The OEM traveler on our P26 is a Nicro-Fico NF 841 with an NF 832 4-wheel car w/ 2 control sheaves. This is just about the smallest unit in the Nicro-Fico line (See the RigRite web site for details on Nicro-Fico Travelers). Our traveler has a 2:1 control purchase with a continuous line that locks in cam cleats on the seat tops. The continuous line system works great. I would like to replace the traveler with a heavier duty one. The Nicro-Fico 1159 looks like a good candidate to me. Hopefully I can find someone who upgraded their P30 to a new Harken system and wants to get rid of their old Nicro-Fico system. I would love to get a nice Harken or Lewmar system but it would cost $400-$600. Garhauer has a nice traveler for this size boat for about $160. That may be the best option for me. I am also considering a Schaefer setup.
Another view of the cockpit
RigRite web site
RigRite Traveler Page
RigRite page on the NF841
RigRite page on the NF1159
Harken web site
Lewmar web site
Garhauer Web site
Moving the Traveler Forward
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Fitting a bimini on the P26 might be better facilitated by moving the traveler to the front of the cockpit. The traveler would be mounted on a beam (Harken makes one for this purpose) or on a short bridge deck built that would close off the companionway up to the seat level (not a bad idea anyway). The new traveler location is about 70% of the way aft instead of about 110 with the OEM setup. I think most of the factory gear is strong enough to handle the increased load seeing as the main is only 137 SF. The OEM Schaefer blocks on my P26 are rated for about 1200 lbs. I don't know about my OEM traveler car, I think I'd upgrade that (I never liked it anyway). Not all P26's came with the same hardware and I'm sure a lot have been retrofitted so check the load specs for your gear.
The Harken '98 catalog gives the following formula as a rough guide for main sheet loading on page 172:
ML = [E^2 + P^2 * 0.00431 * V^2] / [((P^2 + E^2)^.5) * (E - X)]
ML = Mainsheet Load in lbs
E = Foot Length of main in feet
P = Luff Length of main in feet
V = Wind Speed in Knots
X = Distance from end of boom to mainsheet attachment point
For X = -.8' ( Because the boom is longer then E ) and X = 3.3' ( the forward traveler position ) I have calculated the load for various wind speeds in the table below.
That's the full load on the fittings. The line load depends on the purchase you have.
Load in lbs
Wind (kts) X = -.8' X = 3.3'
10 36 58
15 81 130
20 144 232
25 224 363
All of these loads are well within the specs of the size 1 Lewmar system parts and the Harken Mid Range system parts.
Fitting a Bimini Top
Some pro's and con's of moving the traveler forward...
|More crosswise traveler range||Higher loads
|Easier reach from helm||Harder to have someone else trim main
|Bridge deck good when pooped||Need bridge deck or cross beam
|Clears room for bimini||Have to maneuver around traveler to go forward
|Free's up seating room aft||Takes up seating room forward
|Makes room for people to sit aft where they will not get in the way of helm or traveler||Traveler may get in way of leaning back against cabin when stretching out in cockpit
|Traveler may block companionway
|In an accidental jibe the mainsheet would be swinging through the front of the cockpit