Topic : top batten

In need of some advise folks, I have just taken delivery of my new batt main sail, but I’m having huge problems with getting the top batten to pop across even in strong winds I tried loosening it but this only slightly helps.  Does any one have any tips, am I doing something wrong? Or will this problem resolve itself once the sail has been used a few times.  I never had this problem on my new north phantom sail.

Posted: 21/02/2006 23:46:42
By: RussHopkins3374
Hey Russ,
I used to race V15s in the States and they had full length top batterns. All tunning and sail guides recommended no top battern tension. Dont know how true that is for merlins, it seemed to work pretty well on the V15. I would put the battern in and tighten it to leave 1 or 2 wrinkles. only time i would have trouble is in no wind situations.

Posted: 22/02/2006 07:48:50
By: MR 1018
Quick tip for getting that battern over:
as you pull the sail towards you to try and flick it over, pull down too to apply more tention to the leech of the sail, this works 9 times out of 10 for me. So basically pull towards you and down and not just towards you like most people do!

Posted: 22/02/2006 07:52:50
By: MR 1018
i try flicking it as i tack, but i'm having to pump the main so hard it kills all the boat speed

Posted: 22/02/2006 08:26:25
By: RussHopkins3374
Russ, Batt sails always do this! If you loosen the batten to leave just one wrinkle across it you will find it will be fine. I had the same trouble on a new batt a few years ago.

Posted: 22/02/2006 08:26:38
By: Jeremy3550
Get your crew to grab the kicker straight off the boom and pull down as you do it.

Also search this forum for "batten" too - use the box in the top left on the main forum page.

Posted: 22/02/2006 09:02:52
By: Mags
I have found on my Hyde main that  pulling the outhaul (clew) out further helps a great deal, if I let off the outhaul off wind and forget to pull it on at the leward mark I have this problem. I  think this was solved by P&B who seem to have the top batten at a much greater angle

Posted: 22/02/2006 10:58:38
By: Dave Croft

Are you coming to Rutland? I found that my batten problems magically dissapeared after a couple of days with Mr Calvert and the Honorary Keeper!

Also, have you spoken to Dick Batt? He will be the best person to tell you how to use your new kit!


Posted: 22/02/2006 11:31:10
By: Jon
I had the same problem with my Batt a few years ago although after a while you get used to dealing with it and it becomes not a problem anymore. I loosened the batten as much as possible so that the wrinkles just or maybe not quite went and always let main out a little and gave a good tug on the mainsheet, AT EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME, when tacking, however strong the wind was. Nothing else seemed to make much difference. It soon became instinctive and I never realy thought about it after a while.

Posted: 22/02/2006 11:55:00
I have this problem with my rowsell sale but not with my speed sail. Rowsell has a carbon batten with an X sort of cross section are this any good or should I dump it?

Posted: 22/02/2006 21:46:45
By: floppy toppy
Not sure if i am coming to the training day, although i do really need it, i dont have a crew to come with me at the momment.

Posted: 22/02/2006 22:39:49
By: RussHopkins3374
floppy, you can dump it here!!

Posted: 23/02/2006 00:20:02
By: MR 1018
I've found that while the batten tension is obviously important, often over looked points are the amount of fullness at the top of the sail and the angle of the batten.

P&B seem to use the steepest angle combined with what looks to me a relatively full upper sail. They seem to tack very easily in all but the lightest winds. The Number Ones i had with my boat also tacked very easily, the batten was almost horizontal, but the sail was very flat at the top, so the batten didn't have to go through much contortion to go across.

Alverbanks and Batts (And Rowsells by the sound of it) seem to use a batten angle mid way between the two combined with a fairly full upper sail, and these are more difficult to tack. Since we can't change the batten angle, assuming the batten is not over tight, the best way i see of helping the situation is to flatten the upper sail off to reduce the torture the batten must go through to get over.


More Kicker (But not too much as this seems to make it even harder!)
a touch of Cunningham
More mast bend.

I know i've gone on a bit, but sometimes it's good to know why things work and that's my understanding of it thus far. Hopefully someone will put me right if i'm wrong! One thing is for certain, thrashing the boat around to get it over might make you feel better but it doesn't help the speed!!

Posted: 23/02/2006 07:24:22
By: Chris
Its all to do with leach tension.  If you get the sailmaker to cut the sail with a soft leach them ypu will not have a problem with tacking in light airs.

You will find this very good on rivers and resricted waters where tacking and accelleration is a must but when you get on open water with a sailing breeze you will loose pointing ability.

The only way forward for the travelling sailor is two sails.

Posted: 25/02/2006 16:36:09
By: Bob2926
The budget or should i say the better half wont let me have 2 sails, i think i have sorted the poblem now thanks to some earlier postings, thanks for the advice guys

Posted: 25/02/2006 20:11:24
By: RussHopkins3374
Assuming you have tied the batten in with zero tension and not over straightened the mast (see the website for the correct setup) it is possible that the cause of your problem is failure to execute an adequate roll tack. This takes good co-ordination between helmsman and crew - come along to a training event and we'll see what we can do to help, but you will need a crew!

Posted: 27/02/2006 00:04:22
By: Dan Alsop

Don't let lack of crew stop you planning to come to the training - just make sure people know that you need a crew. There are very often folks that want to come to training and don't have a boat themselves...


Posted: 27/02/2006 08:08:07
By: Chairman GGGGGG
Bob 2926, what's a soft leech? And how does it help the top batten to pop?

Posted: 27/02/2006 12:01:10
By: super-surfer
Not a hard one! (Leech) 
That is to say one that falls off to leeward rather than holding up to windward, rumour and speculation and Manfred Curry say soft leech (No point to windward.) Hard leech point like buggery but no footing!

Posted: 27/02/2006 15:18:35
By: Ancient Geek
How is this the sailmaker's job though? 
Soft leech - ease kicker / mainsheet.
Hard leech - apply kicker / mainsheet.
You can do that yourself!

Posted: 27/02/2006 15:40:39
By: super-surfer
Not unless you have a hard leech no amount of pulling and pushing will harden up a soft leech without letting the foot go an unfeasable amout however as you say hard leech you can play with, if it isn't the sailmakers job why do we pay Mr North, Mr Batt et al so much money?

Posted: 27/02/2006 16:10:15
By: Ancient Geek
The sailmaker's standard shape will be what he considers to be the correct shape for a Merlin.

By asking the sailmaker to flatten the exit (make the leech softer), you're asking him to knowingly build a sail to a shape which isn't what he considers to be correct.

Making the sail the wrong shape just to get the top batten to pop easier is a case of the tail wagging the dog if ever I heard one.

What's the point of paying for their knowledge and experience, then telling your sailmaker how to do his job?

Posted: 27/02/2006 17:05:51
By: super-surfer


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