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. I the bend is continuous, add 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100 mm) 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 50 ft (15.25 m).
1. Vertical Bend: Ends Down
This bend is used for mainsheet travelers mounted over the cabin house. The curve matchess 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.