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Old 08-12-2008
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Battens will fly! Better way?

I have a new (to me) Beneteau 505. This past week, while putting the sail
into the stack-pack (spelling?), a batten came out and clattered onto the deck. So I put it back in, and adjusted the end-piece/tube-set-screw that holds it in.

Then a couple days later, I was standing on the seat, looking over the bimini while approaching an islet. The main was up and luffing as we headed into the wind. The batten flew past my head like a speargun shaft and nearly killed me. It was a white blur that I saw go by. (This was in about 25 feet of water, near shore in an area I could search by snorkling. Visibility=15 feet.)

Too late for that batten, I noticed another batten slipping out. For that one, I rolled a thickness of electrical tape around it, before the little batten tube, so that even if it slides out of the little batten tube with the set screw, it won't go far.

Is there a better way to do this? I doubt other people are sailing around with a wad of electrical tape on their battens.
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Old 08-12-2008
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Doesn't the sail have proper batten pockets??? Mine slip into a pocket that basically closes after the batten is put in, and getting them out is a PITA. Do you have a photo of the batten pocket ends on your sail???
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Old 08-13-2008
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I'll get a picture. It may take me until next week to get.
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I'm not sure if it's possible for you but I sewed my pocket brims and it works. When I have to do something with battens(pull out, change etc.), I simply break off the threads, and when I'm done, sew again.
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Old 08-13-2008
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I prefer the fully closed batten pockets, but my Neal Pryde mainsail has a different kind of pocket, using a velcro closure. After I lost one batten (never saw it go, it was just gone after a sail), I went over the instructions and found how to really properly put them in place. Haven't lost one since. You should try to find out who the original sailmaker is, and check with them; there must be a better way to lock them in place.
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Old 08-13-2008
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Mine are sewn.
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Set-screws for battens? Sounds kinda weird.

The pockets for both the original (cruising) main and for the newer (racing) main on our boat are wider at the leach than forward, and open at the top of the leach end. Batten is inserted and the aft end pushed down. One exception on each sail: The top batten. On the racing sail it is inserted from, and extends forward of, the luff. It's held in with a Velcro "strap." The pocket on the cruising main has its entry on the bottom, instead of the top. (Which probably explains why that batten used to be missing.) I'm going to ask a sailmaker to fix that.

Jim
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Old 08-13-2008
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Hi
On my new main sail the sailmaker used this method to secure the battens.
(fully battend sail)
The pocket has the same width all the way, at the mast leach the battens are pushed into adjusters sitting on the batcars.

At the aft leach end of the pocket the last 15 cm has welcro inside.
A 15 cm long tounge is attached to the leach at the exit of the pocket the other part of the welcro is sewn onto this.
At the end of the tounge there is a rope loop that is 16 cm long.

The procedure used to insert the batten is this:
insert batten, push the tounge into the pocket using at special tool (it's made of a small batten piece looking like a ruler). This tool separates the two welcro parts while pushing the tounge in, when the tool is removed the two velcros bond inside the pocket.

To remove the batten you have to insert the tool again to separate the welcros and pull on the loop to extract the tool and the tounge.

I have used this system this summer and it seems to work the way the sailmaker said it would do. (He said that the have been using this system for many years now)

There are lots of different soultions to this around som better than others.
Try to find out if how your system is intended to be used, have you tried to call the maker of the sail? In me experience sailmakers will give advice.

If the current solution is not working properly i don't think it should cost to much to have it modified. You could probably use a local sailmaker even if he did not make the sail.

Knut
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