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mtnrapids
Deckhand

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USA
3 Posts

Initially Posted - 06/20/2021 :  09:54:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey there everyone, I'm a new owner of a 1983 Catalina 25. It's our first boat and we're pretty stoked. We went out for a check-sail with the old owner. One thing that I just didn't notice (chalk it up to my inexperience) is that the mainsail traveler has been removed. See the photo below. The mainsail sheet is just attached to the little port side nub of the old traveler bar.

My question is whether or not this is something I'll want to get fixed right away. I guess I'll have to sail it for a while and see how things go without the traveler bar. From looking around these forums and from poking around the boat it looks like it's not an easy fix, since you need to cut access holes to get at the bolts that secure the traveler bar. Does anyone have any experience sailing with and without the mainsheet traveler bar?

Any advice is appreciated! I'm excited to be one of the crew now!

mheds5116
Deckhand

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3 Posts

Response Posted - 06/20/2021 :  19:42:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congrats on your new boat and welcome. I'd think others would recommend re-installing the traveler so that's what I'd recommend too. It's definitely nice to have on windy days when you want to control the amount of heeling. On your boat, you'll do great on port tacks but starboard tacks will be problematic as you'll be heeling much more than you'd probably want to be and have limited means to alleviate the problem. At the very least, you could fashion some sort of attachment on the starboard side and at least be able to always position the mainsheet in the center of the boat. You wouldn't have the ability to pull the sail to either side but at least the boat would be balanced. I'm sure others will be happy to explain the science. I'd think Catalina Direct would have the parts you need and a local rigger could give you a quote for installation. Best of Luck!
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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4821 Posts

Response Posted - 06/20/2021 :  20:00:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I too would suggest that you find a way to reinstall the traveler, I use it quite often when I’m sailing to windward. The way things are now you would probably only notice it when tacking upwind, but then it would be a royal PITA.

In the meantime you might try to secure a stout piece of line between the back sides of your two stern cleats and get a single block to ride along that line. Attach the mainsheet block to the single block. You can run a tensioner between the two.

It won’t replace the original setup but it will provide you with a sense of what you’re missing.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT

Edited by - Voyager on 06/20/2021 20:02:24
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 06/21/2021 :  10:24:01  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here's a photo of what I think your boat is missing, based on your photo above.  These are from a mid-1980s Catalina 22, but I think the early C25s used the same traveler system.  This appears identical to the traveler on my 1979 Catalina 25.  Perhaps another owner of a 1983 C25 can confirm my photos match your year boat.  (Click on images to enlarge.)



These next two pics show a potential problem replacing the traveler.

The space available to get a socket wrench up in there varies from one boat to another, and even from port to stbd on the same boat, depending upon how that specific boat fit together at the factory, and how much filler goop squeezed out around those bolt heads.


To further enhance the accuracy of Bruce's excellent simulated traveler suggestion, you might try adding two stopper knots a little less than two feet apart to limit the range of the rope traveler, and route it behind the stern rail stanchions and backstay.  Clove hitches around the stanchions and some light line tying the improvised traveler rope down to the chainplates might help keep it within about 3" to 4" above the top of the transom.  Backing each clove hitch with a couple half hitches might eliminate the need for the separate stopper knots.


— Leon Sisson
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mtnrapids
Deckhand

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USA
3 Posts

Response Posted - 06/23/2021 :  10:48:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you all! Leon, yes that is the part that I would need. I don't even know how to get to the bolts at all, let alone with a long socket. I would be pretty upset to cut an access panel only to find that the bolts were glued in there by "factory goop".

Thank you for the great suggestion on a simulated traveller. Is the photo below what you are thinking? The line that I used may not be strong enough, but I was just playing around to see what might work. I attached the line between the stern cleats and then attached clove hitches and half hitches to the stanchions. I'm afraid it might put too much strain on the stanchions. I don't know how much stress is OK for them. Of course, they look to be about the same strength as the original traveller bar.

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Leon Sisson
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1838 Posts

Response Posted - 06/23/2021 :  12:23:27  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Luke,

Glad you found my post helpful!
 
Yes, your 06/23/2021 photo is the general idea I was suggesting, but with the addition of some light line from those stainless steel loops left from the original traveler, up to somewhere near the clove hitches, to help keep them from sliding up the stanchions.
 
As for potentially damaging the stern rail, I think on some of the later year boats the traveler was a straight bar between the stanchions, thus eliminating two unreachable bolt heads inside the transom.  (Getting to the stanchion bolts can still be challenging.)  You might check with Catalina to ask if they have a retrofit traveler which clamps between the older stern rail stanchions.  If not, it shouldn't be too hard for a competent SS welding shop to fabricate one.

— Leon Sisson
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mheds5116
Deckhand

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3 Posts

Response Posted - 06/23/2021 :  19:05:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your cam cleats on the stern cowling are designed to be used as a traveler? It appears there's one starboard and one port and it looks like a line would run through the cam, over to a shackle attached to the main sheet pulley system and then back to cam and tied off. Same thing on the port side. Then, release one side, pull the main sheet over to that side and vice versa. Just a thought, I couldn't think of another use for those cleats. In fact, I wish on my '82 Cat 25 the cleats were positioned to be tightened stern to bow rather than to port or starboard. It's 90 degrees off the way they're installed on my boat...
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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5596 Posts

Response Posted - 06/23/2021 :  19:57:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A functional traveler could be fabricated, but I don't know if the cost to hire it done would be realistic.

Two two-legged supports could be fabricated from either stainless steel or aluminum plate - one support for each end of the traveler rod. The uprights would be trapezoid shaped. The wide side of the trapezoid would be the base, and the narrower side of the trapezoid would be the top of the support. The supports would be through-bolted, fore-and-aft, through the transom. A rod of the same diameter as the original traveler would be welded or otherwise attached to the tops of the two supports.

If you just bolted them through the transom, the bolts might squeeze the walls of the transom enough to crack the gelcoat. To avoid that, you could insert rigid tubes through the transom that are just large enough for the bolts to pass through. The tubes should be exactly the same length as the width of the transom. The idea is that the bolts will tighten until they touch the tube, and the tube will prevent them from compressing the fiberglass.

A DIYer with a little metal working skill might be able to fabricate something similar to this, but a machine shop surely could.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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3857 Posts

Response Posted - 06/24/2021 :  05:07:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
[quote I think on some of the later year boats the traveler was a straight bar between the stanchions, thus eliminating two unreachable bolt heads inside the transom.][/quote]
You are correct. You can easily make the bar by using these split Bimini fittings and a piece of 1" tubing.

https://www.amazon.com/kesoto-Stainless-Handrail-Fitting-Connector/dp/B07GFH3S3Y/ref=pd_lpo_263_t_0/134-4343535-2808514?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07GFH3S3Y&pd_rd_r=0dff969a-8575-472b-929a-fe3e8fe51330&pd_rd_w=8a4in&pd_rd_wg=iGwrw&pf_rd_p=3b5203d9-bdd0-47f6-97e5-387010fc3251&pf_rd_r=9M1SWJMBD1BM3W0FEFK4&psc=1&refRID=9M1SWJMBD1BM3W0FEFK4

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
8727 Posts

Response Posted - 06/24/2021 :  07:30:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An alternative is converting to a mid-boom mainsheet system with a traveler bar mounted across the seats against the cabin bulkhead. Several participants here have done this--you can Search for "mid-boom" in the C-25 forum and see a number of discussions and some photos--here's one thread. The advantages are increased traveler effectiveness (by its geometry) and getting the mainsheet essentially out of the cockpit (so a jibe doesn't decapitate the skipper). A disadvantage is somewhat of an obstruction to the companionway, although when moored, the mainsheet can be moved to one side or the other to be out of the way.

This mod is not class legal, but I don't know how many people are or will be concerned about class racing of C-25s these days... (It isn't a one-design boat.) It could also affect a PHRF handicap since these assume stock rigging. If I still had my C-25, I may have made this mod by now (and left the transom bar for whoever might want to go back to stock).

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
443 Posts

Response Posted - 06/24/2021 :  18:08:47  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Scott suggested the approach I'd considered offering, but those T units are for 1" tube. The stock traveler uses a smaller diameter solid rod. One workaround might be to obtain a piece of bar stock of the same diameter as the stock traveler and wrap both ends with friction tape (the thick, black fabric tape, not the thin vinyl electrical tape), to build up the diameter of the bar to 1". Then, the stock traveler would work; here's a link to Catalina Direct's page for it:

https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-by-boat/catalina-25/rigging/running-rigging/cars-blocks-sheaves/traveler-car-mainsheet-c-22-c-25/?SearchResults=1

Then, you'll need the cam-cleats for the traveler control lines:

https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-by-boat/catalina-25/hull-deck/cockpit/winches-amp-cleats/traveler-control-cleat-c-22-c-25/?SearchResults=1

Before doing this, however, I'd suggest contacting Catalina Direct and ask the exact center-to-center length of the traveler bar they sell:

https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-by-boat/catalina-25/rigging/running-rigging/traveler-bar-c-22-amp-c-25/?SearchResults=1

If you can simply bolt it into place it would be a lot easier than trying to improvise.

HOWEVER (and this is a big however): Even if the stock traveler bar will fit into the sockets on your transom, you may find that you cannot get the bolts up to the undersides of the bar from inside the boat. This is probably unlikely, because SOMEONE had already unbolted it (for whatever reason I can't imagine). But, if necessary, some people (myself included) have cut access holes on the inside surface of the transom and we've covered them with small louvered ventilation covers:

https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-by-boat/catalina-25/hull-deck/cockpit/louvered-vent/?SearchResults=1

Of course, you could eliminate the functionality of the traveler altogether. I use mine occasionally (I don't race, so incremental gains aren't as important to me), but if you install a 1" cross-tube with the T fittings that Scott recommended, you could fasten the mainsheet block to its center and be done with it. If you don't plan to race, and the minimal improvement provided by that traveler isn't important, I think this might be the way to go. Having the mainsheet centered would be a significant improvement over what you have now, Luke, even without being able to move it. This, of course, presumes you have an effective vang to keep the boom down and control the leach, which is what the traveler is mainly for.


The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4562 Posts

Response Posted - 06/26/2021 :  17:08:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In your photo, the main sheet is attached to a tang at the base of the original traveler on the port side. It looks like there is a similar tang at the base of the original traveler on the starboard side. These tangs were originally intended to stop the lines to adjust the position of the traveler car on the bar that is no longer there. If one side is secure enough to handle the mainsheet, then perhaps you can attach your traveler line to both tangs instead of to the stern pulpit bars and spread the load.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN

Edited by - dmpilc on 06/26/2021 17:09:52
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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4562 Posts

Response Posted - 06/29/2021 :  05:29:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
mheds5116, the cam cleats on the stern are there for the traveler adjustment lines, one on each side. The lines start at the tangs (where mtnrapids currently has his mainsheet attached) at the base of the traveler bar, run through the blocks on the traveler car, then to the cam cleat.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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4821 Posts

Response Posted - 06/29/2021 :  08:39:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wonder whether you could get a pair of stainless steel eyebolts that you could screw down into the open receptacles. Maybe could glue them in with thickened epoxy. Then, you might be able to pass a long rod between the eyes and put a block like a roller car on the rod. If you could thread the ends of the rod, you could secure it in place between the two eyebolts. Next tie a line to the base of the car to run between the camcleats on port and starboard. That should restore the original functionality…

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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mtnrapids
Deckhand

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USA
3 Posts

Response Posted - 07/07/2021 :  11:24:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you all very much for your helpful suggestions. I think that I'm going to go with one of the easier suggestions first which is to rig up something to move the mainsheet attachment to the center. Attaching a rod between the stanchions seems doable. Also just running something between the two "tangs" seems easy too. I don't think that the payoff is worth the effort to have a traveler at this point.

In other news, we sailed out on our own for the first time last weekend. Great time and we even saw Casper, the famous white Rizzo dolphin of Monterey Bay! Good sign.

Thanks again!
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