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Battens and booms?

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:58 pm
by skyl4rk
I am looking for ideas for cheap battens and booms for sails. Are there any items that can be used as battens, or is it better to just buy the type you need? Same with booms, I may have some aluminum tubing used in an old tent. In the past I have debarked some tree branches and carved them down to the size I need. Are there any other materials that make a good boom?

Re: Battens and booms?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:39 am
by arcprof
For the typically lightly loaded sails on kayaks and depending on the width of the batten pocket, laminate board as used on bench tops makes nice soft battens. Perspex sheeting is another good choice.
Aluminum tubing makes a good boom but you will need something a bit bigger in diameter than the tent poles typically found in hiker's tents. Klepper booms are only about 20mm but use a very strong alloy much better than the soft alloy found in your average tent pole. There is quite a load on a boom, particularly near the gooseneck and around any fittings that take the mainsheet with the exception of those used for stern sheeting at the far end of the boom. Nothing wrong with a wooden boom except they are a bit heavier and you don't want too much weight swinging round your ears.
Cheers Jim

Re: Battens and booms?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:00 am
by skyl4rk
arcprof wrote:... laminate board as used on bench tops makes nice soft battens. Perspex sheeting is another good choice. ...
Is laminate board the same as formica?

Perspex is plexiglass?

I am thinking about taking a piece of thin plywood and wrapping it in glass cloth and epoxy for a batten.

I would like to make a sail like the ones in this video

It looks like the sprit "batten" would need to be quite strong.

Re: Battens and booms?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:41 pm
by siravingmon
You can use bits of hollow telescoping fishing rod for booms. These are available as blanks and are cheap and light. I use one on a 5 m2 Hobie sail

Re: Battens and booms?

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am
by jcwlx
Buy 6061 aircraft grade aluminum tubing from a metal wharehouser, like Speedy Metals in New Berlin, Wisconsin, cut to length. and add fittings by pop-riveting with aluminum rivets or stainless bolts. I made a 12 longer lower Klepper mast for my 1965 A2 (so I could raise the main sail and boom out of the way of my first mate's head, and make a 32 sq ft genoa to use in place of the standard 14 sq ft Klepper working jib on light wind days) , and a set of amas for my Balogh BOSS amas this way. Cost of this aluminum is quite inexpensive and easy to cut, machine, etc.

Re: Battens and booms?

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:25 pm
by DLee
I like the plywood idea for the batten. I think that would work. I'd try and get a marine ply that's 6~8 mm thick, round the edges and apply the fiberglass. I'd think you'd want it at least an inch or 1/ 1/4" wide.

The battens on my BSD sail are pretty stiff though... I don't think the ply would ever be that stiff though. You might check around some sail lofts and see if they have any real batten material laying around that you could cut down to size.

Keep us in the loop here. I think we'd all be interested to hear and see what you come up with.


PS, I'm sure you know, but those are Flat Earth Sails if you wanted to just buy one...