Flat, hinged or cambered?

  • 22 Aug 2018 12:46
    Reply # 6633730 on 6603539
    Nils wrote:

    My hunch is though that if you would go for curved battens, your wingsail would become even more efficient and develop more force.

    To David Tyler again,

    I found that you could perhaps misunderstand what I quote above.  I think your box hinge is fine, so when I mentioned curved battens, I thought of keeping your hinge box and make a slight curvature in the batten.  We easily see that the wishbone and the hinge box together make most of the desired camber, so the slight curvature of the batten is just proposed to make the profile a little closer to the ideal - to my eyes at least.  If the batten is not restrained against rotation, it will tend to rotate by itself after the tack, as the rotation makes the batten go from a labile to a stable equilibrium when it has a curved shape.


  • 21 Aug 2018 12:25
    Reply # 6603539 on 461931


    The wingsail I built around 8 years ago was using the hinge details I ‘doodled’ in Newsletter No. 50 except for that I used standing parrels AB and AC and placed a swivel in “C” (the batten fore end) in ‘doodle’ Fig 2.  The reason for having the swivel is that when the curved batten flips during the tacking, it sometimes continues the rotation from last flipping and makes a full turn instead of rotating the half turn back again.  Therefore, anything fixed to the batten end can get an undesired twist.  My way of connecting the wishbone to the batten worked quite well, but I saw that the batten was worn where it passed through the “Donut” ring.  The Donut was just an aluminium plate with a hole giving plenty clearance.  Dry aluminium wears badly when it slides on dry aluminium at high contact pressure, so if I would do it again, I would have made a different material for the ‘donut’ and maybe a “wear layer” on the batten where it touches the donut.  I still like the look of the wingsail profile when the batten is curved, but I easily admit that your thoroughly made wingsails without curved battens look far better than the wingsail I made from tarpaulin.  My hunch is though that if you would go for curved battens, your wingsail would become even more efficient and develop more force.

    I liked the wingsail experiment, but went back to H&M style with steeply peaked yard, because the wingsail gave too much forward lead when it was reefed, so my boat got unmanageable when the wind was at its strongest (history can be found in this website’s Technical Articles section).  So now I am back quite close to my ‘doodle’ in Newsletter 47, except for the straps that are now reduced to short loops of thin round line around the battens and through the sail.

    Last modified: 21 Aug 2018 12:28 | Anonymous member
  • 21 Aug 2018 08:20
    Reply # 6585420 on 461931

    It's interesting to go back to JRA Newsletters no. 42 (2004) and no. 46 (2006) and particularly, in no. 46, to compare and contrast your 'doodle' of how flipping battens might be incorporated into a wingsail, and my description of Tystie's first wingsail rig, which went on to cover 40,000 miles without too many issues. There's certainly some scope for combining flipping battens and wingsails, but I think I'm going to stay with my tried-and-proven hinges. 

  • 20 Aug 2018 17:48
    Reply # 6584297 on 461931

    Flat? Yes (the sailcloth).  Hinged? No.  Cambered? Yes

    Being just from a fjord sailing guy, my words have limited weight, but I just feel tempted to jump into the thread and mention one way to make a cambered sail where I combine the advantage of a “flat sewn” sailcloth with the advantage of no hinges in the battens.

    Instead of using hinges I have curved (bent) my battens permanently, thus the batten provides camber while being in one piece structurally.  The battens flip a half turn “around themselves” when I tack.  However, to make this work, I have made “swivels” at each batten end and also a swivel at the aft end of the batten parrel.  With these in place, the canvas does not wind up on the batten and also the batten parrel does not get wound up on the batten when the batten rotates the half turn.  You may well say that this isn’t simpler than hinges as I have made those other moving parts instead, but on the positive side the swivels are “low stress” parts compared to the hinges.  

    So what makes the battens turn?  Simply the wind force on the sail, but they need a little help when there is almost no wind. I am thinking of making a video showing how the battens rotate the half turn when I tack, but I now have an ugly tarp sailcloth and would like to make a new and nicer sailcloth first, so it will maybe happen next year.



    Last modified: 20 Aug 2018 18:02 | Anonymous member
  • 17 Aug 2018 09:57
    Reply # 6579244 on 461931
    Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The sail of Fantail is quite different from Johanna’s and Ingeborg’s sails. It looks more like the original all-fanned sails in Hong Kong. These were an extreme case of low aspect ratio and un-balanced sails. However, they managed by making the battens really stout, and relying mostly(?) on the highly loaded HK-parrels for making the sails set well. This let them set the biggest possible sail on the shortest (cheapest) mast.

    This is not needed on the HM-sails, where the majority of panels are parallel. As said, with ample mast height, (and by increasing the sail’s balance a bit) the geometries can be made to ease the forces on the THP and YHP. I still keep the HKP, but the load on these is not nearly enough to bend any batten.

    I guess a most important factor here is that the THP and YHP need no adjustment during sailing, except when reefing and un-reefing. I don't expect to be able to harden in the YHP while sailing fully close-hauled at full speed. With light forces, I mean either when off the wind or with the sheet slack.


    Last modified: 17 Aug 2018 16:54 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 17 Aug 2018 09:25
    Reply # 6579208 on 461931
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You could well be right, David, but I am not convinced. As for looks  -  the hinges don’t look bad inside batten pockets. Besides, I was talking of all-aluminium hinges (better make the plug in the middle of aluminium too). My battens and hinges on Malena were round, so could swing in any directions. No hinge pins needed. After 2-3 seasons of use, there were no signs at all that the sharp edges (which had been rounded with a file) on the battens and hinges had chewed on each other. This came as a surprise to me. I don’t have x-ray eyes so cannot tell if the batten pockets were worn inside, but I doubt it, since the hinges didn’t move around.

    Now I see Annie is bringing in the word ‘Fiji’ here. That makes a big difference from the coastal cruising I was thinking of. Even better reason for dropping the hinges entirely. There should be no reason why her planned sail could not be made with conventional camber. Hinges are simply not needed.


  • 17 Aug 2018 09:18
    Reply # 6579207 on 461931
    Well, my entry into this discussion came before you mentioned the fact that by moving the sling point and the YHP, you now have very light loadings on your lines, Arne.  I absolutely hated the amount of force I needed on my LHP on Fantail.  And I've felt the same watching David on Footprints and Alan on Zebedee.  I just don't want to go there again, and I am looking for a way around it.  Yes, just camber would be fine, but only if I can be sure that the lines will need no more than a slight pull to set the sail nicely.

    I am not good at experimenting with setting a sail: I don't have the sort of mind that can see that if I move this line to here and then attach that line there, then this will happen, so i need to follow other people's leads on this.  I want a sail that will perform well so that I don't need to motor.  I may not go to Fiji - I need a big dose of self-confidence first - but I'm trying to build the boat capable of so-doing, so therefore the sail needs to be up to it, too.

    But it's only 1,000 miles to Fiji - and if I decided to sail to Stewart I at the bottom end of NZ, I'd be sailing the same distance, so it's relevant, anyway.

  • 17 Aug 2018 09:05
    Reply # 6579203 on 461931

    The hinges in Weaverbird's battens, made from nylon 66 - simple, robust, do not chafe the sail or fret the batten tubes, proven over 3000 miles.

    1 file
  • 17 Aug 2018 08:25
    Reply # 6579169 on 461931

    No, Arne! Just - no. 

    Annie is doing everything she can to make SibLim a beautiful boat. These hinges just aren't in the right league.

    These are the hinges that eat into the sail, long term. I remember Pete Hill rolling his up in canvas strips before starting the Jester Challenge in Shanti. They made a little more sense with his wooden battens than they do with tubular battens, though there's no getting away from this disadvantage.

    The line contact at the ends of the middle piece is bad engineering. It's the same situation as with Tystie's first set of GRP wingsail battens - long term, the edge chafes and frets a deep groove into the batten tube, due to slight vertical movement. It's one of the reasons that I decided to put these battens into retirement.

    Note that the key words are "long term". Just how many sea miles did you do with these hinges, I wonder?

  • 16 Aug 2018 09:50
    Reply # 6576513 on 461931
    Anonymous member (Administrator)


    if you have to use batten hinges (no one has to do that), then I would rather recommend these 'outside hinges (on aluminium battens). They may look crude, but from an engineer's point of view, these will always be stronger than 'inside' hinges. Any one with a hacksaw, a file, a drill and a bit hardwood and glue can make this thing. It is basically a variation of the hinges I made for Malena in '91. They held up well. To avoid black stain from the aluminium, I guess painting in two-pot paint will do the trick.


    Last modified: 16 Aug 2018 11:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

                                                              Site contents © the Junk Rig Association and/or individual authors

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software