") the main can be controlled exactly the same as with a traveler, and less control lines.

Doesn't look like there's a lot of room under the Niagra's boom for a powerful vang, so a mid-boom traveler is probably the way to go.

FB- Doug
Steam, I'd love to use just a vang. I don't think most booms will stand up to those loades how ever, I would gues that the spar maker needs to know up front that kind of arrangement. A sistership of mine broke a boom shaking out a reef, well shook the front half and not the back half and the leech tension of an aggressive hoist broke the boom at the vang joint.
 

NotEnough

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Bob hit on it. Having to deal with and control 2 sheets instead of one at busy moments is a pita. My private admiral doesn't like that moment.

 
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