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5.8 batten weights


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Originally posted by Leon:

We had a bit more wind 2 on the wire (wow).

so you had about 20 k

just kidding leon ,,,I was a good feeling though to be twin stringing and seein you guys struggleing,,,,it's usually the other way around..

kept in front of the A,s but couldnt catch the caps.

Good to see you at humpybong and hope to see you again 1 day soon.

I'll be back in the next few weeks ,

Now of any one that has a 16sq or 14sq there not useing at easter time?

yeh I do!

[This message has been edited by Village Idiot (edited 06 March 2005).]

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  • 1 year later...

Originally posted by Bradk:

hi guys

can u explain how to get the battens to the tenson u describe ? do u use a scale or something?

Put a set of kitchen scales on the ground and then put a batten on the scales vertically. Press down on the top of the batten and it will bend to a point where the weight doesn't get any heavier.

By the way, thanks for that Mitch. Looks simple but I bet its a lot of stuffing around.

[This message has been edited by NacraPhelia628 (edited 12 January 2007).]

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  • 8 months later...

Hi All,

I finally got around to checking my battens on the weekend, and found that they seem extremely 'heavy' compared to the above numbers, in some cases more than double the weight. I guess I have two queries,

1) How far should the batten bend before the weight 'evens out' on the scales? and

2a) What are some good methods for 'lightening' the batten? and

2b) at the same time getting the draft in the right spot?


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you will have to do work on a new set as well mitch. i have changed over half of the ones that came with my boat from new, also have did the same with the new set that gerald got for redback. in answer to your question. once the batten bends then you have the wieght. you have to take it to breaking piont to increase the wieght.if you are coming up to windamere next weekend i will bring over my 4 inch angle grinder and scales and we can give them a once over.

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Here is an interesting article on battens.

How to Install, Select and Adjust Mainsail Battens to Gain a Speed Edge

Mainsail battens come with the new mainsails we purchase or we buy the battens to replace our existing ones. Most of us stick the battens in the sail once and leave them alone until the sail wears out. I used to subscribe to this theory mainly because I did not know how to adjust the batten tension and how different batten shapes affected the sail shape. After sailing Tornado and A Class catamarans for several years, I learned that battens have a significant impact on sail shape and boat speed. Hopefully I can pass some of this information on to you.

Battens come in all shapes, sizes and kinds. The battens support the roach of the sail and they maintain the designed sail shape. (The roach is the sail area that extends past a straight line from the head to the clew of the mainsail). Some battens have an even thickness and others are tapered with one end thinner. If you are using tapered battens, always use the tapered end towards the luff edge of the sail and the thicker end on the leech of the sail.

This way the bend of the batten matches the designed sail shape.

Full battens are classified by their draft position and bend characteristics. The draft position is the fore and aft location of the maximum amount of bend at a given bend pressure.

This measurement is given in a percentage of the batten's overall length, starting at the inboard end. The poundage it takes to reach this maximum draft position is the weight of the batten. For example, a batten would be classified as 56 inches long x 5/8 inches wide x 40% draft x 6.5 lbs.

Sailmakers specify the battens to fit the designed draft position of the sail. The battens should maintain the sail shape rather than alter the designed shape. You can change the batten stiffness and tension to help maintain the design as the sail shape changes in the different wind conditions.

Battens are attached to the mainsail leech by batten pockets that allow batten tension adjustment. If you have this type of pocket, use just enough batten tension to remove the sail wrinkles for each different wind condition.

In a mainsail with full battens, the lower full battens should be a slightly tapered with an all-purpose weight to span a variety of wind ranges. These battens should be installed tight enough to just remove the vertical wrinkles or puckers around the batten pockets that appear while sailing. This tension will keep the sail smooth and not alter the designed sail shape. One note here is that the sail can stretch and the batten pocket adjuster can loosen while sailing. It is a good idea to tighten the battens each day before sailing in a multi-day regatta.

You may even need to tighten the battens in between races on heavy air days. You can usually tell if a batten is too tight by several clues. The clues for full battens are as follows: a sail shape that is too full, battens that will not invert in jibes and tacks for the wind strength and a draft position that is pushed too far forward in the sail.

The top three battens are the critical battens because the sail is narrower near the head and the upper sail shape is important to pointing and speed. Because of the smaller area in the head of the sail, the batten type and tension have a greater effect on the sail shape than farther down in the sail. To keep things as simple as possible, carry two sets of top battens. One set should be a light to medium air battens and the other set should be a heavy air battens.

The light batten should be fairly light and soft and have the draft position around 45% to 50%. The batten should be fitted in the pocket with medium tension in light air so the batten will flop from side to side easily. In medium conditions, put the batten in the pocket firmly so the batten will remain inverted when you are trying to flop the batten from side to side by hand. The light air batten powers up the top of the mainsail by making it fuller, leading to a firmer leech with more leech return. The end result is more speed and higher pointing in these maximum power conditions.

The other top batten is a heavy air batten. This batten is stiffer and has the draft farther forward, around 40% to 42%. The advantage of a heavy air batten is that it pushes the draft forward in the sail, flattens the top of the sail and opens the upper leech. All of these things are depowering mechanisms that make the boat easier and faster to sail. The heavy air top battens are installed in the pockets very tightly because it is a stiff batten and this creates the tension the batten needs to take advantage of its designed shape.

A batten under a great deal of tension has a hard time inverting during tacks and jibes. One solution to aid in flopping the batten from side to side is to spray the batten with a dry lubricant such as McLube. The lubricant reduces the friction between the pocket and the batten to allow the batten to move inside the pocket.

Carrying extra battens and changing battens for different conditions may sound like a lot of work, but making a sailboat go fast is the sum of a lot of little things. If you take the time to understand how battens work and how they affect the sail shape, battens are no different than any other sail control. They can be used as a tool to make your mainsail span the entire range of wind and sea conditions. Putting the right batten in before each race is just one more item to mark off of your pre-race check

[This message has been edited by GRACELAND1216 (edited 24 September 2007).]

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