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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-12-2007
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Full Batten or Partial Batten Main?

I knew this once upon a time but I can't remember what battens do. And what's the advantages of full vs. partial?
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Old 11-12-2007
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Major advantages of full batten mains are:
  • Greater sail area, since a fully battened main can have a greater roach
  • Can often use slightly lighter cloth than would otherwise be possible due to having the battens—this is basically a wash most of the time since you have the additional weight of the battens
  • Less flogging, since the battens help prevent the sail from flogging
  • Easier flaking of the mainsail due to the battens, especially if used with lazyjacks
  • Better sail shape in light air
  • Better off the wind boat speed
  • Less noisy
Some disadvantages of full batten mains are:
  • Slightly higher maintenance, since the batten pockets are often an area that requires repair
  • Slightly higher cost to buy than battenless sails
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Old 11-12-2007
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Hello,

It's also harder to hoist a full batten main because the battens add weight and there is additional friction at point where the batten presses against the mast.

Barry
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Old 11-12-2007
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Bat cars make a full batten sail slide up and down effortlessly. I got to sail offshore on a 39 Beneteau a couple of weeks ago that had them. They're great! Let loose the main halyard and the mainsail just falls to the boom. It went up just as easily. I wanted to go full batten with my boat until I priced the bat cars and related stuff that goes with it. I'm too cheap so it's partial for me . . . for now . . . but some day. They do sail much better . . . in my opinion but then I'm also a long time windsurfer.
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Old 11-13-2007
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My new-to-me boat has a fully battened main with Harken batcars, it's great. The batcars take away the friction that Barry L speaks of and one of my ladies can easily hoist the sail to the top using a winch only to tension the luff.

But another difficulty that's a little irritable is if you have a stakpak or even just lazy jacks, the ends of the battens catch on the cords when hoisting. One has to be fully into the wind with the sail streaming directly aft for a succesful first-time hoist.

But as SD said, it allows or a bigger roach and comes down into the stakpak real easy

Cheers
Andre
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Old 11-13-2007
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Of course, if you retract the lazyjacks, raising the main is really simple...the re-deploy the lazyjacks as soon as you're done raising the main.
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Old 11-13-2007
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Batcars also require a little more maintenance. Require a good wash down to get the salt out of the bearings. They have been known to freeze up if not done every once in awhile. If long range cruising I hear that can be a problem if water is in tight supply.

Last edited by Melrna; 11-13-2007 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-13-2007
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On the question of full battens verses partial battens - the partial ones don't require batten cars, so less cost. The partial ones only flatten the roach, which helps the form, but not to the extent of full battens. Partial is cheaper than full but the sail gets less support so looses shape quicker.
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Old 11-13-2007
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Thanks all, Great info!
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Old 11-13-2007
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You can also go with something like 2 + 2, or 2 full battens up high with a larger roach and 2 or 3 partial battens lower. This combination is a good compromise for a lot of sailors and is popular with the cruising crowd. Less weight, lower cost and maintenance with almost as much performance.
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