Our traveller was due for some needed maintenance. Spent some time today cleaning it up.

When we pulled our boat out of the water last fall we took apart the traveller to bring home. We had an issue with it on our way to Toronto Island and I needed to figure out how to detach the lines since we ordered brand new ones.

Removing the cars from the traveller

To remove the cars from the traveller you need to remove the two end blocks. Remove the three screws from the top of the end block and pull off the plate and the two different sized pullies. The two rubber stops should be left alone, I first thought I had to remove them and had a tough time getting them back on.

You will find the bottom of this is held in place by a stainless sleeve/slug that you need to pop out. Also loosen the very small bolt (requires an allen key). The end block should now slide off the track easily.

Cleaning up the traveller

These end blocks and the car been sitting in a box waiting for me to find time to work on it, today I had time!

I was lucky, the bearings on the traveller car rolled OK. There is a bit of pitting in the plastic but they all still felt solid and rolled smoothly. Others have reported that theirs were falling apart and are looking for a replacement. If you find one, let me know!

I couldn’t figure out how to pull the lines out of the car, I originally thought the two rubbery wedges could be pried out but after a gentle attempt I was worried I would break something. Good thing I stopped, I later found out that you need to pull the two 1/2″ bolts out to release these plastic wedges.

You can see the plastic wedge is held in by the bolt passing through that opening. Once the bolts were out it slid out very easily.

Here are the parts from the top of the car, took a quick photo so I wouldn’t forget how they go back together. Note: this is not the correct order, the plate goes on top of the pullies. See picture above.

The two end blocks were in decent shape but we had issues with one of the cleats coming loose and sometimes slipping. We think the new lines will help but also wanted to clean up the teeth just to make sure.

To remove the cleats you need to loose then two allen key bolts underneath and slide the cleat out.

After taking apart the cleats I disassembled the rest of the end block.

The plastic cover housing the two pullies is held together with the stainless bracket. After this was removed the plastic cover separated into two pieces making it easy to remove the pullies. The two coiled springs came from the cleat.

Here is one of the cleats taken apart. I wasn’t sure how much trouble I was going to get in pulling it apart. I was able to clean out the cam teeth with a toothbrush and even was able to put it back together relatively easily afterwards. You place the spring on first, in same direction as photo, you then slowly lower the cam on top of it twisting it to catch the spring. The little rubber cap then slides on and holds it temporarily with enough friction until you get the bolts back in.

After everything was taken apart I threw it all into a soapy bucket and used a cloth and toothbrush to clean.

Here’s the final picture of everything clean and put back together. I used some locktite on the two bolts holding the cleat cams. I couldn’t do that yet on the rest of the bolts since I need to be able to undo the three bolts on the end blocks to re-attach to the Lewmar traveller track on the boat, and the two bolts on the Lewmar car need to be removed to attach the new line.

At the top of the pic are the tools I used. 1/2″ ratchet, flat head screwdiver, large Phillips screwdriver and knife wasn’t really needed. I used it to cut the lines when trying to figure out how to remove. I also used a small allen key and some silicon spray for the bearings in the Lewmar car and a little Lewmar winch grease for the pully bearings.

Lessons learned

  • If you are replacing your lines, you really need to take these completely apart to do it. The three screw bolts on the end block need to be removed to pull the end block off the traveller track. This will allow you to slide the traveller car off the track. You then need to remove the two bolts from the traveller car to release the two wedges holding the line.
  • The traveller line need to be a minimum of 13 feet long.
  • Do one component at a time. Don’t throw everything into a bucket to wash at once. You may think you are saving time but then afterwards you need to figure out which bolts are 1mm longer.
  • Take lots of photos, it seemed super simple but had to go back to my photos to recall how the top of the traveller car was assembled.