When NOT to use full length battens?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Grant Nelson, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Grant Nelson
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    Grant Nelson Senior Member

    Hi,
    My original question was going to be 'when should I consider full length battens' thinking that the answer would be based on some percentage of roach to main sail area, or aspect ratio, or something.

    But then I scanned a few sail maker web sites and it seems that full length battens have many advantages, even when you do not have much of a roach. For example holding the sail shape, and perhaps for most of us, increasing the life time of the sail. The only down side seems to be that they tranfer more compression to the luff, and the hardware there, with a chance of jamming, and when running off the wind, you have the chance of a 'step' or V forming near the mast.

    In some cases you can use a mix, some full battens up high, and 'normal' down low.

    So, now my questions is: when you you not want to use full length battens? Of course you can always answer my origional question if that is eaiser.

    Thanks!

    Grant
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You don't want to use full length battens when the rig was not designed and built for them.
     
  3. Grant Nelson
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    Grant Nelson Senior Member

    I am not sure what I can do with that reply Gonzo.
    Does it help to say this is not for a existing boat, but for a new design?
    Or, let me ask, what are the particular rig design aspects that are required for full batten sails? I have to admit I never though about it but can only think that you need non-jaming mast track hardware...
     
  4. Kaluvic
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    Kaluvic New guy

    Not sure why...is it because of structural considerations?
    Not sure I would agree.
     
  5. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Gonzo, could you please elaborate on what structural differences there would be with a rig "designed to use full battens" vs one that is not ,i for one am not aware of any other than perhaps some retrofit items such as articulating cars.
    Steve.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Clearerance with the backstay, adequate sail slides or bolt rope, batten pockets, sail track,
     
  7. Kaluvic
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    Kaluvic New guy

    When I think of going to a full batten....the length of the batten increases toward the mast not the back stay...
    Depending on the track you have, batten cars may be added.
    I think if you were to go to a full batten its a given that the batten pockets would be modified.
    So am I correct that your concerns about the rig are not structural?
     
  8. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Those are all sail related issues,not anything special relating to rig design,while hardware manufacturers would like us all to have expensive car and track systems i have noticed that the F series trimarans have always had large full battened mains without such hardware,in fact they really cant as they roll the sail around the boom to reef or furl,they must work ok as they have stuck with it for decades.
    Steve.
     
  9. Kaluvic
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    Kaluvic New guy

    I'm certainly no expert....but I can't think of any time that a full battened main would not be preferential.
     
  10. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    That they roll sail around the boom is probably the reason why the batten ends don't get stuck. Both ends of the batten are being pulled down more or less evenly.

    It's when they are pulled down unevenly they are most likely to get stuck. That is unless they have some kind of roller or slide.

    That just goes to magnify Gonzo's point.

    The rig must be originally designed for them.
     
  11. Kaluvic
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    Kaluvic New guy

    Why....there are batten cars for a variaty of slides...I still dont get it.
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    As in everything with yacht design, full length battens have their issues too.

    A big one is weight. Once you count up all the cars, additional related hardware and the battens, you've now increased weight aloft substantially.

    Next on the list is cost. Price out a retro fit for a full up system, compared to a replacement bolt rope or slide sail with conventional battens. When your *** cools down a bit we can talk.

    For a cruiser, full battens may not be as logical a choice as the 'round the cans guys. The cost, the maintenance, the wear and tear, plus the weight just don't seem as conducive to leisurely sailing.

    Reefing is another well known problem. So much so they compromise batten position to accommodate roller booms.

    Binding and jamming use to be big issues, but has for the most part been engineered out of the new systems, though, don't keep up on the maintenance and you'll wish you had.
     
  13. yipster
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    yipster designer

    "When NOT to use full length battens?"

    first thought up, rulings, rulings like AC dont allow full battens
    but offcourse there is much more on battens
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I've known several people that got rid of full battens in cruising boats because of the amount of wear and maintenance of the parts.
     

  15. Kaluvic
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    Kaluvic New guy

    That’s interesting...and makes sense...most cruisers I know would sacrifice some performance if there is a big maintenance bullet to bit for having it.
    Good stuff...thanks!
     
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