Boat hook for whiskerpole - SailNet Community

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Old 08-17-2008
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Boat hook for whiskerpole

In researching whiskerpoles, I have seen reference to some people using a boathook for a whiskerpole. I have a Lancer 25 that I just bought and there's not a lot of money left for extras. I have an extendable boathook to 12ft and if possible would like to use it. Will it really work without bending and if so what's the best way to rig a hook for the part that goes against the mast?

Harris
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Old 08-17-2008
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If the wind is real light it will work for awhile, my personal experience with using boat hooks, light weight dinghy poles, homemade PVC pipes Etc. is that you break it at some point.
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It'll probably work fine without bending as you're not going to put that much strain on it just keeping the clew poled out. In light air for shorter runs you may find that a crew member can just sit there casually holding it in position. Given that it's a boat hook I wouldn't spend too much effort in creating any kind of a mounting bracket, although most whisker poles use a padeye mounted on the mast and you could probably order one of those from Forespar conveniently in the size for your future whisker pole. Otherwise you can just lash it to the mast temporary and use some small stuff to tie it to the clew of the sail. You can just cut the small stuff away then when unrigging.
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I used to do just that on my O'Day 25. I had a hose clamped shackle on the grip. The pointed end went through the clew grommet. Worked great in lighter airs. Wasn't fancy but sure was nice for the pocket book. It never did break, but if it did oh well... Wasn't going to shed any tears over an old boathook!
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Old 08-17-2008
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I use a 6-12' adjustable whisker pole for my jib or drifter and a boathook for the staysail when sailing wing and wing and wing on my small cutter. No topping lifts, downhauls, or other lines. Just the sheets. The whisker pole and the boat hook snap on to separate pad eyes on the mast.

I bought an appropriate size latch end fitting from Forespar and epoxied it into the butt end of the boat hook. The plastic grip slides over the connection and makes it look as if it was designed that way. As a bonus, the latch end can be snapped to a padeye on deck to keep the boat hook from rolling off when not in use.
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We tried a boat hook on an catalina 27 for about an hour in 10 knots of wind before it bent in half.
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Re: Boat hook for whiskerpole

Hey there's a company called Acquah's Enterprise who makes boat hooks. I hear that they don't bend. They have a new one coming I can't wait to see it. It's a galvanize steel hook with wooden pole made of pine wood and there cheap. The website is acquahenterprise.com
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Boat hook for whiskerpole

I've done this a lot on my 28' in light air but the pole bent so much last time that I have decided to make a whisker pole.
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Re: Boat hook for whiskerpole

Lash one end onto the windward shroud instead of the mast. That reduces the length of the boathook-"whisker pole" which in turn reduces the chance of bending it beyond what it can stand.

Also lightly trim your lazy sheet in, this will stabilize the clew a little and maybe help the pole from taco-ing.

Keep an eye out astern for puffs. And recognize that you are using the 'wrong tool for the job' (or as I prefer to say, a 'jury rig', sounds better) so you won't feel too bad if you pretzel it.
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Re: Boat hook for whiskerpole

Looking at ebay, you can get a 1" x 6' carbon fiber tube for under $50.00. I could epoxy a boat hook end from a broken boat hook on one end and a grip on the other end and have a superhero boat hook that would double as a whisker pole for my staysail. You guys are getting me in trouble again! I need to finish my varnish and install my watermaker, dammit, not be playing around with space age boat hooks!
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