spinaker pole vs whisker - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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spinaker pole vs whisker

I'm starting with a green crew this year after 4 yrs away from sailing. (Wednesday night beer can racing) Previous to this, starting in 1989 I raced JAM for a few years then graduated to spinaker div. Since this is a fresh start, I am taking an easier route and signed up for JAM.

Back when I raced JAM, I had a nice whisker pole. When I went to spin, I gave it to a friend since I already had a spin pole that came with my boat. (Catalina 30 TRBS)

Since I will be in JAM this year, is there any detriment to using the spin pole instead of a whisker? (other than heavier and harder to handle). Should I rig it as if deploying a chute and use uphaul, downhaul. Or should I let it float free like a whisker? Or should I buy a whisker which I'd rather avoid the expense?
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-13-2008
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You should be able to use your spin pole in place of a whisker pole to pole out your jib. Yes, it is likely heavier and you will want to use the topping lift at least in lighter air.

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-13-2008
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Echo T34C above. The real difference, besides greater weight, is length. One length is fine for a symmetrical spinnaker, which otherwise runs free. But your jib is constrained by the headstay, so maybe an adjustable whisker pole, which can be lengthened when the apparent wind goes forward, or shortened when it goes aft, is preferable. Or just get an "average" length, though in that case, if your spin. pole is about the right length, just use it.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-13-2008
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Sailing Instructions

Do your sailing insructions restrict the length of Whisker Pole to the J measurement? Spinaker Poles are usually the J measurement whereas Whisker Poles can be longer.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-13-2008
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Local regs-PHRF-NW are 80% of LP for max pole on a jib wing on wing over 120LP. anything less than 120LP you can do J figure for the pole.

But as mentioned, if all you have is a spin pole, it works. We have used the SP on a C&C 115 I have been racing on a few times, as that is all we had on board. It worked/helped vs not using a pole!

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I drives me dinghy!
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-14-2008
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Here on the Chesapeake both the spin pole and whisker pole length are restricted to the length of J.

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post #7 of 14 Old 05-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Here on the Chesapeake both the spin pole and whisker pole length are restricted to the length of J.
Is that a recent change?

It used to be you were free to use "oversized" poles, but you were penalized in your rating if you did. We cut down the pole to J on our NY36 and got our PHRF rating bumped up to 114 from I think it was 111 or 108.


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post #8 of 14 Old 05-15-2008
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The standard unpenalized spin pole length in many regions including Ches bay is the "J" measurement. Over sized or undersized poles, sails etc have different % penalties for every inch or two difference. Ches Bay penalizes 3sec/mi for every (partial) 10% increase in length. Spin poles are usually the worst offenders.
It is all in the yearbook you receive when you join and get your rating.
The standard pole for a C30 TRBS is 3"x13.2'
And it should weight quite a bit less than the eqquivalent 3" whisker pole which has 2 tubes. smaller broom handle w poles are not adequate.
Note that PHRF has adopted most USSA Ocean minimum equipment standards for 2008 and there is quite a list of changes for even Bay racing.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-15-2008
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Thanks Max. That's my understanding of the rules on the Bay too. I've been inquiring, and believe a telescoping whisker pole can used on the Bay for a spinnaker pole, as long as you mark the maximum extension of the tube in red.

I was puzzled by the comments on the respective weight of the types of pole. Your comment is also consistent with my understanding. I know my telescoping whisker pole is a heavy s.o.b. compared to a spinnaker pole.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmunger View Post
Ches Bay penalizes 3sec/mi for every (partial) 10% increase in length.
That's consistent with my recollection.

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Originally Posted by maxmunger View Post
Note that PHRF has adopted most USSA Ocean minimum equipment standards for 2008 and there is quite a list of changes for even Bay racing.
Wow. Won't affect us since we're not racing. But that could put a damper on folks who are just trying to put together a bare bones racing program on a modest budget. I haven't seen the equipment list (tried finding it -- got a link?), but I expect some of it would be overkill for the Bay.


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