Topic: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

I am not keen about installing a traveller over the tiller on the transom. I think someone on this site (Seeadler?) installed a traveller in the cockpit. How is that working for you? Any pics? Much appreciated!

Susan

2 (edited by bertinol 2014-04-21 17:28:54)

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

Some of the early Contessas had the traveller on the cabin roof just before the companionway. Sounds like an interesting idea. Don't know whether it worked or not, but JJ Taylor abandonned the idea early on and stuck with the mainsheet bridle. Perhaps they knew something we don't.

But lots of other boats have a traveller on the cabin roof or at the front of the cockpit, which hooks up to the mainsheet boom halfway along.

Any thoughts?

3 (edited by Ian Malcolm 2014-04-21 18:09:40)

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

If you move the mainsheet forward you will need more parts in the mainsheet tackle to maintain the same mechanical advantage. This will vastly increase friction and make life awkward in light winds.  Also, you may need a stronger boom due to the increased point loading.

The lower the traveller is, the less effective it is.  A full width mid-cockpit traveller makes much of the seating an unsafe area downwind.  A part width traveller mounted low down, although safer so long as it is well clear of the companionway, is so ineffective as to be fairly pointless.

My setup is old-skool with a tubular horse running right across the stern deck over the tiller just aft of the cockpit combing.   A big bow shackle holding the bottom mainsheet block runs on the horse with two 3:1 tackles to each end of the horse to control it.  The shackle is covered in coxcombing done in Kevlar cord and impregnated with Teflon grease to keep the sliding friction down.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

Ian:
Very interesting idea.
Is your horse straight or curved?
Do you have a track on your horse? Sounds like you don't. Why not use a track with ball bearings to ease friction?

I completely agree that the mainsheet should be far back, over the tiller, out of the way of the crew, with less mechanical stress on the parts.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

Interesting ideas. Photographs would be helpful.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

The horse is straight.   (well at least straightish - there are a few slight kinks from nearly 50 years of use and a few accidental heavy weather gybes)

To fit a track, I'd have to rebuild the whole thing with a rectangular tube as I believe drilling the round tube to mount a track would weaken it too much but as the existing setup works well enough and I dont really want to spend approx £1000 to do it right. it isn't a priority.  I have considered fitting a roller car that will run on the existing tube, but the coxcombed shackle is extremely robust and rarely gives any trouble, unless you leave the mainsheet slack with the tackle centered, which tends to result in the bottom mainsheet block fouling the tiller.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

I installed a traveller just forward of the cockpit lockers. It works great,. But... Its a bit of a hassle to step over all the time. It reduces seating. Two spots available rather than three. When you are off the wind then the sheet gets in the way of the forward lee seat unless the traveller car is eased to lee. These problems are not a big issue to me since I am single handed, but I you are two people then they become an issue and if you are three or more then it is a huge hassle.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

Yes, that's about how I thought it would affect your cockpit usage from my experience on other types of boat with a similar setup to yours. 

Do you have pin stops for safety on the traveller as well as control tackles on the car?  If the control tackle comes free under load and there is anyone in the way of the car, a serious injury is likely.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

How right Ian is - again.

I suffered a "Tibial Plateau Fracture" last fall while sailing to Key West. We gybed, the traveller came blasting across and hit the side of my knee. Luckily, I was able to steer while the owner of the boat got the sails down, the engine started and the boat to a safe mooring. 

That boat, a C&C 30, had a traveller at knee level in front of the wheel. It wasn't a bad place for a boat that size but it tended to get in the way whenever we had to move around the cockpit.

The moral of that story is ... leave the traveller at the rear of the cockpit where it is out of the cockpit and away from my tender knee!

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

That's why you *NEVER* stay in the danger zone on the lee side of the mainsheet and traveller car for a second longer than you have to and always check the car is secure before entering the zone.  Downwind, always check with the helm before entering the zone on the windward side of the mainsheet etc. unless a preventer is rigged.

Its reasonable for a fresh and fully competent crew to be expected to remember and respect the danger zones, but if you have less experienced crew, or they are tired, and the skipper isn't an absolute disciplinarian who'd cuss out his own mother for dawdling in the danger zone, you are pushing the odds every time.

I'm just glad you learnt the lesson without serious permanent disablement.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

.
Very good advice.. and not just for novice crew.

I've been messing with boats since I was a kid, but we were so intent on getting the motor started that we ignored the safety details.  We were both crouched over the motor controls when it happened, assuming the boat would keep sailing in a straight line.

So... always be aware when sailing. Always be careful!

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

Oh yes, distractions.   That's why I always let the shackle on the horse down to leeward and cleat it off there when on a medium long downwind leg.  If I do have a brainf**t and gybe unexpectedly,  it keeps the mainsheet clear of me, my crew and the tiller. If its a very long leg, its preventer time as well.

I certainly don't want anyone to suffer the type of injury I heard on the VHF once.  Apparently the boat making the MAYDAY's foredeck crew had managed to get a loop of spinny sheet round their neck then the sail had filled.   The coastguard were arranging a helicopter medivac so presumably the casualty still had signs of life.   I don't know the final outcome, but I'd bet it cant have been good . . .

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

Or the guy racing in Lake Ontario who gybed by accident, was hit on the chest by the boom, suffered a heart attack and died before they could get him to port.

So follow Ian's advice and cleat down the traveller or use a preventer from the end of the boom to prevent an accidental gybe.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

Ian Malcolm wrote:

Do you have pin stops for safety on the traveller as well as control tackles on the car?  If the control tackle comes free under load and there is anyone in the way of the car, a serious injury is likely.

Mine has no pin stops other than the ends, only the control tackles. Being single handed I am never sitting near the traveller. I also use a gybe preventer. Even one extra person in the cockpit and its a whole different story as far as the desirability of a mid cockpit traveller.

15

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

What gybe-preventer do you use?

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

jff wrote:

What gybe-preventer do you use?

My preventer is home made. It is a canvas and webbing loop that goes around the boom. (loose footed main) Ropes run from there to a pulley at the rail just aft of the shrouds and then back to a cleat in the cockpit. Just pull in the lee side rope and secure. Manual and simple.

Re: traveller mid-cockpit; i.e., shin skinner

I simply have two lines that clip on either side of the boom on the eyes the first reefing line goes through (which are next to the clew) and go outside all to stanchion bases either side forward of the shrouds then aft to cockpit cleats.   They are long enough that the weather one can be left in place for use after the next (intentional) gybe.