The speed of a boat and the shape of the mainsail is highly affected by the battens that mainly aim to support the roach of the sail.
The battens are usually available in two types:
• Full length battens: this kind of battens cover the extends of the entire sail; from the leech to the luff. These are further categorized on the basis of their bend and draft position.
• Leech battens: It extends from inboard to leech and available in a large variety such as hard, medium-hard, medium soft, medium and soft.
It’s the sail manufacturer who chooses the battens according to the shape, size and material.
Although, the battens are selected to set the draft position of the sail and not to alter it, yet the batten stiffness and tension can be changed to maintain the desired shape of the sail.
Installation of the battens
The mainsail leech has two types of pockets where the battens can be attached:
• The leech pockets, where no further adjustments are possible.
• The pockets where batten tension can be adjusted as per the circumstances.
Choosing and changing the battens
According to the experts’ recommendation, always the middle two battens, that your sail manufacturer has provided to you, should be used. Further the batten should be used to the softer bend so that the lower leech may receive improved power and pointing. To make things easier and simpler, one should carry the two top battens. When you are buying online and checking the
Mainsails for sale available, you must inquire for the batten details.
It’s also good to carry some extra battens on a sailboat and keep changing them according to the circumstances. Though it seems a tricky and troublesome task; if you can do it properly that will help increasing the speed of your sailboat.