re: Whisker Pole
Thanks for your thoughts. The boat came with a spinnaker, I have not used it yet. I assume this same telescoping pole is to be used with it and that is why is it so heavy duty. There is an outboard connection area on the telescoping part of the pole, opposite side and just behind the jaw, but if the jaw is up then this could NOT be used for a topping lift. The current topping lift connection (on the main pole section) is for use when it is just a jib whisker pole. If the jaw is on the 'up' side of the pole, then I could attach a block at that point and run a line back to the cockpit thru it, for a down haul. So I share your concern with supporting the pole in any extended position.
I can see the 'dip' maneuver working with the right practice and coordination, it just seems odd that if they had a pole that was 1' shorter you could jib by just bringing the pole in from any telescoped position. There is a line that retracts the pole and it can be cleated off to prevent the pole from telescoping too far out (but nothing stops the pole from retracting).
The original owner really kept the boat in beautiful shape, we knew it was the right boat the minute we set foot on it. The best part is that with the swing keel up it draws less than 2' of depth, just perfect for our NC creek. Our local sail maker used to work with Craig Walters when he had an office in Clearwater, FL. I guess that is where the model name comes from.
I guess we will just have to practice before the next race!