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  #1  
Old 02-03-2007
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# of battens for racing main?

I race a Columbia Sabre in our local phrf fleet. I'm currently having a new square weave Dacron Main built by a ,well known, local sail maker. He recommended the square weave over pentex for our 240 sq' main and he also recommended using a single full batten and three smaller ones.
I thought the conventional wisdom was to use at least two Full up top, especially as the sail has a fairly large roach, but he claims I'll be able to tweak the main more with the single full batten.
Any thoughts ?
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Old 02-03-2007
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You might want the check the rules.

I know that Denis Connor, on his recently restored wooden boat, had his mainsail made up with just one full batten, and the rest partial battens, since the rules for the class he races in forbids fully battened sails...but a single full batten is allowed...
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We're allowed two full battens and thats what my old Doyle Main had, but this sailmaker has been on the boat and feels we can get more draft control with one full batten. I trust his judgment I'm just curious as to what others think?
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Does he race?? If so, does he win? If he does, it might be well worth listening to him. If he doesn't race...how do the boats using his sails do? If they do well, it also might be worth listening to him. If they do poorly... it might be worthwhile to look elsewhere.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre66
I race a Columbia Sabre in our local phrf fleet. I'm currently having a new square weave Dacron Main built by a ,well known, local sail maker. He recommended the square weave over pentex for our 240 sq' main and he also recommended using a single full batten and three smaller ones.
I thought the conventional wisdom was to use at least two Full up top, especially as the sail has a fairly large roach, but he claims I'll be able to tweak the main more with the single full batten.
Any thoughts ?
He's right, if your rules allow, then it is best for you...

however, you need a very good Boom-jack, and a very very very good back stay control. I don't know how's your mast top rig setup...if its fractional it is better. If it is not, little advantage gained.

One more thing is you need a good main sail travel system also to take advantage of the "new" bend up high.
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7/8 Frac rig with running backstays and a 6:1 block on the standing backstay.
The mast is very easy to bend with this system. I'm worried about the lower section of the roach curling back, without the support of the second full batten.

Last edited by Sabre66; 02-04-2007 at 05:23 AM.
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Don't worry, it will work...It will not "curl"..(of course it depends on how good he his at shaping the sail, if he is useless or inexperinced...you know what I mean, right??).

I have the same system on my cruising and racing sails, and it works like a charm. We tried sails with and without full top batten..liked the shorter ones best. So now not one single full...much more versatile.

I don't have the running backstays.

Here's the crusing sails photo:



and the racing ones (please note my racing genoas also have battens):





And bellow a sail we tried with full top batten..didn't like it..




but again, that's just me...some "sail guru" here might say the opposite..we never know...

I personnaly think it is a good choice. Let me know in the end, OK??
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Old 02-04-2007
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For tweaking the sail short battens are better for the most part. Only issue over time the sail will develop a hard spot at the end of the batten pockets. But we are talking racing sails here...so they get replaced when you don't have great shape right??

Full battens really help extend a sails lifespan as they minimize flogging and help keep the sail stable most of the time but they do force a sail shape.

On my old race boat we had two full and 3 short as I recall but's it has been a few years.
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