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Old 19-12-2012, 07:04   #1
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Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

OK the puzzle is I have a rope clutch mounted on my spinnaker pole a couple of feet from the mast end.
It's a single ended pole on a 47 foot boat. There is no mast track so the inboard end of spinnaker pole is at a fixed height. The clutch is positioned so the rope it's should come from the mast end, with the tail outboard.

The clutch just sits on the pole mocking me it seems to say " you don't know much about about sailing if you can't figure out what I do"

So over to collected wisdom of the forum. Before it drives me insane. What's the bl**dy clutch for???
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Old 19-12-2012, 07:12   #2
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

could be for securing, when it is on deck?
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Old 19-12-2012, 07:28   #3
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
could be for securing, when it is on deck?
Thanks for the thought, but I don't think so. The pole has two deck mounted chocks. A SS cage locks the mast end. At the outboard end the the retractable pin of the spinaker pole lock on to a SS bar. So the pole is not moving.

The clutch is large one suitable for 10-12mm line.

The only possible explanation I can come up with is to help raise the inboard end of the pole. There is no winch that the clutch leads too, so no mechanical advantage, but if you slip while lifting the inboard end of the pole at least it does not crash down on the deck if you tighten a "safety " line as lift the inboard end of the pole into the socket.
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Old 19-12-2012, 11:38   #4
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

The chute will pull the pole forward if it is not "latched" somehow at the mast.
Line would hold it in tight to mast.
What fitting on mast?
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Old 19-12-2012, 12:49   #5
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

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Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
The chute will pull the pole forward if it is not "latched" somehow at the mast.
Line would hold it in tight to mast.
What fitting on mast?
Another good idea, but the socket on the mast has a locking mechanism that holds the spinnaker pole in place. Like this.
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Old 19-12-2012, 13:18   #6
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

On some spinnaker poles, the rope that opens the "beak" at the outboard end (to release the spinnaker clew/brace (a.k.a. "guy") will run through the inside of the pole and out near the mast end. The point of this is so that, on fully crewed racing boats, the "mast man" controls the release of the clew/brace while the bowman controls putting in the new brace (through a jibe). If this set-up exists on your pole, then the clutch may simply be for the tail of this line (i.e. that opens the beak) so that you can force the beak to stay open... this would be kinda almopst logical for short handed sailing... not so much for jibing, but for dousing.... you could trip the pole and know that the beak would stay open while you go forward to douse...

... its a stretch, but its all I got
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Old 19-12-2012, 13:34   #7
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

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Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
On some spinnaker poles, the rope that opens the "beak" at the outboard end (to release the spinnaker clew/brace (a.k.a. "guy") will run through the inside of the pole and out near the mast end. The point of this is so that, on fully crewed racing boats, the "mast man" controls the release of the clew/brace while the bowman controls putting in the new brace (through a jibe). If this set-up exists on your pole, then the clutch may simply be for the tail of this line (i.e. that opens the beak) so that you can force the beak to stay open... this would be kinda almopst logical for short handed sailing... not so much for jibing, but for dousing.... you could trip the pole and know that the beak would stay open while you go forward to douse...

... its a stretch, but its all I got
Yes there is rope ( actually ss wire) that pulls the pin for the beak that leads inside the spinnaker pole. This exits the spinnaker pole outboard of the clutch, but the clutch is the wrong way around to take this. It's possible (but very unlikely) the clutch has been wrongly reversed at some stage but the clutch is not compatible with wire and the wire exit is too close to clutch to add a rope tail.
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Old 19-12-2012, 14:09   #8
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

well ... if it ain't the beak ???

Is there a turning block on the mast at the pole fitting? Could be for the topping lift? or the downhaul?

Whatever goes into it should have a block to lead fair into it ... is there a block on the mast or on the pole itself?

Mystery
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Old 19-12-2012, 14:34   #9
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

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Originally Posted by jannw View Post
well ... if it ain't the beak ???

Is there a turning block on the mast at the pole fitting? Could be for the topping lift? or the downhaul?

Whatever goes into it should have a block to lead fair into it ... is there a block on the mast or on the pole itself?

Mystery
Your point about the fair lead on the mast is good one, but their is nothing.
The clutch is wrong way around for the the topping lift or the downhaul. If the topping lift was attached to bridle the clutch could adjust the length of the bridle, but why bother when there is a dedicated spinnaker topping lift clutch. Besides the topping lift is only attached to bridle when using a double ended pole. This is a single ended pole.

In some ways I am glad the brain trust is a bit stumped. I have been looking at it for a long time trying to come up with answer.
The boat was originally built for an elderly couple who sailed it around the world. Both had some medical issues that effected their strength, so maybe the idea of assisting the lift of the mast end of the pole is understandable.
I have never used the clutch, but I will try it like this and see if it works.

Any other ideas would be gratefully received.It does not seem the right answer and I have never seen anything similar.
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Old 19-12-2012, 15:07   #10
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Picture might help.

Do you reckon the pole waas ever stored on the boom??
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Old 19-12-2012, 15:16   #11
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

I will try to get some pictures tomorrow.

There is no evidence of storing the pole on the boom. It's a roller furling boom so the side walls are not really suitable for storage of a heavy pole and there are too many fittings underneath the boom.
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Old 19-12-2012, 15:23   #12
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

Is it possible that the pole was sometimes used as a whisker pole.
A single line could then be run thru the end fittings for a jib outhaul, and at the mast, thru the ears on the fitting and thru the jammer. Lead would be right for that.
My extendable Forespar whisker pole has a jam cleat same place, face same way, with the extending line external in guides.
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Old 19-12-2012, 15:33   #13
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

If the boat have been used for cruising it might be for pooling out the headsail to weather! we use the same system with a line going from the clutch to the end of the pole and then we have a snap schackle in the end of the line that clips around the sheet. this way you can set up the boom and then with little effort pull the sheet out to the boom end.

cheers Johan
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Old 19-12-2012, 15:37   #14
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Is it possible that the pole was sometimes used as a whisker pole.
A single line could then be run thru the end fittings for a jib outhaul, and at the mast, thru the ears on the fitting and thru the jammer. Lead would be right for that.
My extendable Forespar whisker pole has a jam cleat same place, face same way, with the extending line external in guides.
Yes I also use it as whisker pole as well. The boat is cutter rigged so with a Yankee the pole is OK length to act as whisker pole. The fact that its heavier construction than just a whisker pole does not matter and I sure being a cruising boat the pole was made with this double duty in mind.

However, you lost me after that although your explanation does sound promising.
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Old 19-12-2012, 16:01   #15
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Re: Clutch on Spinnaker Pole. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsail View Post
If the boat have been used for cruising it might be for pooling out the headsail to weather! we use the same system with a line going from the clutch to the end of the pole and then we have a snap schackle in the end of the line that clips around the sheet. this way you can set up the boom and then with little effort pull the sheet out to the boom end.

cheers Johan
I think you and Blue stocking are describing the same thing.
If I understand correctly you are using a snap shackle and clutch to pull the jib sheet out to the beak of the pole.

That would work and I think is the right answer. Wow mystery solved.

Thanks I will give a try.
When using it as a whisker pole I have always fed the jib sheet directly through the beak, generally with the jib furled.
The advantage of the clutch and snap shackle idea would be that the it could be attached to jib sheet from any position even if the jib and therefore jib sheet was bouncing around.
Have you any photos of how its rigged or in action?
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