Whisker Pole Setup and Sizing

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  • December 11, 2014 7:27 AM
    Message # 3168301

    It's become obvious rather quickly that a whisker pole is more than a "nice to have" option when running before the wind.  SECOND WIND was never set up with one and I'm giving it serious consideration for my list of 2015 upgrades.  Can some of you share your thoughts on a simple setup, pitfalls, and how to choose the correct size pole?  They aren't cheap, even used, and I'd feel better going into this well informed.  - Tom Koehl

  • December 11, 2014 10:25 AM
    Reply # 3168469 on 3168301

    Hi Thomas , my set up isn't exactly simple it's just what I have, but it was very inexpensive  so here goes . I'm using the Lynn & Larry Pardey method . They explain it in one of their books ,sorry I forget which one. It has a track and car , the track goes up high enough so that you can raise the pole up to tack , first un clip it raise it up then tack , then swing pole over to the other side clip it and then lower it back down . Also at the end of the sail / day I store the pole on the track . The car has a continuous line , cheek blocks  at the track ends , line attached to both ends of the car , to lock the car in place we use two cam cleats they face opposite each other and that locks the line . As I'm always trying to get more wood on the boat we made the pole out of wood . To get the length of the pole , (this is kind of hokey but it worked) I used a telescoping boat hook pole , experimented with the length in tell I felt I had it right .The Whisker pole has a line from one end to the other and that opens pole jaws .  Most people just put a pole ring on the mast , and store the pole on the boat and that works fine . Good luck , Mark .

    Last modified: December 15, 2014 6:43 PM | Anonymous member
  • December 12, 2014 9:01 AM
    Reply # 3169203 on 3168301
    Deleted user
    Hi Tom,

    Konami had a 12/22 pole, stored on the deck with bungee cords, that was sufficient for the staysail. It wasn't long enough to pole the yankee all the way out.
    We purchased the Forespar 13/24 telescoping attached to a car track on the mast. Kern Ferguson suggested we go with the 13/24 to match the 535sqft drifter.
    John installed a double purchase so I can hoist the pole with minimal trouble. It weighs nearly 50 pounds and for a smaller person trying to pull and hoist it is cumbersome.
    The pole is raised and swung out just outside of the lifeline, or forward towards the bow to attach the clew.
    The pole is stored on the mast with a ring to clip the end. We also have the rubber bumpers to snug the pole to avoid rattle and movement on the pole.

    Kern also communicated that the 13/24 poled all the way out shouldn't be used in winds greater than 15kts, especially when used with the drifter on a reach.

    Side note: If you're using a drifter or spinnaker buy a sock. We have the ATN sock. It's a little spendy but well worth the money especially when needing to immediately douse the drifter.  We also had some learning curves on jibing the drifter.  Sheets, weight, wind, etc, you get it.

    Dave King gave us a great tip on preparing to jibe, or a temporary douse for squalls. Pull in the telescoping length, Sheet the pole in tight towards the boat,  lift it just enough to get it over the lifeline then lay it on the deck.  This is great for me as I'm short and can't reach the clew.

    Diane

    Last modified: December 12, 2014 9:03 AM | Deleted user
  • December 12, 2014 2:48 PM
    Reply # 3169426 on 3168301

    I have a setup like the Pardy's do.  A track runs up the front of the mast with a pin type fitting on it.  Then you run a topping lift to the outside end.  Simple matter of unhooking the out bound end from the deck fitting and then pulling a line near the past to pull the inboard end down.

    this automatically lifts the outer end.  Now it is perpendicular to the mast.  Run the sheet thru it and I usually run a guy forward to the rail.

    To roll up the gib, simpy roll up the jib.  The pole will go forward and stay attached.  When the squall passes, just unroll the jib.

    If you want, I can arrange for you to go over to Jasmine and look.


    Rich

  • December 13, 2014 10:43 AM
    Reply # 3169783 on 3168301

    Folks, Thanks for the input.  I'll take a good look around in the marina to see how your rigs compare to a few of the serious sailor's set ups.  Never having used a whisker pole I'm a bit fuzzy on the setup but I think I understand what you are describing.  I have hanked-on headsails and no drifter, just the yankee so far.  Rich, if you are going to be down in Melbourne this winter let me know.  -Tom

  • December 13, 2014 5:15 PM
    Reply # 3169886 on 3168301

    Wing and wing is fun I can't get enough of that . But what I think is really fun , pole the Yankee out to windward and  fly the Drifter and Main to leeward. Usually we douse the Stay sail . Thomas I know it's a lot of money , but I would give some thought to a Drifter . Unfortunately Kern is long gone , but a friend of mine did this , he got a hold of a Spinnaker that was basically the right size and then took it to a sail maker and had it cut into a Drifter , the whole thing cost him under $600. where as I think a new Drifter would be three times that . Plus on a light wind day you can reach with the Drifter . Have fun ! Mark .    

  • December 16, 2014 3:56 PM
    Reply # 3171370 on 3168301

    Thomas ? Anyone ? Everything you need for around $ 500. Minus the re cut .

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/North-Spinnaker-/271702423398?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item3f42b9f766&vxp=mtr

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ronstan-Spinnaker-Pole-Eye-Ring-2-3-8-RF602-Spinnaker-Pole-Ring-Stainless-Stee-/261702233004?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item3ceeab2bac&vxp=mtr

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SPINNAKER-POLE-10-4-X-2-DIA-/261481502508?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item3ce183172c&vxp=mtr

    Last modified: December 16, 2014 5:14 PM | Anonymous member
  • December 16, 2014 6:07 PM
    Reply # 3171429 on 3168301

    That pole might be a bit short Mark. My spin pole is 18' long and current whisker pole 24'. 

    The 18' pole works ok with the 300 sq ft yankee and the 24' whisker pole works ok with the 530 sq ft genoa.

  • December 17, 2014 9:28 AM
    Reply # 3171798 on 3168301

    Hi Gary , I didn't think that pole would be a perfect fit but you have to admit it's a good price . Poles like that can  be modified , but you need a fab shop . First you need to make a sleeve , turn it down so it fits into the pole end and is the pole dia. on the out side ,and then bore out the other end so it fits the pole end , weld it up . Now the problem is you need some kind of a coating . If it were me I would paint it a medium brown and the ends a off white , and the pole jaw ends black . Gary what are your thoughts on re cutting a Spin into a Drifter ?  Mark .

    Last modified: December 17, 2014 9:44 AM | Anonymous member
  • December 17, 2014 11:42 AM
    Reply # 3171898 on 3169886
    Deleted user
    West Sail wrote:

    Wing and wing is fun I can't get enough of that . But what I think is really fun , pole the Yankee out to windward and  fly the Drifter and Main to leeward. Usually we douse the Stay sail . Thomas I know it's a lot of money , but I would give some thought to a Drifter . Unfortunately Kern is long gone ,. Plus on a light wind day you can reach with the Drifter . Have fun ! Mark .    

    Hi Mark & Tom,

    I have to agree with you, the Drifter is well worth the money. However, Kern is still around, just spoke to him about new storm sails.  He made our new Yankee 300sft, and a customized staysail last year.  His prices were better than other quotes we got from reputable sailmakers in the PNW.  The sails are beautiful and very well made.  Kern is happy to work with Westsailers and VERY knowledgable about the boat performance.

    As to the Drifter, we paid about $1200 for a new 1.5oz, well made one from Banks sails in Portland, OR.  We're very happy with it. Reaches well, performs great in light winds when poled out. If there is enough wind we have hoisted without the pole and flew it like a kite in certain conditions.

    We also sail with the yankee and drifter, with main up.   Here is a link to some PHOTOS of Konami coming up the Columbia last summer "racing" Dave King on Saraband. We have the drifter poled out to windward. Just depends on the heading and conditions.  And, it is a lot of fun!  ~Diane

    Last modified: December 17, 2014 6:53 PM | Deleted user
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