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Joined: 12/3/17
Posts: 3
Traveler "car" bolts

This is my first note to the group.  Perhaps someone knows a bit about the cross-section of what I'll refer to the "Car" on my traveler.
Referring to photo, one of the bolts holding the "car" together, has broken off.  I don’t think that drilling it out and/or using an extractor is practical with it still installed, and I'm not keen on taking the car off the rail.   I understand the traveler is full of ball bearings.
My thought is to drill and tap a new hole half an inch to the side of the original bolt.  Presumably the ball bearings are above and below the bolt-line so my thought is, there is nothing but solid metal where I propose to drill?  

Does anyone have any comments on this approach?

Ian Lawrie
Friend Ship
C-36, 1992, Hull #1201
Whitby, Ontario, Canada

KevinLenard's picture
Joined: 1/28/15
Posts: 163

Ian, it looks like you have the newer set up of a travelling car on the toerail for your jib sheet block?  Our '91 has the rail mounted in the side deck.  However, it should be the case that there is only a single screw holding the 'stopper' in place at the stern end of the rail.  Not even glued in place. You really need to remove the car to access the spot where the bolt is.  With the car removed you can take out the good bolt and you might find you can pull off that inner piece that holds the car in place and remove the broken stud, then simply replace it with a new one.  On the olther hand, if the broken bolt sheared off at the surface, then isn't it still holding the inner piece in place?  If it is not loose/lifting then you could just ignore the cosmetic flaw!

dlincoln3's picture
Joined: 4/24/16
Posts: 86

He's showing his mainsheet traveler, not the block for the jib sheet.

pkeyser's picture
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 457

I would suggest loosening all the lines on the traveler and slide it back an forth by hand to get a sense if there actually are ball bearings that this rides on. I had an older catalina 30 and the traveler was just a slide without bearings. This looks similar. If so, then there would not be a problem drilling and tapping a new bolt hole without pulling everything apart.

Gsmith's picture
Joined: 11/25/10
Posts: 109

We have the same traveler setup on our boat. From my understanding there are no ball bearings, just the bars of bearing material that captures the car onto the track. If there were balls present you'd see wear lines across the length of the track where they came in contact. I'd agree with your approch. Move over the 1/2 inch and re drill.  

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