Bamboo and Aluminium Battens

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  • 08 May 2012 00:26
    Reply # 914054 on 913571
    Gary Pick wrote:Lesley, I fitted and glued wooden plugs into the ends of my bamboo battens, then drilled holes through them. I was wondering which way around I should have the thin end and it looks like you have answered it for me.
    Yes, I'd go along with Lesley's "thin end forward", because it will keep the after part of the sail flatter than the forward part, which is what you need.
    A lightweight glass braided sleeve is worth trying, to harden the surface and discourage splitting, but otherwise, I'd rely on the strength and stiffness of the bamboo, not try to augment these with fibre reinforcement. 
    Last modified: 08 May 2012 00:32 | Anonymous member
  • 07 May 2012 12:49
    Reply # 913571 on 912308
    Lesley, I fitted and glued wooden plugs into the ends of my bamboo battens, then drilled holes through them. I was wondering which way around I should have the thin end and it looks like you have answered it for me.
  • 07 May 2012 12:40
    Reply # 913568 on 912308
    Deleted user
    We have bamboo battens covered with grp, painted with two pot polyeurethane. The previous owner made them and drilled a hole in the ends to lace the sail on. That's caused chafe on some of the lashings. We are in the process of changing to through bolts.  I recall that the PO said he'd tried untreated bamboo previously and experienced snapping at the joints. 
    He arranged the battens 'thin' end at the luff and thick end to the leach. the top three have an identical 'keep' batten with the sail sandwiched between. Our alloy main Yard (3 part, tapered with track for the sail) bent during our epic voyage but not one batten broke and they are at least 10 years old. Long may they continue!


    Ps We have been told that soaking new bamboo battens in seawater for about 3 weeks will condition them. Haven't tried it, so can't comment of efficacy of that theory!
    Last modified: 09 Feb 2013 01:34 | Deleted user
  • 06 May 2012 13:26
    Reply # 912977 on 912308
    Peter, the only treatment I have used so far is to run the (air dried) seasoned stem over a fire till the oils in the surface layer come to the surface. This is wiped off and it leaves the surface layer looking like it has been polished.
    I have cut literally thousands of stems for the cut flower trade but it was always sold green.
    If I can afford it I will sand back the surface layer and give the battens a few coats of two pot polyurethane. Another possible treatment is to sleeve them with a fibreglass/carbonfibre sleeve. Sort of a poor mans version of what David is doing. The species I am using for my battens is Phylastachys aurea...Golden Bamboo. This is a running bamboo that gets up to 55mm diameter and 8 metres in length. It also seems impervious to Lictus beetle.
    Working with bamboo for interior work requires a different set of skills to wookworking. If you can master these then it is an extremely versatile material and imagination is the only limit.
  • 06 May 2012 06:18
    Reply # 912910 on 912308


    As you may have guessed, I'm very interested in using bamboo.  And not just for battens.  Here I have a free supply of the stuff, as much as I want!  So from a cost point of view it is very attractive.

    The chinese used it in their junks for centuries so it can't be too bad.   Apart from the use in battens I also like the idea of using it for interior finish.  I'll be interested to see your treatment of it (if any) and the results there of. 

    Interestingly, as I mentioned on a previous post, David and Lynda Chidell used it for battens, untreated, and only broke one batten in 4 years of sailing.....  Of course the loads have increased with cambered panels.


    Last modified: 06 May 2012 06:19 | Anonymous member
  • 05 May 2012 06:39
    Message # 912308
    For those who wish to discuss the pros and cons of bamboo usage in Junk rigs. Experiences, innovations and ideas are welcome.

    [Webmaster edit: This topic started on bamboo and mysteriously switched to alluminium.]
    Last modified: 26 Nov 2012 19:38 | Anonymous member
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