On the way to NA last year the top bolt pulled out by completely stripping the threads and the track started to flex up to an 1". In Newport we tried to fix it but to get to the bottom bolt you have to remove all headliners and wood trim in the back of the aft cabin and that is not all -on Zig Zag the bolt is glassed over. Needless to say we could not use the middle 2 ft of the traveller that regatta.
Back home I ended up drilling a 1/8" hole true the tube and bolt about 1/2" below the plate for the cleat and installed a 1/8" cotter pin to secure it. The cotter pin was strong enough for the AYC spring regatta.
Attached is a picture underneath that shows where the bolt passes through the deck to the post on Vento Solare. Right side of picture is forward. This is looking up between the steering idler wheels.
- under deck for traveler support.jpg (1.53 MiB) Viewed 6824 times
It requires some advanced yoga maneuvers to turn the screw but it can be done. A phillips bit on a ratchet wrench may be helpful. We also found having one person hold the screw and turning the SS tube from up top was easier. We put an eyebolt on each side and a turnbuckle in between which seems to be working well so far.
Access to the underside is in the port side aft cabin. Using the small portlight from inboard side of the cabin as a reference, the fastener goes through the deck 22 inches aft of the inside aft lip of the portlight, and 13 inches inboard of the interior surface of the portlight (this should be the centerline). There is diagonal woodwork at the aft inboard end above the bunk that needs to be removed.
Once the woodwork is removed, the underside has a phillips head screw and shoulder washer.
The tabbing has been chiseled off from the screw so it is now visible and can be removed.
This is a view from below the traveler. There are 4 T-Bolts that can be seen. These fasten the aluminum plate that holds the main sheet swivel, and also connects the tie rod to the deck.
The next two photos are the top and bottom of the aluminum plate. I broke a bit of using an impact wrench trying to remove the phillips head screw that fastens to the tie bar. The underside shows a round nut on this screw. It was welded in the end of the tie bar. There is a similar nut at the opposite end of the bar. These are weak points where the weld fails, thus the tie bar no longer protects the traveler in tension when the main sheet is tight.
Below is the final fix shown on the bench. The nuts originally welded on the end of the tie bar are inserted, and 1/4-20 stainless steel threaded rod is screwed through the rod. The nuts will provide the ability to tighten the top and bottom independently. The rod was cut at 13" and then once installed and the nuts on opposite ends tightened, the excess was cut off. **Edit** The acorn nut on the top was too tall and interfered with the swivel. Using a regular hex nut and lock washer did not interfere.
By the time I finished installing the fixed rod, it was too dark for pictures, but it looks the same anyway!
I went with Bill's fix for the traveler support rod. Ordered 1/4 - 20 threaded stainless rod from McMaster. I discovered no stripping on the original nuts (Hull 251), but, just to be safe, made the change. Threaded rod threaded nicely through original tube. I added a G10 backing plate as well. Pretty easy job. Removing trim and quarter berth inboard panel was a bit challenging (as always), but was also a good opportunity to check quadrant and steering cables/wheels and tighten nuts.
***When removing the headliner underneath (and just aft) of the LPG compartment I did discover that two very poorly placed screws punctured the compartment. Therefore, water was leaking into the headliner and dripping near the steering cable wheels.