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 Sail baton flop/fold
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Erik Cornelison
Navigator

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122 Posts

Initially Posted - 07/02/2018 :  10:14:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey sailors - just took out the boat for our first sail this weekend. I am not new to sailing, just new to the Catalina 25. I noticed my main sail has four (4) partial batons. The lowest baton sail area has a fold/flop toward windward..ie the sail doesn't flatten out.

I also noticed that the sail doesn't go all the way up the mast..its tight and taunt but stops 1-2 feet below the top. I at first thought the previous owner had set the entire sail lower. While typing this I remembered the last owner said the mast isn't original. The boom is just above the pop-top when the pop-top is up. I wasn't able to move the boom stop while sailing and it wasn't a big deal. I can move it later.




Another Catalina 25 was also sailing that day and we noticed his baton in the same area was also slightly not smooth, so this has me wondering if this is a problem of Catalina 25 main sails as they age?
I also pulled the foot of the sail as tight as I could but it didn't make a difference for this fold.
I'm going to get the sail wet so it will stretch a little and tighten it all up to see if that helps.



There are two other Catalina 25's on the lake so I will talk to the owners too.

Sail is original, good condition, but it may be blown out and hence the problem.

Also the last owner told me the mast wasn't origianl, maybe I have a tall rig mast and standard rig sails?
or...
Having the sail set lower on the mast might of been a way to reduce heel in gusty winds..the boat was in New Mexico 20 years.

Other wise the boat sailed fine. Yes it likes to be reefed early, but we never had problems with weather helm and the boat worked fine from 2kts of wind up to 18kts steady winds. A very nice day.

So what do you think about the fold/flap?

So what about the sail being set 2' lower on the mast?

Or is my mast a tall rig and normal sail?

Erik

Erik Cornelison
6th Generation Professional Sailor, First Gen Submarine Sailor.
1986 Standard Rig SW. #5234

Bladeswell
Captain

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476 Posts

Response Posted - 07/02/2018 :  10:34:22  Show Profile  Visit Bladeswell's Homepage  Send Bladeswell an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hi Eric,

I wish I could remember the mast length for my tall rig, but I don't. What I do remember is the important measurement of waterline to mast top, 33Ft. But it does sound as though your PO did replace it with a tall rig mast because that is the difference (2Ft.) between a tall rig and a standard rig. Also, with my poptop up, my boom is almost resting on it. There is clearance, but not much.

Bladeswell

C25 TR FK Hull #973 1979 L-Dinette. So.Cal.
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dalelargent
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146 Posts

Response Posted - 07/02/2018 :  13:41:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am thinking the tall rig mast is 30’

1989 c25 WK/TR #5838
1983 Vagabond 14
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Erik Cornelison
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122 Posts

Response Posted - 07/02/2018 :  15:04:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hope its a tall rig...that would be cool!

Erik Cornelison
6th Generation Professional Sailor, First Gen Submarine Sailor.
1986 Standard Rig SW. #5234
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keats
1st Mate

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63 Posts

Response Posted - 07/02/2018 :  15:54:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dalelargent

I am thinking the tall rig mast is 30’


I could measure mine Wednesday, it's down right now.

Tim Keating
1985 C-25 TR/FK #4940
Midsummer
Lake Don Pedro, CA
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3335 Posts

Response Posted - 07/02/2018 :  16:05:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The batton could just have been put into the pocket wrong and could be hung up on some threads or a seam or even the foam tension cushion. Wouldn't hurt to remove it and reinstall but if it's the correct length and isnt warped and is installed correctly then it should lay flat.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound



Edited by - islander on 07/02/2018 16:11:50
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7978 Posts

Response Posted - 07/02/2018 :  20:06:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Cornelison

...I also noticed that the sail doesn't go all the way up the mast..its tight and taunt but stops 1-2 feet below the top... I wasn't able to move the boom stop while sailing...
I can't speculate too much about a replacement mast, but assuming you have a sliding gooseneck, (?) I'll suggest that if you have a stopper holding the boom down, release it, hoist the sail (which should lift the boom and let the head go to the top of the mast fairly easily), pull the boom down with the downhaul line off the gooseneck to tighten the luff, and cleat the downhaul (assuming there's a cleat below it, normally in the mast slot).

I was able to "permanently" cleat the downhaul at a length where I could hoist the sail to the top and achieve adequate (for my purposes) luff tension with the halyard, without winching it. A racer would want more tension. I've known some who get it by sitting on the boom.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 07/03/2018 :  05:32:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The correct shape is sewn into sails, but that doesn't guarantee that they will always hang smoothly in that shape. The mainsail needs support from battens to help support it. It also needs wind pressure to help support it and smooth it out. If the wind is light, the sail won't hang smoothly. You can improve it by shifting crew weight to leeward, to induce the boat to heel slightly. Gravity will help the sailcloth hang in it's correct aerodynamic shape.

Also, even a perfectly shaped sail can have wrinkles if it isn't well-trimmed. It's up to the sail trimmer to correctly adjust the luff tension and outhaul tension and vang tension and cunningham and backstay adjuster and leech lines.

We can't diagnose the cause of the problem here, but excess mainsheet tension can cause the leech of the sail to cup to windward.

If the sail is original, it's 32 years old. This isn't a problem of Catalina 25 main sails as they age. It's a problem of all main sails as they age.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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1333 Posts

Response Posted - 07/06/2018 :  18:58:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a tall rig, but the sail goes to the top of the mast and the boom is secured so when the sail is down it stays flaked on the boom without needing to use a/the downhaul. I have a loose fitted sail with the higher two battens fully battened and the lower "standard". That said, raising and lowering the sail is easy and there are no hang-ups. I would check the batten to see if it is inserted correctly, or talk to your local sail loft to get some input. Our boats are pretty simple so if you follow the basics you should be able to identify problems/issues and correct them pretty easily.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7978 Posts

Response Posted - 07/07/2018 :  08:29:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure the tall rig mast is 30' long, and standard is 28'.

Partial battens have essentially one purpose--holding the roach of the sail out--that's the sail area outside of the imaginary straight line from the clew to the head. With no battens in, that area will fold over at about that line. The battens must be long enough to reach from the sail's leech to an area inside of that line. If the roach is folding over and the battens are in place, some possible explanations I can think of are (1) a very tired sail, (2) a broken batten or one that doesn't fill the full length of its pocket, (3) a very loose luff (halyard not tensioned or sail not fully hoisted), and (4) possibly an over-tightened leech line, which is in a small pocket along the sail's leech. (Not all sails have leech lines.)

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/07/2018 08:35:25
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OLarryR
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/09/2018 :  05:41:12  Show Profile  Visit OLarryR's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Pretty much concur with all said, above. I have a tall rig. It is a 30 ft mast. Top two battens are full or close to full battens and bottom two battens are partial. I replaced my sail over 10 years ago because the original sail, while structurally okay, was blown out. Blown out generally is noticeable because you cannot sail close to the wind without the center of the sail sort of flapping, or at least not holding it's shape and not contributing to holding speed during a close tack to the wind. In order for a blown out sail to hold it's shape, you would have to fall off of sailing close to the wind while other sailboats will be able to pass you closer to the wind.

The std rig mast is 28 ft but I believe the main sail for the std rig mast is actually a bit shorter than just the 2 ft difference between a 28 and a 30 ft mast. I may be wrong about this but from the way the main sail is configured for the 30 ft mast, the main sail goes pretty much to the top of the mast, shy several inches and the boom sits lower than than how configured for the std (28 ft mast). This is why many that have a tall rig mast, would have to modify the boom arrangement if they would want to utilize a dodger or bimini top - the tall rig boom is set (or at least on my '89) fixed to the mast too low for a dodger or bimini to fit under it. So, the main sail for the tall rig is my guess a bit longer than just the 2 ft difference in the mast sizes. In any case, if I were to put a std main sail on my mast, it would definitely be at least 2 ft or more shorter from the top of the mast.

The first thing I would check is if your Catalina insignia on the main sail appears to be the original logo, which I suspect it is and that would mean it is probably an original std main, main sail and would explain the reason your main sail seems short if as was indicated that mast is not original and probably a tall rig mast. The second thing would be to actually sheck the mast size if it is 30 versus 28 ft but also check the dimensions of the main sail against the published dimensions of the std main sail that you can find in the manual section of this Forum website. If the main sail appear sto be close to or same as the original std main sail dimensions, then you probably do have a std main sail on a tall rig and the sail, if original, has got to be blown out after all these years.

Dacron sails structurally last a long time but even after about 5 years or so, if used frequently, Dacron sails tend to lengthen (stretch) in the mid section. After 10-20 years, the sails are blown out. Replacement dacron sails can be got in similar performance grade/thread count or can be purchased (more costly) in a Dacron weave that is more resistant to stretch over the years. A good primer on the different type of Dacron sails available - Go to Mack Sails website. They have a lot of info regarding the different grades of Dacron to gain an understanding. Fro example, Challenge sailcloth, is one of the main producers of Dacron sailcloth for many sailmakers. If you go to Challenge website, you will see that they make at least 4 different grades of Dacron.

Larry
'89 Robin's Nest#5820, Potomac River/Wash DC http://catalina25.homestead.com/olarryr.html

Edited by - OLarryR on 07/09/2018 09:58:13
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7978 Posts

Response Posted - 07/09/2018 :  10:22:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yup--the SR mainsail luff length is 3' shorter than the TR sail. So a SR sail hoisted on a TR with a fixed boom gooseneck would only go up to 3' below the mast head. And the standard boom height on the TR is 1' lower than the SR. With a sliding gooseneck on a TR, hoisting a SR sail could pull the boom 2' higher than the SR's, which would make lots of room for a bimini and could make the sheeting angle a little more efficient but would look kinda silly! (And the gooseneck would be above the opening in the mast slot, I suspect--a little tricky.)

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Erik Cornelison
Navigator

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USA
122 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  18:16:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I took a couple of pictures and put them on youtube. Here's a link.


https://youtu.be/CP1DgfBN4pQ


Hope this helps in determining the issue.


Erik Cornelison
6th Generation Professional Sailor, First Gen Submarine Sailor.
1986 Standard Rig SW. #5234
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OLarryR
Master Marine Consultant

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3175 Posts

Response Posted - 07/11/2018 :  04:02:39  Show Profile  Visit OLarryR's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Erik,

I took a look at your photos/video. Then re-reviewed your original posting. Others probably have a lot more technical experience/know all regarding sail trim but my opinion is that there is something else besides blown out sails that is contributing to the wrinkles and lack of sail shape regarding your sails. First of all, if these truly are the original sails and I have no reason to doubt that since the logo and the numbers seem to be similar/same as the OEM sails, then the sails are most likely blown out based on so many years of use, if indeed used for most years since boat was produced. But the blown out condition is mostly noticed while sailing and your sail shape appears to be way out of whack and those photos appear to be just sitting at the dock.
The top of the sail is not that close to the top of the mast but probably not more than about 15" from the top and so I then suspect you do not have a tall rig mast (since distance to top would then be 2+'), except.....your boom seems to be about where my boom is attached to the mast and so...then that gets me wondering about the overall length of the mast and could it be a tall rig mast. The other thing is I cannot tell from the photos how much mast rake you have or if the mast is fully vertical. I realize that your boom , at least in one of the photos, is attached to the back stay which indicates the boom is sloped upwards when dockside but that is normal. What I am wondering is if you have a pronounced mast rake and also the leech/trailing edge wire in the sail has been significantly tightened, perhaps that would partially explain why the sail shape/wrinkles are so unsat. You indicated that the mast was not original but not sure what mast you have and if any custom work was done in the attachment of the boom.

Having said all that, the bottom line is that if the sail is the original and you are contemplating buying new sail(s), I would recommend you not get an off the shelf sail thru mail-order but get a local sailmaker to visit your boat and offer you a quote. First, the sailmaker will be able to diagnose what the situation is with your original sail shape/condition. Second, if you then decide to buy new sails, the sailmaker will be able to size it properly given that the mast is not original and who knows, maybe the boom attachment was altered as well. I never compared the boom length for a std mast vs tall rig,,,maybe the same boom but you have enough variables to warrant going with a sailmaker visiting your boat.

In my case, I had original sails that were definitely blown out. I decided to go with Quantum out of Annapolis and they came down to the Wash DC/Potomac River area to take dimensions directly off my boat. I could have gone with an off the shelf sail mail order but...well I just did not - First of all, I felt more comfortable with the sailmaker directly taking the dimensions and also we could discuss my sailing and preferences and so the sailmaker custom designed the sail sizing based on the discussions - I have one set of reef holes vs two sets and they are about midway between what the OEM sails had both sets of reefing holes. There were some other changes as well with my main cut to a fuller shape....but most would indicate from experience that the main sail custom designed really has no benefit since most speed comes from the head sail...anyway that is what I did. (Also had similar discussions and sizing for my furling rig genoa.) The big difference on my sail is that it is made from the higher grade, lower stretch Challenge sailcloth - 2nd highest grade vs hat most off the shelf sails are made of which is out of one of the lower two grades of Challenge sailcloth. Choice of Dacron grade and cost is a decision each should consider based obviously on what they are willing to spend, frequency of sailing and under what normal and occasional adverse conditions.

Anyway....recommend get a quote from a local sailmaker visiting your boat....even if you decide not to buy locally, the sailmaker will be able to tell you a lot more about the sizing and condition of your existing sails !!

Larry
'89 Robin's Nest#5820, Potomac River/Wash DC http://catalina25.homestead.com/olarryr.html

Edited by - OLarryR on 07/12/2018 02:58:49
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 07/11/2018 :  04:42:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Look at the sail. The wrinkles all emanate from the luff and extend aft and slightly downward. Look at the luff. It's loose. The wrinkles originate there. Ordinarily, the way to take those wrinkles out of the sail is to put more tension on the luff with either the halyard or the downhaul.

In your initial post you said "I also noticed that the sail doesn't go all the way up the mast..its tight and taunt but stops 1-2 feet below the top." I suspect what is taut is the halyard. The luff is clearly not tight. That means something is stopping the sail from going to the top of the mast. It might be something relating to the slide track, or it might be something related to the halyard. You need to examine the mast and running rigging and find what is obstructing the sail from going higher than a certain point.

Based on its age, the sail probably is worn out, but if you put on a brand new sail and couldn't raise it any higher than that, and couldn't get any more tension on the luff, it would be just as wrinkled as the old one.

Figure out what's preventing the sail from going to the top of the mast and eliminate that obstruction. Then raise the sail and increase the tension on the luff by using a combination of the halyard and the downhaul. That should eliminate most of the wrinkles.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7978 Posts

Response Posted - 07/11/2018 :  06:44:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You said the mast is not original but the sail is... C-25s I know of were sold with mainsails that had slugs that go into the mast slot--not a bolt-rope (sewn into the luff). I can't tell from those shots which you have, but either way, a mis-fit with the slot can make it very difficult to raise the sail to the top--the further you go, the harder it gets. Lubrication and cleaning of the slot can help. Try lubricating the slugs or bolt rope with McLube Sailkote (or another "dry" PTFE lube--not oily). If that doesn't help, there are many discussions here--try our Search function looking for "lubricate mast", including archived posts. Lots of folks have had similar difficulties.

Another question is whether your boom attaches to the mast at a fixed position or has the gooseneck that slides in the mast slot. If the latter, you can pull it downward to tension the luff, even if the sail isn't quite at the top of the mast. A downhaul line fits into a hole on the bottom of the gooseneck, and the original mast had a cleat toward the bottom for that line. If the boom position is fixed, then it's pretty much up to the halyard to get the luff tight.

But don't worry about a new sail until, as Steve says, you are successful getting the old one up and the luff tensioned--even if it means taking the mast down to see what's going on.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/11/2018 06:46:30
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