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Author Topic: Whisker pole operation  (Read 355 times)

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Dbenda50

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Whisker pole operation
« on: November 18, 2020, 04:21:00 PM »

Hello,
 Trying to get up to speed on my new (to me) whisker pole. Do you deploy the whisker pole in front of or behind the forward shrouds. I've watched forespars video and I am a bit confused. Seems to me forward of the shroud would make for bad sail shape. Thanks.
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Derek Benda
2003 Catalina 34 MKII 1633
S/V Liberty Call

scgunner

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 08:29:31 AM »

Derek,

How big is your jib? I've got a 155 and I never deployed my whisker behind the shrouds. I've only used my whisker in light air running before the wind and I've never had a conflict between pole and shroud.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

Dbenda50

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2020, 09:06:42 AM »

Thanks Kevin,
 After looking at it again it will go in front of the shroud with no problem. I look forward to giving it a go.
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Derek Benda
2003 Catalina 34 MKII 1633
S/V Liberty Call

Ron Hill

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2020, 02:17:11 PM »

Kevin : The best thing I found to have onboard to wrestle that whisker pole (especially if the wind pipes up) is a 20 year old 275 lb. football player!!

A thought
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 01:56:32 PM by Ron Hill »
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Ron, Apache #788

scgunner

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 07:44:58 AM »

Ron,

Amen to that brother! Having a couple of young deck gorillas is always a good thing, they also make great rail meat too!

Derek,

The whisker pole is a nice piece of kit, but even when I raced I didn't use it very often, conditions have to be just right. One trick I used rather than taking time to deploy the whisker was to get two guys with brooms on the foredeck to hold the sail shape when you're in the puffs.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

Ron Hill

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 01:49:52 PM »

Guys : I salute you all that have a whisker pole!! 

I had one on my 26ft boat that held out a "drifter-reacher" sail. However, I got caught enough times with the wind piping up that even with the main over on the same tack, (to take some of the wind out of that sail while TRYING to musle it down) - that 3" whisker pole beat me up enough times that I never had the courage to buy a C34 size 4" W-Pole!!! 

Easier to just let that 150 flop a bit and think about NOT being beat up!!   
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Ron, Apache #788

scgunner

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 07:36:28 AM »

Ron,

I agree it's easier just to let it flop while I'm whipping up another round of cocktails, you're not going anywhere anyway.

Funny thing I have observed about whisker poles over the years. I see a lot of them mounted on the foredecks of boats but they don't look like they get much use. I think when someone first gets their boat they try out and use their whisker for a bit then it lands on the deck which is where it pretty much stays. I don't have one for that reason, to me it's just unnecessary deck clutter.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

mark_53

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 09:57:04 AM »


Funny thing I have observed about whisker poles over the years. I see a lot of them mounted on the foredecks of boats but they don't look like they get much use. I think when someone first gets their boat they try out and use their whisker for a bit then it lands on the deck which is where it pretty much stays. I don't have one for that reason, to me it's just unnecessary deck clutter.

Agree, if I was a serious racer, it probably would get used given the light air in Puget Sound during the summer.  If I'm moving so slow I need a whisker pole, that's when the engine comes on.  Mine has been in the basement for the last 7 years.
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1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP Danforth 25lb, adjustable backstay, fin keel, EV100 autopilot.

scgunner

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 10:33:23 AM »

I never owned one even when I was racing, I'd just borrow one, even then I didn't use it that often. Sounds like Derek has just gotten his boat and is in process of trying everything out, which is a really good idea.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

Analgesic

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2020, 04:53:19 AM »

I'll share an alternative opinion-that the pole is great to use when your course is fairly straight and long.  I use it on cruises with the apparent wind between 120 and 180 degrees  with my 130% genoa and it definitely adds speed, up to 1 knot.  I just completed a training passage with John Kretchmer (who also did the Forespar WP training video) and we had his WP up for almost 3 days straight with minor reefing adjustments from time to time.  I agree it is too much work in racing.
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Brian McPhillips

scgunner

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2020, 07:10:37 AM »

Brian,

I love the alternative opinion, that's great thing about sailing, you can choose whatever gear you like and get as creative as you want to catch the wind, and when it comes right down to it what we really doing, catching wind. I suppose, instead of sailors you could call us "wind catchers".
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

Mick Laver

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2020, 08:36:25 PM »

I'd be curious to hear from anyone with a mast-mounted whisker pole. In theory, a mast-mounted pole is much easier to deploy so you are more likely to use it. True, mast mounting requires additional rigging, a longer track, a moving car, and probably adds 30% to the cost of the system. Not to mention the additional labor to set it up. However, like most of you I've seen whisker poles that never leave their stanchion chocks - even when sea/wind conditions are perfect. They're too much of a PITA to set up, especially short handed. So what's the true cost if you shelled out x bucks for something you never use vs. 1.3x bucks for something you do?

The times I've used whisker poles (other people's boats. I don't have one ... yet) I've really been happy we had the option.
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Mick and Sherrie Laver
CINNAMON
1999 C34 Mk II #1432
San Diego, CA

scgunner

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2020, 07:28:06 AM »

Mick,

I'm a big fan of "ease of use", the better the access, the easier it is to deploy the more likely you're you are to use it. If I were to get a whisker pole I'd mount it on the mast, as you said it's easier to deploy, also it's off the deck. To me it's worth the extra bucks to make it easier to use.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

Stu Jackson

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2020, 10:47:08 AM »

We have an adjustable pole on the mast.  When we used it, it was superb.  All the comments about ease of use are correct.

There is one downside:  if you do not lubricate the bottom jaws, they WILL get stuck because the ss jaw is in aluminum.   You MUST keep a wary eye on the lower jaw.  It is a PITA to free it once it gets stuck.  I've had to do it twice, then I gave up.  Makes it absolutely useless.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Jim Hardesty

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Re: Whisker pole operation
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2020, 08:28:55 AM »

Quote
They're too much of a PITA to set up, especially short handed. So what's the true cost if you shelled out x bucks for something you never use vs. 1.3x bucks for something you do?

I don't have a whisker pole.  If you want to be competitive racing, probably need one.  For me, single or short handling, it's just a lot to set up.  Think the boat bucks would be, for me, better spent on a top-down spinnaker furler.   I don't have one, darn. 

I have read where some rig-up using the end of the main boom to hold the headsail clew out.  This would do much as a whisker pole, granted you could not use the main.  If I remember correctly this was delivery captains or very experienced sailors doing long distance on boats without whisker poles but with conditions that warranted them.   Has anyone ever tried that?

Jim
 

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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA
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