Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby Belanich » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:07 pm

Since I purchased Dolcetto (F38) last year I have been puzzled by the mailsail shape. The top and the bottom of the sail look pretty good but the draft of the middle section is too far forward and the leach curves away to leeward. I included some pictures of the sail in about 8-10 kn of wind (it gets worse in stronger winds). I kept blaming my inexperience with stay-less rigs as the problem. I've tried everything from my many years with conventional rigs and still the sailshape is odd. I also replaced the battens at the suggestion of my sail maker. I asked my local sailmaker and he asked a sail designer and they all say it is "probably" material failure of the sailcloth and advise me to purchase a new sail.
Before I do so I have a couple of questions for fellow Freedom owner. (I just moved and I'm completely renovating a kitchen, two baths so money is tight!)

1. Is it me? Are Freedoms so different that I am doing something terribly wrong?
2. Has anyone else experienced this?
3. Can anyone recommend a sail maker that they trust with Freedom sails. (I'm on Long Island in New York)
4. I currently have older Harken battcar system. The stack height at the mast is way to much for a short person like me so I am considering switching to Tides Marine strong track. Does anyone have experience with this system?
Thanks,
Michael Belanich

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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby JohnReinagel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:47 pm

My main on my F32 does that but only after the wind hits 20+. At first I thought tightening the luff would help, and it did mildly. but I've come to feel that with the amount of roach in the sail that when the wind kicks up it's just too much for the battens to support, they give, wind spills. Not saying I think that is proper, but I'm usually over theoretical hull speed anyway so I guess it doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it lol. My theory seems reasonable at 20+ winds, doesn't really fit as to why it happens in only 10. I'll be following this thread :)
John


1984 Hoyt F32
Hull #53
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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby Camino » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:28 pm

John - I have a f35 p and is new to me - 1 yr - I put on a new main from Mack pack in Florida and seems good. I can control the main shape with main sheet and vang. My old original sail looked like yours so IdK! I use a Mack pack and have an expandable aluminum ladder I keep In the lazarett. I expand the ladder and can stuff the main in the Mack pack. Btw the ladder is quite light. I'm learning to sail her too
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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby Salacia » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:30 pm

Michael,
1. Check the battens and see if they are in backwards. Some battens have flex at different places.
2. Look up the mast track to see how straight it is. There should be some bend to the rear at the top. If it goes out of alignment in the middle, loosen the forestay. The camber spar will tighten the fore stay for you.
3. I would consider adding mast steps before changing from the Harken cars. I have two (one on each side, staggered) and they serve me well.
Stephen Lee
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F35
Marblehead
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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby Belanich » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:04 am

Hi John,

1. I assume you are referring to tapered battens. My battens are uniform so how they are inserted is not an issue. Also at the suggestion of a sailmaker I changed the battens but that did not solve the problem.
2. I have tried different amounts of tension on the forestay (everything from very loose to snug) and I have the same issue.
3. There are other reasons that I like the Tides strong track. I have a North quick cover (stackpack) so the stack height creates a lot of windage and its a pain to remove the sail.

Thanks
MB
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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby JohnReinagel » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:06 am

Belanich,

Actually my battens are not tapered either, they are uniform as yours are, but again, I only see it with higher wind velocities and it is not as pronounced as you show in your photos.
John


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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby rbrown739 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:23 pm

I suspect that batten might be a little too long.

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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby Hans » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:07 am

I am not an expert, but it seems to me that the sail is so old it has lost its shape. The leach is sagging to leeward because it has has been overstretched, the draft is too deep and to much forward. Probably result of sailing with too much wind. It's not the result of inexperience with an unstayed mast. I don't think there's much to do about it. Changing battens won't help. Just saving for another sail I suppose.
If you want an experts opinion: show the pictures to Steve Thurston form Thurston Sails in Bristol, R.I.
He has a lot of experience with Freedom sails.
Hans Hansen, Harlingen,The Netherlands.
Freedom 45AC #47 "Scherezade".
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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby unfetteredalexandria » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:12 am

It also looks to me like the battens may be too long, and/or are holding too much compression. Maybe the sail was much stiffer when new and could support a lot more batten compression.

Depending on how the battens are secured, you may be able to reduce the compression. On the mainsail Haarstick built for my F25 in 2008, the battens are held in at the leech by velcro straps that go around the end of the batten and back into the batten pocket. You can push the straps further in using a batten insertion tool for greater batten compression, and vice versa. There are a few inches of adjustment available, and this can make a big difference in how much camber the sail shows.
1984 round-mast Freedom 25
Western Shore of the Chesapeake
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Re: Odd mainsail shape - advice?

Postby rbrown739 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:30 pm

Been thinking about your sail some more and my answer of the batten being too long (or maybe with too much compression as suggested by another reader). If the batten is too long it is 'looking' for a way to get more length out of the sail to accommodate its longer length. If it goes from one side of the batten pocket to the other by adopting a "S" shape it gets that additional length that it needs. Took me awhile to come up with this explanation for my previous answer but I think it is valid. If you take a hack saw blade and hold it by one end and an inch from the end on the other end then put a gentle bend (like an air foil) in it and mark the first end and the point of your fingers holding the other end (an inch away from the end), then take the blade and hold it by the very ends at each end, so you are now using the entire length, and line up those ends with the original points you'll see one of the shapes it likes to make is a "S" shape. Play with the compression on your battens or try a slightly shorter batten.
Bob, Carina F32 (Hoyt)
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