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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 06-02-2014
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

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Originally Posted by Steve in Idaho View Post
So now I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to adjust the pole to fit the clew end easily behind the forestay with the other end remaining attached to the mast ( I think it is longer at max), so it could be jibed without detaching anything?

Something to try the next time out, I guess.
I tried something similar a few times, to see if I could gybe the genoa any more quickly and efficiently while racing. I disconnected the pole at the mast, left it attached to the loop of the bowline, on the clew, and then raised the pole up over my head, through the foretriangle, and lowered it on the other side, and then clipped the end back onto the mast ring. It was fast, but it twisted the loop of the bowline, and I decided that it was better to disconnect the pole from the sail when I gybed, and re-attach it to the other side. As a general principle, I don't like to leave a line twisted, because, when something happens suddenly and unexpectedly, and you need to disconnect it, you might not be able to do so. It's better to take a few extra seconds and avoid that possibility.
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
I tried something similar a few times, to see if I could gybe the genoa any more quickly and efficiently while racing. I disconnected the pole at the mast, left it attached to the loop of the bowline, on the clew, and then raised the pole up over my head, through the foretriangle, and lowered it on the other side, and then clipped the end back onto the mast ring. It was fast, but it twisted the loop of the bowline, and I decided that it was better to disconnect the pole from the sail when I gybed, and re-attach it to the other side. As a general principle, I don't like to leave a line twisted, because, when something happens suddenly and unexpectedly, and you need to disconnect it, you might not be able to do so. It's better to take a few extra seconds and avoid that possibility.
Good point. Thank you.
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Old 06-02-2014
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

Steve, when I eyeball a picture of a Ranger 20, it looks like you have a 7/8 fractional rig. Masthead boats have greater speed potential than frac boats wing-on-wing (frac’s are “better” as spinnaker boats), we must “dance with the girl we bring to the party”. You want to do a couple of things to maximize your whiskerpoling. Clip your whiskerpole “jaws up” on the sheet – not through the knot. That way, the pole will drop free and not get hung up in the knot when you gybe. On this boat you want to consider doing this during your gybes: The bow man grabs the lazy sheet. Then trips the pole at the mast and connects the lazy sheet. He then trips the old clew end and puts that on the mast. All the while, the afterguard is gybing the boat. Depending upon size of the genoa and crew coordination, you may elect to trip the loaded clew end first.

People who don’t have whisker poles are compelled to go DDW which is dead slow. With a pole, you want to always keep the wind perpendicular to your boom. Which, because of where your lower aft stays are placed, will put you at about 170* AWA. Your whiskerpole should be on the same plane as your boom. I have found that the best length for the pole is 90% of your LP’s length. You do want to have some curvature to the genoa as it is also generating lift as well as being “pushed”. You can see this by placing leech tell tales on your genoa (you should already have leech tell-tales on your main). When I am in the groove, both sets of leech tell tales are flying. The boom points to leeward and the pole to windward. I have been very successful racing in a JAM class culminating in a national championship.

BTW, where in Idaho do you sail?
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Last edited by GeorgeB; 06-02-2014 at 05:28 PM.
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

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Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Steve, when I eyeball a picture of a Ranger 20, it looks like you have a 7/8 fractional rig. Masthead boats have greater speed potential than frac boats wing-on-wing (frac’s are “better” as spinnaker boats), we must “dance with the girl we bring to the party”. You want to do a couple of things to maximize your whiskerpoling. Clip your whiskerpole “jaws up” on the sheet – not through the knot. That way, the pole will drop free and not get hung up in the knot when you gybe. On this boat you want to consider doing this during your gybes: The bow man grabs the lazy sheet. Then trips the pole at the mast and connects the lazy sheet. He then trips the old clew end and puts that on the mast. All the while, the afterguard is gybing the boat. Depending upon size of the genoa and crew coordination, you may elect to trip the loaded clew end first.

People who don’t have whisker poles are compelled to go DDW which is dead slow. With a pole, you want to always keep the wind perpendicular to your boom. Which, because of where your lower aft stays are placed, will put you at about 170* AWA. Your whiskerpole should be on the same plane as your boom. I have found that the best length for the pole is 90% of your LP’s length. You do want to have some curvature to the genoa as it is also generating lift as well as being “pushed”. You can see this by placing leech tell tales on your genoa (you should already have leech tell-tales on your main). When I am in the groove, both sets of leech tell tales are flying. The boom points to leeward and the pole to windward. I have been very successful racing in a JAM class culminating in a national championship.

BTW, where in Idaho do you sail?
Thanks, George. I'll try applying this next time out.

So, it sounds like handling the whisker pole with genny in a gybe can be similar to the same move with a spinnaker pole, right?

In the second paragraph, are you referring then to sailing wing and wing? I only ran with genny alone yesterday (trying to keep it simple as I build)...

I do most of my sailing on Lake Lowell. At about 7 miles long to an average 1.5 miles wide, it is the second-largest lake in SW Idaho - and it's about 15 minutes from my home. Kind of a short season there because of refuge restrictions and irrigation draw-down though, so I am expecting to expand my activities more to Cascade and Lucky Peak reservoirs. Some overnight cruising on the larger lakes in northern Idaho is a short-term goal.
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

Steve, yes, whisker poling is very similar to setting a spinnaker pole. Your boat is a “natural” for end-for-end gybing (I have to do dip pole gybing on my boat). There is no reason not to include your mainsail. The man on the tiller can release and trim jib sheets while your crew is working the bow. You can gybe the genoa first, then the main or the helmsman can gybe the main by himself. (In this scenario, you stop the gybe at DDW, set and trim the new jib sheet then finish by gybing the main.)

I went to school in Moscow and fell in love with Idaho. As you know, Coeur-D-Alene, Pend Oreille and Priest are real gems. I have Hobie catted on Cascade but have only water skied Lucky Peak.
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

Excellent help, George. Next sail will be some interesting learning going on.

Funny thing...the PO never used the genny or the pole. He always was solo and always sailed Lucky Peak (had a berth there in season). Since you're familiar with that body, you can probably understand why he kept things pretty basic. Anyway - while he took me out and showed me the ropes, he understandably didn't cover this part.

Only driven around C'd'A and never been to Pend-Oreille or Priest. Priest Lake sounds like a great one to start overnighting with, from all I've been told and read. Friends living in Pullman that we will visit, so a day sail at C'd'A may come up first.

eta: Forgot to mention...You went to school in Moscow and live in the bay area. I grew up in the bay area and moved to Idaho. Those connections seem to be pretty common. My first sailing experience was lessons on a Sunfish in the tidewater of the Napa River. I should have kept that up when I moved in '75, instead of putting it all off until a few years ago.

Last edited by Steve in Idaho; 06-02-2014 at 07:51 PM.
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

Steve, small world. I left Idaho in the seventies. Did we cross paths outside of Jordan Valley? Sailing Lucky Peak, you must have done a lot of practicing tacking and gybing. I know the feeling. My boat is halfway down the Oakland Estuary which is about 500 feet wide and the predominant wind is straight down it. Feels like a pin ball at times. Can you dry sail the boat out of Cascade? That’s a pretty good lake. Your class Jib is a 110? It will go a long ways in helping you get a higher “point”. And you can even do this single hand. Just set up early for the tack, take in the slack on the lazy sheet before you tack, let the jib back-wind for a heartbeat and then haul it in. With a “smaller” jib, you should be able to do this O.K. If you are still having trouble, slow down your tacks a heartbeat or two. “upping the traveler” will also get you point higher. I see a lot of people thinking they are doing a “racing” turn and they rush the tack, bleeding off speed and losing point in the process.
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

Sounds about how I've been handling the class jib, alright. I'm not familiar with the term, "upping the traveler". What is that?

Yeah - my first sail on the R20 was with the PO on Lucky Peak, at something like 60% pool. Got pretty familiar with the drill on that boat right out. I sailed a Snark (OMG!) up on Bull Trout lake and THAT was a constant reversal. Only sailed my Sunfish and my first sloop (a C-Lark) on Lowell, so not so much work.
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

Steve, when you are trimmed for a beat, ideally, you want your boom to be on centerline with your boat. That, with your jib trimmed so it is “kissing the spreaders” (or the clew 8 – 10* from the tack) will give your boat it’s maximum pointing ability. (You will need to use all your other trim controls to make sure your tell tales are streaming). So, moving your traveler to windward (aka “upping”) will counteract the natural tendency for the boom to move to leeward with a little “ease” in the mainsheet. Stretchy sheets and or old sails will have a negative impact on this trim (that’s why racers go nuts in replacing their gear on a regular basis). The most simplistic rule of thumb for beating is “up” the traveler in light breezes and “down” (or “ease”) it when winds build.
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Re: Whisker Pole Questions

Thanks, George. I was thinking that might be what you were getting at, but didn't want to assume. Yep, I've been keeping the traveler windward to center the boom when I can. My C-Lark didn't have a traveler - but I had done some reading about the use of one, and so I improvised a crude end-boom traveler. Even as simple as it was, it was a real eye-opener. That and the upgraded sails (with more controls than the ones it came with) really woke that boat up.
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