Land Sailers and Ice Boats use similar technology in the mast and sails. Battens shape the sail for maximum performance
World class iceboater Tom Hyslop heads upwind on starboard tack.
Battens do more than hold the leech away from the luff. They are a critical factor in optimizing performance and can increase the range of conditions for a particular sail. Battens fit in the horizontal pockets on the sail. At 100 mph the sail would flap around like a flag in a breeze without battens to provide support. Stiffer battens can flatten a sail in heavy air and limber battens can increase draft and power in light air. Competitive sailors frequently switch battens as conditions change during the day
Battens are made from white ash which is very elastic and light. The wood is quarter sawn to provide consistent bend characteristics. Each batten is cut to length and tapered to meet specific bend requirements.
The price for a set of battens ranges from $150 - $250