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Old 01-10-2008
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fabricating a spinnaker pole..

I have been thinking of fabricating my own spinnaker pole and have not had much luck finding info on the web..

I have been thinking of buying some carbon fiber tubing and then get some spinnaker pole ends and making my own. See.. http://www.carbonfibertubeshop.com/large%20tubing.html
You can get 5 foot of 2inch ID for $225.

Would this be easy?

I need to find some sketches of existing poles..

My J dimension is like 10 feet. But another guy with the same boat as me has a 9 foot pole.

Then I saw some that were adjustable in length. I think that might be nice, but are they strong enough to be a spinnaker pole?

thanks,
gh
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Old 01-10-2008
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I would recommend checking out this thread for feasibility . Like anything however, it really depends upon the amount of effort and realizing that if it is the frist time you have done fiberglassing - multiple the cost of materials X 3, as it will be inevitable that you will have to try and try again. For some that is no object

However, case in point - when I painted my boat this summer - I never had rolled and tipped and thought since I am fairly good with a brush and paint (ha ha the joke on me) - that I ended up sanding my boat down three times and at the cost of the paint $1K because I had to keep doing it until I finally got the process right. Fiberglassing looks easy until it is very evident that it is about the right environment, right ratios, and right process for laying...

Not to be discouraging - it can be done, the link I sent you covers a few different ways others have done it... It may be cheaper though to just find a used pole though...
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Old 01-10-2008
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You can probably buy an aluminum spinnaker pole for less than it would cost you to make one... there are economies of scale in producing thousands of them that you'll have a hard time matching. Also, one you make will likely not work as well as one you can buy, since they've already worked most of the bugs out of their design..

Re-inventing the wheel is usually very difficult to justify financially. You can get a 10' carbon fiber spinnaker pole for $608. Buying 10' of the carbon fiber tubing is going to cost you $450, and then you still need to purchase the hardware for the ends, as well as assemble the thing.
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My experience is in line with what Sailingdog said. I wanted top make a pole a few years back. By the time you buy the tubing (and that's not just any tubing) and the ends, you'll have overspent the cost of a new pole. If you just want the pride of having made it, go for it. I patiently shopped ebay for a while and found a deal.
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Old 01-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groundhog View Post
....
Then I saw some that were adjustable in length. I think that might be nice, but are they strong enough to be a spinnaker pole?
gh
The adjustable poles you see are meant to be whisker poles, for poling out jibs or genoas (hence the adjustable part), not meant to be spinnaker poles per se, and I wouldn't expect them to hold up.

You should not have a spinn pole shorter than your J measurement, the sail will not be projected enough to fly properly (unless it's an undersized girth spinnaker too). In some cases boats carry poles slightly longer than the J, but the spinnakers are slightly oversized to match.

If racing, then your code and rating are adjusted for this scenario.

Agree that you can probably buy a pole for less money in the end. Check out a marine used/consignment goods stores if there are any near you.
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Thanks for the advice.

The only remaining question is ...

Should I get an adjustable pole? What are the pros/cons of this?

Because then I can use it to pole out my foresail (anything else?).

thx,
gh

ps. Thanks Faster, you must have posted your response while I was writing the above..

Last edited by groundhog; 01-10-2008 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 01-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groundhog View Post
Thanks for the advice.

The only remaining question is ...

Should I get an adjustable pole? What are the pros/cons of this?

Because then I can use it to pole out my foresail (anything else?).

thx,
gh

ps. Thanks Faster, you must have posted your response while I was writing the above..

As stated previously, a spinnaker pole and a whisker pole are two different things. A spin pole is usually too heavy and short to use as a whisker pole and a whisker pole isn't stout enough to use as a spin pole.
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Old 01-10-2008
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"Should I get an adjustable pole? What are the pros/cons of this?"
Weaker or heavier. More expensive. Jams and sometimes gets bent & stuck at the joint. It's all just a question of sizing and strength, you want as little weight up there as possible, but once you get it too light--it breaks.
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Old 01-10-2008
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You can buy Ronstan, Harken, or Forespar ends and som tubing and make your own 2" aluminum pole for around $275. Or you can buy a ready-made Forespar for about $350, plus shipping. Which is problematic: freight rates are high right now, even though the thing is light and takes up little space; and UPS or FedEx don't like to carry anything over 8 feet long. Might check DHL or smaller courier services.

You can also build one of wood, tho it will be heavy and you need perfectly straight-grained stock. Personally, I wouldn't -- nightmares of a splintered pole end plunging into the cockpit, An aluminum pole will kink but likely stay in on piece.
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Old 01-10-2008
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Check this out.

http://www.lmorocz.com/BoatBuilding/mast01.htm
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