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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In prepping for this season I'd really like to replace my battens. I have four. Three are fiberglass (two of which have stress fractures) and one appears to be made out of teak? Does anyone know where to get replacements? Or, has anyone ever made replacements yourself? If so, how did you do it?
 

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Any marine store (West Marine, etc) will have them in stock our to order. In a pinch as emergency replacement, you can cut a hardware store wooden yardstick to length. Back in the old days we always kept a couple on board. They're often free or very cheap.
 

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Sailmakers will have stock too. Depending on your pocket design, battens can be cut to length as required.. racers will generally be pickier about flexibility, taper, etc.

Who can find a wooden yardstick these days??? ;);)
 

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Thanks, I'll have to measure mine but the cost looks reasonable. I'm not a fan of West Marine after a friend of mine, a store manager, showed me the mark-ups on everything that they sell.
You were expecting them to be non-profit maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why not just eliminate them?. No roach, no battens, no chafe and you can reef on any point of sail. The sail area/speed you loose is negligible....:D
Funny you should mention that. I sailed for three months before I realized that I even had battens. Newbie and all. But, I figured that if the sails were made for battens, it would probably make sense to use them. Can you expand on the pros and cons?
 

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Full length battens are costly, but the short battens found in many boats are very affordable. You may not notice the difference as a newbie/non-racer, especially with older, stretched ("blown-out") sails, but battens help keep a smooth trailing edge shape to your sails. This not only provides for better airflow (less turbulence), but also minimizes the flutter in your leech, thereby extending the life of your sail.

The only "cons" I can think of is that they are not free and that you need to assure they are properly captured in the batten pocket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Full length battens are costly, but the short battens found in many boats are very affordable. You may not notice the difference as a newbie/non-racer, especially with older, stretched ("blown-out") sails, but battens help keep a smooth trailing edge shape to your sails. This not only provides for better airflow (less turbulence), but also minimizes the flutter in your leech, thereby extending the life of your sail.

The only "cons" I can think of is that they are not free and that you need to assure they are properly captured in the batten pocket.
All four of mine are different lengths depending on which batten sleeve they fit in, but are not "full battens". I don't have a picture, but they all slide in and then drop down an inch or so to hold them in.
 

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Hardly. But when a 5 cent screw costs $1.50 at WM because it's "marine grade", I call foul.
I'm hardly a West Marine fan. I'm at their competition in Victoria. They're not very good competition though - the West Marine employees are quite lonely and we are very busy.

I find it hard to believe though that West Marine can actually get 1.50 for a screw (what size?) in your area with the competition they must have - after all there are quite a few marine stores listed in the Long Beach yellow pages.
 

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If hollow-leech battenless sails really were the cat's meow everybody would be doing it.

While it's true that most new boats nowadays come with battenless mains, that's more about the ubiquitous in-mast furlers than any perceived advantage of going battenless beyond that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I'm hardly a West Marine fan. I'm at their competition in Victoria. They're not very good competition though - the West Marine employees are quite lonely and we are very busy.

I find it hard to believe though that West Marine can actually get 1.50 for a screw (what size?) in your area with the competition they must have - after all there are quite a few marine stores listed in the Long Beach yellow pages.
There are fewer than you think. Most are mom and pop chandelries (sp) and are located within wealthy marinas, thereby making their prices even higher than WM. For marine hardware, I generally hit the used/consignment shops in San Pedro. But, you can never be guaranteed that you'll find the exact part that you're looking for. Minnie's is a bit of a drive, but if you are willing to dig through boxes of hardware, you can usually find what you're looking for there. Also a great place to find used sails, which I do not need, but will keep for future reference.
 

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If hollow-leech battenless sails really were the cat's meow everybody would be doing it....
Its not cat's meow, its not sophisticated, and not for everyone. If racing or that 1.8 of a knot is essential, then by all means have as much sail area as you can, after all, you always go back to your dock and are near a sailmaker.
But for long term cruising, you may opt for simplicity. Sail maintenance is largely chafe repairs, and more often than not, batten pockets. You loose the roach but gain in other ways. I have cruised extensively with a battenless main. You don't loose much sail area by removing the roach, does not compromise on-the wind performance and sometimes help to reduce weather helm. Its easier to hoist and you can reef on any point of sail. You need a properly cut and constructed sail. Do your research and then choose your option according to the type of sailing you intend to do.
 
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