Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-10-2016, 17:50   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Boat: Beneteau/343
Posts: 135
DIY whisker pole

A whisker pole costs about $900 for my boat. A buddy and I are discussing creating one with PVC pipe and appropriate end pieces. It should cost less than $300. Is this a reasonable idea?

Has anyone else done this?

This is a cruising boat. I don't race.

Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum

davefromoregon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 19:16   #2
Registered User
Orion Jim's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Noank, Ct. USA
Boat: Cape Dory 31
Posts: 854
Images: 6
Re: DIY whisker pole

If there was a dead simple, cost efficient, and safe method of creating a whisker pole I'd be willing to bet an investment cast headsail shackle that most of the cruisers would be equipped with one rather than keeping Forespar in business.
I'd never wish to hamper innovation so give it a try and keep us informed. Sometimes you luck out. Whisker poles were constructed of Douglas fir long before aluminum and now are available in carbon fiber but I'm sure further innovations will present themselves.

Orion Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 19:25   #3
Registered User
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 2,510
Re: DIY whisker pole

No, dont use pvc unless it is a very small boat, the loads are significant in any sort of wind/sea, and when they buckle they can do a lot of damage.

I have made my own from 6061 t6 alloy tube (not pipe). Worked fine and cheap enough. Its the end fittings that cost the big money, not the tube. Bamboo or strong clear wood can also work on smaller boats.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 19:40   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Boat: Gemini 3200
Posts: 537
Re: DIY whisker pole

Of course you can make your own whisker pole. It isn't rocket science. PVC isn't a very good material for the purpose. It's heavy and not strong compared to other materials. Aluminum tubing would probably work better. Fill it with a hard polyurethane foam or a dowel wrapped in fiberglass (to make a tight fit) to improve its rigidity. If you have to buy end fittings made for whisker poles that may offset some of your cost savings but I don't think it would be too difficult to fabricate something suitable. Even if you had a machine shop fabricate the ends from stainless steel I think you could bring the project in for less than $900.

fgd3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 20:03   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Pacific
Boat: 57' Laurent Giles Yawl
Posts: 715
Re: DIY whisker pole

Check with your local metal supplier. 4" aluminum tubing is way stronger than PVC and should cost around ~$6/foot. As others have said, the end fittings are the expensive parts-- to me it'd be worth it to check sailing swap meets or used boat part places like Minnie's in Los Angeles.
our blog
msponer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 21:32   #6
Registered User
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 7,527
Images: 5
Re: DIY whisker pole

Geeez...the simple answer is to buy a used one. I bought my first one for $200. In La Paz, a neighbor got tired of having two and gave me one. I sold it later at a swap meet for $200.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 21:45   #7
Registered User
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 2,336
Images: 16
Re: DIY whisker pole

I am guessing you are thinking of schedule 80? I still wouldn't bet on it. This is for the Beneteau right? How long does it need to be? My first thought was, believe it or not, a heavy duty aluminum Carlisle oar shaft that you attach fittings onto. They are really strong and maybe you could buy the blade too and it could double as a sweep if you were so inclined. I am experimenting with the oars on my boat, and I too need a whisker pole so I have been pondering it.
blue or yellow plastic covering
BE SURE YOU CONFIRM the length of the shaft before you buy

1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Want To Buy: whisker pole Australia Wanted a whisker pole timjf Classifieds Archive 0 18-04-2016 21:24
Whisker Pole sailorboy1 Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 21 01-11-2010 16:30
Whisker Pole Needed in Caribbean? Janice Atlantic & the Caribbean 14 12-08-2009 16:21
WTB: Whisker Pole mmckee1952 Classifieds Archive 3 30-07-2009 10:17
Whisker/Spinnaker pole advise Greg S Seamanship & Boat Handling 6 23-07-2007 05:05

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:38.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.