Talk to me about whisker poles! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 61 Old 06-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Talk to me about whisker poles!

I have a Catalina 27 and I'd like to use a whisker pole with my 150% furling genoa. (Foot is 18').

I was looking at the forspar twist lock 7-15 ft pole.
Assuming I store it on the stanchions with the forspar stanchion brackets, can I simply use a pad eye on the mast or should I go with a t-track and car?
Do I need any other hardware?
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post #2 of 61 Old 06-25-2013
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Many years ago I had a Hunter 27. It had a 150 Genoa sail like you're Catalina. The boat was outfitted with a twist lock whisker pole, and I used a pad eye on the mast. It worked fine. One year returning from the Bahamas I was doing a wing on wing for 10 hours with that setup.

Having said that it would probably be better set up with a track on the mast; although if I ever did it again with a similar size boat I probably would just use the padeye again.

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post #3 of 61 Old 06-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Talk to me about whisker poles!

I am also assuming one can use the mainsail's topping lift for the pole, correct?
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post #4 of 61 Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Talk to me about whisker poles!

My .02 (check current exchange rates...) is that a pad eye is fine for a whisker pole if you use it with a genoa of a fixed size. And frankly you can use it for other sails just know that it won't be optimal (but close enough).

I also feel like a topping life is overkill for your boat. Unless your whisker pole is getting particularly heavy or long you'll be fine without it. What will happen is you will close down the leech a bit but frankly downwind sailing is not real dependent on perfect sail shape.

FWIW, here it is a picture of my 23' boat rolling along with a homemade whisker pole made out of a sturdier than normal twist extension, a snap clip and a chopped up paint roller set to a point. You could argue that the pad eye coule be another foot up the mast but I can't see it affecting sail shape much if at all.

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post #5 of 61 Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Talk to me about whisker poles!

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Originally Posted by tschmidty View Post
My .02 (check current exchange rates...) is that a pad eye is fine for a whisker pole if you use it with a genoa of a fixed size. And frankly you can use it for other sails just know that it won't be optimal (but close enough).

I also feel like a topping life is overkill for your boat. Unless your whisker pole is getting particularly heavy or long you'll be fine without it. What will happen is you will close down the leech a bit but frankly downwind sailing is not real dependent on perfect sail shape.

FWIW, here it is a picture of my 23' boat rolling along with a homemade whisker pole made out of a sturdier than normal twist extension, a snap clip and a chopped up paint roller set to a point. You could argue that the pad eye coule be another foot up the mast but I can't see it affecting sail shape much if at all.

SOrry for the hijack but I would sure like some pics of your rig on this if you have them....I like it!!!
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post #6 of 61 Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Talk to me about whisker poles!

Cut down windsurfer masts work as well if you want to go the DIY route.
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post #7 of 61 Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Talk to me about whisker poles!

You can use a pad eye on the mast in line with your genny clew. You do not need a topping lift. The leech of the jib will do that job. If it is just a whisker pole it will never see the compressive loads a spin pole sees so you can go light on the whisker pole.
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post #8 of 61 Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Talk to me about whisker poles!

I used my painter's pole boat hook a few weeks ago. I put the screw-on boat hook thru the gorilla loop at the clew/jib sheet point and loosely tied the poly rope wrist strap to the main halyard cleat on the mast. Screw/twist till it's loose, extend as needed, lock 'er down and let 'er ride !

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'80 Watkins 27
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post #9 of 61 Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Talk to me about whisker poles!

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Originally Posted by weinie View Post
I am also assuming one can use the mainsail's topping lift for the pole, correct?
You don't want to use the mainsail topping lift. It emerges from the mast the wrong way.
An extra jib halyard should work well enough if you have one.
Also, I recommend buying the slightly more expensive line adjustable pole.
My experience with the twist adjustable ones has not been positive.

rb

Randy Browning
Norwalk, CT USA

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post #10 of 61 Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Talk to me about whisker poles!

When I bought one a few weeks back Forespar was having a rebate promotion. They have all aluminum, 1/2+ 1/2 ,all carbon. Might be a good idea to check if you can still get a price break. A surprising amount of force is generated in the pole when you use it with any wind up. Like using a preventer on the main having your jib poled out takes some of the excitement out in heavy winds. Makes for better shape and I think less wear and tear on the sail. Have a carbon one due to size and being a feeble old man. Think it's a silly expense unless you have to do it like I did. Think getting a good store bought telescoping one is worth it as it makes it safer with less foredeck gymnastics and allows use on any sail. Having some form of fore guy/after guy or at least some way to keep the pole down makes it less scary as well.
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