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Old 12-04-2006, 17:54   #16
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Whisker poles on larger boats usually need to be of quite heavy/stout construction because of the sometimes development of large compression loads induced into the pole. To reisit buckling failure, whiskerpoles usually need to be 'beefier'.
In constrast, spinnaker poles (being used only with spinnakers) are usually lighter weight/cross section because they typically dont get the high 'compression' loads .... because the leech/clew of a spinnaker is usually 'free'.

If you ever 'back' a poled out genoa in the higher wind ranges with spinnaker pole you will quickly find out why stouter 'whisker poles' are used for this purpose.

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Old 12-04-2006, 19:46   #17
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I suppose on a larger heavy boat there can be quite a load on the whisker pole. But if the same boat flew a chute in the same conditions, especially on a tight reach, and or down wind in a blow, it is my opinion that there would be more load on the spinnaker pole. I have used my whisker pole as a spinnaker pole and damaged it very quickly. When you pull the guy aft it loads up compression as the down haul pulls tight. Many boats need the down haul eased to do this but in the process compression on the pole is being loaded and unloaded. With the pole near the forestay there would be a lot of compression. Spinnaker poles have removed masts when broaching the wrong way, I have never heard of a whisker pole doing that. Or maybe I will just stay with my boat. There is a lot less load on the whisker pole than on the spinnaker pole. I have had a poled out 140 headsail in 30 knots of wind and hit 9 1/4 knots with the 28 foot boat.
Others may have different results. The original question, that I answered, was asking about not using a pole.

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Old 16-04-2006, 11:23   #18
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Location: Fort Myers, Florida
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Update on the whisker pole "alternative"


As before, the whisker pole alternative seemed attractive because I could use my existing genoa. It turns out however that an aluminum tube pole for my applications weighs ~42 lbs, about the same as my current spinnaker pole, and requires as much rigging; fore/after guy, topping lift, etc. A carbon fiber pole costs ~$3200 US! It looks like I'm going to have to learn to "shorthand" the spinnaker, after all. At least I have a snuffer to help with the ups, downs and abouts. Thanks to all for valued input.

Will Burton
s/v Far Niente
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Old 17-04-2006, 04:37   #19
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As a shorthanded sailor with a big spinnaker pole [J = 19 ft] maybe I can help. You can attach the topping lift to the pole first. This lets you lift some of the weight of the pole using the Topping lift [ do not raise to full hoist but rather just a few inches] not your back. Then attach to mast and sails as described above.

S/Y Sirius
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gennaker, spinnaker

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