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flyingwelshman 06-30-2011 10:50 AM

Use of whisker pole.
I got a whisker pole with my boat and have finally (after 4-years) decided to learn how to use it.

Can someone help me to figure out how to set it up?

I assume that this end:

is attached to the ring on the mast.

That means that this end:

has the jib-sheet passed through it.

I understand that the pole needs a topping lift.

Do I use my spinnaker halyard as the topping lift for the pole? Where does the topping lift get attached? (There doesn't seem to be an attachment point on the end of the pole.)

Am I planning on attaching the pole backwards?

Thanks in advance.


Faster 06-30-2011 11:05 AM

So far your assumptions seem fine, but... how long is this pole? The reason I ask is that it looks more like a reaching strut than a whisker pole with that outboard end. If it's just 3 or 4 feet long that's what it may be.

Typically a whisker pole is telescoping and has a pin at one end to insert into the clew cringle. Also a pole lift generally is not required when using a whisker pole, the jib leech will support it.

If you have spinnaker gear (sounds like you do) and the pole is shortish then it's not a whisker pole.... As a reaching strut the outboard end will extend just outside the lifelines at 90 deg to the mast. It's purpose would be to keep the guy from chafeing on the shrouds during a tight reach.

flyingwelshman 06-30-2011 11:20 AM

Thanks Faster.

I just went out and measured the pole. It's 7 feet long and extends to about 14 feet.

If I understand you correctly you don't think that a topping lift is required?

Would I just feed the jib sheet through the sheave and lead it back to the cockpit?

Could the hook end be the part that fits into the clew cringle? If so, what is the point of the sheave?



donlofland 06-30-2011 12:14 PM

This looks like what I have on my Catalina 27-it is a whisker pole, used to pole out the jib/jenny when sailing wing and wing downwind. (You can also use it to pole out the jib/genny when on a broad reach and there's not enough wind to keep the sail out there.)

The hook in the first picture hooks to the ring on the mast, and I run the jibsheet on the outside of the sheave in your second picture. The pressure of the jibsheet holds the outer end of the whisker pole up against the clew of the jib. I think the hook on the outer end just keeps the sheet from jumping off the sheave, and makes it easier to hook the pole to the sheet when the sheet's out there a ways.

And no topping lift is needed-the pole's light enough for the jib to support it.

And this pole wouldn't serve as a spinaker pole on my boat-it's too light. My spinaker pole is fixed in length, ~10-12' long, ~4" in diameter, and requires the spinaker topping lift to support its weight and the (darn, blanking out on what it's called), line coming down from the middle of the pole to the foredeck to keep it from rising up.

flyingwelshman 06-30-2011 12:21 PM

Thanks, I'll be playing with this this weekend.

(could 'vang' be the word you're looking for? Ain't senility a bitch?):cool:

Argyle38 06-30-2011 01:00 PM

Foreguy, but I prefer a downhaul.

That is a line coming from the spinnaker pole, to a swivel turning block at the base of the mast. That way, once it is setup for a particular pole height, the pole can swing without the line needing re-adjustment. This can also be a problem if one looses control of the pole in a seaway, since there will be nothing controlling the swing of the pole toward the shrouds.

ccher 06-30-2011 02:24 PM

That's precisely what I had on my old boat and never used a topping lift though in really light air it might drop a bit. My new (to me) boat has a much heavier forespar line adjustment pole and I use a spare halyard as the topping lift.

flyingwelshman 06-30-2011 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by ccher (Post 745891)
That's precisely what I had on my old boat and never used a topping lift though in really light air it might drop a bit. My new (to me) boat has a much heavier forespar line adjustment pole and I use a spare halyard as the topping lift.

I'm trying to wrap my head around how the sheet goes over the sheave and what do I do with the hook? Will it become obvious when I try to set it up? I'm thinking (as donlofland suggested) that the sheet goes around the outside of the sheave. Does the hook go into the cringle to kind of hold it all together?

Any advice would be appreciated.

ccher 06-30-2011 03:18 PM

The hook goes over the genoa sheet and the tension holds it all together; it will ride up to the clew unless the wind is really light. I rarely if ever had it jump off-I guess it could happen if you allow it to flog.

justified 06-30-2011 03:40 PM

Normally there is a line on the pole to help you expand it to the proper length depending on the point of sail and how much pressure you need to push the sail into position. That line should be what goes around the sheave at the outer end. Is there a small cleat or line jam cleat at the other end? At least that's how the expanding whisker pole that I use works.

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