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W14 Square Top Main


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I recently purchased a Windrush 14 with a square top main.  Have sailed with a pin head for a couple of seasons. Have  not able to get the square top to work.  Tell tales seem stalled.  Am being slaughtered on the water.

I would be great full for any tips.

All I know so far is; not over sheeting and they have a narrow groove which I haven't found yet.

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Hi Shellgrit,
the battens supplied by Windrush tend to be too soft - which causes a 'hook' in the sail. I changed mine to stiffer ones - supplied by Redhead Sails.

The new battens have the draught further forward, and do not curve back on themselves in the last 2/3rds of their length, like the original ones did...

Especially the top 2 or 3 battens cannot have the maximum draught too far back - and need to be stiffer again than the battens below.
Ideally, you want a 'clean' exit when sheeted on - and if the sail is 'hooking' - that would account for the telltales stalling.

Keep n mind that you do want the telltales to be on the verge of stalling - on some points of sail - as this is when the sail is working optimally.
But this is a BIG topic to get into... and a lot will depend on the mast too.
From my years in the class, I understand that there can be a significant variation in the stiffness and bend characteristics of masts.

So, a mismatched mast/sail combo can definitely slow you down.
If you can get a local sailmaker to inspect the sail on the boat, that will be invaluable…


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Thanks Prince Planet for your helpful post. I think my problem may be more basic.  The boat, as is, has done well under the previous owner in competitions. I am sailing cat rigged and the sail feels like a wet blanket; unresponsive. Sail tell tales unresponsive to sheet tension. Middle leach tell tales constantly hooked forward.   Could you suggest any more basic issues that I could check?

One fellow sailor I checked with says he doesn't look at his tell tales so should I be looking for some other guide?

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OK, this post really should be transferred to the Windrush Sailors Forum - where u will get a lot of good advice.
However, the way you're trimming the sail, luff tension, traveler position etc etc - can all have dramatic effects.

You may also be trying to point too high - so an understanding of when to bear away and when to 'pinch' is critical...

But, as I said, if the sail is 'hooking' - then that needs to be rectified by stiffer battens, tighter luff tension, and possibly a re-cut to more closely match the mast curve.
That can only be ascertained by a trained eye - so get the boat rigged up in front of a sailmaker who understands catamaran sails...

Where r u located? Do you have any means of comparison?

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Have posted on Windrush sailors forum..

Have been working on pointing/bearing away. At the last sail in light winds I was not able to point as well as the rest which is bad for cat rigged. I can experiment with luff tension at no expense. Just to check, you are saying that middle leach tell tale hooking is due to soft battens?

Am in Perth in a club and can seek some advice there.

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Prince is spot on with the hooking sail description and what you have described is exactly a hooked main problem...... so.....



Question.... have you adjusted the batterns since ownership or altered the rig setup ???


Have you contacted the original owner for assistance ?

That would be my next step seeing you said he'd done well with the setup.



Other factors can effect pointing ability, mast rake, your body position, incorrect rig tension, etc etc...... 1 or 2 "issues" can usually be sorted easily enough, its a nightmare when there are multiple issues causing a single problem. .....

Like I said earlier. ..... contact the previous owner



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Pirate, thanks.

Have increased tension on battens as the mid battens had creases vertical across them. So I tensioned them until the batten pocket was smooth.

Put mast one notch forward to counter for lack of a jib as I sail cat rigged. that's all. When sheeted on the leach of sail looked hooked so kept the main sheet a little looser when sailing. 

I sail with body as far forward as I is comfortable without nose diving.  Stays are just loose i.e. about a centimetre play on the side stays.

Top of sail looks creased.

Can you pull  the main sheet block to block with a square top ? You do this with a pin head to flatten the sail.


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