Phil Thomas1 6:05pm, 17 August 2008
Hi Guys

After almost two seasons of sailing my A24 'Dawn Tredder' I have realized that the setup for the mainsheet traveller MUST surely be wrong. You can see the photo I have posted and it seems pretty clear that the previous owner has modified this for reasons best known to himself...looking at the line drawings on the web it seems that there should be a traveller fitted at the stern somehow but the drawings are not clear (to me at any rate). Can anybody help with info about the standard configuration (or acceptable alternatives)? Any suggestions welcome..I am fed up with tripping over it! It must be possible to have more room in the cockpit, surely?

I also understand some A24s had roller boom mainsail reefing. Old-fashioned, I know but I would like to explore the possibilities...any ideas?

Thanks in advance for any help.

blueachilles 10 years ago
Hi. The mainsheet arrangement you have is not unique, but not standard. The normal set up is a horse which carries the traveller above the tiller, at the back of the cockpit. I am sure there will be pictures on here of the standard set up - Blue's is in the standard place, but I have replaced the original with a Barton track system. My pics include a shot of the original system attached to a board in my garage while I adapted it to fit the Barton system (which works really well)

I would guess that your set up is less prone to getting the mainsheet tangled round the engine, and the tiller, but something of a nuisance in the cockpit. It shouldn't be too difficult to get a new horse made to revert to the original system.

One thought - if you didn't want to get a new horse made up, could you move your track forward to the bridgedeck?

Phil Thomas1 10 years ago
Hi Rod

Thanks for that. I was already considering moving the track forward to the bridge deck (by that I guess you mean the deck just aft of the main hatch entrance?). I assume I could fix the track in the new position with blots and a metal plate on the underside...or maybe even a large washer?

Another thing to add to the 'to do' list when she comes out of the water at the end of the season.

Thanks again

Phil Thomas1 10 years ago
oops, I meant bolts...not blots
blueachilles 10 years ago
I liked blots....

I did mean the deck just aft of the hatch. Blue, being an older boat, doesn't have bridge deck but I would guess that a metal plate or similar fixing to what you have at present under the cockpit seats would suffice.
NormanKlipspringer 10 years ago
Picture of my ms traveller which is pretty standard except for my block system for adjustment.
Pictures of my roller reefing system which is also pretty standard, although I use slab reefing to reef and the rolling mechanism to stow away.
The slab reefing allows me to retain the kicker. Since the photos were taken I have gone away from the karribiner style hook and now just favour a rope permanently fixed to the boom end which I use to thread though the reefing cringle and tie off.
Hope this is of some help.
Phil Thomas1 10 years ago
Hi Norman

Thanks a lot, Norman. These pictures are really useful. From this info and rod's pictures I have a much better idea of the options. Looks like I may be visiting a few boat jumbles looking for bits.!

busy home [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 10 years ago
Tracks located on the bridge deck are commonly known as FINGER CHOPPERS,, If you have children or wives aboard DO NOT INSTALL..
Roller boom reefing allows the boom to droop and is not easy to use
Keeping the sail back from the gooseneck is a problem .
The standard mainsheet system works well .a simple job for a fabricator.all you need is a track from barton or jumble ,,
Phil Thomas1 10 years ago
Sounds like the voice of experience! Thanks Chille

NormanKlipspringer 10 years ago
There was an article recently in one of the mags about mainsail roller reefing. The main conclusion, to avoid some of the problems like boom drop and the sail bunching at the gooseneck, was to get a good cut for the mainsail. Personally I think the roller system is great for putting the sail away fast. Many people have come on my boat and commented favourably on this aspect of sail handling. Once you get used to it and get the angle of the boom right it is easy, but I still use slab for reefing for the reasons I gave before.
blueachilles 10 years ago
We use slab reefing, and lazy jacks/stackpack to control the main as it comes down.
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
Slab reefing I understand gives better shape to the sail than roller, that is why everybody went over to it, Barton do a simple reefing kit for converting the boom to slab and we find works very well
busy home [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 10 years ago
Single line reefing is a possibility ,avoiding the need to go foreward r
at all , Ive not had experence of the system but if you use large diameter blocks the friction problem could be overcome .
I ve converted 5or 6 roller to slab reefing years ago , its a very simple job , if you do a simple system. I never bought a kit (not invented then)
You need 2 turn blocks ,screw or pop rivet to aft boom (1 and 2nd reef) 3-4 line clips and a small cleat foreward boom . You also need a sail maker to modify your sail. (if you havent got any slab points already.)
From your first post (reread) I assume you have slab already.
I think roller is a retro step, except for Norms useage.
Chille has fully battened main which is difficult to drop and flake tidily
but mantains shape in very light winds ,
rothwell_neil 10 years ago
I was on a Carter 32 for the weekend in the Clyde. Same age as the Achilles and very similar in many aspects despite being 8ft longer. Boom roller reefing using same proctor system we have and the owner had a new sail cut to suit the roller reefing, worked well and just like the Achilles great for dropping and getting it out of the way. He has had this boat for 17 years and swears by his roller reefing after having slab reefing points on the previous main which he never used. These systems work OK as we sheet from the end of the boom so for upwind work OK but would be better with a kicker. The only issue is when you are off the wind and the lack of kicker is a pain as the boom end lifts and the sail is a mess. I have new main with reef points, put Barton reef kit on for reefing and use roller for putting away.

As an aside I think that moving the track forward to the bridge deck would be a retro move. You would not be able to use the roller to put sail away without unclipping the main sheet and then how do you keep the boom stable when sail off? Also from previous experience of a Hurley which had this, a pain to get below when sailing, a pain to lean against as they get in the way of your bum and just catch crumbs and fingers.

I must admit I wnet for the best of both with the roller for putting the sail tidily away and the slab reefing for ease of handling when out on the water. If
Phil Thomas1 10 years ago
As I already have slab reefing and lazyjacks which work reasonably well it seems likely that the 'best of both worlds' approach might be the way to go. Thanks for your contributions gentlemen.

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