: >i have occasionally wondered about the same issue that perry has
: >raised. i've never had to do this type of self rescue. i think it
: >would be nearly impossible to remove a large, fully cambered, race sail
: >from a mast while on the water in anything other than very mild
: >conditions. to then roll up the sail, while saving the mast and other
: >components, would be quite a feat.
: >has anyone accomplished this?
: I have accomplished this with a RAF sail. I managed to save all the
: components, then ditched mast and booms(Ouch$$$) when paddling became
: too difficult (30+ knot winds, 5-6 seas). With a transition board.
: No, it was NOT fun. I was terrified, though there was much less
: danger than I thought.
: I'm not sure how much harder it would be with a race sail. The battens
: still need to be loosened, and the downhaul tension would be more,
: but all you are doing is letting it out. It still might be tough, though.
lots of stuff deleted above
I had the opportunity to ask the question about removing the battens from
the cambered sail versus removing the mast from the cambered sail while
attending an excellent windsurfing camp run by ABK over this past weekend.
(I hope to write more about that later on)
There were several instructors with a great deal of experience available
to answer, and one had even tried it out (tried it, not needed to do it),
but he had also had to self rescue himself from some hairy situations and
his recommendation is good enough for me.
Anyway, he said to leave the battens in and take the sail off the mast,
and roll the sail around the mast. Several reasons: 1) particularly with
the newer sails and battens, it would be much harder, if not impossible to
get them out (like a NP batcam - I can hardly do it on the beach!),
you would be wrestling in the water, losing the board, etc. just trying.
2) rigging the newer cambered sails isn't that hard any more, and you can
get the mast OUT far more easily than the battens.
Several additional points that come into the discussion: these tips are
for newer cambered sails; have you ever tried to roll a cambered sail
around the mast? remember that you are out on the water in a situation
that is far from ideal, you are trying to survive, frequently it is your
mast that has broken causing the situation - it may be easier to get out.
Also ifs the break is low on the mast, you can try to rig the sail smaller
to help try to sail somewhere for which you will need the battens.
Another thought was that if you have roll the sail up, it is a much smaller
package than if rolled around the mast, it is easier to lie on, and you
can cover yourself with it for protection (wow, that is a long rescue).
This all applies to cambered sails. RAFs are different.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to try it out for yourself in good conditions
to see what works best for you.
Again, this was a couple of instructors with experience, and some
experimentation, and a bunch of sailors asking "but what if..." and is not
a tried and true, guaranteed, Fact.
I hope it never comes time to find out!