Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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Re: Whisker Pole details
The "Piston" end-fitting is the outboard end that allows for easy release of the sheet. The wedge "trigger" is at the inboard end that allows one to slap the pole end down over the mast ring or car (depending upon how your mast is outfitted). On your boat a line control 12-22 would likely work nicely. (Check Forespar's reference guide on their site at Whisker Poles
). With the exception of relatively small boats, the pole needs a topping lift to keep the weight of the pole off the leach of the sail. Likewise, except in limited circumstances, one needs a fore-guy to keep the pole off the shrouds. By adding an after-guy one can position the pole and use minimal tension on the sheet which is an advantage in light air. And, with the pole "locked" in place, one can furl the sail without worrying about the pole until the sail's squared away. In re storage, ideally a pole should be stored up-and-down on the mast so that it can be lowered or raised into place easily, in which case it will be used more often by a short-handed crew. As length increases, so to does weight and awkwardness of use and having a heavy (relatively) awkward pole on deck is a dis-incentive to using it even though it can ease sail management on certain points of sail and hasten a passage.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."