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How have established classes with roller furling headsails dealt with air battens?  Do they work?  Do classes allow?  It is interesting that the https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/EquipmentRulesofSailing20212024-[26661].pdf does not appear to define a batten so I would think without a definition, classes would need to carve out language to not allow?

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9 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

Imma thinking anyone serious about racing is a, not using an in-mast furler; and b, not interested in adding weight and complexity to the boat…

For, roller-furling headsails, pax have been using vertical battens…. 

AC lead mines worked on it and banned so never raced, like lots of stuff they played with but IRC in their wisdom didnt want it ending up on production boats so helped stop it.

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I’d be shocked shitless if between the weight of the balloons tough enough to take the necessary pressures, the tubing to run same, and the pump, wiring to run the pump, etc… that would be less than good quality carbon/foam battens. Never mind the complexity; a puncture means the sail gat to come down for repair, as opposed to a broke batten out and new slipped in.

Please elucidate any advantages as I’ve gat 8 battens in my main

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I crewed with a guy who had three air battens in the main.  It was a big Beneteau with in-mast furling.  Wouldn't have been my choice but it was his boat so I shut up and trimmed.  

The air battens worked okay in the new sail, we did okay.  To be expected, the guy was a great driver.  But I don't know how effective they were and I sure felt weird as hell standing up and working a bicycle pump on a tube that came out of the aft end of the main to blow those things up.  

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We used to use them fairly effectively on a big boat. C tech make them, but now we use flexifurl battens for furling jibs and they are awesome!

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On 8/13/2021 at 8:43 PM, Max Rockatansky said:

I’d be shocked shitless if between the weight of the balloons tough enough to take the necessary pressures, the tubing to run same, and the pump, wiring to run the pump, etc… that would be less than good quality carbon/foam battens. Never mind the complexity; a puncture means the sail gat to come down for repair, as opposed to a broke batten out and new slipped in.

Please elucidate any advantages as I’ve gat 8 battens in my main

AC also experimented with adjustable spreader angles, lot of hydraulic plumbing there

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Have used inflatables and roll-ups, they have similar weights (not counting plumbing, which is same as kite bladder plumbing). Biggest disadvantage to inflatables is forgetting to deflate them before you roll (or tack, if you have fixed babystay), and repeatedly blowing the overpressure valve.

Not comparable to normal battens, but I think they do trim better than verticals.

HW

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