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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The sails to my new old boat, of which I have two sets, and which I admit are in poor condition are missing the battens (well, I have 2 in one sail set (one of those is broken in half).

Do I need to buy battens specifically or can I make my own?

If I make my own, will any light, stiff material do as long as I insure that the edges are smoothed & rounded? For instance I was thinking light plexiglass verses wood.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I found this when I googled battens material sail.

Article on battens

I had no idea this was such a complicated subject. I think that battens may be a case where as long as it fits good and is the right size I'll get 90-95% of the benefit. I don't think I'm going to worry too much about taper and whether or not it's soft or hard or whatever. I think a trip to Home Depot and Lowe's is in order.

Anything else? Any particular type of wood that is preferred?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If I knew what my boat was I'd be happy to put it in the sig. Hmmm How about 16' daysailer since that is a nice generic description. Still don't know who made it or what the model is. :)

There, let's see if my new signature comes up. I thought it would immediately be applied to all my past posts, but alas, 'twas not so....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The yard sticks seem like a good idea too, I was concerned that their thickness might be too much.

I stopped in at Home Depot and Lowe's this afternoon and got a few ideas. They had wood panels, birch and oak, which seemed to be either the exact thickness of the sample batten I had or very close to it. Also, I looked at vinal gutters and drain spouts. They seem to have a good thickness, they're light and I don't think they would shatter like others have mentioned plexiglass will. I have a spare vinal gutter and I think I'll take some tin snips to it and see what I can fashion while the search goes on for a better material. I also looked at wood paneling there, the pure wood ones also seem like they might make a good source, especially if coated with shellack.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How about mahogany wood strips? I was at a wood supply store and they had all these scrap strips of mahogany that were perfectly sized. I got three armfuls of these leftover strips (most of it not suitable for battens) for free.
 
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