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How strong does a whisker pole need to be

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Created by Donk107 Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019
Donk107
TAS, 2005 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 7:10PM
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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


SandS
VIC, 5434 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 8:08PM
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if you run a mast head kite ? your kite pole should do the trick . it does on most boats ...

EC31
NSW, 370 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 8:16PM
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My whisker pole is 4.2 metres long and is a bit short (probably .4m) for my 150% genny, but perfect for my 135% #2. Whisker pole is the next diameter down from my spin pole (sorry don't have measurements to hand) with a bridle top and bottom (we end for end on gybes).

We previously used boat hook diameter aluminium tubing and it lasted only a couple of outings.

southace
QLD, 3893 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 7:21PM
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I have been making my own donk for past many years. First thing I do is through them big monster spinker poles out . And get ronston ends and purchase some aluminium tube approx 3m in length.

Donk107
TAS, 2005 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 8:37PM
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Hi all

Thanks for the information so far

Looking at information on the net i appears that the pole should be about the same length as the foot of the sail which in my case would be around 5 meters but this is probably too long

My existing spinnaker pole i think is around 2.7 meters which i think is a bit short so i was thinking of making the whisker pole around 3.7 to 4.0 meters but try to keep the weight down

Regards Don

valo
NSW, 197 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 9:06PM
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Select to expand quote
southace said..







I have been making my own donk for past many years. First thing I do is through them big monster spinker poles out . And get ronston ends and purchase some aluminium tube approx 3m in length.


Hi Southace.
What wall thickness do you use?

southace
QLD, 3893 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 9:11PM
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3.7 meters to 4 metres is way to long to handle , can't remember wall thickness Valo think it was 3mm Max.

Gravy7
NSW, 167 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 10:55PM
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Our pole is 4.1m long and its not too long to handle. I kept it to that length as if it was any longer I couldn't hide it in the boom bag and it might get nicked. But the ideal length for best performance is actually longer than the foot of the jib if you think about the angles.

Diameter of the aluminum tube is 2"which just happens to be Laser lower mast section. The Ronstan pole ends shown above are ideal and will fit a 50 mm tube. They are pretty bulletproof. There are 60mm and 80mm versions too but for a yacht up to 36', 50mm is fine.

I first tried some fancy ones from USA with an automatic latch but discovered that unless you are careful, they can snap off when the pole is being removed from the mast so I have switched over and currently have one US fitting and one Ronstan available from Whitworths.

garymalmgren
144 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 7:56PM
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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

Hi Don
A few points in your post that I don't understand.
You say you were using a boat hook.
So. was it successful? If so you must be talking about extremely light conditions.
The first thing I thought was, Well ,the length and strength of a boat hook should do the job.

Then you say you are, thinking of making the whisker pole around 3.7 to 4.0 meters
Which is way out of the boat hook league.
As Southace has said, 4 metres is a long pole and would need decent wall thickness for strength and therefor become heavy.
Whisker poles are supposed to be light!
In fact it is way longer than your spin pole. Whisker poles are usually shorter than spin poles (not always of course)
So I would just use your spin pole (which would be acceptable for racing) and wait till I could get my hands on a longer spin pole ( in the 3.4 to 4 metre range) at a reasonable price.

Does that make sense?
Another thing to try is to borrow from a mate and try different lengths and weights.

PS Great photo Don,
Also Southace.

gary

Jolene
933 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 8:30PM
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Make a telescoping spin pole,,, (one end extends out)

Donk107
TAS, 2005 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 11:50PM
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Hi Gary

My boat hook is around 2 meters long and I was standing on the foredeck with my arm outstretched (another meter) holding the boathook in place so I probably had equivalent to a 4.2 meter pole in place if it was attached to the mast but it was still a bit short

The wind at the time was fairly light but when it blew a bit harder the clew of the sail lifted and I struggled to hold it down unless I grabbed the unloaded sheet and pulled down on it with my free hand

Ideally I think a 5 meter pole (the same length as the foot of the sail) would work best with the Genoa car forward to resist the clew lifting when it blows but I am concerned about trying to work with a pole that long as I think to get enough strength it would need to be a fairly large diameter and it would be heavy

The bloke who told me I was breaking the rules ( but didn't protest me) helms the same boat as mine but has a furling headsail which is much smaller than my hank on Genoa and at the moment in a twilight we are starting 6 minutes after him and my only real advantage over him (apart from my 2 blade prop locked behind the skeg compared to his 3 blade) is when goose winged so I want to continue to do it but not break any rules

There is a bit of a rivalery between the two Sailmasters so we are both trying as hard as possible

These are the results so far in the series (we are Aqua-Fae and he is Sea Gems)

In the first race when he embarrassed us we started with the number 2 head sail and swapped to the number 1 midway through the race as the wind died but lost a heap of time doing it whereas in the last 4 races we have used the number 1

huonyachtclub.org/wp-content/uploads/Twilight-Series-2-Race-1-Results-3rd-Jan-2019.pdf
huonyachtclub.org/wp-content/uploads/Twilight-Series-2-Race-2-Results-10th-Jan-2019.pdf
huonyachtclub.org/wp-content/uploads/Twilight-Series-2-Race-3-Results-17th-Jan-2019.pdf
huonyachtclub.org/wp-content/uploads/Twilight-Series-2-Race-4-Results-24th-Jan-2019.pdf
huonyachtclub.org/wp-content/uploads/Twilight-Series-2-Race-5-Results-7th-Feb-2019.pdf

Jolene
I would like a telescopic pole but unless I buy a ready made for lots of dollars I don't think it will be strong enough

Regards Don

cisco
QLD, 10901 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 11:03PM
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Possibly for your boat Don a recycled windsurfer mast with skiff end fittings would be strong enough.

garymalmgren
144 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 9:12PM
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Simple question, Don.
What is the other guy using?

gary

Donk107
TAS, 2005 posts
Tuesday , 13 Feb 2019 12:15AM
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Hi Gary

At the last BBQ after the race the owner of the boat told me he had a legal whisker pole but I haven't seen it as yet

If we finish in front of him I want to be certain we are abiding by the rules

Regards Don

sirgallivant
NSW, 1362 posts
Tuesday , 13 Feb 2019 12:43AM
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Been there, done that on my 28 before it got sold.

Yes, the books recommend the pole to be the foot-length of the sail.

The boat's J measure was 11'10" or 3.6 m long and the 12'6" - 3.85m /60mm/3mm long spinnaker pole was not really long enough for the genoa with a foot of 16'4" or 5.0m.

I had a 16'10" or 5.15m/60mm/3mm long whisker pole for my gennaker with a foot of 22' or 6.6m. That set up was working just fine. I used the same ends as on the picture above.

The length of 6m/60/3mm tube was about $65 from a tube place in Auburn.
I recommend to use as heavy a tube for the whisker pole as one's spinnaker pole because there are huge loads developing on the pole under certain conditions and a pissy thin pole might not handle the loads. I was warned by the rigger about complacency!

It was not heavy, l think it was .65 kg/m, easy to handle even in high winds and gave plenty of opportunity to work out the right combination. The spinnaker up-haul was used to lift the pole and maneuver it around.

When goose winged two jibs, l just used an extra up-haul for the second pole while scandalized or dropped the main.
It worked a treat every time.

FreeRadical
WA, 809 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 10:33PM
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We made ours.

80mm OD tube, 3mm thick, perfect for the largest Ronstan fitting which suits an ID 74mm. I think it's about 5.0m long, we were limited by the track fittings to stow it vertically on the mast.

I think you'd be more than fine using the Ronstan 46mm fitting, hence 50mm OD (3mm thick). 50mm is also a good diameter to grip.

www.ronstan.com.au/marine5/range.asp?RnID=101

Round tube aluminium extrusion is often sold in standard lengths. We bought a standard 6.5m length and cut it down, a tad cheaper than buying 5.0m by the metre and gave us scope to get it just right.

www.customaluminiumwa.com.au/products/round-tube-pipe-extrusion/

Getting up around 50mm+ OD, you might also find it only available in 1.6mm or 3mm thick. 1.6 might be a bit thin for 4m+ length, not sure though.

Our 6.5m tube cost $240 and fittings $180 each.

Ramona
NSW, 4717 posts
Wednesday , 13 Feb 2019 8:48AM
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Select to expand quote
cisco said..
Possibly for your boat Don a recycled windsurfer mast with skiff end fittings would be strong enough.


I use two of these. Paint them though as the UV damages the finish after a few years.

Jolene
933 posts
Wednesday , 13 Feb 2019 7:03PM
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A lot of whisker/spin pole weaknesses come about from the way the pole is rigged. People get lazy and don't support them correctly.

Donk107
TAS, 2005 posts
Wednesday , 14 Feb 2019 12:05AM
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Hi all

I have been looking at my options using the Ronstan ends www.ronstan.com/marine/range.asp?RnID=101 and it looks like the small end suits a 50mm 1.6mm wall tube , the middle size end 60mm 2.0 mm wall tube and the large end 80mm 3.0 mm wall tube as listed in this website www.aluminiumtc.com.au/catalogue/round-tube/

We are sailing tomorrow afternoon so if the wind is light enough i will use the large genoa and try to work out what length will work best

I guess the lighter the better as long as the thing doesn't fold in half if the wind direction changes and tries to back the sail while it is poled out

To be honest after looking at my options and weighing up the costs i would rather continue to pole it out with the boat hook ( i would by a longer telescopic hook) because it is quicker to remove if needed and there is no issue with storing it

No one else in the club seems to be bothered if you use a boat hook in twilights so i might talk to the owner and the helmsman of the other Sailmaster and see if we can reach an agreement

Regards Don

Gravy7
NSW, 167 posts
Thursday , 14 Feb 2019 7:56AM
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I thought you wanted to win races, Don! You will never get the same performance from a boathook (legal or not) as you will from a decent length whisker pole.

If cost is an issue, use Cisco and Ramona's suggestion of an old windsurfer mast. You will never break that. Cut it down to about 5m or whatever length you can manage on the deck. Longer the better.

To be legal, you need to have one attachment point at the mast but at the outer end you only need a spike (nylon, maybe?) that you insert into the cringle of the jib's clew. Tension on the sheet will hold it there.

At the mast end, since the mast is a tapered tube, you will probably find that you will need a sleeve (or lots of gaffer tape) to match the sizes of the inside of the pole and the OD of the Ronstan pole end.

If you can forage for an old mast, or even pay $20 for one, you will get this set up for barely more than 1/10 of a boat dollar.

Ramona
NSW, 4717 posts
Thursday , 14 Feb 2019 8:20AM
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If you want to look good use two old windsurfer masts. Cut the thin ends off to suit the diameter pole ends. Decide on the length you need and cut the masts to suit. Join the two bits in the centre with a plastic sleeve and epoxy. This way you end up with a tapered pole that will be the envy of your mates!

Never pass up the opportunity to buy old windsurfer masts!

lydia
776 posts
Thursday , 14 Feb 2019 5:25AM
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Don
in the old days spin poles where 100% of the J measurement.
Now 120% is common so go with that as I guess you will not be dip pole gybing.
Laser top section at 50mm would be fine.
The illegality is just that the bull**** in practice these days, as the rule is that the pole must be attached to the mast but reaching struts are now in common use and have multiple sheeting points
CYCA made an attempt to reign it in for Hobart this year saying the same thing in a Interpretation Decision from what I remember.

sirgallivant
NSW, 1362 posts
Thursday , 15 Feb 2019 12:55AM
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I am sure, there is a metal place around you and it would cost less than hundred bucks a length of 50mm/3mm alum tube. Put two ends on it, the spike is going to pierce your sail soon, and enjoy the ride.
When you win your first race with the new pole the pain in your hip pocket nerve is going to subside.
Your boat knows, you want a decent pole!

rumblefish
TAS, 669 posts
Yesterday , 16 Feb 2019 8:50AM
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Hey Don,
50 x 3mm ally will be heaps on your boat using RF1661.
The easiest way to break a pole is by having the topping lift attach to a single point in the middle, so use a bridle with an SS ring in the middle.

No here's a hint....
Make it longer than you think because there is a trick I learnt in WA to make your whisker pole variable length.
Don't attach the inboard end to the mast, instead use a spare halyard and run the end through your spinnaker ring on the mast and attach to the inboard end of the pole. Start with about a foot or more passing through the ring.
Once the pole is up and all connected you can then adjust its length by adjusting the halyard attached the the inboard end of the pole!
Works a treat!!

shaggybaxter
QLD, 1460 posts
Yesterday , 16 Feb 2019 8:36AM
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Hiya Rumblefish,
That sounds intriguing! So the inner end of the pole is loose? What stops it banging on the mast, or even rubbing against it?

Donk107
TAS, 2005 posts
Yesterday , 16 Feb 2019 9:45AM
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Hi Rumblefish

Looking at the Ronstan website the od of those ends is 46mm so it looks like they will not go into a 50mm 3mm tube

looking at tube sizes 50mm is available in either 1.6 mm or 3 mm wall so it looks like you would have to use 1.6 mm which I am concerned might be a bit light in a 4m plus length pole (what are your thoughts on this)

With the attaching the inner end to a halyard idea would this still be legal with the rule stating it needs to be attached to the mast

Regards Don

Donk107
TAS, 2005 posts
Yesterday , 16 Feb 2019 9:52AM
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Just looked and 50 mm 2 mm is listed on the internet

Regards Don

rumblefish
TAS, 669 posts
Yesterday , 16 Feb 2019 10:07AM
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You can shave some off the pole end with a grinder :)
Also make sure you use tefgel on assembly!
And yes it's legal and the angle actually means the pole sits clear of the mast!

Jolene
933 posts
Yesterday , 16 Feb 2019 9:32AM
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Select to expand quote
rumblefish said..
You can shave some off the pole end with a grinder :)


Now you've gone and spoiled it!!!

Donk107
TAS, 2005 posts
3 hours ago , 17 Feb 2019 12:54AM
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Hi all

We had a race today from Port Huon to Cygnet and on the last bit of the run into Cygnet we decided to pole out the Genoa with the spinnaker pole out instead of putting up a spinnaker as it was blowing a bit and there is not a lot of difference in the size between the two sails

It set pretty well so on the way back up the river on the way home we did it again and I took this photo

Th pole is probably a meter short but I think in the short term i might just use it until i can make something longer

Regards Don







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"How strong does a whisker pole need to be" started by Donk107