The Amiot traveler provided as original equipment on our SO34.2 was subject to a great deal of friction between its own lines, at locations where they cross and bind. This impeded efficient sail handling and was of some concern in relation to safety. A very simple modification has resolved this issue and reduced our desire to toss that traveler to the bottom of the harbor and replace it with something better. The cam cleats are removed from the traveler and functionally relocated to the cabintop. With the pathways in and out of the traveler unimpeded, it operates far more freely and smoothly. The following picture shows this arrangement:
You will need a fairlead and cam cleat for port and starboard sides. The particular Harken integrated unit that I installed is no longer made, but the #150 cam cleat is identical to the cam cleat itself and fairlead extensions are separately available from Harken.
On our boat, En l’Air, these were mounted in the vicinity of the line clutches on both sides, as there is ready access to the underside of the cabintop at those locations. However, with 3 years of experience with this arrangement and in ever-precise hindsight, we would mount these farther aft on the cabintop if doing this on another boat, as the line would release easier and the angle into the traveler would be less.
The existing cam cleats are readily removed from the traveler. Remove the traveler lines, then remove the screws that hold the sheave castings to the traveler ends. There is only one screw in each casting. The following picture shows the screw position on the top left-hand side of the casting. Note that the black rubber bushing is loose.
Disassembly is straightforward. The bolts that hold the cam cleats in place are removed from the underside of the sheave castings. The next picture shows the screw positions on the bottom of the casting.
When disassembling the cams, ensure that you retain the rollers and sleeves, as they will be reused. The following close-up picture shows their mounting in the modified traveler:
Both rollers, with their inner sleeves, are placed about the outer bolt at each end and prevent friction between that bolt and the line. Note that the traveler lines from the cabintop enter the upper sheave. This avoids line friction at the bottom of the sheave assembly and a better angle.
When mounting the cam cleats and fairleads on the cabintop, you will need to remove the ceiling liner panels in the head and aft berth. Once these are removed, the bolts securing the line clutches, winches, etc. will be obvious. There is a cutout in the inner plastic molded liner in the vicinity of the line clutches. This is where I attached our cam cleat/fairlead assemblies, as shown in the following picture (there is a common backing plate for both the cam cleats and fairlead):
However, as discussed above, I would locate the cam cleats and fairleads farther aft on the cabintop, were I to do this again. The next picture looks downward at the traveler, showing the routing of the traveler lines:
Once all this is done, all you need do is periodically clean the traveler and lubricate the sheaves on the car and at the end blocks, to keep the car moving freely and without need for winch assistance.
© 2010-2012 Karl D. Lahm