Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mainsheet traveller solutions

The Alacrity has, as her Vivacity sister, a very simple mainsheet arrangement. The sheet block and cleat just is attached to a solid bar via a shackle. The shackle can slide freely from side to side.
There has recently been a discussion on the Alacrity yahoo-group if this is sufficient or not.
While the shackle lets the sheet move relatively freely I did not find this a problem myself. In fact, if the sheet is sufficiently tight the shackle does tend to stick on the bar. This can be used to sheet the sail to windward in a tack. At the same time it is very easy to "unstick" the shackle in a gust thus slightly depowering the sail.
However, if a more professional, or "racy" approach is desired there are some solutions. The easiest is using a piece of rope (and maybe some blocks) to harness the shackle and make the sheet adjustable.
Or, you could remove the simple traveller completely and build a new one, for example as described in this article by George Bollenbacher. You will then end up with something like this:

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