How to Install Slugs on a Full Length Batten Using Webbing

Item # X-HT-200267

There are a variety of methods and techniques for installing slugs on a sail with full length battens. In our short video tutorial, we will show you one method that is not the most popular method but is very useful and should be considered if you have a full batten mainsail. Our method is used more for the flexibility of the slug. The slug can be twisted, causing the sail to flake very nicely on the boom. This method is in lieu of a batten end protector. Let’s see how this is done in today’s DIY sail video.

First with 3/4-inch or 1/2-inch webbing, sew zigzag stitches down the length of the webbing loop with the slug at the bottom of the loop. The length of your webbing will depend on the grommet placement on your sail luff. Once you’ve sewn all your webbing loops, the next step is to insert the webbing strap through the grommet, and then loop it through the next grommet.

Once the end of the webbing loop is installed through the second grommet, you’ll sew the end of the webbing onto itself to secure that webbing strap in place. For this portion of sewing, you’ll need a leather sailmaker’s palm, a hand sewing needle and wax twine. Watch the video to see how Jeff, our Sail Designer, hand sews the webbing in place using a great hand sewing technique.

After you have finished hand sewing and securing the thread tail, use a hotknife to melt the wax thread so it doesn’t unravel. In fact, the Battery Operated Thread Burner (#121592) is a fantastic tool designed for this very purpose. It seals raw thread ends safely and precisely without the risk of damaging your fabric or webbing application, which can happen with less precise tools like using a lighter.

We hope this video tutorial has helped you learn how to install slugs on your mainsail using webbing. Sailrite is the go-to resource for the self-reliant sailor. We offer thousands of materials, tools and supplies — along with how-to videos and educational resources — to get you back on the water.