Jib battens

markwbird

Member
80
42
SF Bay
I am in process of ordering a new jib for racing/cruising. This is a hank on. No roller furler. One of the options is battens. I've been crewing and racing a few years and I have seen a couple of boats with battens in the jib but not many. Anyone out there a fan of the jib batten? What are the pros and cons?
 

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
I am in process of ordering a new jib for racing/cruising. This is a hank on. No roller furler. One of the options is battens. I've been crewing and racing a few years and I have seen a couple of boats with battens in the jib but not many. Anyone out there a fan of the jib batten? What are the pros and cons?
Shields has been using them forever and they work well. Express 37 here uses them to good effect for the #3.
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,985
1,282
San Diego
As long as the sail does not overlap the mast! Battens will give a straighter leech exit, allow a bit more sail area. They will also hamper your ability to roll up the jib easily, as you'll have to unhank the sail, leech fold the sail, & carefully fold it around the battens
 

Bump-n-Grind

Get off my lawn.
14,950
3,775
Chesapeake Bay/Vail
I am in process of ordering a new jib for racing/cruising. This is a hank on. No roller furler. One of the options is battens. I've been crewing and racing a few years and I have seen a couple of boats with battens in the jib but not many. Anyone out there a fan of the jib batten? What are the pros and cons?
is it a Jib? small working sail? or a big genoa? As said before, if non-overlapping(#3) or thereabouts. you'll be happier with em than without.
 

maxstaylock

Anarchist
725
432
Jib battens are great, worth the cost, better sail shape and make a non overlapper maximum size. You have to be a little careful not to under sheet it when gybing, they don't like it when you twist the head of the sail round the forestay. They also make it much easier to just roll the jib up after sailing.
 

Great Red Shark

Super Anarchist
8,431
645
Honolulu
Higher performance shapes for course racing tend towards very high aspect-ratios (tall and skinny, like a glider's wing).

That which improves pointing comes with a price. The shape needs some support (battens, long battens, even full battens in some cases) and they don't really like to be sheeted out much - the lower the clew, the more that as soon as you crack off the sheet the top twists right open and checks out unless you run your lead forward. Higher clews are affected less by this, as lower-aspect triangle shapes tend to have more hollow leaches, so they don't need the sticks.

Battens in the jib can make it harder to stow, AND can get 'wrapped' around the headstay if sheeted out too far - the longer the battens the worse this is, on some boats with full top battens you try not to bark the clew out much past the lifelines - but, those long tapered battens make the tall skinny sail last a lot longer - pain-in-the-ass stowage be damned. Scale has a big role here, (a Hobie 16 jib with full battens rolls up like a treat) - and what works well on a sport boat is different from what you want on coastal cruiser.

A couple short battens in the leach won't make life difficult though and do generally keep the leach from cupping for longer.
 
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Sidecar

…………………………
3,239
1,630
Tasmania
As long as the sail does not overlap the mast! Battens will give a straighter leech exit, allow a bit more sail area.
^^^^^^ This. I have a fully battened jib so there is less flogging as well. See avatar.
 
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Slowboat

Super Anarchist
Getting the crew to figure out a leech flake is always key.

I had a 100% jib with battens and I found that downwind wing and wing or just going deep, it was really easy to wrap the top of the jib around the forestay and to twist the sail.

Otherwise I liked the full battens.
 

Black Jack

Super Anarchist
I really like battens in my 100% hank on blades. I use both in my dacron and laminate. The dacron holds it shape and so easy to tack. The other for more higher end racing stuff is the ticket in the estuary and central bay.
 
I aksed for battens on my self-tacking jib, hoping it would give it a bit more surface / power, but it just created 3 atrocious protubreances on the leech, i cannot beleive that the added surface (if any) was compensatiing this drag (the sail was built by a VERy reputable sailmaker, I have to assume that it was their best effort and not accident).
And I crew on a boat that has battens in all its jibs. Each our our 3 jibs has 3 battens, all different (nobody is never quite sure from one season to next), there are always some missing, some broken, some flying away. What a mess.
 

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
I aksed for battens on my self-tacking jib, hoping it would give it a bit more surface / power, but it just created 3 atrocious protubreances on the leech, i cannot beleive that the added surface (if any) was compensatiing this drag (the sail was built by a VERy reputable sailmaker, I have to assume that it was their best effort and not accident).
And I crew on a boat that has battens in all its jibs. Each our our 3 jibs has 3 battens, all different (nobody is never quite sure from one season to next), there are always some missing, some broken, some flying away. What a mess.
That's weird. What boat(s)?
 

Joakim

Super Anarchist
1,481
109
Finland
I am in process of ordering a new jib for racing/cruising.
If by jib you mean about 110% or smaller, of course you need battens. With a roller furler you would use vertical battens or furlable horizontal battens.

Without battens you need to have a hollow leech. This is OK for a heavy weather or storm jib, but you really want to have roach with actual racing jib.

I don't think I have ever seen a 100-110% racing jib without battens unless class rules do not allow them. I have to say I was surprised to see that Melges 24 had banned battens, but that must be due to roller furler.
 

Jethrow

Super Anarchist
I have to say I was surprised to see that Melges 24 had banned battens, but that must be due to roller furler
??? Melges 24's do have battens in the jibs (although I haven't sailed one for a couple years).

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