You can sail wing and wing without a pole, but on a large genoa, like the 150% he mentions, it sets a lot better and resists collapsing from wave motion a lot better if it is poled out.
The spinnaker isn't impossible to work singlehanding, but it is generally more work than most are willing to do when cruising. The real problems you can get into with a spinnaker are things like a spinnaker broach, especially if you cleat the sheets off as Frank does. Two pieces of gear that make using a spinnaker much more manageable are the snuffer and the tack sleeve.
The snuffer allows you to douse the spinnaker relatively painlessly. The tack sleeve, allows you to fly it like a giant jib, with the tack sleeve wrapped about the furled headsail.
On the ocean, this is less of a problem, as the wind tends to be far steadier, but on a lakes and other smaller land-locked bodies of water, where the wind is very shifty... it can be really dangerous.
Last month, I was on a J/24 when it broached on Boston Harbor. The wind had shifted through almost 80 degrees while we were in the middle of a gybe. I was setting the spinnaker pole, and saw the broach coming, so dropped down to the lifelines and ended up sitting in the water when we went over to about 80 degrees.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.