It’s not uncommon for sail battens to rip through their pockets and sometimes they even go shooting off into the water. As distressing as this might be to witness, it’s a pretty straightforward fix to make. Today, as a part of our Sail Repair Series, we’re going to show you how to fix your sail when a batten pocket rips including demonstrations of how to install three different types of batten pockets.
The first step to repairing your batten pocket is to inspect the rip and see which part of the sail is torn. If only the pocket is ripped, you’ll want to remove the pocket and replace it with a new one. If the sail itself ripped you’ll need to remove the pocket, patch the rip on the sail, and then install a brand new pocket. If your batten has elastic in one end and the elastic has gone bad, it is possible to remove only that end of the pocket, install new elastic, and then add a new pocket portion that connects with the original.
When it’s time to create your new batten pocket, you’ll want to take a close look at the other intact pockets on your sail. There isn’t a set standard for how to make batten pockets, so you’ll want to model your new pocket after the others.
Common types of batten pockets include: triangular batten pockets, which are wider at one end to keep the batten more secure inside; standard batten pockets, which features a straight shape and an elastic strap in one end; and sewn-in batten pockets, which have the batten stitched to the sail at one end.
For this repair you’ll need:
- Patch Fabric—Dacron Sailcloth and/or Dacron Tape
- Basting Tape
- Outdoor Thread
- Zigzag Sewing Machine
- Elastic (if your batten pocket utilizes it)
In this video you will see how to patch the hole in the sail and how to repair a permanently sewn in batten pocket. If your sail has another type of pocket, you can follow the patching instructions in this video but then refer to our How to Make Triangular Batten Pockets video or our Making a Standard Batten Pocket video to see how to craft two other pocket styles.
Don’t miss our first post in our Sail Repair Series, Patching Small Rips and Holes. You can find all the tools and materials needed to do your own sail repairs, including replacement battens, at Sailrite.com.
Have you ever had to do a repair on a batten pocket? Share your experiences and techniques in the comments.