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  #21  
Old 02-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
...Battenless sails end up being more expensive because they flap themselves to death and need replacing sooner. They're also next to impossible to set properly. ...
A battenless, headboard-less main with a slight hollow cut in the roach will not flog and they set quite nicely.

Flogging in battenless mains could be cause by the existance of a headboard, which doesn't provide adequate support to the roach, a straight roach as opposed to a slight hollow, and quite possibly slipstream from overlapping headsails.
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  #22  
Old 02-11-2010
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I'm sure batten-less would be fine for sailing off the wind, but I don't believe for a moment that it's a good choice for going upwind. I'm sure you'll let me I'm wrong Talyn... if so, we'll have to agree to disagree. I'll follow the rest of the lemmings and stick with battens.
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2010
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Ask any sail maker or pro racer. There's a reason why ALL of them use battens. If you're worried about batten chafe, talk to your sail maker and they'll help you prevent it.

The pluses for full battens have already been stated. If someone is having trouble with dropping the main, then there's another problem. That's like breaking a shroud and blaming the mast for breaking. It's not the masts fault.
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2010
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I wonder why rudders efficient are eliptical...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyn View Post
A battenless, headboard-less main with a slight hollow cut in the roach will not flog and they set quite nicely.

Flogging in battenless mains could be cause by the existence of a headboard, which doesn't provide adequate support to the roach, a straight roach as opposed to a slight hollow, and quite possibly slipstream from overlapping headsails.
... and not a triangular shape with a hollow? It's not a very efficient shape. Acceptable shape for a 150% genoa that has to get around the mast and perhaps furl. I've had smaller jibs with battens (added them to one, even) and they worked fine.

With few exceptions, those who have used battens would NEVER go back. I hear the vote to be about 5:1. It depends on whether the boat was designed for full battens. It depends on whether the sailor took the time to learn the tricks. I'm sure it depends on the sail maker, too. The trend is 100% clear for multihulls, where weight aloft means much less.
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  #25  
Old 02-12-2010
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guys,

I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong, nor that I am right.

...speaking of lemmings.... that's how all design trends have evolved over the last 25-35 years. Racers try out a new technology or a new gimmick, it sticks and manufacturers start putting it in left, right, and center.

I am not disputing there are additions to the sail or rig that can make it more or less efficient on any particular course.
However, I disagree that battens add so much to sail shape for on and off wind performance that you so-absolutely-have-to-have-them or you'd be going nowhere without them.
Yes they add a little bit more shape control and give a nudge to improve performance upwind.

I tried to point out earlier that my opinion is based on pure, long-distance, hardcore, off the beaten path cruising. An environment where anything that adds maintenance (cost) or a potential for failure is a detraction from your cruising and could send you home much earlier.
Yes, all RACERS use battens whether full or partial, but they don't care about maintenance or cost - someone else pays the bills.
You can start a discussion about autofurlers and say the same things, it adds performance or not on a particular course blah blah, then take the racers that pay 10-15k on their furling gear, yet after more than a few transpacs and fastnets - only 1 out of 10 on average comes through without failing or jamming.

As for efficient shapes, that's a whole other discussion.
Saying that a roach (making the luff of the sail oval, from a 2D perspective) adds to aerodynamic performance is a misnomer.
It adds to sail area when off the wind - an advantage.
However you can argue that it detracts performance upwind; how? well there's more lift generated at the top of the sail then without the roach increasing the heel and thus reducing the amount of undisturbed air that the sail can transform into power. Conversely, if you add ballast to counteract the increased heel you've just made your boat heavier and therefore slower - again, detracting "performance".

An efficient sail shape (from a 3D perspective) is controlled by the cut of the individual parts and how they are assembled. Talking about an efficient 3D sail shape has to do with laminar airflow on both sides of the sail and including the effects of the slot effect when using headsails.

Basically, if you have additional luff (roach) - you have to use battens to control the shape of it (since its unsupported by the basic geometric shape of the sail) otherwise it would disturb the laminar flow and create too much induced drag thus slowing you down, and again reducing "performance".
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Last edited by Talyn; 02-12-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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  #26  
Old 02-12-2010
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Talyn,

"However you can argue that it detracts performance upwind; how? well there's more lift generated at the top of the sail then without the roach increasing the heel and thus reducing the amount of undisturbed air that the sail can transform into power. Conversely, if you add ballast to counteract the increased heel you've just made your boat heavier and therefore slower - again, detracting "performance".




I'm curious, do you have any racing or high performance boat background? The very simple answer to your question about a full roached main upwind is 'twist'. And having to add weight are a bit odd. It sounds like you're applying all of this to a full keeled or shoal draft cruiser.


"You can start a discussion about autofurlers and say the same things, it adds performance or not on a particular course blah blah, then take the racers that pay 10-15k on their furling gear, yet after more than a few transpacs and fastnets - only 1 out of 10 on average comes through without failing or jamming."

Very few race boats use furlers unless they use something like a code O, or in the open classes, and maybe some one design classes. 15k for a furler? Only on very very large boats. Sure, the open 60's, VO 70's, TP 52's, Maxi's, Mini-maxis might spend this kind of $$$ might be true, but these boats are pushing all performance envelopes vis a vis loads and size. The typical Transpac boat doesn't have furling sails. Regarding those that have genoa, staysail, or code zero furlers and the idea that only 1 out of 10 comes through without failing is just silly. If their failure rate was that high, no one in any class would use them for anything.

"Yes, all RACERS use battens whether full or partial, but they don't care about maintenance or cost - someone else pays the bills."

No... I do care about durability/workability/reliability precisely because I (and every other local racer around here) pay my own bills.

Where I draw the line is sail material, not battens. They work, they function as advertised. They also work to control leech shape on non-overlapping head sails... #3,4's, and 5's all have them and for good reason.

...ahhh, but why argue? If you're happy without them, more power to you.

Cheers!
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  #27  
Old 02-13-2010
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I disagree with Nikolay. The shape of the luff at the top particularly of a mainsail adds to lift. Lift is created because the pressure is greater on the windward side than the leeward side of the sail. Not a misnomer but basic aerodynamics. The top part of a mainsail is not very efficient to windward because lift is lost much sooner than it should be. The lack of efficient sail area creates a vortex off the top of a mainsail. The more effective sail area there is at the top of the sail the more lift and therefore less drag. Of course there is a limit because of the constraints of the backstay but battens will give the sail some of this effective area that is lost if they're absent. Below is a diagram from Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing by Marchaj clearly showing the disturbance caused by this disturbance in the airflow. As long as the shape can be controlled by battens the more area at the top of the sail the greater the lift created. Lift = speed. This doesn't mean everybody should do this but there is a definite aerodynamic advantage to a large roach over a hollow cut main without battens.
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  #28  
Old 02-13-2010
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Lightbulb

Full Batten Mains became a fad in the early 80's. While they let the sailmaker use cheaper cloth, they also introduced chafing problems downwind. Hoisting and dropping then required reducing friction in the track, too.

Lots of racers adopted them at that time because anything new must be faster and cooler...

The market evolved. To protect the sail from 90% of flogging damage, the top two battens are the most important, and in the last decade the best all-around solution seems to be the "two plus two". Two full length for the top and long battens for the lower half of the main. This also avoids the expense of adding a special low friction track-and-$lide system like the Tides or Harken system.

Any sailmaker will sell you anything that you insist that you want. So ask several for their honest recommendation and see what they say.

One thing for sure, any style new maim will make your boat sail a lot better than it probably does now with an old baggy one!

Regards,
L
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  #29  
Old 10-15-2012
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Re: Full or partial battens?

I can say that a full battened sail with a big roach is powerful. Especially off the wind.

Loved the full batten main with a big beautiful roach on my Hobie and was able use the battens to tune it for the conditions. It was somewhat terrifying downwind as you really couldn't de-power it! They call it the wild thing flying a hull downwind. :O

As sails get bigger, they are more trouble to deal with.

Had partial battens on my Macgregor - there are a bunch of them on the bottom of the gulf around Clearwater if you want to dive for them! Will never go that route ever again - partial battens suck.

Sailed on a great variety of "cruisers" and they all had full battens with the exception of the ones with roller furling mains. There must be something to that.

The roller furling mains have the cut out hollow that was mentioned earlier. It hurts performance and you really can't tune it very well. Funny enough, roller furling mains use vertical battens to try to add support to remove the hollow. The Selden Roller furlers seem pretty bullet proof but I suspect that a baggy sail could cause trouble in a roller furler.

I unless you have a roller furling main and the convenience that it provides, it really makes no sense to have a poor performing main sail with a cut out hollow. But I know many cruising sailors that power just about everywhere they go and rarely sail. Eventually, they buy trawlers.
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Old 10-15-2012
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Re: Full or partial battens?

Is there a reason why this 2+ year old thread was resurected?
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