Hints and Tips



Jeanneau SO40 Mainsheet Traveler Replacement

© 2014, Karl D. Lahm

Karl shows how to retrofit a longer Gauhauer track

Our 2000 SO40, like the SO34.2, SO37, and SO42 of similar age, uses the 1-meter Amiot traveler. I was familiar with this traveler and its limitations, having modified it on our former boat, a SO34.2. To obtain sufficient purchase, a complex rigging of the traveler’s control lines is necessary. Some owners have incorrectly rigged the control lines , resulting in loss of purchase. Even with the control lines rigged properly, 1-meter end-to-end traveler, with a car travel span significantly less than that, provides far less adjustment range than we considered necessary to regulate mainsail power in strong, gusty winds on Lake Michigan. The Amiot traveler was replaced with a Garhauer MT-UB2 unit, 150 cm long, which increased the car range by 67%. After one season with this unit, we are very pleased with it.


Sizing the Replacement


The practical overall length of the replacement traveler is determined by the transfer of forces from it to the cabintop. Upward and bending moments about the points of attachment cannot be allowed to reach levels that would bend the traveler beam extrusion during an accidental jibe. In other words, the excursion of the traveler car cannot extend (cantilever) significantly beyond the points of attachment of the traveler beam extrusion to the cabintop.


The Amiot traveler has two points of attachment, with three 10 mm threaded rods placed at each. The existing mounting holes were readily re-used to attach the Garhauer traveler. One can also attach the outer edges of the new traveler using risers made for traveler end support, but they are not easy to install on the SO40, as the port support point would be over the head space, which has a one-piece GRP liner that prevents direct access to the underside of the cabintop. So, as a practical matter, the Amiot attachment points establish the outer limits of car position, which, in turn, determines traveler length.


The span between the Amiot attachment center bolts measures 92 cm (98 cm between the outer bolts). The Garhauer car width is 22 cm. The car end stops on the beam extrusion are each located 13½ cm inboard from the beam ends. So, to align the car center with that of the attachment points, the minimum total traveler length would be 92+22+27=141 cm. As a practical matter, the car can be allowed to travel a short distance beyond the attachment points, as the bending moment about the point of attachment should not be excessive. A reasonable limiting distance would be the width of the traveler car, suggesting a maximum span near 98+44+27=169 cm. My traveler was arbitrarily sized at 150 cm, but overall widths up to 170 cm appear reasonable.


Removing the Amiot Traveler


To gain access to the threaded rods holding the Amiot traveler in place, remove the cabintop liner panels either side of the companionway. This will expose the two sets of three 10 cm threaded rods. Jeanneau installed these with liberal amounts of adhesive sealant and the fiberglass of the cabintop appears to have been drilled and tapped, as well, so it is not possible to simply tap out these rods with a hammer. After the nuts and plates securing the interior end have been removed, the rods must be backed out of the traveler from below, with permanent thread damage highly likely. This is no real issue, as these rods are not long enough to use with the Garhauer traveler anyway. Once all six rods have been removed, the Amiot traveler can be pried loose of any residual sealant holding it in place. The following picture shows the rods exposed on the port side.

If you install a Garhauer traveler, as I did, Guido will ask you to send him your Amiot traveler extrusion beam, which he uses as a pattern for attachment hole placement in the new extrusion. The hole alignment on my traveler was perfect!


Installing the Garhauer Traveler


As noted above, Garhauer drills the traveler extrusion beam to match the mounting holes on the Amiot traveler. Flat-head attachment bolts must be long enough to reach from the top of the extrusion beam, through the mounting pad, to the cabintop interior, approximately 10 cm. I could not readily obtain stainless steel 10 mm bolts of this length in the USA, so I used 3/8” bolts each 4 inches long. I cleaned the surface atop each mounting pad and under the cabintop to remove as much old sealant as was practical, then applied a liberal amount of 3M 4200 flexible sealant to the mounting pads and holes. The new traveler was placed and the bolts tightened. Then the excess sealant was wiped away. The final wiping used heavy-duty paper towels soaked in acetone. Do note that the original backing plates, located under the cabintop and above the nuts, should be reused.

The traveler’s control line paths do not align perfectly with the existing cheek blocks located on either side of the companionway, as the picture above reveals, but the position is “close enough” and we have experienced no noticeable chafe on the control lines over our first season with the new traveler.


Mainsheet Rigging


The original Amiot traveler car has a single point of mainsheet attachment. Our boat was rigged for a 4:1 purchase, which is certainly inadequate for its mainsail size. The Garhauer traveler has three attachment rings, which opens up multiple possible schemes for rigging the mainsheet for greater purchase. I achieved a 6:1 purchase by attaching blocks to the loops on each end of the traveler car and tying the mainsheet end to the center loop.

© 2014, Karl D. Lahm