Main sail battens are available with several different combinations, fully battened, part battened, power head, double power head, flat battens, round battens, tapered battens and even inflatable battens. The purpose of the batten is to support a positive leech or roach to provide greater sail area and a straight exit from the sail thus improving efficiency.
Why so many options?
Pictured above is a UK Halsey fully battened mainsail fitted to 1 of our Pronavia 38 fractional rigged cruiser racer yachts, used for sailing school purposes in Gibraltar. The fully battened main sail enables sail shape to be controlled in all wind strengths, especially light airs where a softer top batten may be beneficial. So why don’t all sails have this system? There are 2 disadvantages of the full battens, weight of the cars, battens and pockets and racers will argue they are not as sensitive to fine trimming as a partial battened power head sail.
Let the debate begin: We would be pleased to hear your views and comments and all posts will be replied to.