Spinnaker Pole

Moderator: GreenLake

Spinnaker Pole

Postby RobH912 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:05 pm

Now I need to be looking for a spinnaker pole, and looked at the DS measurements, and found this:

"7.13. A whisker pole or spinnaker pole shall not be more than 74 inches in length overall (fittings included). When in use, one end shall be made fast to the mast. A maximum of two poles may be on board."

Was wondering what lengths of spinnaker pole people have; or should I just be looking for a 74 inch spinnaker pole?

Looked on D&R and didn't see a spinnaker pole offering, are there particular features to look for other than light, jaws open easy?

Also thought it was interesting that two poles are allowed on board.

Always thought of a "whisker pole" as something smaller and would be used to hold out the jib sheet, sailing down wind, sailing "wing & wing", especially in light air... or something like that. Can't remember, though it seems like a good idea. :)

Anybody also have a smaller pole?

Thanks
Rob


DS1 #2444
Cape Cod
Eastham, MA
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby tomodda » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:47 pm

Hi Rob!

I'm in the middle of (finally) rigging my spinnaker myself. What I did was buy a 72" pole from Intensity Sails, actually made by Selden (in South Carolina):

https://www.intensitysails.com/sesppoforda.html

Took about three weeks to show up, Selden is a Swedish company, but has a production facility near Charleston. Intensity's price was cheaper than what I could find direct from Selden. However, the pole was actually custom made for me (via Intensity), they're not stocking a stash of DS poles... so, I'm sure that if you want a 74" pole, you could negotiate it with either Intensity or Selden. And... ahem.. right now everyone wants any available work, I'm sure your order would be appreciated.

Now, GL will tell you, and he'll be quite right, that you can get yourself a set of spinnaker jaws and build your own pole, using bamboo and some glass. If you already have biaxial tape and epoxy lying around, it's a much cheaper route, probably $50-70 for the jaws (ebay!) and you can scrounge bamboo. All depends on your ready cash, supplies, and tolerance for doing more epoxy work. My own tolerance is pretty damn low, I've done enough spar-making to last me a few lifetimes.

Don't forget that you still have to splash out for spinnaker sheets, halyard, up/downhaul (use bungee if you got some), turning blocks, halyard block, sister clips, ondeck guy hooks of some sort, etc, etc, etc. Suffice to say that the almost brand new, used-only-once spinnaker that I picked up for $75 (class legal too!) has cost me over $500 in STUFF so far, not including the pole. That being said, I went top-of-the-line for everything (lightweight, low stretch floating NOVABRAID(ed) sheets, for instance), and I slowly accumulated what I needed over the past 2 years. So was not as painful a spend. I bought the spin pole outright because I finally had a bit of spare time and spare cash at the same moment. :)

Of course, that was January, now I have NO spare time (working my butt off, believe it or not) and I'm holding onto every spare penny. And I'm not venturing over to my local lake for a while, just doesn't feel right with the current crisis. Well.. here we are. Enjoy whatever you do with your boat. For me boatwork is half the fun, I'm dreaming along as I scrape, sand, clean, rig, etc. It's all good.

Tom
Last edited by tomodda on Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby GreenLake » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:42 pm

Rob,

as Tom mentioned, there's no need to drop $500 on rigging for your spinnaker. I think I got my pole ends for $25.00 or thereabouts and the pole cost me $5 for 1" ID bamboo plus epoxy & a bit of glass from existing stock. I went with the 74" length for mine. Any shorter, and it would be able to go to the wrong side of the forestay when dropped to the deck. If I want a whisker pole that's shorter for going wing-on-wing, I don't use the pole, but a paddle (blade resting against the mast, a short bungee wrapped/knotted around the handle to provide a "hook" that goes into the clew. Looks a bit odd, but works like a charm and I already carry the paddle and it's a good length. (The sheeting for the jib is such that this arrangement is pulled tight enough to stay in place, a spinnaker is not the same, so needs a pole). The bungee amazingly doesn't get in the way of using the paddle for its intended purpose, meaning I can leave it in place. Also means that that paddle can double as a boot hook.

If you want to do a dedicated whisker pole you could also do something that looks like a simple "crutch", with a curved cross piece that rests against the mast and a spike on the other end that you stick through the clew. (Saves the cost of fittings). Again, the way a jib is sheeted, that should work well.

PS: looks like prices for the fittings have gone up, but I was able to find a listing for 25mm / 1" end fittings for < $35.00 just now, new. You'll want the ones that allow attachment of a trip line. You may be able to do better that that for used parts or snag a used pole.
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby tomodda » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:09 pm

Too be honest, I find going wing-on-wing excruciatingly boring, I prefer to jibe downwind. Have some fun, instead of sitting in an (apparent-) windless hole. So very slow dead downwind. However, on the few occasions where I go DDW, I just hold the sheet outboard with my non-steering hand, or have my crew do it. Obviously, all this is in very low wind. But if I have high winds, then I'm definitely zig-zagging downwind, let's plane!
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby GreenLake » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:12 pm

I've generally not found gybing downwind faster in light/moderate conditions with the DS. Spinnaker or not. Shorter distance seems to always win - except if you can sail into a wind lane.

But on deep reaches without a spinnaker, if you can switch from having the jib blanketed to wing-on-wing, you should be able to see it pick up an extra fraction of a knot.
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby tomodda » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:32 pm

Oh, I'm sure that, in light to moderate air, speed made good is better if you go DDW. As you write, shorter distance wins. But, if I'm just cruising around, I don't care. And, as I wrote, wing-on-wing bores me. A nice broad reach is pleasing. So why not jibe?
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby GreenLake » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:14 pm

Right - as one of my occasional crew told me once, sailing for her was "feeling the wind in my hair". Can't argue with that.
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby RobH912 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:17 pm

Hey Tom thanks for the thoughts / check list of items needed for a spinnaker set up; plus link to Intensity for a pole.

I am a little confused as you mentioned that you bought a 72" Selden pole from Intensity, yet the link takes me to a 74" pole?

Have been following some of your posts on your spinnaker project as it seems to be similar to mine. When #2444 got a rebuild / restoration several years back the previous owner did not include anything for a spinnaker. The restored Proctor mast has a spinnaker halyard sheave at the top and that's about it... so yes, blocks, cleats, halyard, sheets, etc. etc.... and a spinnaker sail.

I stored my boat at a nearby boat yard this winter, met with their rigger last fall, we talked through some of the rigging work needed for a spinnaker. Through the winter I've been working on "my" list of items needed as well. My thinking last fall was that when I got back on Cape Cod in the spring, I could get on the water faster with "new to me" DS and start sailing.. however these days with this pandemic I am just not sure when I will get back... :cry: ...but the boat will be ready when I do get there.

Sheets were next on my list. Which "low stretch floating robline sheets" did you get and in what size line? I've seen in previous posts about the length of spinnaker sheets, but need to do some searches. Do you have some sort of snap shackle for the sheets?

GL thanks for your thought on pole length, 74". Makes sense. I do not have any experience with epoxy or glass, nor did I have a work shop here where I am spending the winter so I think I will start to look for a used one on line, or get a Selden.

My whisker pole comment came about from reading the DS measurements on spinnaker poles and remembering one of the club races last summer where there was really NO WIND, it was a drifting race, and we were trying to hold the jib sheet out with the paddle (not very successfully)... a short pole would have been helpful.

Thanks!
Rob


DS1 #2444
Cape Cod
Eastham, MA
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby tomodda » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:10 pm

I stand corrected, the Selden is indeed 74" long. Was a "senior moment!" And at my young age....

I'll go dig up the invoice for my spin sheets this weekend. I know I got them from New England Rope in Bedford. Length is twice boat length, so 34' each. And I don't have anything to attach sheet to spinnaker yet. I'll probably just pick up some sister clips, cheap enough. Or rig up some sort of rope toggle, not worried about it yet.
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby RobH912 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:21 am

Tom - had not thought of sister clips, I've only used those for for a flag halyard on a flag pole.

They would be good and light. I'll do some searches, I am sure they come in a lot of sizes, both the gap for the sail grommet and the hole for the line.

Thanks
Rob


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Cape Cod
Eastham, MA
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby Piffle4179 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:57 am

I use a no fitting method to attach spin sheets. Place a stopper knot at end of sheet. Make a loop about 6 inches long and place through the grommet from the back side of spin and then bring the knot end around to the front of grommet and place through the extended loop. Pull loop tight. Stopper knot needs to be large enough not to pull through the grommet. To remove tug on the stopper knot and reverse the process. If you like, a stopper ball can be used instead of the knot. Good luck
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby tomodda » Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:14 pm

Piffle:

Thank you for the description. That is more or less what I had in mind for my "toggle." Ashley has a lot of nice stopper knots :)

We'll, this weekend is project weekend, starting with washing all the pollen off my DS1. Then some repair work, then spinnaker fittings. I'll post some photos once I put my rig together.
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby GreenLake » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:40 pm

Piffle4179 wrote:I use a no fitting method to attach spin sheets. Place a stopper knot at end of sheet. Make a loop about 6 inches long and place through the grommet from the back side of spin and then bring the knot end around to the front of grommet and place through the extended loop. Pull loop tight. Stopper knot needs to be large enough not to pull through the grommet. To remove tug on the stopper knot and reverse the process. If you like, a stopper ball can be used instead of the knot. Good luck


Sorry, I'm slow today. Not picturing this quite from your description. Is it just for fast connection or can you do what sister clips do, which is connect the sheets to each other so you can pull them around before launch if you need to launch on the other tack than what you had set up for?

I think I do use your method to connect my main halyard to the headboard: Make a bight, stick it through, stick the free end (with a large fixed eye acting as a toggle) through the bight, pull back out and you have a luggage tag hitch secured by a toggle.

For spinnaker, I keep my sheets attached permanently, because 90% of the time I'm set up on the correct side anyway. But even if I'm not, with the generally light winds in the evenings here I can get away launching on the wrong side and then sort things out after the sail is up (not recommended, but...).
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby Piffle4179 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:27 pm

We appear to all be on the same page for sheet attachment. As a racer we always store the chute to port and set the chute from starboard tack at the windward mark If a tactical choice requires a jibe at the mark, we set as we bear away without the pole and set the pole after the jibe. We make it a point to take down the chute to windward if approaching the the leeward mark on port tack, so as to be ready for the next windward mark. Cruising usually allows us the luxury of jibing to starboard tack and then setting, as speed and time are not as pressing.
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Re: Spinnaker Pole

Postby GreenLake » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:38 pm

Yep. That sounds about right. We tend to have a single run (longer race) so we aren't that conscientious about stowing (which trips us up anytime we have a rare double lap :) ). Also, our races are around fixed marks (and a few that are always put in the same positions) but we tend to have only two possible wind directions (near enough). If the marks aren't square to the wind, we have an alternation between reach and run more often than alternating gybes. So the setting to port works 90% of the time.
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