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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

The longest batten (second from the top) on my mainsail seems a 1/2 inch too long. When I drop the main and fold the sail over the boom, the batten gets really stretched (and starts pushing on the forward pocket). The pocket is starting to show signs of wear.

Is it possible the batten is too long?
Can I shorten the batten? Will that help?

Any advice, suggestions.

Thanks.
 

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What size/type of boat are we discussing? Most battens insert into an elastic tensioner within the pocket.. if the batten is wearing on the stitching of the pocket it may well be too long, but you want some retaining tension or it's likely to eject itself when the sail flogs occasionally.

It's easy to shorten them, use a hacksaw, but be careful...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi.
Thanks for the reply. It is a C&C 27. Newer loose-footed main. The boat is new to me this year, so just getting to know everything.
I believe there is an elastic tensioner. The battens close in with a velcro flap that folds over.
My thoughts are to just shorten it with a hacksaw, tape the end of it and reinsert. Obviously, once I cut it, can't go back.

so what is the "but be careful..." part?

Thanks.
 

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Hi.
......so what is the "but be careful..." part?

Thanks.
Two things - as you've said yourself, don't cut it too short; and use a file or sandpaper to clean up the cut edge - not your fingers. Fibreglass slivers are no fun.
 
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are you sure the batten is in the "pocket" correctly
I bet its not jammed in there right some new battens and old for that matter are really hard to insert unless perfectly straight...

you might have some debris in there or another trick is to round over and fair all edges...this also helps in prevent unwanted rips or cut stitching etc...

make SURE this is not the case before cutting a batten

ps. I didnt get this but are you talking full batten or partial?
 

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I BET you something is in the pocket or debris or that its not entering completely

I just did this on my stowed full batten sail and the po left the battens on a shelf angled, or in other words not flat so what happened is they TWISTED so getting the battens in ALL the way was a nightmare!

I had to start twisted and feed it in and let go at the last moment while pushing in at the pocket

I still have the last one to go which is the longest!

jajaja
 

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If you do have to cut the batten, use a fine metal saw (cuts fiberglass battens really well), round off edges with a fine metal file, polish the edge with fine sandpaper (200 grit), AND dip the edge in varnish. Varnish coats the fiberglass and keeps the fibers from splitting off. It also helps in reducing chaff in the sail pockets.
If you think you need to cut 1/2 inch off, cut 1/4 inch off first and see how it fits. You want to have just enough tension. The cut is easy to make so not too much labor is lost if you have to do it twice.
 

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many people wrap tape on the ends however the glue gets uv damage and melts and makes a mess

the above method is great...
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds good. I have the fine metal saw. I will bring the metal file and fine sandpaper. But had not known about the varnish. I was going to tape it off with electrical tape.
 

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If it's a full batten your really need to be careful about cutting it.. often the stress on the batten pocket is what gives the sail it's camber by 'bending' the batten. (you see it 'pop'/ inverting on each tack) Too short and you'll have an overly flat sail up high.
 

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thats why Im betting its not in the pocket completely

Im giving the sailmaker the benefit of the doubt on this one...I bet its not completely in the car pocket...
 

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I just dont want the op to cut first...and have to lengthen a perfectly fine batten

round the edges of the tip that goes forward...you will be impressed how much easier it is to get the insert right the first time.
 

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Electric tape is not a good idea IMO. The glue will eventually give way (the sun and heat are tape's enemies) and the tape will slide off and possibly get stuck inside the pocket. I had to cut battens to size many times and varnishing the ends worked pretty well for me over the years. I had to extend battens as well and usually just glued extra tips onto them. Some good ideas can be found here: Batten Repair
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thats why Im betting its not in the pocket completely

Im giving the sailmaker the benefit of the doubt on this one...I bet its not completely in the car pocket...
Just to clarify: the stress on the sail comes from the luff side of the sail, when the main is down and batten is stretched from across the boom and up towards the mast. Perhaps I am just folding my sail improperly.
If it was not in the pocket correctly, it would be protruding on the leech side of the sail, but because (I believe) I have the batten in all the way in (and if indeed the batten is too long) then I get the stress on the luff side.

I should try take some pictures this weekend and post to clarify.

Thanks for the ongoing input.
 

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My experience so far is that battens seem snug when the sail is lying on the boom but possibly overtight when the sail is hoisted and stretched out. I actually have to shave a little off one of my top battens before I next use my main race sail which brings me to my question....

Do sails shrink over time? In the case I've got it's a 3DI main, 2009, otherwise still has lovely shape - to my eye, though I'm going to get the boltrope replaced this summer. What about other materials?
 

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it doesnt matter...if its too long its too long, what I have been trying to say is the pocket on the luff side, where the battens stop at the cars that go up the track assuming thats what you have its there that they have a hard time inserting all the way in...

most full battens leech ends have ties that you can at least releive pressure on by releasing them...

mine does and it would help for the meantime

ps. yes it does matter how you flake your sail(I dont understand what you mean by the batten is stretched across the boom and up the mast part) however it would have to be really bent to exert odd pressure on the batten pockets...

pics would be great as always
 

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Just to clarify: the stress on the sail comes from the luff side of the sail, when the main is down and batten is stretched from across the boom and up towards the mast. Perhaps I am just folding my sail improperly.
If it was not in the pocket correctly, it would be protruding on the leech side of the sail, but because (I believe) I have the batten in all the way in (and if indeed the batten is too long) then I get the stress on the luff side.

I should try take some pictures this weekend and post to clarify.

Thanks for the ongoing input.
wait a minute are you perhaps dropping the boom on deck?
 
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