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I have a whisker pole, but no spinnaker. It is about 9 feet long when telescoped out. Can I use it with a 150 genoa, or does it need to be used with a shorter footed sail? Is an extra guy line needed to run back to the cockpit for pulling the trigger where it attaches to the clew? Do I need to roll up the furler prior to pulling the trigger?
I am singlehanding, and only planning to use it in light air.
Thanks.
 

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Barquito
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I don't have too much experience with these, but, a spinnaker pole is usually much beefier than a whisker pole. The Whisker pole should be about 100% of the foot of the sail. So, for a C&C 27 that would be about 12' long for a 100% jib. You could use a shorter one, it just won't present as much sail area. You can just connect the thing by hand (you should be clipped in). I would imagine sophisticated set-ups would have some control lines.
 

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I don't know anything, but I sail with an instructor a few times a month and last time out we deployed the whisker pole on a light air day and it worked great.

We furled the 150 about 1/2 way in on a beam reach, hooked the pole to the clew, then to the mast and turned down wind where we let the rest of the 150 out. Worked pretty good.

Single handed, you'd need to be real careful about ending up in the drink...
 

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Ideally should have topping lift, fore and after guys as well as way to position height of pole ( slide on mast). However, when reaching forces on pole are nothing like forces when DDW with spinnaker. Given size of boat any simple way to deploy should be fine. See people just clip them to toe rail. Advantage of three lines to pole is it stays in one place. Often can roll genny on furler and just leave pole out if not needed or when singling need some time before you go forward to get rid of it when you have a way to keep it still by using the three control lines. Personally won't put a pole out by myself but I'm a wimp and need more experience with my boat. Have done it past and in light air if well thought out quite doable.
Release is usually brought back to boat along the pole so tricky to release sheet if singling and at helm. Need the AP. Some just fly the genny without the main and no pole. Easier to keep genny full.
 

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The best info I have seen for use of a whisker pole is this video by John Kretschmer.

Usually you only need a whisker pole in light air, or when doing long distance downwind sailing. Stronger winds will hold the sail out reasonably well without need for a pole, if you trim the jibsheet correctly.

Kretschmer is using a whisker pole of proper length. You won't be able to use yours that way. You might be able to use yours by clipping one end to the toe rail as outbound suggests. I believe a good whisker pole for a 150% genoa on your boat would be a Forespar ADJ 7-17. One would need a topping lift for the heavy pole that would be used on a bigger boat, but you shouldn't need a topping lift for a small pole like the ADJ 7-17. For singlehanding, you'll need some kind of self steerer to hold the course while you set the pole, but, if you have a proper pole and can do it as Kretschmer recommends, you might be able to get by without a steering aid.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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Watch the video. It is great. You do want a topping lift - it just makes it easier to get the pole in the right position. The most important thing after not clipping the end of the whisker pole to the sail (it slides along the jib sheet) is watch for chafe on the jib sheet. Even the smallest little thing will chafe your sheets as the pole slides back and forth on them.

Fair winds and following seas.
 

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Your whisker pole is too short for your boat. Buy a used forespar 8-15' or longer. Use it for a broad reach to leeward or running downwind wing and wing. You usually do not need a topping lift (I have one and rarely use it for the whisker pole; always with spinnaker pole). Here is how it is done:


and wing and wing down the Bay:

 

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I should have been reading this thread before today....

Yesterday, we used the genoa on our Ranger 20 for the first time. As we eased into a broad reach, I attached the whisker pole - but in my ignorance, I hooked it to the loop of the bowline at the clew rather than allowing it to slide on the sheet itself. It worked fine - but as I now read here that it should be allowed to slide on the sheet, I am wondering if it would be better to let it slide and what keeps it in the preferred location on the sheet? The topping lift (which I don't have yet)?

Also - after watching the videos....what is the best method for deploying the whisker pole if one does not have a furler?



Would I be better off clipping the other end to the toe rail instead of the ring (no track) on the mast?
 

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I should have been reading this thread before today....

Yesterday, we used the genoa on our Ranger 20 for the first time. As we eased into a broad reach, I attached the whisker pole - but in my ignorance, I hooked it to the loop of the bowline at the clew rather than allowing it to slide on the sheet itself. It worked fine - but as I now read here that it should be allowed to slide on the sheet, I am wondering if it would be better to let it slide and what keeps it in the preferred location on the sheet? The topping lift (which I don't have yet)?
Steve, each of us contributes our opinions based on our own experiences. You don't have to do anything the way that any of us recommends. You should treat the recommendations of each of us as a mere suggestion. Try it, and then, in the end, do what works best for you. Often, there's no single correct way to do something. There is the way that works for you, and the way that doesn't.

I raced a 25' boat for 23 years, and won lots of races and regattas with it, and I set my whisker pole exactly the way you do, by attaching it to the loop of the bowline at the clew rather than allowing it to slide on the sheet itself. It also worked fine for me for 23 years. On my present boat, I don't attach it to the loop of the bowline. I let it slide on the sheet. Why? No particular reason. I tried it that way on my present boat, and it worked ok, so I'll continue doing it that way until I find a way that I like better.

I also never used a topping lift on the whisker pole on my 25' boat. I do use one on my present boat, which is much bigger and heavier, because it makes it easier for me to control that heavy pole while setting it. You are the best judge of what you need for your boat. Unless you need a topping lift for some specific reason, then rigging one that is unnecessary just adds extra hardware and extra lines that are apt to get tangled. Only use one if you think you need it. When you set the pole without a topping lift, did the sail take a good shape? Was the pole so heavy that you needed a topping lift to help support it?

Also - after watching the videos....what is the best method for deploying the whisker pole if one does not have a furler?
The genoa on my 25' boat was hanked-on (no furler). I reached out and grasped the clew of the genoa and clipped the pole end to the loop of the bowline. Then I clipped the other end to the ring on the mast. My mast ring was not on a slide, and I never saw a reason to add one.

Would I be better off clipping the other end to the toe rail instead of the ring (no track) on the mast?
If the pole is too short, then you could clip one end to the toe rail, but, if it is long enough to spread the sail while clipped to the mast ring, then, IMO, that's the preferred way to attach it.
 

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Thank you Sailormon6! I guess this was one of those times that my "educated guess" worked out. I did it pretty much the same as you described for your hanked-on sail, except I attach the pole to the mast first, thinking that I would be less likely to drop it overboard.

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. ;)
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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. :D 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. :eek:
 

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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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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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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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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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