full or partial mainsail batten?

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kerk fisher

For my 1990 Standard Rig I'm finally replacing the original full battened mainsail! Amazed it's lasted this long.  So now I have a choice to go full battened or partial battened.  This is all new to me.  What is the benefit/drawback of either way and what are most of us going with now?  We don't race but have been cruising for 29 years.  If and when we sell our boat (maybe to someone who races?) which way is best for resale? Or does it matter?  Thanks! Kerk
Kerk Fisher
C34, Into the Mystic II
Hull #1102, 1990
Sailing the North Channel, Lake Huron
908 Wicksbury Place, Louisville, KY 40207
Louisville, KY 40205
Alternate email: kerksailmystic@gmail.com


I would go full batten.  It holds its shape much better in light air and in my oppinion keeps its shape over the life of the sail vs partial batten sails.
Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Universal M35


To add to what waughoo said I'd say also for a loose footed sail. If you can budget for it I'd also look into North Sails 3di Nordac, it will hold its shape for much much longer than a regular panel cut Dacron.
Antoni - Vancouver BC
1992 Catalina 34 Tall rig fin keel mk 1.5 "Polonaise"
Hull number 1179


It is unlikely that your boat originally came with a fully battened sail. However that being said, I would recommend replacing it with another new fully battened sail. Loose footed as well.
Here is an article discussing pprps and cons:

1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig


The 3di sail mfg process is exceptionally cool!! 
Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Universal M35

Ron Hill

Kerk : Go with a full batten Main. Just make sure that the sail maker has a good Full Batten main car to fit in the sail track !!    Most important!!

A thought
Ron, Apache #788


One addition point, folding a full batten main with lazy jack is almost like cheating.   Managing a full batten mail is much easier, folding, reefing.  Loose foot is the standard.  A good Dacron will last many years. Good Luck  Just asking how old is your head sail?