Now, for the drawbacks. Battens and the pockets that hold them are the source of most mainsail repairs. They can chafe, hang up, or destroy themselves on rigging. Battens complicate transporting or stowing the sail. They want to jump out of their pockets at the most untimely moments. Flat battens and stoutly constructed platform pockets (pockets that isolate the batten from the sail with an extra layer of Dacron fabric) will minimize these tendencies, but the greatest concern with full-length battens is the compression loading that concentrates at the luff. This force leads to chafe along the luff and on the batten pockets leading edge. Even worse, the compression loads make it difficult to raise, lower, or reef the mainsail. A seaworthy batten-end receptacle solves these problems. A good batten-end receptacle secures the batten in the pocket, protects the luff from chafe, and has an articulating, integrally attached sail slide. The receptacle is even better if it allows you to tension the battens. Properly installed full-length battens add significantly to the mainsails cost, and although theyll provide a longer-lasting efficient sail shape, they wont necessarily extend the sails overall life. Barring accidents, its sun exposure that will ultimately destroy the sail.