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Old 30-04-2015, 12:44   #1
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what to do with giant whisker pole?

Our boat came with a massive whisker pole (I would estimate 4" in diameter aluminum). The thing reaches from the mast, to the bow of our 44' boat (un-telescoped). The thing is really heavy, and doesn't seem manageable to use with 1 person (with 2 adults and a todler, these types of jobs need to be 1 person jobs). It probably weighs ~50-80 pounds. It also takes up a fair amount of deck space, and the jib sheets occasionally wrap around it. For cruising with a toddler, I just cant imagine using it.

Is it worth selling (is it even usable on other boats)?

We have a spinnaker, but have never really inspected it (not sure if its an asymmetrical or symmetrical). I would need to run a spinnaker halyard to even consider using the spinnaker (assuming we can even handle it with the toddler - think single handing).

I'm wondering what the CF community thinks? Should I keep it for later on, sell it, or toss it (not sure how I would even do that legally other than chopping it up)?
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Old 30-04-2015, 12:56   #2
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

It depends a lot on where you plan to sail. We do not use our whisker pole often, even on long downwind passages, but when we need it, it is sure nice to have. On our recent Pacific crossing we poled out the genoa 2 days out of 19. Otheres ran day after day with the pole out. A costly alternative would be buy a carbonfiber pole -- much lighter. Even then, it is far easier to set and raise with two people than with one. With one, you need good technique.
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Old 30-04-2015, 13:04   #3
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

Another thing to note: for the foreseeable future we will be keeping passages as short as possible. We will be keeping coastal, heading down to Mexico (Pacific), and eventually to the Caribbean. Mostly harbor hopping.

Our daughter enjoys sailing, and always looks forward to sailing, but in short trips. She loves being at anchor and on the boat. She is into the sailing for the first 4 hours or so, and gets tired of it pretty quickly.
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Old 30-04-2015, 13:08   #4
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

Going down the west coast as far as Panama you will often be in light wind and a swell. You can motor with the main or sail and pole out the headsail. Without the pole, the headsail slaps back forth in the Pacific swells.
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Old 30-04-2015, 18:53   #5
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

A whisker pole is an extendable pole for winging out a jib. A spinnaker pole is a fixed length pole usually the length of the 'J' of your boat though can be any length.

You'll need one or the other to run wing and wing poling out the jib DDW. You can tack downwind so you don't need to poll out the jib but you'll extend the miles sailed and usually the time for a passage. Never know when the wind will dictate running wing and wing. The sail to Hawaii was wing and wing for all but 3 of the 15 day passage.

I set up the polls on my boat with fore and after guys and a topping lift. The guys control the horizontal movement of the poll and are led back to the cockpit. The lift takes the weight. If the pole is really heavy, a multi part tackle will make it easier to position. I furl the jib, then hoist the pole up with the guys holding it against the fore stay, hook the jib sheet in the jaws, then go back to the cockpit and unfurl the jib. When the jib is out, lock the pole in place with the guys and adjust the lift if necessary. Takes longer to describe than to do with little drama.

Notice I said polls. Have a whisker pole and a spinnaker pole. The whisker pole extends from 12' to 22'. The spinnaker pole is a 'penalty pole', 2' longer than the boats 13'8" 'J' measurement. Needed both on the Hawaii trip as the whisker pole bent when I tried to run with it too extended. Finished the sail with the spinnaker pole. Whisker poles aren't designed to take compression loads that a spinnaker often generates or a jib with the pole extended way out.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:00   #6
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Wink Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

All this talk about whisker poles and spinnaker poles is not for short handed crews.
Pop rivet some blocks and a gooseneck to the thing, then hoist it up as a yard with a Wall-Mart tarp for a sail. You can then go for ever with the wind anywhere up to three points off the stern.
It will also get it out of the way on deck.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:18   #7
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

I don't know how long you've had your boat but I suggest you don't do anything rash like sell or wreck the poles. Put them in the garage if in doubt. I thought I would not use ours but as I became familiar with the boat I realised they are invaluable assets for downwind sailing. Hang on to them, get comfortable with them and you'll love them. Ours are monsters too but well worth getting into position, and I sail solo most of the time.

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Old 01-05-2015, 05:38   #8
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post

I set up the polls on my boat with fore and after guys and a topping lift. The guys control the horizontal movement of the poll and are led back to the cockpit. The lift takes the weight. If the pole is really heavy, a multi part tackle will make it easier to position. I furl the jib, then hoist the pole up with the guys holding it against the fore stay, hook the jib sheet in the jaws, then go back to the cockpit and unfurl the jib. When the jib is out, lock the pole in place with the guys and adjust the lift if necessary. Takes longer to describe than to do with little drama.
Good formula, I am taking notes.

FWIW, I use the staysail halyard as the topping lift for the pole, since I am yet to find a situation where I need both a staysail and the spinnaker pole.

Matt
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:46   #9
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

Work out a good place to keep it and leave it there, don't get rid of it.

When you decide you are ready for it you have it ... buying it again would be expensive.

When you sell the boat the next buyer will bargain down on the cost of a new pole.

I've got the same length and dia pole on my boat (45') and one person can handle it with practice and planning.

J
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:08   #10
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

Hi there, my boat came with two of these monsters - I found a sister ship and gave the best one away. The other I've toted all over the North Atlantic and Caribbean and just looked at it. When I find a suitable place to discard it, I will, with pleasure.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:23   #11
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what to do with giant whisker pole?

My boat is a cutter with the staysail on a boom. I don't have a whisker pole. In 15 years of cruising the west coast two handed or solo I have never needed a pole. There have been a few times I thought it would have been nice to have one sailing dead down wind or nearly so, but not necessary. I can rig a preventer on my staysail boom to keep it out opposite the main boom and the air off the staysail usually keeps the Yankee full. But, I find DDW not to be neither the pleasantest way to go, nor the quickest way to get there on my boat. Tacking down wind adds miles but may be faster. And with you, your wife and young daughter on board DDW can be an awfully uncomfortable way to roll, roll, roll.


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Old 01-05-2015, 09:47   #12
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

Your boat's new-to-you. Store it (somewhere, either on or off the boat) until you know what you want to do.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:02   #13
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

Circumnavigated with a three month old. She was 4.5 on returning home. Daughter two was born aboard along the way.

When not in use, clip the forward end to your aft lower shroud and fashion a ring to secure the aft end such that it creates a solid railing along the top of your lifelines. Great for keeping that toddler aboard.

You will use this pole a great deal if you go far enough.
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Old 01-05-2015, 17:28   #14
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

You will use this pole for sailing down wind, even when you are reaching up 5 or 10 degrees. It will prevent the genny from filling and collapsing, which will drive you nuts.

You need to rig the pole so it is easy to set and stow. The best way to do this is to extend (if necessary) the pole track on the front of the mast so that it is possible to stow the pole vertically against the mast, always keeping the aft end of the pole in the spinnaker pole car and snapping the outboard end of the pole in a deck mount.

Then, to set it, all you have to do is snap the topping lift on the outboard end of the pole, unclip the pole from the deck, and lower the spinnaker car while raising the topping lift. Because the pole will constantly be attached to the boat, it will be easy to control. You should also rig a foreguy (runs from the end of the pole to the bow) to control the fore and aft movement of the pole.

Spinnaker poles and gear are EXPENSIVE. You definitely don't want to get rid of the thing, because you will want it some day and you won't want to pay $$$ to replace it.

Have fun!
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Old 01-05-2015, 17:36   #15
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Re: what to do with giant whisker pole?

On the other hand, if you do want to sell it, I'll buy if from you for a reasonable price!
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