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Old 12-05-2012, 20:35   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Perth west australia, Indian Ocean
Boat: Samson C-Falcon 41'9" composite ketch (designed by Cece Norris)
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which material for sail battens?

i am fully battening main and mizzen on my 42' ketch, and plan to make my own battens - where does one find the grp raw material? or is it practical to cold mold from epoxy and timber/alloy etc?
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Old 30-05-2012, 12:45   #2
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Re: which material for sail battens?

Your profile shows you to be in Australia. Bluestreak battens are manufactured there. I think you'd come out ahead buying battens. There's a lot of engineering that goes into battens. You might have to make them several times to get the proper stiffness. We like Robichaud but shipping from Oregon is not cheap.

Incidentally I would not recommend full battens, other than the top batten, for your Samson. You'll lose shaping ability, add weight, add friction, and spend money. The only boats we get excited about putting full battens on are those without a backstay.
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Old 30-05-2012, 17:57   #3
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Re: which material for sail battens?

I'd rather have a sailmaker get the right grade and type. They tend to have plenty in stock and know exactly what they should be like for each individual sail.

If you go by yourself, then look at tapered battens vs. plain ones. We found that tapered ones work very well for the upper battens.

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Old 30-05-2012, 18:23   #4
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Re: which material for sail battens?

Here is some good info on batten shape from BlueStreak in Australia - Bluestreak Saill Batten Profiles

and in the USA - Battens | RBS Batten Systems

Normally with "full battens" you will need to have some form of "batten car" or holder at the sail's luff which will hold the batten and transfer the energy to the main mast. The full batten needs to have enough "tension" to hold the sail's leech extended to its proper location. The full battens force the sail to remain in its best shape with or without any wind over the sail. And the battens need to be flexible enough to allow the sail to "snake" without the batten breaking.
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