Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Whisker Pole vs Cruising Spinnaker
I found that never use a whisker pole and have removed it from the 28 footer. My 38 footer only has a symetrical chute with a pole that can and is end for end jibed. I frequently use my symetrical spinacker which once you get used to it is really easier to fly than the assymmetrical chutes that I have flown.
Jibing without getting a wrap is much easier with a symetrical chute (than an assymetrical chuet) if your boat is small enough to end for end jib. I find this is especially true when single-handing or short handing when you can''t afford a wrap.
The problem that I have found with assymetrical chutes is that they have a very narrow range and tend to collapse and wrap way too easily. This is expecially true when you are short handed and can''t play the sheet all of the time and are trying to sail a deep angle or handle the lazy sheet as well as you need to during a jibe. You can use a stuffer to jibe but tossing a symmetrical pole set for an end for end jibe is far easier. The key to jibing a pole is to make sure to mark your sheets and guys for the correct jibe setting and to be close to dead downwind all the way through the jibe.
I have sailed close to dead downwind with an assymetrical chute (wing and wing) on a whisker pole. I found it very unstable and not a big gain over a genoa.