The Trac 16 mainsail is a fully battened sail, but it was acquired sans battens. I’m currently using some 1.50″ x .25″ straight-grained pine lattice stock I found at Home Depot to make a set. The stuff is really stiff, which is good for the top batten, but not for the rest. I’ve been attempting to taper them with a palm sander, with some success, but it’s taking a while. I suspect that I’ll be picking up a small plane (a carpenter’s plane, not a Cessna) to assist in the tapering, and that I’ll rip them on the table saw to a 1.00″ width (if needed) to gain flexibility. I’ll also be looking for some PVC lattice stock.

It’s too bad real yachty-type batten stock is so expensive… then again, I’ll likely end up spending just as much in the end attempting to make my own. At least I’ll have the knowledge gained by testing!

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One Response to Battens

  1. CrazyRussian says:

    Hi, Mike, congrats on an article in mag.
    Here are some ideas about battens.
    1. PVC pipe from Home depot. Small diameter. Battens don’t have to be flat.
    2. Fishing poles, rodes. Just check your garage and ask your friends to bring that rode with broken loop he was going to fix last 5 years.
    3. Bamboo, either thin ones, like on fishing pole, or big diameter, split.
    Good luck with the project. 🙂

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