RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
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Mainsail shape
For me, one of life's little mysteries is how to get the main working efficiently. Any clues on how to get the belly out of a fully-battened main on an RL24 Mk3? I have tried loosening the battens in their pockets, tightening them, letting off the leech cord and am now in the process of stiffening the battens with epoxy resin. The problem is that pulling the sail on tight enough to get the telltails streaming brings the leech to windward. The belly in the sail is right in the middle instead of in the first third of the sail where I think it should be. I can't get the leech flat enough to let the air exhaust and drive me forwards. Cunningham tension and outhaul adjustments help a little but not nearly enough. The short-term cure is to bring the traveller up to windward and ease the main sheet but that should only be a light weather cure. My thoughts are that either stiffer battens are required or that perhaps the sail needs re-cutting or replacing.

Has anyone else been through this scenario?

Mike19-Feb-2003    Edit    Delete 
Mainsail Flattening
Frank Hammond of Horizon Sails analysed my old dracon sail as having shrunken bolt ropes. He let them out, which certainly reduced the belly.
Hugh-"Miss Tress"19-Feb-2003    Edit    Delete 
Mainsail flattening
Have you looked at mast bend. Increasing the mast bend will pull the fullness out of the sail.Heaps of boom vang tension might be enough to do this - or you might have to adjust your standing rig to get some pre-bend. As far as the battens go - they might already be too stiff. The thickness should taper towards the luff. If the thickness is equal over the whole lenght, they will bend evenly & the deepest part of the sail will be the middle. You can use sand paper, grinder or whatever to carefully taper them for about 600mm at the luff end, & that will move the belly forward.
Phil Moffatt21-Feb-2003    Edit    Delete 
mainsail shape
Right on the button! Shook the inners on a couple of other RL's and they were much looser than mine. Two turns off on the turnbuckles and hey presto, a flat main. Even worked on an almost windless day.



Mike24-Feb-2003    Edit    Delete 

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