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post #1 of 30 Old 03-16-2017 Thread Starter
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DIY whisker pole

Has anyone ever made their own whisker pole? I got a good deal on a 2" end fitting and want to make my own pole. I need about 16' length, so material weight is an issue. I'd worry that PVC could be vulnerable to UV. Wood, other than bamboo, would weigh too much. So I'm thinking 2" ID aluminum pipe, but there are lots of different kinds of aluminum alloy and I don't know which is appropriate here, or whether there are other choices. Any words of wisdom? Other ideas?
Thanks in advance.
JV
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post #2 of 30 Old 03-16-2017
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Re: DIY whisker pole

Thin wall alum . tubing is your best bet . My friend made one for us out of Doug fur using the strip , bird mouth method It is tapered at both ends and is hollow .

Here it is stored on the mast .

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Last edited by Markwesti; 03-16-2017 at 09:38 PM.
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Re: DIY whisker pole

Carbon Fiber would make the weight an non issue!

Just a random grab:

Carbon Fiber Tubes | Page 1 of 2

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https://www.google.ca/search?q=carbo...EpOijwOFhJyYDw

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Re: DIY whisker pole

Thanks for the replies. Carbon or aluminum do seem like the way to go, though carbon is a little out of my price range--Markwesti, how heavy is the fir pole, and do you know how thick the walls are?
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post #5 of 30 Old 03-17-2017
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Re: DIY whisker pole

Hi svselkie02 , I never weighed it but it is extremely light . I don't know the wall thickness either , sorry . It is 12' long 3" at the middle and 2" on the ends the bronze ends were a ebay find I think back in the 60-70s' they were common . My friend that built it for me was quite the craftsman he built a few sailboats around 25' some dinghys all works of art , also he was a machinist . Anyway back to the pole the bird mouth method creates a strong joint , if you are not familiar with it picture a convex angle that is received by a concave angle that all runs the length of the strip . Now here is the tricky part , taper the strip at both ends . The assembly was a messy job lots of West System and hose clamps after that fair it out and it varnish up and all done .
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post #6 of 30 Old 03-17-2017
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Re: DIY whisker pole

I have been thinking of buying a fiberglass, extending, pole saw at Home Depot, removing the saw, and adding a fitting to both ends. It seems to me that this would work well, be UV stable, and best of all - cheap!
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Re: DIY whisker pole

I have seen aluminum extendable "pool poles" used effectively - the type you use to skim a swimming pool surface. Cheaply available at Home Depot and Lowes, and are pretty sturdy yet lightweight, and are anodized.
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Re: DIY whisker pole

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I have been thinking of buying a fiberglass, extending, pole saw at Home Depot, removing the saw, and adding a fitting to both ends. It seems to me that this would work well, be UV stable, and best of all - cheap!
Fiberglass is far to flexible to be used as a whisker pole, I guess you could, but it would need to be so large and heavy it just wouldn't pay off. Find the local metal supply place and you can generally pick up a 20' length of 6064 aluminium in 2-4" size for less than a couple of bucks a pound.

For 2" fittings you are looking for 2"OD 1.87ID x .065 wall tubing. Figure about $3/ft or less, but you will typically have to buy at least 20' at a time.
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Re: DIY whisker pole

btw, nice boat, Markwesti.

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post #10 of 30 Old 03-17-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: DIY whisker pole

Thanks for all the replies. I'll take a look at what the builders supply stores have, otherwise probably shop for some aluminum pipe. Wood sounds like a pretty elegant solution, but it sounds like my woodworking skills aren't at the elegance level. Though a good-sized piece of bamboo might intrigue me. I hate to pay the kind of money that the catalogs want for what is basically a stick, but there are sticks and then there are sticks.
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