You can save a chunk of money
by making one of the end fittings on each of the spinnaker poles. That's the way I did it in Fiji
I simply put a block of wood on a lathe and rounded it out so that it fit inside the aluminum two inch pole. Then I drilled a hole through the end of the wood, and I put a long eye bolt through the wooden block. Next I slid the wooden end fitting into one end of the pole and put screws through the aluminum into the wood about an inch from the end of the pole.
Voila! I now had an large eyebolt coming out of the end of the pole, and I put my snap shackle from the topping lift
and snap shackles from the foreguy and afterguy controlling the pole into the eyebolt as well.
This poor man's spinnaker pole lasted from Fiji the rest of the way around the world for the next eight years.
When I lathed the wooden spinnaker pole end fitting, I went ahead and constructed a spare end fitting in case one of them split or broke, but I never needed to use it.
So I only ended up buying
two piston style end fittings from West Marine
for one end of the poles, and I used the two homemade ones for the other ends. That probably saved two or three hundred dollars.
Good luck with you spinnaker poles. If you are sailing downwind in the trade
winds, they are essential members of the crew. If you want to see the poles doing their thing while running downwind in 40 knots of wind
, you can go to Welcoming to Maxing Out
and click on the video called: Episode 4 - Gates of Sorrow. You will see the poles in action as we sail through the Bab Al Mandeb at the entrance to the Red Sea. Those poles took a licking and kept on ticking.