Traveler issues

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by JBMalone, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. JBMalone

    JBMalone New Member

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    I am looking for suggestions on why my traveler blocks do not go corner to corner as well on my boat as compared to other boats. I use a carbon fiber tiller and have the traveler line as tight as possible while still allowing the blocks to clear the tiller.

    Sometimes I borrow a club boat when I don't want to bring my own and I don't have the same issue with the club boats (using my same tiller). My line is in good shape and does not stretch. My blocks are new and glide smoothly. Today I caught myself with too much vang on several times in an effort to pull the sail further out in light to moderate air. But as I compared my settings to other boats around me in today's races my traveler is consistently further toward the center. I even measured 2 of my competitors after the race and their traveler tension was similar to mine. My only thought at this point is that I am wondering if stiffness of the traveler line makes a difference. Any other thought?
     
  2. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Strange. But this is the key to further experimentation:
    Next time when you have a chance, borrow the traveller line from a club boat, rig it on your boat and see what happens. You'll see then if it's the line or something else. If it's something else, then isolate the next factor, and so on.

    A stiffer line may be better as it deforms less under load, but there's probably not much practical difference because the traveller block doesn't deflect the line very much.
     
  3. JBMalone

    JBMalone New Member

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    Thanks for the response and suggestion. The line is the only variable I can think of myself at this point. It appears to be in good shape. But it has been on the boat for a few years. Maybe it is flattening out some in spots so that the block tends to rest in a bit of a pocket.
     
  4. Tpink

    Tpink New Member

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    I was told by a reputable coach that getting your trav block to lock in at the most leeward position has a lot to do with your tacking technique.

    the combination of sheet ease, roll energy and trim on the new tack is critical to getting the desired block position.

    I still have a hard time getting it right every time, but it's getting better. I started with the same problem you are having...
     
  5. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    It certainly has, but that doesn't explain the original poster's different experiences with different boats.
     
  6. chemprof

    chemprof Member

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    There are two factors that I am aware of to get the boom nearest the fairlead. The first is the traveler tension as you have said; if it isn't fairly tight the block just won't stay to the outside. Associated with this, you must make sure that the triangle made by the traveler line is very shallow. This makes it easier to get the tension high and keep it there.

    The second has to do with proper vang setup. Make sure that full off, the vang has just about exactly 24" from center pin (at the mast attachment) to center pin of the vang key. If this is too long, then a full on vang may not be putting enough downward pressure on the boom to keep the boom from trying to move toward the center of the boat. In this case the traveler tension just can't be high enough to prevent that movement toward center.

    -- Ed
     
  7. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Not the problem here. Read the original post again (emphasis mine):
    (The range of adjustment in the vang doesn't have much to do with max pin-to-pin distance anyway. The limiting factors are primary line length and primary purchase ratio.)
     
  8. Genoni

    Genoni New Member

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    Fwiw, dyneema appears to be traveller line of choice as it has no discernible stretch
    , which could be source of your probs
     
  9. NHnewbie

    NHnewbie New Member

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    Hi,
    I know this is not the original question asked, but I have this traveler issue all the time....I'm relatively new to lasers, and most likely my problem is my tacking technique. Could someone provide more specifics about the sheet ease, roll energy, and trim aspects of my tack that I should be trying for in order to get the traveler block to the corner? I'm guessing I need to increase my roll energy, but I'm not sure about the others.
    Thanks!
     
  10. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    NHnewbie, if your traveller block gets "stuck", just let some sheet out and pull it in again when the block moves out. The vang should be tight enough that the traveller block and the aft boom block aren't more than 25 - 30 cm apart even when the sheet is totally loose. When the sheet is eased that much, the boom moves sideways and pulls the traveller block towards the rail. It helps if you heel the boat slightly to leeward when the boom goes out and pull it upright again when you sheet in.

    This works not only when tacking, but also when you hit a lull.
     
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  11. Int. Sailing Academy

    Int. Sailing Academy Member

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    Hi JBMalone,

    Your traveler should be very tight and of course a zero-stretch line. As others have mentioned, the smaller the triangle, the better - literally tie it as small as you can.

    Another factor here that may explain the difference between boat setups is the type of traveler line used and friction in general. A traveler that is too thin or too new/slippery will have a tendency to drift up more easily. We have noticed that used vectran travelers that have lost their slippery coating tend to stick down well. Note that a traveler block which “glides smoothly” is not necessarily desirable - i.e., avoid lubricating it. A bit of friction keeps the block down.

    A good technique to try if you don’t want to ease your sheet and retrim, is to physically reach into the boat and push the boom down to leeward. Use your hand… or some use their foot. Usually once the block is right down in the corner it will stay there until the next tack unless the line is just too loose.

    Cheers,
    Colin

    International Sailing Academy
    www.internationalsailingacademy.com

    Come visit ISA in April for a spectacular April clinic coached by Masters World Champion and Olympic Coach Brett Beyer and Olympic Coach and ISA Head Coach Vaughn Harrison
     
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  12. alienp2

    alienp2 New Member

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    Trying to think of alternative reasons as I don't buy the idea of one rope being stiffer than another. Unless you are using something significantly thicker than the club boats, the stiffness of the traveler will be governed by the tension.

    You mentioned that you were sailing in light winds. Is there something stopping your mast from rotating as freely as others? If it happens again, try giving the boom a shove.
     
  13. Lasersailor166131

    Lasersailor166131 New Member

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    I have experienced a similar problem with some dyneema and I asked around with the top radial sailors at my club and all of them use vectran for the traveler I spent 20 bucks and haven't looked back. No problems I just have to remember to tighten it before the race
     
  14. JBMalone

    JBMalone New Member

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    Thanks for all of the responses.

    While my tacking technique definitely needs improvement, I don't think that is the problem as I have seen the traveler actually move back towards center after going to the edge on the initial tack.

    And my main attempt at fixing the isssue from boat to boat has been adjusting the vang to the point of too much vang tension in my boat. I doubt this is the issue. But in general, I think this can be the problem in many cases.

    Since I originally posted I have replaced the traveler line. I think the old line did have flat/worn spots that tended to let the block sort of rest in those spots. I have only had the boat out twice since replacement in moderate air both times and I think it has made an improvement. But I am still focused on making more improvements and that has brought up another question.

    What are thoughts on using 4mm line instead of 5mm? So far everyone I have talked to about it says that 5mm works better because it doesn't slip in the cleat and the traveler block is designed for the 5mm line. I think with new rope technology, stretch is not an issue with smaller line compared to what it once was.
     
  15. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Sounds like a very plausible explanation.
    Depends totally on the construction. Very soft rope doesn't like Clamcleats, so if you use single-braid Dyneema or Vectran, then 5 mm is the minimum. If you want to go thinner, you have to go double-braid with a hard cover, and if you then want to keep the stretch of a 5 mm, you have to choose more expensive materials than standard Dyneema/polyester.
    The original traveller block was probably designed for 6 mm as 5 wasn't common at the time. Not a very relevant fact really.
     
  16. Emilio Castelli

    Emilio Castelli Member

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    This is what you need to do.
    When you store your boat, put the traveler block in the corner and pull the traveler as tight as you dare.
    After a while, a nice hollow will form on the deck under the block (deck sandwich compresses) and work as a "lock" for the block when sailing with the traveler tight.
    You have to do it for both corners, obviously.
    Once you have these locks, the line you use is much less critical (though you should still use 5mm Vectran).
    The older your boat, the better it works.
    E
     

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