Tyres & more
It doesn't matter if you are a recreational funseeker or competitive blokart racer, ultimately we are all after the same thing: A bigger blokart grin! And how do we get that buzz?...
Tuned battens improve the shape of your sail and enable you to get substantial power increases. This increase in power is particularly noticable in lighter winds, thereby expanding the range of your sailable conditions.
BlownAway now stocks three types of battens: The Soft Nose, 45% Battens, and the new Blue Battens. These battens are ideal for the recreational sailor who wants to go faster.
Please note that these are BlueStreak battens, not blokart battens. The rules of the Auckland Blokart Club stipulate that blokarters are able to race in official events with blokart battens only, in order to adhere to the 'one design' concept.
The Soft Nose Batten is a good all round batten. You can see from the picture here that the Soft Nose battens have a very similar shape to the original blokart battens. The difference is that the Soft Nose is a much softer batten. This allows the sail to form a more efficient shape in lighter wind conditions thereby greatly increasing its lightwind performance. Its soft front end concentrates the shape to the front of the sail, leaving a very flat trailing edge. The flat trailing edge allows the air to flow very cleanly off the sail, making it very efficient at high speeds and pointing upwind. The Soft Nose battens are particularly good for mixing with the blokart battens as they give the sail the same shape. For example if you want make your sail more stable in high winds then you might choose to use the stiffer blokart battens in top 1,2 or 3 positions and the soft nose battens down low to give the sail more grunt.
Not only are the 45% Battens softer than the blokart battens, they move the draft of the sail back to around 40 - 45% of the sail width. You can see in the picture that shape is moved further away from the front of the batten (which is pointing into the ground here). Its greater belly or shape effectively produces more power than the blokart or Soft Nose battens giving the blokart much better acceleration.
The flipside is this shape does not allow the air to flow quite as cleanly off the sail, creating more drag at high speeds and restricting its ability to point at extremely high angles to the wind. The conditions in which you are sailing will largely define your requirements, eg. acceleration is key on a short course. This is the ideal light wind batten for all weights and beneficial for the heavier sailor right into heavy conditions.
The Blue Batten's characteristics fit between the Soft Nose and the 45% battens. Like the Soft Nose, the blue Battens have a very soft front end. The rear of the batten is softer however, moving the draft of the sail back a little more and allowing more shape overall. So what we have is a excellent all-round batten that has more grunt in the light and more stability in the gusts.
You may have noticed that your original blokart battens have twists in them. This comes from rolling up your sail with the battens in and appears like it may be exaggerated if you store your sail standing with the mast pocket into the ground. The ideal care of your battens will involve taking them out of the sail before your roll it up. And with the battens being on an angle to the boom, the sail itself will not roll cleanly. A crease or fold forming just above your bottom batten will be testament to this. If you care to maintain the crisp performance of your gear, then you might consider removing your battens before rolling your sail up.
BlueStreak battens are even and predictable in their construction, making them perfect for custom shaping should you see the need to tweak them further.
A hand full of battens have a mind of their own. The Batten Roll will help you keep everything in order.