Sail Repair—Fixing Torn Batten Pockets

How to Repair Torn Batten Pockets

Rip in a beach cat sail

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.

How to Repair Torn Batten Pockets

Example of a patch at the elastic end of a batten pocket

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® Sail Cloth
  • Basting tape
  • Outdoor fabric
  • Scissors
  • 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. Visit to learn more about sail repair.

Have you ever had to do a repair on a batten pocket? Share your experiences and techniques in the comments.

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