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Old 22-09-2013, 06:02   #1
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Poles, poles and more poles

Hello Cruisers,

Today I took the monumental decision of removing the spinnaker pole and reaching strut from the boat, because... well.. we don't HAVE a spinnaker.

We have a MPS (and I am becoming a serious convert to MPS sailing) and I have not been able to see how the spinnaker pole or reaching strut could be used with the MPS, the spinnaker pole is way too long, the reaching strut is way too short, and the MPS does not appear to need such support from my understanding and experience so far.

Neither are the right length for a whisker pole (and both a bit solid for that job) and I don't seen to need a whisker pole these days as I always seem to use the MPS instead of poling out the jibs...

It's great to have them out of the way in the garage roof instead of strapped to the stays as they have been though I still have the boom for the staysail to contend with, so I am not completely free of clutter.

But, as always... I wonder if I am missing something here. Is there some scenario where I might need either of these items? Maybe the spinnaker pole would make a good emergency rudder... but then the staysail boom would do that job just as well I think...

Thoughts?

Matt
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:45   #2
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

The MPS is basically an asymmetric spinnaker, as I understand it. There are times when a pole at the tack of the asym is helpful. If you want to sail deeper than the asym (or MPS) is designed for, you can set the tack on the pole and present the sail further to weather and clearer of the main sail. Another situation we have used a pole on the tack is in lumpy seas. Having the pole fixed in position (3 point) and the tack of the asym up higher and also fixed in position, helps when the boat is slopping around from a messy sea.

Of course, having less junk onboard and more room is nice too.
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:56   #3
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

I find I use my extendable whisker pole more for hoisting the dinghy onto the foredeck than for sailing. My spinnaker pole is a beautiful, tapered piece of varnished Sitka Spruce with bronze ends. Bus alas, like you, don't use the standard chute anymore.
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Old 22-09-2013, 07:26   #4
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

Matt, I wonder what sail plan you use when forced to sail very deep angles in a strongish breeze? That is, wind stronger than your MPS is rated for. In such situations, which seem to happen to us a lot, especially when going up and down the East coast of Oz, we use a prevented main and poled out genoa. The spinnaker pole is actually a bit short for the full 120 % gennie but works adequately, and as the wind builds and we reduce the sail area a bit it is just right. I don't feel that the pole is over spec for this usage, BTW, especially if you want to reach up a bit. We will carry the pole up to around 100 deg apparent at times, pole well forward, and it seems a bit faster than with the sail trimmed conventionally... certainly not slower and with nice balance.

When the course is near DDW with your Swanson I doubt if you will be gaining enough speed to make gybing back and forth worthwhile, and the extra work involved with a short handed boat is significant. This may make sailing deep with a poled out genoa look attractive to you. You can also use the pole to sail deep with your MPS (or at least we used to do that years ago with our S&S30, which had a primitive MPS as well as a conventional kite).

So for us, having the pole is a must, and I suspect that you may find that you would use it too... I'd certainly not get rid of it in a permanent way! The reaching strut will be of little use without a proper kite.

We keep the pole vertically against the front of the mast, inboard end up, and with a topping lift that goes about 2/3 of the way up to the forestay attachment point. Setting it is an easy one-man job: unclip it from the lower fixing point, swing it out a bit and clip in the sheet, bring the upper end down by pulling on the control line. As the upper end descends, the topping lift forces the pole toward a horizontal attitude, and by the time the inboard end is at the proper height the pole is indeed horizontal, ready to have the sail unrolled... easy peasy!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:05   #5
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

What you are missing is that you may be able to use the spinnaker pole when beam reaching under your MPS/genoa. This is as if you could move your sheeting point way outside of the boat's perimeter! Not required, if you are sailing a cat ;-) But very sensible thing in a monohull.

I used this trick in beam/broad reaching conditions across very light winds - both with our ups and with our 'genoa'.

Cheers,
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Old 22-09-2013, 18:43   #6
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

Jim and Barnakeil,

As I read it you are both suggesting I need a whisker pole for the jib/genoa, even though I have not to date, it makes sense that I will eventually. To date I have been day sailing so not having to sail to a heading that might otherwise require a means of poling out the jib/genoa.

What I had on board was either too short or too long for a whisker pole, so I will start looking for a new pole. I'd rather it was a lot lighter than the spinnaker pole which is pretty hefty, otherwise I would be tempted to shorten that one to suit my needs.

Jim, I do like the sound of how yours is stowed, all of our current poles were attached to the shrouds and I felt that the extra windage was considerable. I certainly do NOT want to store any poles on the deck as our decks are wonderfully uncluttered, you litterally could roller-skate on them.

Matt
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Old 22-09-2013, 18:49   #7
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
I find I use my extendable whisker pole more for hoisting the dinghy onto the foredeck than for sailing. My spinnaker pole is a beautiful, tapered piece of varnished Sitka Spruce with bronze ends. Bus alas, like you, don't use the standard chute anymore.
I hear they are also poplular for swinging off the boat into the water on warm days too.

Are you happy with the extandable pole? Sounds like a good idea, in that it would be easier to stow and more flexible in settings, but does the latching mechanism on the extension give you trouble?

For the record, having been a spinnaker sailer for all my life up to now, I don't miss them one bit and have become a total convert to the MPS (Asym) and use it far more than I probably should. I always loved the tranquility of sailing under spinnaker, but disliked the work in setting the thing right (as is evident from a photo on my gallery where I have an appalingly badly set spinnaker on our Austral 20). The MPS with sock is the simplest sail I have ever handled, and suits my solo sailing perfectly.

I hope that lovely varnished pole with bronze ends is stored somewhere out of the sun, and rain, and humitity, and away from knocks, rubbing, ropes.... er... actually, it probably should not be on a boat really.

Matt
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Old 22-09-2013, 18:53   #8
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
The MPS is basically an asymmetric spinnaker, as I understand it. There are times when a pole at the tack of the asym is helpful. If you want to sail deeper than the asym (or MPS) is designed for, you can set the tack on the pole and present the sail further to weather and clearer of the main sail. Another situation we have used a pole on the tack is in lumpy seas. Having the pole fixed in position (3 point) and the tack of the asym up higher and also fixed in position, helps when the boat is slopping around from a messy sea.

Of course, having less junk onboard and more room is nice too.
Do you think a suitable whisker pole, extandable such as Blue Stocking uses, would serve the functions you describe? i.e. would it be strong enough, given I would rather something lighter than a conventional spinnaker pole?

And yes, less junk is good. Very good.

Matt
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Old 22-09-2013, 19:16   #9
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

Matt, what size genoa do you carry, and how long is your pukka soinny pole? I'm surprised that you find it to be too long... on I-2 we have a standard "J" length pole and it is really a bit too short for poling out our 120% gennie.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 22-09-2013, 19:51   #10
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

These make a lot of sense, I think.

http://www.apsltd.com/images/CATEGORY/medium/8030.gif

On my, 'to ask for Christamas' list ;-)

Cheers,
b.
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Old 22-09-2013, 19:58   #11
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

Hi Jim,

I THINK it is a 120% genoa, I am ashamed to say I don't actually know.

The spinnaker pole is somewhere around 16 feet long, not sure how that compares with a standard length.

I have tried all sorts of ways to use either the spinnaker pole or the reaching strut but I could not make them work for me in any role. The spinnaker pole is just way too long for anything I tried, including poling out the MPS (not that it has appeared to need poling out). I was really just trying to figure out WHY they were on the boat, since I knew I did not have a spinnaker and I didn't actually know what the reaching strut was, having never seen one before.

(I did not actually know what the reaching strut was till I went and googled the darn thing, funnily enough I found the answer from a post you replied to where the CF member had posted a picture of the end of the pole and you identified it and suggested it could be used as a whisker pole as well.)

I do want a whisker pole, and when I think back, I could have used one bringing the boat home from Melbourne to Adelaide. I am interested in the extendable poles, but I am curious to know if they are reliable or if people have problems with the locking mechanisms that set the length. Also, I would like the lightest pole I can get away with, of course with due regard to having adequate strength. The current spinnaker pole is a monster, in both length and thickness, and I just know a pole like that would get very little use as it is just too daunting to handle.

Not sure when the boat lost its spinnaker, but given the original owner used the boat in the trade winds from Aus to Vanuatu, I suspect he would have gone to MPS earlier rather than later, so the pole may have been obsolete since the late 80's.

Matt
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Old 22-09-2013, 20:04   #12
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
These make a lot of sense, I think.

http://www.apsltd.com/images/CATEGORY/medium/8030.gif

On my, 'to ask for Christamas' list ;-)

Cheers,
b.

Yes... nice... but at over $1500 they are really on the "ask VERY NICELY, with roses, and maybe a dinner at a good restraunt" list.

Nice though, very nice.

Matt
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Old 22-09-2013, 20:16   #13
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Re: Poles, poles and more poles

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Do you think a suitable whisker pole, extandable such as Blue Stocking uses, would serve the functions you describe? i.e. would it be strong enough, given I would rather something lighter than a conventional spinnaker pole?

And yes, less junk is good. Very good.

Matt
Matt,
No, thr examples I gave were pole on the tack. This takes a pole of spin pole strength.
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