Using a spinnaker pole instead of a whisker pole - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-30-2008
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Using a spinnaker pole instead of a whisker pole

To use a spinnaker pole in instead of an extendable whisker pole I need to come up with a compromised length. Most spinnaker pole recommended lengths are for the J dimension. Using a 130% headsail on roller furling, I am wonder whether the pole should be longer - say 1.3 times J. Of course I am not intending to JIB the pole - but if I had to, just use the dip method.
Thoughts?
alan
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Old 03-30-2008
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We use a Forespar whisker pole. The adjustable length eliminates the need for precise measurements with respect to length.

North Sails has a very good description in the following link.

What Cruising Sailors Need to Know

Forespar Whisker Pole at Mauri Pro Sailing
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Old 03-30-2008
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I have used my spinnaker pole as you suggest when racing jib-and-main or cruising. The fixed length is definitely an issue. Sometimes too short, and others too long.
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Sorry - I just realized that you want to size the spin pole, not the whisker pole. The spin pole should be 100% of the J per PHRF rules.
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What do you mean you won't jibe the pole? At some point you need to turn, thus you need to jibe. Dip poling is near impossible if you have a pole longer than J. Also consider how much extra weight you'll need to deal with at 1.3x J.

Additionally, just yesterday I was heading downwind wing on wing flying my 110%. Wind was at 12kts and rather flukey (common in SF Bay). The jib was not fully cooperating, so I considered (for a moment) using the spinnaker pole. I didn't feel like rigging the foreguy, so I opted out. However, the length of my pole (equal to J) would have worked just fine. I speculate even better had I been flying the 140%.
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Old 03-30-2008
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The reason a whisker pole varies in length is so that it can be used with different sized jibs. Just using the spin pole (or any fixed length pole would be somewhat limiting. The length of a whisker pole is not a function of J because it depends on the length of the foot of the jib and the height of the clew. If you want to pole out a jib and not use a spin, just trade the pole in. A whisker will work way better.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphil138 View Post
To use a spinnaker pole in instead of an extendable whisker pole I need to come up with a compromised length. Most spinnaker pole recommended lengths are for the J dimension. Using a 130% headsail on roller furling, I am wonder whether the pole should be longer - say 1.3 times J. Of course I am not intending to JIB the pole - but if I had to, just use the dip method.
Thoughts?
alan
You can use without problems a spi pole on a genoa. I do that all the time when wing on wing to balance the boat, specially if my son is at the helm..

Mine in the photo bellow is a 115% on a furler, and it works just fine. The pole serves only to stop the clew from "returning" to the boat and flapping the sail..sheet in / out as needed to keep the sail curvature, and rig the uphaul to support the weight of the pole, so it does not pull the sail down and deform it. In heavier winds, pull the pole down withth the downhaul to flaten the sail, and reduce spillage at higher sections of the genoa

See for yourself.

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I'd second the idea of trading the pole for a proper whisker if you have no plans to use a spinnaker. A bastardized spinnaker pole will be heavier than a proper whisker pole and less versatile, as you already know.

Should you decide later to use the spinnaker the modified pole will not work well in most cases (whether too short or too long).
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A bastardized spinnaker pole will be heavier than a proper whisker pole and less versatile, as you already know.

Unless its CF
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Old 03-31-2008
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I know all about the proper uses of spinnaker poles and a whisker poles.
No room to store both. I thought I could make my own spinnaker pole for less then a 1/3 of the cost of a new one. Just trying to be frugal with something that could work 90% of the time. Just a cruiser with no intentions of going high tech.
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