Ask SAIL: Where To Find Battens

I have full-length battens on the mainsail of my Corsair 37rs. They are 17 feet long. I broke two this winter. Where is the best place to buy replacement battens?
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Q:Scott Self, Rockwall, TX

I have full-length battens on the mainsail of my Corsair 37rs. They are 17 feet long. I broke two this winter. Where is the best place to buy replacement battens?

Win Fowler has built sails for America’s Cup boats, coastal cruisers and one-design racers

Win Fowler has built sails for America’s Cup boats, coastal cruisers and one-design racers

Win Fowler Replies

The place to get full-length battens is your local sailmaker. He or she should have untapered, pultruded batten stock in 22-foot lengths in both flat and round rod sections of varying stiffness. I prefer rod for most full-batten applications, because it is the stiffest section for a given weight and also because it doesn’t get twisted when lashed to the boom. If the sail is properly shaped, untapered battens work well for most purposes. A racing sailor may want compression tapered battens, especially for the top of the sail. But tapered battens are much more expensive, especially in lengths over ten feet which must be shipped by truck. Moreover, long tapered battens will probably not be something a local sailmaker will have on hand and may take a week or more to get. That having been said, at least one company, RBS Battens, offers a splice that allows long tapered compression battens to be shipped economically in sections. Again, these can be supplied by your local sailmaker.

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