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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:00 am 
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Location: Wantirna South VIC Australia
Folks,
Help - Can anybody shed some light on why the bottom batten in the sail of our near new TI has torn out at the top and punched a hole through the bottom plastic? Has anybody seen a similar problem?

We were out sailing a week ago in approx 20 - 25kt winds with the sail furled to about 50%.
Back on shore we noticed that the bottom batten had torn out about 5cm of the pocket stitching. On the other side it had torn out about half of the grommet and at the bottom had also punched a hole in the plastic.
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I had my TI back at the dealer only 3 weeks ago for a couple of other warranty issues and when I was there I did ask about the battens and if they correctly fitted. I was assured that they were.
But after noticing this problem I checked the instruction manual and compared that to the way the other still intact battens had been fitted.
Here's a photo of the middle batten and how it was tied originally (as received from the dealer) and below that is the extract from the manual. It does not seem to be correct. Notice there is a knot directly behind the cleat in the batten cap. Talking to another AI sailor we met a few days later he believed there should not be a knot so that under high load the cleat can let go to protect the sail. That makes sense to me. Does anyone have a definitive answer?

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and here's the extract from the manual.
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Last edited by P14WD on Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:41 am 
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Location: High Point, NC
They are not installed correctly, although I have no idea if that's what caused the damage. The battens have to be free to turn - at least the batten end cap does, so the sail can furl without spinning the batten end cap and winding up the retaining line. Too much tension could damage the sail I'm sure.

Your damage should be easily repairable. Once done, reinstall them per the instructions. I never run a great deal of batten tension. On light wind days, almost none. On heavy wind days I'll run them snug, but not overly tight.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:00 pm 
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This is interesting Tom. I have had 2 AI's over almost 5 years and that's my extent of sailing expertise, and the only time I have ever touched a batten is when I pull the mast out of the bag. I spose I've been working on the 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' phylosophy, but am I missing out on enough speed to worry about by not adjusting to match the conditions ?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:05 pm 
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Probably not. It's something I do on larger boats and it has trickled down to my AI and TI. It makes a difference, but most likely we're talking a couple percent, which on a boat that isn't going to routinely do much more than 12 to 14 MPH isn't of much practical concern. I do it more out of habit than anything else.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:23 pm 
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Thanks. One less thing to worry about then. I'm never in a hurry anyway.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
On the bottom of your batten pocket, I've had a similar problem and found a small folded piece of tight woven fabric has worked for me to protect from a future puncture. It needs to be small enough to slide all the way down the pocket and especially past any seams. About 2/3rds the pocket width, folded so it won't let the batten slide past is what I did.

On tying the top of the batten, in Hawaii if we tie using Hobie's instruction, we quickly loose a batten. I tie a very ugly but secure series of knots. On a TI, not very tight, AI a bit snugger. I knot on one eyelet, then knot on the batten cap hole, and then the other eyelet. Finally back to the batten cleat, and back to the first eyelet. If any line is left, I knot it around the other lines.

Lastly, on the ripped stitches, I have on older AI sails that I have hand stitched with heavy polyester thread. Turns out better than new, once you figure out the stitch pattern.

Good luck! :)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:25 am 
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Location: Wantirna South VIC Australia
Thanks for your replies.
Tom do you tie the batten cap exactly as per the manual?
Bob, inserting a "stopper" into the bottom of the batten pocket is something my wife also suggested - so it must be good. :wink:
Regards,
Ian

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:23 am 
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I do, yes. On a very few occasions, the top batten cap on my TI sail has come off the batten. However I had a different problem going on with a torn top luff pocket. Once I fixed that the cap has stayed in place.

Whatever you do make sure if the batten cap does come off it won't be lost.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:37 am 
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Tom,
When you say the top luff pocket what is that exactly and how did it get torn?
Regards,
Ian

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