How to Measure Your Catamaran Battens and Batten Hardware

In this guide Ron McInnis, and Jeremy Roszmann are going to go over the measurements needed for your Catamaran’s Mainsail Battens and Batten Hardware. All these measurements can be done single-handed, however, a second set of hands will aid in speed and precision. How to videos are linked at the bottom of the post.

“We are going to need three main measurements from your battens: the length of your pre-existing battens, the batten pockets, and the batten hardware” -Jeremy Roszmann

Measuring Your pre-existing battens is simple and easy to do. All you need to do is measure from one end to the other. Our designers want to have the batten pockets be a half and inch to and inch shy of your actual battens lengths. This is so that when you get your new sail the battens will fit perfectly. If, for example, your batten pocket was longer than your battens then the sail would be useless. Without the proper tension on the batten you won’t be able to retain the shape it needs to perform as it was designed too. If your batten ends up being slightly longer than your batten pocket all you will need to do is lay your batten along the sail, measure the max distance for the batten. and mark it to be cut. We suggest wrapping some tape around the batten and using a hacksaw as this will keep the fiberglass from splintering as much as possible.

catamaran batten length measurement

“It’s great to do this with someone so you can create some tension on the tape and get a very accurate measurement”

Another measurement we will want from your battens is the diameter, which is often overlooked. Round battens can come from 8mm up to 20mm depending on how large your boat is and what kind of load it must take. Occasionally, the battens locations will matter as well. For instance, the battens at the top of a sail may be smaller in diameter than the ones lower down. All you need to measure this is a pair of calipers. Zero them and place them on either side of the batten and record the diameter. Make sure you label your battens with their measurements and from which pockets they came from to ensure no errors or headaches when reinstalling.

diameter of a batten

“This will allow us to make sure the hardware as well as the batten pockets are going to fit perfectly”

Now on to measuring your batten pockets. The first of these measurements is going to be the length of the batten pocket. First, measure the batten pocket from the leech to the end of the pocket. Second, measure the batten pocket from the leech to the edge of the luff of the sail.

When designing your sails our designers build an entire cross section of your rig including your leech, luff and foot in a full outline of the sail. This gives them the ability to place the full cross section of your batten on the sail. And with the length of the batten pocket being known they can then determine how much room to leave at the end so that there is enough room to install your hardware.

Catamaran Mainsail

“I am going to be designing the whole cross sections, your leech luff and foot in a full outline of the sail”

Now we will measure our batten hardware. In our example this sail has a Harken batten system installed already. The first measurement will be the length of the hardware. Place a tape along side the hardware and measure from the back to the front edge.

The final measurement is the distance between the end of the batten pocket and the front of the hardware. This will allow our designers to know how much room your existing sail had before the pocket starts.

Catamaran Batten receptical

“Harken systems are generally 4inch, 100mm however, that will change based on the model as well as the system, whether another brand or not”

Watch how to uncoil battensmeasure and cut battensremove and install batten hardware, or watch a playlist of these measurements on our YouTube channel.

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