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Old 09-07-2010, 12:11 AM   #15
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Update, update. I seemed to have missed a failure.

We had all sails up for a bit of the morning that Saturday and then dropped the foresail for the remainder of the day's sailing as we were doing lots of upwind work and our schooner points a bit higher with less leeway with main, staysail, and jib (no foresail) in heavy winds. The winds were in the mid 30 knot range with gusts around 40 knots. Well, during the taking down of the foresail we surmise, the staysail broke and spit out one of its three battens! And, that broken bit of batten ended up stowed into the foresail! The staysail must of done its break-and-spit while we were taking down the fore else it wouldn't be lodged in the foresail. We just found it while re-stowing the foresail. The staysail had previously spit out two battens during a gale, one was lost and we made this one (of hardwood) to replace the fiberglass one lost. We didn't glass it and clearly it needed it! We'll have to get a fiberglass one the next time we make it to a chandler OR fiberglass another hardwood one.

Always something!

As an engineer, I did a lot of work in reliability and preventative maintenance and inspection. Thus, I do find it just killer that we're not ahead of the curve on more of this stuff.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:15 PM   #16
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I seem to remember that the ends of the batten pockets on Watermelon's sails had hook and loop to close them. Do yours?
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:28 PM   #17
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If you have a copy of the Sailmaker's Apprentice, our pockets are of the variety in the middle of Figure 6-46 page 297. The top one in that figure is likely what your boat had with a grommet and/or velcro. The bottom pocket illustrated is what our other sails have. I note, the description of our staysail batten pockets is "this method offers some sail protection but the batten can work its way out and be lost." Yep. The description of our other sails' batten pockets: "These sturdy pockets, designed to retain battens, meet the minimum requirements for serious sailing." OK...maybe they won't go flying.
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