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Old 12-19-2011
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Full battens

So I'm getting ready to order a new mainsail with top two battens full. I've only heard positives on this. But then I read in the current issue of Sail that even one full batten can cause the slides to jamb in the track when dropping because of the torque of the batten on the slide.

So, Sailnetters with one or more full battens, do you have trouble dropping the main? What are your experiences with this?

Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2011
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Hello,

The main on my O'day 35 has 3 full battens (the top three) and one partial (the bottom one). The sail always comes right down. It drops real fast at the beginning of the season after I spray SailKote on the mast, and slower at the end of the season, but it always comes right down.

I have lazy jacks on my boat and I drop the main from the mast so that I can flake the sail into the jacks as I drop it. I never have to pull the sail down, it just comes down.

I do believe that the full battens make the sail heavier and harder to hoist. Again, by raising the main from the mast I can jump it all the way to the top and then I use the winch to tension the halyard.


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Old 12-19-2011
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You need to use a device similar to a Battcar which has a swivel to prevent to the slide from jamming.
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Old 12-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
So I'm getting ready to order a new mainsail with top two battens full. I've only heard positives on this. But then I read in the current issue of Sail that even one full batten can cause the slides to jamb in the track when dropping because of the torque of the batten on the slide.

So, Sailnetters with one or more full battens, do you have trouble dropping the main? What are your experiences with this?

Thanks!
My battens sometimes catch on the lazy jacks and they do seem to cause it to be harder to raise and lower the sail due to slides jamming. But I really like the sail stiffness they provide while sailing and the better sail shape. In high winds, a stiff sail is really nice. I will stay with the full battens. In light air a half batten may be better, but I am no expert by any means on this.
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Old 12-19-2011
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IMHO, the more batten in the sail, the faster it will drop due to the weight. I have been very happy with years of service from a full batten main (four full length battens). The sail set very nicely, and was easier to furl when dropped. It never jammed coming down, but seemed more sensitive to friction going up. Keeping the track and slides lubed makes that moot.

I just tend to see the full battens as much a basic of the modern cruising main as the loose foot.
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Old 12-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
My battens sometimes catch on the lazy jacks and they do seem to cause it to be harder to raise and lower the sail due to slides jamming. But I really like the sail stiffness they provide while sailing and the better sail shape. In high winds, a stiff sail is really nice. I will stay with the full battens. In light air a half batten may be better, but I am no expert by any means on this.
Lazyjacks are only needed when lowering a sail. After it is down, stow the lazy jacks on a hook / cleat at the mast; unless you have lazyjacks integrated into the on-boom sail bag.

Brion Toss has a nice article here - Pacific Northwest Boating News: Brion Toss | Why make lazyjacks difficult? | Three Sheets Northwest
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Old 12-20-2011
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I take it you have a 28' boat? You don't need a battcar system. Ask the sailmaker for low friction aluminum slides and go full battens. I have full battens on my main, 25 footer, and they're great for heavy air, but I'm getting another sail over the winter with a 2+2 set up for the lighter conditions in the summer.

I've never had any trouble with full battens. I've actually had more trouble raising and lowering a rope luff main on my boat and others b/c there's more friction.
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Old 12-20-2011
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We've had rope luff mains and from two to four full length battens in them over the past twelve years. No issues with them sticking at any time, from no wind to 50 knots. We considered getting battcars in order to have better control over the luff when dropping the sail in heavy wind, but didn't think it worth the expense. A crew is at the mast anyway to unshackle the halyard when it comes down: he can hold the luff & tie it off securely before detaching the halyard.
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A crew is at the mast anyway to unshackle the halyard when it comes down: he can hold the luff & tie it off securely before detaching the halyard.
Why would you detach the main halyard? I put it on at the dock and take it off at the dock. When sail is down the halyard is looped under the foremost sail tie. If I am using a stack pack I use a piece of line to secure the halyard. Ever sailing standard I teach has this a part of its procedures. If I have an engine problem I do not want to be messing with a mainsail shackle when trying to get steerageway.
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Old 12-21-2011
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If the halyard slaps the the mast, tie it of to a shroud.But unshackled leaves you with your pants down when you need to make sail NOW.
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