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Old 29-10-2010, 01:15   #16
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There is no doubt that a battenless sail with no headboard will last a very long time. I have gotten 20 years out of 2 mains this way. But if the sailmaker does not cut them PERFECTLY they will have a hook in the leech and perfom like dog poo. Even a well cut battenless main will develop a hook after years of use. Its not fun. Just ask a pilot if he likes flying around with his flaps down.

When I had my full batten sail made I did so without a headboard. You really only need a headboard if you are a racer or a tweeker.
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Old 29-10-2010, 01:31   #17
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Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
According to Emiliano Marino in "The Sailmaker's Apprentice" battens give better sail shape but faster wear. If that is true don't use them unless you want to shorten the journey at the cost of the sail. He does seem to know what he's talking about.
Great book – with this thread in mind I am going to have revise the chapter. Maybe I should take it sailing with me for the next few days (who knows), read the thing at anchor then have a good look up and see if it all makes sense while observing the shape of the sail and any helm on the rudder? (Better get packing!)
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Old 29-10-2010, 01:33   #18
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Originally Posted by seacap View Post
There is no doubt that a battenless sail with no headboard will last a very long time. I have gotten 20 years out of 2 mains this way. But if the sailmaker does not cut them PERFECTLY they will have a hook in the leech and perfom like dog poo. Even a well cut battenless main will develop a hook after years of use. Its not fun. Just ask a pilot if he likes flying around with his flaps down.

When I had my full batten sail made I did so without a headboard. You really only need a headboard if you are a racer or a tweeker.
Thanks for the post; no chance you could explain what you mean by a “hook in the leach” a bit further? Are there any big reasons why you have now opted for the full batten sail?


In passing, you have one nice little traditional boat!
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Old 29-10-2010, 01:36   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurferShane View Post
Bugger giving the loft any more money; before setting to sea tomorrow I have been reminded I need to stich up one of my batten pockets before it explodes. The main is about dead and must go, so it’s out with the needles and tape for the next few repairs. I really haven’t got the experience sailing yet to knew much better, but one thing I can confirm is partial battens are a pain. I am also sick of looking up to discover them missing.

What I am really hoping is that I might run into a traditional sail maker who knows their stuff and can solve my dilemma for a reasonable price. Last night I was reading Pardey’s “Self Sufficient Sailor” where Larry recommends a battenless, roachless main with no headboard and a leach rope. Hopefully a traditional sail maker won’t laugh at this idea. Then I could go to the other extreme of full battens? Who is really going to know unless the thing is up and I am out cruising?
I agree which is why I was only asking about fully battened sails
hmmm battenless, roachless main.... sounds like what I already have...local "high-end" sail maker said my sail has one year left in it...which probably means several hard years
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Old 29-10-2010, 01:40   #20
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I agree which is why I was only asking about fully battened sails
I am not trying to confuse you with another option. It is just this will be my next big outlay and I really can’t afford to get it wrong.

My main has at least a couple more decent squalls left depending on how quickly I can reef it in or drop it altogether. Good I have the mizzen as a slow boat to china backup. Not hard to tell I bought the boat back from the topics; just test the sail cloth!
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Old 29-10-2010, 02:05   #21
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SuferShane,
The hook I refer to is the leach curling in towards the sail along the entire length of the leech. Just imagine the nice smooth airfoil of an airplane wing. Now put the flaps down. The airplane wing now resembles a sail with a hook in the leech.

This is probably one of the reasons regular battens are used in sails, besides the desire to obtain more sail area with a larger roach.

The problem comes from the regular battens and the sail flogging. The sail is bent back and forth at the interior end of the batten (vs the leech end of the batten), The batten is bending the cloth and at that point breaks the material of the sail down much like you would bend a piece of metal back and forth to break it.

Full batten sails do not have this problem and help keep the shape of a well cut sail. Full battens do not improve the shape of a sail, but rather keep the shape of the sail. They also keep the shape in light airs where normally the sail would just collapse. Although they can be a pain in the arse going up when using lazyjacks, they come down easily and with some manners when dropping the sail into lazyjacks.

So my main reasons for choosing a FB sail is they don't flog and keep the shape of the sail very well. The no flogging helps the sail last much longer. And it much more peaceful raising the sail in a breeze.
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Old 29-10-2010, 02:18   #22
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SuferShane,
The hook I refer to is the leach curling in towards the sail along the entire length of the leech. ....,,,,,.
Thanks heaps – nice plain English and totally makes sense.

The improvement in light air performance of full batten sails sounds like a bonus on my boat. One thing I know I will be going either way and skipping partial battens.
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Old 29-10-2010, 05:51   #23
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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
My boat has a batten-less mainsail and a very high aspect rig....I was wondering about converting to a fully battened sail. 37' luff 15' foot. the backstay attached to the masthead 2' above the head of the sail and clears the end of the boom by a bit over 3'. A significant roach would either require I reduce my luff or attach the bottom end of the backstay to a boomkin (which is already in place from an earlier rig variation). My intention is for Ocean Cruising and also the rig has been modified to a cutter rig by moving forestay back to foredeck
....see below


any opinions
Before I would change the aspect ratio I would consider the amount of weather helm your may or may not already be getting. How does she balence now? The mod you speak of may require re installing the bow sprit. More power may be more work than it's worth?

Todd
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Old 29-10-2010, 13:39   #24
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Re: Weather Helm

I am off for a sail and will be taking a notebook and jotting a few notes about the boats balance and any helm. At least it might help me rationalise what is going on and how powerful a sail I do or do not need.

Enjoy, Shane
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Old 29-10-2010, 13:40   #25
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One thing that has not been mentioned with full battened main is the mast traveller slides.
In my case some of the slides are batten receptacles, which holds the battens in place eliminating the luff hard spot or a pocket thats seem on a lot of mains. And the battens are tapered down from the luff to the leach allowing for a smooth transition. It's a bit like the dorsal fin of a boney fish. This really increased my speed and pointing ability when I went to a full battened main.

Personally, I'd have to try out a laminated sail on this boat before I could be sold on it but that would be a bit expensive on a 425 sf sail. And what about reefing, what would that do to a laminated sail? I'm not against newer technologies but would liked them proofed first, and not at my expen$e.


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Old 29-10-2010, 15:25   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurferShane View Post
Last night I was reading Pardey’s “Self Sufficient Sailor” where Larry recommends a battenless, roachless main with no headboard and a leach rope. Hopefully a traditional sail maker won’t laugh at this idea.
Shane we have a battenless, roachless main with no headboard, but then we have inmast reefing.

You can see the sail area lost by looking at the topping lift location. However, with the Genny providing the real power on our rig we don't miss the extra sail area apart from a small F3 wind window (Engine goes on below F3 or the cruising chute comes out if I am feeling energetic.

A new dacron main for us is therefore 33% cheaper. If I wanted performance well I wouldn't have chosen a twin keeler for a start, but its not, its a cruising boat. That isn't an excuse for going slowly, indeed there isn't a good reason not to get the best out of the boat. However, I suspect we would gain more across all wind speeds by fitting a folding prop than changing the mainsail, certainly easier.

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Old 29-10-2010, 16:21   #27
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Another issue with battens is clearance for the backstay. We just got new sails for Rainshadow, our 38' Camper and Nicholson (ketch) from North Sails, and it's been pretty "trying" so far. The salesman persuaded us that battens were the way to go (and per this thread and others, he's probably right), so we got two full and two partial.

The problem is that when the new main is hoisted to the proper height, the battens hang up on the backstay badly. When they eventually pop through, the whole rig "twangs" loudly. So, I have to set up the main about 4 - 6 inches lower than it should be, and then it just clips the backstay. Of course then, it's lower and the boom is that much closer to my head and the ccockpit top.

Now, we are cruisers and the salesman knew that - but he told the battens are fine, saying "racers will have them overlap 6 inches or a foot". He said we could put some slippery tape on them. Well, I want these sails to last many years, and this does not seem good. I'll be fixing chafe problems a lot I fear.

I'd really appreciate some advice here! The salesman has offered to take the main back to the loft, and cut the roach back and shorten the battens. It seems to me that we should have the sail raised to the proper height, and not touching the backstay at all.

The other problem we had is that adding roach to the main (and mizzen) and then also reducing the size of the genoa (we went from hank on to furler) has created bad weather helm, duh. We always found it easy to balance her perfectly on almost any point of sail. Now it's a struggle, she always has weather helm. I'm dissappointed that the North Sails designer doesn't appear to have considered at all the balance of the overall sail plan. But I digress, sorry. I'll probably be starting another thread on this, and other problems we've had with North Sails.

Van
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Old 29-10-2010, 16:23   #28
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I would totally agree with firebird batten cause more hassle on a long distance cruising sail in my experience. In extremes the bloody battens always exit the sail and do varying degrees of damage as they go. There a day racer invention.

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Old 29-10-2010, 16:53   #29
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The salesman persuaded us that battens were the way to go (and per this thread and others, he's probably right), .

Van
Oi Van! Go re-read my post! BTW I think you can get good roach without a full length batten. Mines fully roached as in there can not be morew as they brush the twin backstays lightly on the way through... thats full roach!

Its a pretty sail in all wind and even when theres none
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Old 29-10-2010, 17:32   #30
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battens don't merely serve to support roach. they also tend to help the leech maintain a clean exit, which is important for the main's laminar flow. Again, here is an area where a laminate sail will outperform dacron.

few cruisers realize that sails can be built in such a way as to minimize leech fatigue. this is usually done by making two-ply leech tablings. this is especially important with dacron sails because of the stretch. anymore, some of the big "chain" lofts won't build two-ply tablings unless you specifically instruct them to do so. this is the unfortunate result of so many cruisers only caring about how much a sail costs, rather than how long it will last. we just can't get it into our heads that cheaply built sails cost more in the long run.

the last main I had built was a tri-radial laminate with a dacron scrim. I specked exactly how I wanted the tabling to work, as well as how I wanted the leech line to be designed. That maybe cost me $100 extra. When I sold that boat six years later, the main had about 10,000 nm on it, and still looked/performed as good as new.

I get heartburn every time I hear a cruiser say that he doesn't care how his main performs because he's not out there to go fast. Then, when I'm sitting at anchor in some cove in the tradewinds, I see these same guys motoring along on a beam reach. Owwwwwwwww.
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