Originally Posted by Greg4cocokai
I totally agree with Andrew if you go without a spinnaker
and DDW. I've had some of my fastest speeds on a J44 i used to skipper
, broad reaching, with the main and poled out jib to leeward. Just make sure the Forspar pole is big and long enough! We snapped the first one in half.
I agree, I think most people underestimate the strength required by whisker poles generally. In defence of telescopic poles, because they're half length (almost) when you're handling them, weight is not such a handling problem as with fixed length poles.
Cost, however, is
a problem with the Forespar item, particularly for big boats. Still -- big boat owners tend to have a well-practiced look of resignation while signing big cheques, IME
I forgot to mention another good thing about the 'poling to leeward' option: it's a great setup for sailing that tricky heading almost, but not quite DDW, for sectors too short to justify setting up the highly effective, Evans recommended "2 piece kite"
What I do in my home waters, where the home stretch very often requires (in summer) sailing for 3 or 4 miles at 165 AWA, in about 20 - 35 knots with a nice steep little sea, is this:
Pole the headsail to leeward, and alternate between
- sailing 150, or some such nice hot angle, with the headsail pulling like a freight train, pole extended to the max for that sail, .... and
- flicking the main over to the other side (especially when I see a gust approaching, if it's a juicy augmented seabreeze day) and running off, wing and wing, perched nicely in front of the wave crest, rock solid and (even in a boat which is tender
and tall-rigged) virtually immune to a broach.
If the sail area is borderline for the wind
strength, I'll square the boom all the way out, make sure the outhaul
is taut, set the vang-preventer up hard, then bring the mainsheet in a tad to stop the mainsail head
This, in combination with the headsail pole being the right length, keeps the white sails locked in place relative to the hull
, in a way which prevents those small force oscillations which can otherwise quickly build up to a broach if their tempo happens to coincide with the natural roll period.
(Particularly with guest helmspeople. I recall
taking my Mum sailing once, when she was still alive but getting on in years, in the waters where she spent her own summers as a child.
She was radiantly happy at the helm
(she turned out to be a natural) and I couldn't bear to take it from her as the breeze built on a brilliant summer afternoon - so instead I raked the swing keel
aft, worked ceaselessly on all aspects of the trim, and sweated bullets.
She never knew that we were sailing on the hairy edge of a broach for thirty agonising minutes)
On another occasion on a friend's boat, I could sense that he was distracted on the helm
in an animated conversation with his guests, who were getting married the next day.
I braced myself for the imminent broach, and when it happened, I raced up to the mast
and released the tackle on the telescopic pole before the full pressure of the wind could come on and buckle it.
A fixed length pole, even one with a track well up the mast
, does not AFAIK have a safe option for dealing with the aftermath of a broach, in the absence of a very sophisticated outboard
end which can trip remotely, and release an overloaded sheet or clew despite it acting in the compression
direction for the pole.
It occurs to me as I write this that a really
well engineered telescopic pole could include a self tripping cleat on the purchase
, tunable like a snowski binding, that would protect the pole from buckling.