regards David - DSW Marine Engineering
Sam Salter. The OP says that he doesn't have a traveller fitted, his mainsheet is a fitting to the backstay only, so can only trim in and out presumably. When reading firther on the O'Day yachts some fitted a traveller across the cabin top; as the tiller comes over the transom coaming there wouldn't seem to be the room there unless a form of bridge is devised, above the tiller height, like a 'horse' ,or strop and jammers each side.
If you find you're still overpowered then you have to put a slab in the main. Remember, loads of heel and weather helm is slow... less sail and more control will be faster, more comfortable and put less stress on the boat.
Watch something like a 49er going upwind in a blow, most of the main will be doing nothing, it will be flat and the mast will be bent to open the leech. They don't have the option to reef and have to survive with what they've got......... oh and they'll be as upright as possible.
Last edited by G12; 20-01-12 at 10:52.
The prudent see danger and seek refuge.
Sam Salter. The OP says that he doesn't have a traveller fitted, his mainsheet is a fitting to the backstay only, so can only trim in and out presumably. When reading further on the larger O'Day yachts, some owners fitted a traveller across the cabin top; as the tiller comes over the transom coaming there wouldn't seem to be the room there, unless a form of bridge is devised, above the tiller height, like a 'horse' ,or strop with jammers each side.
A traveller can be really useful. Some classes especially dinghies rely more on a vang to pull the boom down so that releasing the main hseet only allows the boom to go out not up. However on a cabin type boat the geometry available for a vang is limited. The cabin top being close to the boom means little space for a vang. Remembering that a vang at 45 degrees ie equal distance from gooseneck to vang fitting on boom as the distance boom down to vang fitting on mast base will give equal pressure of pulling the boom down as it does pulling the boom into the mast. And then it is pulling the boom a limited distance out from the gooseneck so not much leverage.On a dinghy often the vang comes from the bottom of the mast at the keel so much more room for the vang so much more pull down power.
So on a cabin boat you are stuck with a traveller which can give huge down pull on the boom while it is allowed to swing out to release wind pressure.
Now some will have a traveller over the cabin top although only types with no top sliding hatch. Here the traveller goes full width of cabin top often on built up supports (to allow for cabin top curve) so is very wide in operating angles of boom swung out. However the mainsheet then must operate onto the boom at a point closer to the gooseneck so not much leverage downwards or inwards. (and more load on gooseneck) And of course the mainsheet is remote from the helmsman.
The opposite is the case for a stern or transom mounted traveller. It has lots of power and leverage but not much width exacerbated by the attachment being at the end of the boom. So you can't let the traveller out very far while holding down the boom. Of course the traveller track must be mounted above the tiller in a transom mounted rudder.
Other boats have a traveller mounted across the cockpit seat to seat about midway. here is perhaps the best compromise of width and power on the boom. It attaches to the boom somewhere aft of midway along the boom. It does however restrict movement forward from tiller but is handy to the helmsman.
A much inferior compromise has traveller on the cockpit floor but here width is compromised by seats.
On my little boat the traveller is across the bridge deck. ie right at the cabin entrance then across the seats. It can be dangerous if people sit in the entrance when you tack or gybe but is reachable from helm and has the best power and width.
You can use as some boats do a horse across the top of the tiller. This is either a rope or a stainless steel tube. The mainsheet is attached to a pulley so crosses over from one side to the other (over the tiller) when tacking. The disadvantage is that you can not get the boom into the middle or up wind where it is needed for best pointing in light weather.
A traveller on a track usually has 2 tackles to enable the traveller to be pulled up wind.
So if you don't have a traveller there are some options with compromise. I would not want to sail without a good traveller system. good luck olewill