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Mainsheet/Traveller routing question


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Reading Catamaran Racing: For the 90's, it states 'A good way to keep the mainsheet on the boat is to tie a bungy cord across the trampoline about halfway between the fore and aft beams and through the loop of the mainsheet. (this is assuming your traveller line and mainsheet are continuous.)'

Currently I have separate mainsheet and traveller which are about a metre longer than required, when on the trap I run them both over my forward thigh with at least a metre overhang dangling in the water to hold them in place. As a novice sailor it appears to work well as everything is at hand when needed, I do have some concerns about pitchpoling in that it is easy to be tangled up and as I often sail alone it increases the danger. Also the extra length causes tangles and the odd capsize when things go wrong.

Anybody use the continuous line idea? I am currently splicing a split tail for my traveller and I'm thinking of giving it a go.

Things that appear to be negatives are:

1. Sheets will not sit naturally in place while on trapeze, will have to maintain grip due to bungy cord, harder to change between mains and traveller.

2. Loose colour coding to differentiate between main sheet and traveller - unless I do end to end splice in middle.


1. No more lines trailing the boat

2. Potentially safer?

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Dear TC,

I only have experience on two different types of 14 foot cats (one up). Both have a continuous main/traveller sheet (ie one length of rope).

They didnt/dont include any bungy to keep the excess sheet line on the tramp - and not trailing behind you. I have never used this idea - so cant comment from experience. It sounds like a reasonable idea.

My latest boat has a much higher rear beam (relative to tramp) than previous boat(Windrush). This seems to stop the sheet ending up behind the boat. On the Windrush this was a regular problem, as the Windrush seems to spend a fair bit of time half under water which sweeps the sheet over the back beam. So maybe the bungy is a solution for this.

I havent had any problem with the continuous main/trav sheet. As you say you lose the benefit of different colour coding of the main and traveller sheets. Not normally a big deal I wouldnt think.

Not sure about both main and traveller over your forward thigh. Fine for traveller, but usually I have main in one hand busy sheeting in and out. With a continuous system you can still do this - (I guess

even with bungy system).

If you mean single handed with spi up, I cleat main reasonably tight and have traveller sheet (direct from traveller cleat) on my leg as an "emergency dump" in case of imminent capsize. This because I need to have spi sheet in one hand and tiller in other. I leave the main alone.

Hope this helps



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Thanks Mike,

After looking at other forums I think I will use the A cat system, 50mm dia plastic ring in the centre of the tramp. Place a grommet under it with shock cord from the plastic ring to the front beam. Run the continuous main /traveller through the plastic ring to hold it in position.


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