Traveler Bolts

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We were really moving along on a broad reach with, as we later heard, winds increasing to 20 knots. We then performed a controlled gybe. As it turned out it wasn’t controlled enough as the port side traveler mount pulled out from its mounting tower, twisting the starboard bronze backing plate completely out through the fiberglass. The halyards that pass through the line organizers on the underside of the traveler were the only thing holding the whole assembly from flying into the air. We managed to lash down the boom to the cabin top winches and take down the main sail and regain control, but as you would say, “It really got our attention.”
Early C-34s (ours is a 1987 #245) did not have bolts through the towers and terminating on the inside cabin overhead. He said if we would install long bolts (approximately 9”) with large washers, all would be secure. Catalina has long bolts for sale just for this purpose. Only one through-bolt on each side is needed. The moral of this story is: If you have an older boat, check your traveler bolts. Also, I’m very happy we have a Catalina with such a responsive top management who is immediately concerned about even a 10 year old boat