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Batten weights on 4.3 mainsail????


shy thunder
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Ok guys lets hear your best ideas for all to learn.

I have had trouble with my new main not pointing or footing as fast as some others with similar brand of,weight (boat & skipper) cat rigged.

Boat has been hard to tack with this new sail.

It feels dead when adjusted to point, (flattened out to gain height).

Some say that my leach may be hooking and to flatten the aft of sail with heavier battens?

Some say to change just top two battens to heavier ones?

When I measured the weight of top batten (new rod type) it's pressure was 4lb, I will try a 10lb this weekend, what do you experts think?

The 2nd will also be changed to a heavier one as well.

Anyone got some clues as to what poundage I should be using and in what wind strengths they are best in.....I still consider battens as the dark arts?

Hey Zax what did you go to on your mainsail?

thanks all for your input.

cheers

d

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Battens for ZAX

I use from top to bottom;

5.5 pound

4

3

3

2

2

2

The ones I have changed is battens 2,3 and 4 which are now 6 pound, 5 pound, 6 pound.

I left the top one as 5.5 because it is so short and is flat anyway, at 6 or 7 pound it would be too stiff. If I was to change this one I would leave it at 5.5 pound but put a blank in rather than shapped batten to push the drive aft.

hope this helps !

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oops.. should be;

changed to

batten 2 = 6 pound

batten 3 = 5 pound

batten 4 = 5 pound

These are the ones I altered to push the drive back and flatten the sail a little. I will use this set in light and strong breeze and put the old set in for moderate/choppy conditions.

cheers !

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ok let's summarise:-

my new main came with from top to bottom:-

My mast heavy/stiff-skipper heavy = 98kg dry

4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3.

Zax:- ( heavy stiff mast)skipper 90kg?

5.5, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2.

changed to:-

5.5, 6, 5, 5, 2, 2, 2.

another top boat:- (light soft mast)skip = 85kg?

light to moderate winds=

5.5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 2.

(mod. to heavy)winds changing to =

8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 2, 2.

Now I tried top two battens changed to 8lb each and I could nearly pace "havoc" in the 20knts plus @ Port Kembla on Sat. on the first work before I retired due to blustery conditions.

So it looks like for a heavier skipper and a stiffer mast I have to go to heavier battens than a Lighter skipper and their softer mast? As the wind increases and maybe around about the same poundage as the lighter skipper in the soft stuff?

Sound good? Any one else add some thoughts?

cheers

d

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Here is some more facts:-

Spoke to John @ Permex Products at Ingleburn, Sydney, the makers of Sail Battens for the trade.

Maricat 4.3 Std Stiff set =

Top #1 = 7

2 = 7

3 = 5.5

4 = 4.5

5 = 3.5

6 = 3.5

7 = 3.25

Said he can do this set with top 2 battens at 8lb at a little extra cost for me.

Anyone using this stiff set from Permex Products?

cheers

d

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The battens I use in the squaretop and now in the standard sail are the lightweight ones from bluestreak (not sure if Permex actually make them). They exhibit basically the same bend characteristics as the solid fibreglass standard bluestreak used in most maricat sails but have the advantage of less weight.

In the past I have used foam battens with some success as did Phil Dash. Problem was risk of breakage.

I still use foam battens at times and even mix the lightweight bluestreak with foam e.g. possibly using foam in the lower section and epoxy in the top where the short lengths do not add so much in weight.

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A little on batten theory...

Rather than just give measurements I thought it might be appropriate to explain what we are generally trying to achieve with the battens.

On ZAX I try to have the sail leech (back edge of sail) start to twist off first from top to bottom. Having the top of the sail twisting off while the lower section of the sail stands straight promotes better pointing of the boat and increased speed. If the top of the sail does not twist off at higher wind speeds then boat speed is reduced although pointing ability may be retained.

Stiffer battens particularly the back section promote twist, softer battens promote hook (reduce twist).

So to reduce twist at the bottom of the sail and increase it at the top we start with soft battens at the bottom of the sail and gradually get stiffer ones towards the top.

By looking at the sail on the water in various wind strengths it is possible to utilise this knowledge to assist in resolving problems. The easiest way to tell if the sail is hooking is that the leech tell tails will not flow out the back of the sail, instead they will flow backwards towards the luff of the sail. Sheeting off may correct this but then the sail might become more full in shape to that which is desired. If this is the case then stiffer battens can be fitted to help resolve the hooking.

If the boat is not pointing well due to the lower section of the sail falling away too early then this can be corrected using softer battens, likewise if the top of the sail twists too much then fit softer battens in the top.

The batten weight also effects the depth of the sail and how it will respond to the downhaul tension applied. Generally stiffer battens cause the sail to be flatter in depth, to twist more under downhaul tension and resist the tendancy for the drive to move forward.

The method I use to determine the batten weight is to place the tip of the batten on the scales and push the batten to bend it. At some point bending the batten more does not increase the weight noticeably, this is the weight I write down as the batten weight (this is also called tip weight).

There are other factors to consider, but hope this helps a bit. There are probably many different views on the topic of battens but this is the view used on the tuning of ZAX.

Please note also that the tuning of ZAX is not yet complete.

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THANKS John for the insights into you tuning of Zax, as I am a heavier skipper but with a similar cut mainsail and mast I will be watching closely as to how you go...

think I will drop weight of top 2 battens to around 6 - 7 lb and may stiffen the 3rd for a more gradual twist and see how I go this weekend.....

When I recieved the sail it performed well with all leach telltales streaming aft...

now there is a problem with middle of sail telltale streaming forward which I have to fix...why it changed I can't fathom?

pick up a stiff set soon from my sailmaker for this weekend which should help...

cheers

d

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Hi John,

well I sent wife to pickup my new battens, and I bought a good fish scale to weigh them too...

The new set is from (top to bottom):-

7.0

6.5

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.5

3.5

these are as supplied from "Bluestreak"...

all of them cruciform type.

Will try them this Sunday and see what happens...

theory is to soften foot in light winds or sloppy chop and/or tighten the head in

strong winds?

Going to take a while to fine tune ,going to be hard before Nationals at Port...

Permex recomend that batten weights are measured in the horizontal on a smooth bench, and when there is no further variation while bending batten that is the weight.

cheers

d

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Dave, there is not so much time left until the Nationals at Port Maquarie. It is looking doubtful that either myself or you will be ready with the tuning in time. Maybe we use the Nationals as a tune up series to be ready for the Maricat State Titles at Toukley next Easter.

both should be fast by the time of the Nationals in 2006 smile.gif

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JOHN,

I ran my std stiff set of cruciform bluestreak battens 6.5, 6.5, 5.5, 4.5, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5.

winds were ne to e, 8 to 10 knot with some puffs lifting windward hull out occasionally not quiet enough wind to free windward hull from surface most of time.

All tell tales both sides of sail flowing rearward 95% of time, middle leach telltale streaming aft most of time occasionally fwd depended on gusts, knocks and lifts.

at top mark Wayne was 140m in front of me, my speed over ground about same as Wayne's but he was outpointing me by about 7 degrees (my weight). he was led to top mark by John Riley who has found some great boat speed and pointing 3 to 6 degrees higher than Wayne in these conditions...we managed 1 lap before racing was cancelled due to approaching Thunder/ lightening storm...

My Suggestion is to get rid of all Hex/rod battens as supplied, too much give in all directions....

Will go to stiffer battens on top two, will go to an 8lb and a 7lb...next outing..

seems to go better generally...feels in the groove, which it hasn't for a while..

cheers

d

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Dave,

Just reading through the earlier posts. You said I use a stiff/heavy mast. Actually I prefer to use a light/bendy mast with the Adams Sail. I used a stiff mast with the Flower Sail and with the Square Top. I did use a stiff mast in the 14 regatta at Mannering Park, but only because I was too lazy to change it after rigging for the square top on Saturday. I just put my normal sail up on the stiff mast on Sunday.

At the Nationals I would be using the light/bendy section. That might be why you need to use stiffer battens from what I am using?

I used a stiff mast/flat sail combination on Sweet16 which worked well. Now I am using a full sail/bendy mast combination on ZAX which also seems to work well.

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ZAX,

Yes I have thought of using a softer section, as Prima Facie uses a light section for his .....

My stiffer section seems less bendy and may be causing too tight a leech preventing me from accelerating in the puffs...

To counteract this I have removed some more stop on the step to allow the mast to rotate more and consequently bend easier fwd/rwd with some heavier battens in top 2 positions, this sunday will be the test...

My spare mast is a soft/light section but I have not set it up as yet for trial..might now consider this for nats or states?

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Dave,

Will be interested how you go with the stiffer battens on Sunday. It seems most people in the CAT division are now using a softer mast with the noticeble exception of yourself and Sweet16. I still expect that Sweet16 will be very fast in the conditions at Port Maquarie and wish I still had that boat for the Nationals or at least the rig.

One thing I would be very interested in is a picture of your 8:1 downhaul system. Are you able to email that or post it on here?

I am using just a straight 6:1 which is not adjustable from the side of the boat. I use an 8:1 vang which I mount from the dolphin striker rather than the base of the mast so it also helps to keep the mast rotated in a breeze. What are you using for a vang?

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ZAX,

Tried my top 2 battens at 7.9 top 8lb 2nd on sundays racing...Prima Facie was not present...family Xmas dinner commitments..

was able to point as High as Myra and foot faster in winds over 12 knots to 18 knts otherwise John had me... he was able to beat Wayne last week until race was called off so I guess as a guide I am within reach now, but because of the stiffer mast do not have the larger performance window of Wayne.

I would have beat him in the first race, last downwind he got a puff from behind that took him to 25 metres ahead from behind which I managed to close down at the finish to 2 boat lengths, wind was variable all day with some 25 knt screamers for minutes with lulls around course...saw many big boats take a swim because of conditions catching many out..

see you all at Port...

cheers

d

ps have a dead keyboard at home so can't access web to download photos...

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Hi Dave,

Good to hear that you have found boatspeed in time for the Nationals.

I raced at Mannering Park on Saturday in a moderate NE wind. Carried an extra 25kg for the race and noticed no loss of speed around the course at all. Seemed slightly slower downwind and slightly better upwind. Was little 5 year old Corina's first race smile.gif

Sunday raced at Toukley in a stronger Westerly. ZAX seems to be performing very well in the stronger breeze. I have left the battens as per the last post but changed my boom to the old lighter section one. Turned it upside down and fitted a better outhaul track. Usually I prefer the new stiff section boom... but the old one hurts less when it hits you. this seems to happen more with the extra rake.

For now I am leaving the downhaul at 6:1, vang at 8:1, outhaul at 4:1 all adjustable inboard at the front rather than from the sides. Maybe will change over to your method at a later date... but happy enough with how ZAX is travelling now smile.gif

Look forward to see you at Port !

John.

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