How strong does a whisker pole need to be

Don107

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Hi all

After twilighting my boat (28 footer) and being advised by another skipper that it is against the rules to hold out a head sail goose winged with a boat hook by hand I need to make a whisker pole to pole out my large genoa as i think my spinnaker pole is a bit short

Thinking of making one as I don't want to spend a lot of money to buy one and wondering how strong it needs to be

This is the boat and the sail in question

Any thoughts would be appreciated

Regards Don

image.jpg
 
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Pasarell

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It's a long time since I've looked at racing rules but I don't recall anything that would stop you from using a boat hook when goose winged. Happy to be corrected if that has changed but I think you may be a victim of an armchair expert. That said, a proper whisper pole would be much better if you are doing it for any length of time and an old windsurfer mast is a long standing way of making one as plenty strong enough
 

John the kiwi

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My whisker pole for 26 ft boat is really skinny at 25 mm aluminium compared to 38 mm spinnaker pole.
The whisker pole has some light clip fittings which again are smaller thand the beaks on the spinnaker pole.
The spinnaker pole has stays for uphaul and downhaul and when spinnaker reaching the whole assembly is under significat load.
Whisker pole by comparison just tends to hold the jib out and unless you sheet really hard should not be subjected to huge loads.
 
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Don107

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Hi Pasarell

I think that the is referring to this section of the racing rules of sailing

50 SETTING AND SHEETING SAILS
50.1 Changing Sails
When headsails or spinnakers are being changed, a replacing sail
may be fully set and trimmed before the replaced sail is lowered.
However, only one mainsail and, except when changing, only one
spinnaker shall be carried set at a time.
50.2 Spinnaker Poles; Whisker Poles
Only one spinnaker pole or whisker pole shall be used at a time
except when gybing. When in use, it shall be attached to the foremost
mast.
50.3 Use of Outriggers
(a) No sail shall be sheeted over or through an outrigger, except as
permitted in rule 50.3(b) or 50.3(c). An outrigger is any fitting
or other device so placed that it could exert outward pressure
on a sheet or sail at a point from which, with the boat upright, a
vertical line would fall outside the hull or deck. For the purpose
of this rule, bulwarks, rails and rubbing strakes are not part of
the hull or deck and the following are not outriggers: a
bowsprit used to secure the tack of a sail, a bumkin used to
sheet the boom of a sail, or a boom of a boomed headsail that
requires no adjustment when tacking.
(b) Any sail may be sheeted to or led above a boom that is
regularly used for a sail and is permanently attached to the
mast from which the head of the sail is set.
(c) A headsail may be sheeted or attached at its clew to a spinnaker
pole or whisker pole, provided that a spinnaker is not set

What do you think after reading this

Regards Don
 

Aeolus

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My whisker pole (30' boat) is made from an aluminium television aerial pole with e-bay sourced fittings. Likely to be one of the cheapest options if you have to buy a pole.
 

VicS

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Hi all

After twilighting my boat (28 footer) and being advised by another skipper that it is against the rules to hold out a head sail goose winged with a boat hook by hand I need to make a whisker pole to pole out my large genoa as i think my spinnaker pole is a bit short

Thinking of making one as I don't want to spend a lot of money to buy one and wondering how strong it needs to be

This is the boat and the sail in question

Any thoughts would be appreciated

Regards Don

View attachment 75884


Provided you don't attach the up haul or down haul in the middle it does not have to be as strong as the spinnaker pole which is why telescopic poles can conveniently be used

The load should be entirely compressive but make sure the pole is rigid enough not to sag in the middle or it will simply fold in two . I saw that happen with a pole that was too light.

BTW the optimum length will probably round-about 1.25 J. or a little more with a big overlapping genoa
 

PlankWalker

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I recall making one for a Golden Hinde 31 out of stock ally 1 1/4" tube with sea sure ends, it folded in half on its first outing!

Plank
 

NormanS

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My whisker pole is 12 feet long, made of 2" OD aluminium tube. That's for a Genoa of 315 sq ft. The pole would have been better to have been slightly longer, but I used what I had, and would struggle to stow anything longer. No uphauls, downhauls, or guys.
 

William_H

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As said a windsurfer mast is excellent for whisker pole. Re your question strength needed depends much on the length of the pole. A long pole will hold the clew out further but need to be much stronger than one just long enough to hold the clew out from the gunwhale to make the jib stable. Indeed a broom handle or boat hook may well be OK.
For convenience these can be really good but expensive. https://www.whitworths.com.au/ronstan-spinnaker-pole-end-38mm.
However another approach you might like to try, especially if you have an ali toe rail that has holes along it is to fit a small sheave on each side at the widest part of the hull but forward of sheeting point. Use a barber hauler. ie a ring on the end of a line through the sheave the line going back to a cleat. The jib sheet goes through the ring. This can tame a genoa when goose winged and can also be use when reaching not goose winged. The huge advantage being that it does not need anyone on the foredeck to set it up like a pole.
Now in our club the Twilight sails are down graded to an Event. ie not a race so not subject to RRS normal collision avoidance rules of the sea. This because in WA we don't put the clocks forward for summer time so do not have the long twilight of Tas. Indeed out latest sun down is 1940. So twilight events often finish in the dark (just) so if they were a race would demand cat 5 compliance. Anyway I think your "friend" or critic is being very pedantic and possibly wrong in his assessment of a boat hook as not a whisker pole. Enjoy your summer. ol'will
 

rotrax

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On both our Island Packets with Hoyt Boom self tacking I used a home made pole-two pieces of top quality broom handle joined in the middle by a tight fitting S/S sleeve. The mast fitting was a ring, the snap fittings 25mm dinghy ones, the outer one controlled by a pull cord.

The length was conveniently arranged so I could furl the jib while leaving the pole in place. If gybeing, the main was gybed after furling, then the jib was pulled back out on the new course.

It worked for me!
 
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