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Old 15th July 2010, 10:52 PM   #21
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It's actually less mystical and much more practical. The fastest sails are very sensitive to batten tension, and most sailmakers apply battens the starboard side of the sail. While much effort has been made to equalize the effect of batten tension between the port and starboard tacks, such as the modern batten tensioners seen on Gaastra and Maui Sails or alternating the side on which each subsequent batten sits.

Given the above and the need for very high skin tension, sails tend to represent the intended shaping when on starboard tack. This makes then more stable and probably faster on starboard than port, at least when all other things are equal.
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Old 16th July 2010, 01:57 AM   #22
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That's all very well, but a snowboard has no sail and I still prefer port tack anyway.
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Old 16th July 2010, 11:44 AM   #23
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Like I said, " . . . when all other things are equal."
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Old 22nd July 2010, 09:38 PM   #24
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Default Batten tension

Hi Dan, I can imagine that the leeward side of a sail has to be as smooth as possible. Also if battens are on starboard there will be more tension in the sail on starboard tack. However there are various opinions about how batten tension affects sail performance. Some will say just take wrinkles off, as most of the shape is given by downhaul and mast curve/stiffness.
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