Using the Mainsheet & Travellar

Using the mainsheet and traveller

Question: From: "Keith Melvin" < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

Re. traveller versus sheet

In blustery off land breeze I find myself forgetting the traveller ( the lifting gusts!), and in light airs it gets used in combination with sheet to keep the top tell tale flying with the right twist. In between airs it seems the 'power up' on the traveller alone to get planing needs space all around you- something you don't have often on a start line! Any suggestions?

This combination( ie. proper use of controls!) is a bit of a pain with the open top deck cleats being unsatisfactory if you ask me. Would we be allowed to use the new spinlock PX type jammer? which would offer the traveller a more secure and easy to use sheet/jam ? It could be fitted on the tank side or over on the deck replacing the existing one.

Basically you could have more finesse when using both in combination, and it is the one thing that I find annoying on the boat- the cleat for the traveller.

Keith 421

Answer #1: Ian Guanaria, Tasar Class Chief Measurer

As Far as the Spinlock cleats are concerned, I would refer you to rule 12 which reads "...........fittings and substituted by the builder or owner, with fittings and equipment of the same or substantially the same size, quality and construction as those supplied.............."

I would say that the Spinlock PX cleats do not qualify, based on the above.

I have previously rejected positioning of the traveller cleats on the angled section of the side decks as this is " not as supplied by the builder"

Answer #2:  Frank Bethwaite, Tasar Designer

May I suggest that you are focusing on equipment when you will sail better if you focus on technique.

Don't try to use sheet and traveller together. That way lies confusion.

Use sheet at all times when the sheet tension is comfortable. This means all offwind sailing and all windward sailing in all light winds, and all flukey winds, and in all the moderate blustery winds up to say 10 - 11 knots in which you say you are experiencing trouble. 

You will enjoy much quicker and more certain control if you cleat your traveller a little to windward and forget about it. Use sheet fluently, and ask your forward hand to optimise twist each gust and lull with delicate gust by gust use of vang.

By the time the sheet tension becomes uncomfortable and you cleat it and switch to traveller control, the leech ribbons will be well and truly streaming, and the traveller control set-up is about the fastest to windward in the business. When using traveller control act as if the traveller cleats were off the boat - control the traveller by hand, and just never cleat it.

It really does not matter what sort of traveller cleats you use