Main alterations

14/11/2011 13:33:14
Ed 3154
I have an aluminium mast (I think original) on 3154, a 1978 NSM. I have been generously donated a kevlar Batt main (about 5 years old - sail number 3621) that hasn't seen much use, however it is cut for a carbon deck stepped mast. I am considering getting the sail altered to better fit the alumninium mast. I am wondering if there is any point entertaining this idea? Anyone done something similar? Any idea of cost? The sail will end up smaller, but I have no idea by how much, would this be significant?

Also, can anyone recommend a sailmaker, ideally in Essex, who could do a decent job? I have not yet contacted Batt as the distance is quite prohibative.

So far we have only been club racing, although we may be broadening our horizons next season.

Any suggestions appreciated.



15/11/2011 19:35:37
Hi Ed. What about asking John Parker for some advice? Could easily get the sail across to Levington for you if he fancies a go at it. I am picking up that 'job lot' on Sunday by the way so you are welcome to have your pick of those. I would think that they are all hog-stepped sails.

15/11/2011 20:42:59
Hi, as it was explained to me when I asked a similar question, the mod. requires the bolt rope etc to be removed and the luff re cut to match the (presumably flatter) luff curve needed for an ally M7 or M1 or Proctor D shaped mast. So basically taking a bit off the middle of the sail in my basic understanding.  The cost I was esimated was well over £100, at which point I went away to have a think, and decided it wasn't such a bad fit on the mast after all!  
It seemed like a slippery slope, having to have sucessive sails modified to suit an old mast, so I got a more flexible SS mast to begin with and through different rig tensions and spreader settings experimented for a best fit I could get.

Tempting with a free sail to spend the money and have a purpose cut main though. Can't see you would loose very much area by doing it - hope that all helps somehow!

16/11/2011 09:31:57
Try moving the spreaders back so they deflect the shrouds slightly aft,(when sighted up the shroud). When you apply a little rig tension this will pre bend the mast and remove some or most of that fullness

16/11/2011 10:04:25
Mark at Advantage sails here in Brightlingsea, Essex has been great helping repair, modify and make bits for club members, he does B14 bits and merlin repairs for me - may be worth a try
16/11/2011 11:13:46
John Buckley
I moved the spreaders back a little on my ally mast (Proctor) to take a P&B main and pretty much as far back as they could go to take a Speed main which removed the similar creases you are talking about.

Set looked good, and felt pretty OK too. Lack of subsequent improved performance down to helm and crew (in)abilities.

I guess it depends how much you want to spend (in my case zero), ultimately I wanted to save the money for a carbon conversion or even boat upgrade.

Cheers, John

16/11/2011 11:22:38
Ed 3154
Thanks, I have been a little slow to play with the spreader settings, will definitely fiddle around with the rigging before doing anything drastic with sails. On the rig tension point, as 3154 (soon to be re-named as "Infinite Jest") has a high bow tank I have been reluctant to crank the rig up too much, would this be an issue?

Simon - I did think of John Parker, but I am terrified of the price! Will be interesting to see those sails from Kent, could be a good little collection. I still have a dacron main which isnt awful, will have to do some tests in the Spring.

Thanks for the Advantage Sails recommendation, I was hoping someone from Brightlingsea would come up with the goods. Our fleet at Walton and Frinton is a little more "vintage" than yours, but we will hopefully cross paths with some Brightingsea boats next season.

16/11/2011 14:18:59
I know mark often visits walton and frinton to measure for boat cover etc at Titchmarsh - he may even collect and deliver if you are lucky!

16/11/2011 18:02:12
John Buckley
On the rig tension, theres an article in this forum (by Graham Williamson, I think) that discusses rig tension. From what I remember you have to be careful with excessive tensions on the older boats with the high bow tanks.


Your Name
YouTube Clip
Paste the link provided by youtube under the "Share" button, looks like this ""
Type a Number under 18: