Traveler track is often bent to follow the cabin house curve or boom radius. Sometimes track is bent vertically, ends up, to relieve tension on the sail's leech as the traveler car moves off the boat's centerline.
To perform smoothly and carry the correct load, the traveler car's length must suit track radius. Each traveler car page has a chart which shows the minimum radius on which each car will ride. If the load requires a long car, but the radius will be too tight, consider using two short cars joined by a coupler.
Minor bends can often be made when the track is installed. If the track requires more bend, Harken® can provide horizontal, vertical or compound curves to specification for a modest charge. If the bend is continuous, add 50 to 100 mm (2 to 4 inches) to each end because track cannot be bent to its ends. Standard Harken® Mini-Maxi and Maxi traveler cars cannot ride on vertical bends with a radius under 15/25 m (50 ft).
1. Vertical Bend: Ends Down
This bend is used for mainsheet travelers mounted over the cabin house. The curve matches the crown of the cabin house and allows the track to clear the companionway hatch, but minimizes the height of the track risers.
2. Vertical Bend: Ends Up
Some boats use this bend to relieve leech tension when the traveler car moves off centerline. Ends-up bends are also used for staysails. Tracks angled forward to face the clew of the sail mount on risers.
3. Horizontal Bend
Horizontal bends allow the traveler to follow the radius of the boom as it swings across the boat. The track stays flat and the ends curve to the boat's bow or stern. Sometimes horizontal bends are used for boom vangs and occasionally for staysails, especially those with booms.
4. Compound Bend
Compound bends are a combination of a vertical and horizontal bend. An example is when the track curves in the horizontal plane to follow the radius of the boom, but mounts to a deck that has a slight crown.
Simple Part No.
Major Part No.
|Simple Bend—Track length of 2 m (6'6-3/4") or less and chord depth less than 200 mm (8").|
|Major Bend—Track length of 2.1 m (6'10-11/16") or greater or chord depth of 200 mm (8") or greater.|
|Compound Bend—Bend in both horizontal and vertical planes.|
|Compound Simple Bend—Both bends are simple bends.|
|Compound Major Bend—One or both bends are major bends.|
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To order curved track, please specify the following information:
Track part number
Bend part number
Chord depth or radius (horizontal)
Chord depth or radius (vertical)
1. Vertical Bend: ends down
2. Vertical Bend: ends up
3. Horizontal Bend: ends forward or aft
4. Compound Bend: horizontal and vertical, ends down
5. Compound Bend: horizontal and vertical, ends up
Traveler Track Q&A