Powering Up

"The mainsheet traveler on my boat is mounted on a bridgedeck at the forward end of the cockpit with the mainsheet itself running through a six-part tackle from the traveler up to the end of the boom. The mainsail is about 350 square feet. I’d like to run the mainsheet back to a winch near the helm. How should I proceed?" -- Robert Elder , New York, New York Win
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"The mainsheet traveler on my boat is mounted on a bridgedeck at the forward end of the cockpit with the mainsheet itself running through a six-part tackle from the traveler up to the end of the boom. The mainsail is about 350 square feet. I’d like to run the mainsheet back to a winch near the helm. How should I proceed?"

-- Robert Elder , New York, New York

Win Fowler replies : There are several ways to do this while still maintaining use of your traveler. Using a winch, or perhaps two winches, one on either side of the cockpit, eliminates the need for that 6:1 purchase in the system. For example, the mainsail on my boat is 335 square feet, and the mainsheet works just fine with two small winches, one on either side of the cockpit, and a 2:1 purchase on the traveler.

I’ve drawn a few possible combinations for you to consider; the top two are for a single-winch arrangement and the other two work well with a two-winch setup. If you decide to use the second single-winch configuration, be sure to keep the two blocks on the traveler separated. If you put a double block there, it could twist under load and would probably foul the lead.

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