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Old 02-01-2007
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Tapered battens

I bought a Hunter 34 this winter that is missing two of it's three mainsail battens. The one remaining batten is 54 inches long and is tapered.
As a cruiser will I need to use these tapered battens? What will I loose if I choose to fill all three slots cut to length battens?
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Old 02-01-2007
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Not 'really' necessary ... but

Tapered battens on a cruising sail will prolong the life of the batten pocket (of non-full length batten applications). With a non-tapered batten you will soon wear/fatigue the fabric material at the front end of batten pocket due to the 'hard spot' that a non-tapered batten produces (by continually 'bending' the fabric at the end of the pocket ... and this includes putting some sort of 'protector' over the (fore) end of the batten.

The problem with long tapered battens (usually above 60" length) is that they usually need to be shipped by motor freight/truck (very expensive). Try to find the size and length you need (or longer and cut them down) AT a local sail chandlery etc. to save the high freight charges for long battens.
www.sailrite.com ----> OnlineCatalogue would be an e-source.

You can take a non-tapered batten and with a palm sander put a taper onto it; but, this is a laborious job and then you have to at least 'varnish' or epoxy coat what you sanded to prevent abrasion due to the raw glass fibers being exposed.
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