As a newbie, you are probably best off going with what the designer
- If it wasn't designed for it, a big full batten sail can hang up on the back stays. Possibly making tacking difficult and potentially damaging the sail.
- If you take a boat designed for a big full batten sail and put a batten-less sail on, you will likely imbalance the sail plan (and vice versa)
Generally a fully battened sail is going to be more expensive to implement but give better performance (prefered reefing system can add some complications to this).
One interesting option, I've seen is basically a roller furler
mounted to the back of the mast
. My understanding is it's limited to smaller cruising boats but it eliminates issue of jams trying to get the sail to roll up inside the mast
. It does largely eliminate the potential for battens so you will be sacraficing performance but I've often though it would be nice since we often use the genny because it's so easy to deploy if the wind
is favorable and then easy to roll up if the wind
turns against us. Unless we are expecting favorable winds for most of the trip, we often don't bother getting the main out. (this assumes coastal cruising where we are getting from point A to point B preferably in a reasonable period of daylight)