PxPixel
Know how: Upgrades on a Classic Boat - Sail Magazine

Know how: Upgrades on a Classic Boat

Author:
Publish date:
The new system in all its glory

The new system in all its glory

Our Allied Seabreeze 35, Keewaydin, has just turned 50, so it seemed appropriate to give her (and us) a small present to simplify sail handling—a new traveler. We’d already added a Tides Marine sail track, new halyard winches, and replaced the original quirky roller-furling boom with a slick single-line reefing boom and vang setup from Selden. The original mainsheet setup consisted of two blocks on deck, a double block at the boom end and a miniscule winch. It was awkward to use, unsafe to trim in any kind of a blow and didn’t do much to shape the mainsail.

A traveler installation is a simple and moderately easy project on most boats, but it does require some planning. The first step was to remove all the old hardware, fill the holes with West System Six-10 epoxy and roughly sand them smooth. After that, I called Schaefer Marine with basic rig dimensions to spec the correct model traveler. We then measured the length that could be accommodated across the deck and made sure there were no obstructions above or below deck where fasteners would go. I also made a pattern of the deck camber (so the track could be pre-bent) onto a board, cut out the curve and then traced it onto a piece of drafting paper. Finally, I sent the dimensions and the tracing to Schaefer, and a couple of days later a perfectly bent piece of track arrived at my door, along with a couple of pre-drilled aluminum backing plates.

Changing out a traveler is a pretty straightforward DIY project. Here’s how it’s done:

Next, I drilled the holes through the deck, using a new 1/4in bit. The two center holes in the track would be right over a compression post (preventing a through-bolt), so I drilled a couple of oversized holes into the post and filled them with Six-10 epoxy. I let this cure before drilling the holes anew with a slightly smaller bit to accommodate the 4in stainless steel wood screws.

The backing plates were cut just long enough to fit between the compression post and the end of the track, and I pre-drilled very slightly oversized holes to fit the bolts that were also included in the kit (thank you, Schaefer)! After dry-fitting the entire track system, we applied bedding compound to the undersides of each plate to surround the fastener holes, placed a couple of bolts through the track for positioning, held the plates in place (with moderate gymnastics) and tightened the nuts. Everything fit perfectly, and after some rigging with New England Ropes Sta-Set, we were ready to go sailing.

I didn’t want to cut into the teak cockpit coamings, so I installed the traveler control blocks backward (facing aft). Since I don’t anticipate working the traveler like a race boat, I think this will be fine. If we change our minds, I will reverse them and cut some fairlead holes through the coamings for the control lines.

This installation has already proved to be worth the trouble. The first sail this season brought some 20 knot gusts, and instead of having to hand over the wheel to release the mainsheet, the six-part tackle was super easy to let go without losing control.

Andy and Gay Howe cruise Keewaydin in Maine each summer, with their two dogs for crew

August 2017

Related

Josie-helm-2

Chartering the U.S. and Spanish Virgins

Flying into Tortola in the British Virgin Islands one December morning, three months after Hurricane Irma, I felt like a war correspondent dispatched to the battlefront rather than a sailing magazine writer on an assignment to go cruising.As my LIAT plane descended toward Beef ...read more

Crew-North-27M004

Weather Gear for Inshore Sailing

Just because you’re not planning on braving the Southern Ocean this summer doesn’t mean that you won’t have some dicey days out on the water. If you haven’t got the right gear, a little rain or humidity can make things miserable. As with all safety equipment, “it’s always better ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

3DiNordac_webheader

3Di NORDAC: One Year In

One year ago this month, North Sails launched a cruising revolution with the introduction of 3Di NORDAC. The product promised to deliver a better cruising experience for a market that had not seen true product innovation in over 60 years. Today we’re celebrating the team that ...read more

HB96k_EP

Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP

What SUP?Dinghies and kayaks are all very well, but there’s nothing like a stand-up paddleboard for exploring interesting new shorelines while giving you a good workout. Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP makes a fine addition to your boat’s armory of anchorage toys, either on its ...read more

DSC_0031-43

Charting the USVI and Spanish Virgins

When my friends and I booked a one-way bareboat charter with Sail Caribe, starting in the U.S. Virgin Islands and finishing in Puerto Rico, we were a little nervous about what we would find in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria—even seven months later.When our plane ...read more

SailRepairKit

Know How: Sail Repair Kit

Despite your best efforts, there will inevitably be times when your sail gets damaged while at sea and needs to be repaired. First, no matter what the job, you will need to do a quick damage assessment, a task that requires a flat wooden surface, sharp scissors and a helping ...read more

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more