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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy, all..

I'd like to get a whisker pole for our Pearson 26. There's a track and car for one on the mast. I'm assuming this is for a spinnaker pole and/or whisper pole. Can they be one and the same thing? I've done some poking around online, but I don't know enough to know what to get, and I KNOW I'm hoping not spend upwards of $600 or more (much more) on some of the Forespar offerings I've seen. Can anyone recommend something that'll get us started?

The car on the mast track has a fixed ring. The foot of our working jib is 12' 4", IIRC. Would something like this do the trick?

FORESPAR Twist Lock Telescoping Whisker Pole , Adjustable 6'-12' Latch Spike, 134"L | West Marine


EDIT: Ok, I just saw that the Sailnet store offers this pole, too, but includes more info than on the WestMarine site; it clearly states that this pole is meant for 16' or smaller boats, or up to a 22' max in light winds only. So much for that pipe dream..

Looks like this would be the one..

http://shop.sailnet.com/forespar-wh...outboard-complete-pole-foot-boat-p-28417.html

but sheesh.. is that really the price of admission? Anyone have anything used in good shape they'd like to sell? Is there a workable, yet safe and fairly effective, "Rube Goldberg" way of using something other than a kilobuck piece of equipment to get our feet wet?

We do have a spinnaker in fair shape (meaning, less than "good" but probably usable to learn on). Same basic questions... what do we need in terms of a pole?

We've found that our learning process seems to be working...

1. Read a lot and ask questions. Understand only a portion of what we read.
2. Go sailing. This helps us understand what we've read and, conversely, what we've read helps us understand what we're experiencing aboard. Answers we've received now make perfect sense, usually.
3. Come home with more questions raised by the last sailing trip. Repeat cycle.

This is working great for learning how to sail, but in terms of buying equipment it's been kind of inefficient. Sometimes we get lucky and and the hardware we've bought works exactly as we had envisioned. More than 1/2 the time, however, once we put it into use, THEN we discover and see exactly what we SHOULD have purchased.

That last paragraph is why I'm asking for help with this whisker/spinnaker pole thing. I just don't know what I need.. only that it's almost impossible to keep the jib even remotely full on broad reaches approaching direct downwind. Any help, links, offers to sell appropriate equipment... always appreciated.

Thanks again,

Barry
 

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Senior Smart Aleck
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Look on Craigslist and eBay - there are usually used aluminum poles for sale (because a racer is upgrading to carbon or a boat is being parted out). I bought a whisker pole for $100 and a spinnaker pole for $200, and use both. The spinnaker pole must sustain greater compression force and have bridles for the topping lift and foreguy. Your spinnaker pole will also have release wires to open the jaws at the end of the pole for jibes while you are positioned near the middle of the pole at the mast. You probably need at least a 2.5" diameter spinnaker pole equal to or longer than your "J" measurement - 11.6'. Tie a topping lift block to your spreaders and install a padeye in the middle of your foredeck. Attach blocks to the aft quarters for your spin sheets, buy lots of line, and you will be good to go.

Your Pearson 26 will be much faster DDW with a spinnaker hoisted to the top of that masthead rig.

The poles and rigging are fairly simple. You can renovate your pole with some new rivets, as so:

 

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Go to the forespar website... they have good info on sizing poles.... the one that adjusts 7-15' (if I recall) should be adequate. Not cheap...but not too many alternatives out there...though theoretically a long wooden stick with a hook of some sort on the end would work too.

Don't bother sailing anything closer to ddw than about 140 degrees without the pole or your jib will just flop. The pole will let you fly the jib either on the same side as the main or on the opposite side depending on where you want to head. Just don't expect your speed to increase too much. Your VMG may improve over gybing back and forth however.

If you want to learn sailing with a pole....try your local weekly wednesday nite races. They are used all the time for the downwind leg.
 

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This is roughly what I have:
WHISKER POLE ADJ. 72" TO 134" LATCH AND SPIKE

It came with the boat. It's not super robust, but I don't think a whisker pole needs to be.

I'm not doing super technical sailing, I don't use any control lines with it or anything. I just clip it to the bracket on the mast, stick the other end in the clew, and wing-and-wing away down wind I go.

Being longer than a boat hook I think it would also give you an advantage in games of late-night drunken dinghy jousting, although I have not had a chance to test this yet.
 

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When I bought this boat, it had an extendable pole about 5 inches in diameter, with release lines and wire to extend it. Reading several threads about poles, it became apparent that many do not feel than an extendable pole should be used with a spinnaker. As cruisers, we would only be using the chute in light air, and certainly not for radical reaching, so is this really a problem or could we use the extendable pole for our chute?
 

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When I bought this boat, it had an extendable pole about 5 inches in diameter, with release lines and wire to extend it. Reading several threads about poles, it became apparent that many do not feel than an extendable pole should be used with a spinnaker. As cruisers, we would only be using the chute in light air, and certainly not for radical reaching, so is this really a problem or could we use the extendable pole for our chute?
Sail mag just put out an article on cruising spins this month. In the last month they mentioned poling out the TACK to head deep down wind to get it out from behind the main. Never seen that before. Kinda think it be awkward though.
 

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I pole out my asym fairly often to get it deeper. My asym is set up for short handed sailing (with a sock) and it's easier for me to get it flying when I'm single or double handed.

I don't carry a whisker pole, my J-length spin pole works pretty well with a 130% genoa as a whisker pole. A little longer would be a little better, but not enough to carry two poles. Launching the asym spinnaker is barely more work than putting on a whisker pole, so I don't bother with the whisker pole setup very often.
 

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Sail mag just put out an article on cruising spins this month. In the last month they mentioned poling out the TACK to head deep down wind to get it out from behind the main. Never seen that before. Kinda think it be awkward though.
I do this regularly. Not awkward at all. It does mean dumping the chute and relaunching to gybe. No other issues.
 

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I do this regularly. Not awkward at all. It does mean dumping the chute and relaunching to gybe. No other issues.
This may only be possible on smaller boats like my own, but I gybe in this configuration by pulling the chute off of the pole and flying it free, gybing the chute like any other asymmetric, then putting it back on the pole after the gybe.

This is basically the same as a dip gybe on symmetrical spin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In the last month they mentioned poling out the TACK to head deep down wind to get it out from behind the main. Never seen that before. Kinda think it be awkward though.
I pole out my asym fairly often to get it deeper. My asym is set up for short handed sailing (with a sock) and it's easier for me to get it flying when I'm single or double handed.

I don't carry a whisker pole, my J-length spin pole works pretty well with a 130% genoa as a whisker pole. A little longer would be a little better, but not enough to carry two poles. Launching the asym spinnaker is barely more work than putting on a whisker pole, so I don't bother with the whisker pole setup very often.
I do this regularly. Not awkward at all. It does mean dumping the chute and relaunching to gybe. No other issues.
This may only be possible on smaller boats like my own, but I gybe in this configuration by pulling the chute off of the pole and flying it free, gybing the chute like any other asymmetric, then putting it back on the pole after the gybe.

This is basically the same as a dip gybe on symmetrical spin.
Ok... Ok... there it is again.. that "MAN, am I a bumbling idiot who can't understand anything" feeling... <grin>. Gotta confess, I can't visualize half the stuff you guys are talking about yet, but I'll get there. Sure wish I could sail with one or all of you and SEE you in action.

Seriously, thank you to EVERYONE for all the responses and help. Minnesail, the pole you linked to is the first one I mentioned in my original post; I think it's undersized for a 26' boat, per Forespar's and SailNet's sites. Too bad.. the price is right. Weinie, the one you suggested is the one Forespar recommends for my boat, but it's still well north of $400. I like the idea of crewing on a Wednesday night.. I'll follow through with that eventually; thanks for the prod. Alex, good to know that a pole CAN do double duty.

Still not sure what to get... ?

Thanks again.. I'll spend some quality time trying to decode the quotes above later tonight!

Best,

Barry

Now...
 

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This may only be possible on smaller boats like my own, but I gybe in this configuration by pulling the chute off of the pole and flying it free, gybing the chute like any other asymmetric, then putting it back on the pole after the gybe.

This is basically the same as a dip gybe on symmetrical spin.
On my boat when I get deep the tack line/foreguy is really long (pole aft) by the time I'm ready to gybe and there is a whole lot of sail out there. Inside gybes are tricky shorthanded and I can't rig for an outside gybe and the pole at the same time. It is faster and easier for me to douse the chute, rerig, and relaunch. Lighter air with the sym chute is easier to gybe - dip pole as you say.

Ok... Ok... there it is again.. that "MAN, am I a bumbling idiot who can't understand anything" feeling... <grin>.
Let us know how we can help. We all started at some point and there are karma points for helping others. *grin*
 

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Barry: If possible get a ride on a race boat that flies a symmetrical spinnaker. On weeknight racing you can probably get a "rail meat" job on almost any lightly crewed boat just by asking.

I did tons of internet and book research figuring out how to fly it all myself. Then I started racing on other people's boats this year. Honestly I think I learned more about spinnaker handling in 30 minutes of racing than I did in a couple years of fumbling around with it myself. The sets and douses that I did with my self-taught ways were pretty terrible too.
 

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... I just don't know what I need.. only that it's almost impossible to keep the jib even remotely full on broad reaches approaching direct downwind. Any help, links, offers to sell appropriate equipment... always appreciated.

Thanks again,

Barry
My boat came with a whisker pole and I have to confess I have never used it.

If you can't fly the jib wing-on-wing close to DDW, gybe the main and fly the jib on the other side. The jib will fly by itself on one side or the other...

I've sailed wing-on-wing with a full jib and without a pole for hours, you just need to be attentive to wind angle (and nobody stands aft of the boom, or rig a preventer if a heavy breeze).

If you have a spinnaker, definitely get a spinnaker pole, and learn to use the chute. I'm considering buying a spinnaker pole just to get better results from our cruising chute...
 

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An old windsurfer mast makes a good whisker pole for a boat under 40ft.

Cheap as chips on Craigslist.
 

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This may only be possible on smaller boats like my own, but I gybe in this configuration by pulling the chute off of the pole and flying it free, gybing the chute like any other asymmetric, then putting it back on the pole after the gybe.

This is basically the same as a dip gybe on symmetrical spin.
I'd be interested in pulling this maneuver off when I line up a pole. what serves as an aft-guy, ie the line that pulls the pole aft?


Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
 

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I do this regularly. Not awkward at all. It does mean dumping the chute and relaunching to gybe. No other issues.
Do you have a picture? My imagination does not seem to be imagining right now.
 

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I'd be interested in pulling this maneuver off when I line up a pole. what serves as an aft-guy, ie the line that pulls the pole aft?
I run a guy. It's like using a symmetric spinnaker with separate guys and sheets.

Yup, it's a lot of lines: downhaul (rigged to the asym tack, not the normal way for a pole), topping lift (rigged to the middle of my pole), two sheets (both attached to clew), two guys (both attached to tack), halyard.

A pole downhaul can also be used, but by leaving it attached to the sail tack allows me to release the pole from the sail and still fly it.

It's a very flexible setup for single or double handed cruising for me, but it does take a little time to get it flying or to gybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK, as promised, I've done a bunch more "homework" and have a better idea of most of the techniques that you folks have suggested.... not crystal clear, but much better. I watched all the related Forespar videos, but here's the one that went slow enough and precise enough for me to get a handle on all the lines involved...


It's long, and probably painfully slow for anybody with more experience than I (meaning, everyone pretty much), but it helped. However, what this guy is describing differs in quite a few ways from what I saw or read other places. He says keep the pole horizontal.. Pip (can't remember her last name) says keep it higher on the mast and angled down toward the clew. He uses two different lines for the guy and the sheet (talking about poling out a genoa, not a spinnaker).. other just put the pole on the sheet.

Can anyone add to this.. or critique this guy's method? Has he got it right? And.. how do I know how long a pole to get.. does it correspond to a percentage of the foot of the sail being used?

Thanks again.. I'll keep reading and watching everything I can find.

Barry
 

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OK, as promised, I've done a bunch more "homework" and have a better idea of most of the techniques that you folks have suggested.... not crystal clear, but much better. I watched all the related Forespar videos, but here's the one that went slow enough and precise enough for me to get a handle on all the lines involved...

Poling out the jib - sailing downwind - YouTube

It's long, and probably painfully slow for anybody with more experience than I (meaning, everyone pretty much), but it helped. However, what this guy is describing differs in quite a few ways from what I saw or read other places. He says keep the pole horizontal.. Pip (can't remember her last name) says keep it higher on the mast and angled down toward the clew. He uses two different lines for the guy and the sheet (talking about poling out a genoa, not a spinnaker).. other just put the pole on the sheet.

Can anyone add to this.. or critique this guy's method? Has he got it right? And.. how do I know how long a pole to get.. does it correspond to a percentage of the foot of the sail being used?

Thanks again.. I'll keep reading and watching everything I can find.

Barry
The fitting on the mast for the pole should be installed level with the clew of the sail when flying. Hence the pole would horizontal. The pole should be as long as the foot. If you have a large genoa, say a 150, furling it some may be beneficial. If you attach the pole to the working sheet, a topping lift is useful, especially in light wind when the weight of the pole is pulling it down into the water. Alternatively, you could attach the pole to the bowline knot or cringle at the clew of the sail.
If the pole keeps rising you can use a guy, or even simpler, the lazy sheet pulled down to your bow mooring cleat.

ETA: when we race, we usually have the guy on the foredeck use his body weight to keep the pole from rising in higher winds or prop it up on his shoulder when the wind is light...no guys or topping lift needed. It's not rocket science...you just want to keep the sail full.
 
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