Spindrift Rascal... whisker pole??

Thread starter #1
Hello all,
I've done a lot of searching and have found nothing helpful on the proper use of a whisker pole. I have a Spindrift Rascal 14 that came with a symmetrical spinnaker and a very nice oak whisker pole. Been sailing it for a few years now and have used it, but have NO idea if I am doing it properly. It doesn't seem to be doing anything helpful, but then running downwind with a spinnaker PROPERLY is somewhat of a mystery to me.
Thanks much
Mike
 
#2
From my sailing days in Hawaii, I remember using a Whisker Pole with a Genoa or Spinnaker to run "Wing and Wing", Main to port Jib to Starboard (or vicey versey).
 
#3
Hello all,
I've done a lot of searching and have found nothing helpful on the proper use of a whisker pole. I have a Spindrift Rascal 14 that came with a symmetrical spinnaker and a very nice oak whisker pole. Been sailing it for a few years now and have used it, but have NO idea if I am doing it properly. It doesn't seem to be doing anything helpful, but then running downwind with a spinnaker PROPERLY is somewhat of a mystery to me.
Thanks much
Mike
Michael,
I have a 1960's vintage Rascal (Ray Greene version). The whisker pole was missing along with a few other items. Would you be able to post a couple pictures of the ends of your whisker pole? I would like to re-create one for use when running. I did a little experimentation but still no great success. So maybe seeing a real one will give me some ideas.

I see you live in Michigan. I am just a bit NE of GR between Lowell and Greenville.
 
#4
I typically use a whisker pole on a down wind run for a wing on wing (a pair of 150s on each side of the bow) or extending the clue position of a sail on a very light wind day. I have never used a whisker pole with a spinnaker so I can't give advice on that application. The two poles have different uses and I wouldn't normally think of them as interchangeable. If you are racing you need to refer to the class rules to determining its legal use. If it is just fun sailing then anything that works is just fine.
 
#5
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Ha Mike,

Here is an example of two types of whisker poles used on small boats. Both are adjustable in length and would typically be adjustable to the length of the foot of your largest head-sail or J + 20% give or take. I prefer the lower pictured pole because I think it is less complicated, faster to erect and simpler to use especially with inexperienced crew members. The pointy end slips into the clue along with the sheet and the snap/plunger end attaches to the eye which is mounted on the leading edge of the mast. When using the whisker pole it should be horizontal to the deck when fully extended. This will help you determine the location of the eye on the mast. If different size head-sails are used the eye will usually be mounted on a track attached to the front of the mast; this will allow the proper pole position to be established regardless of the sail being used.

The upper pole has the appearance of a spinniker pole - hooks (of sorts) on both ends. Spinniker poles are normally equal to the J measurement of the boat and not adjustable. Carbon fiber is my favored material but aluminum works just fine.

I use the whisker pole in very light winds when there is not enough wind to support the weight of the head-sail or the main is blanketing the head-sail. Experiment with the whisker pole and you will likely figure out when it helps and when it doesn't. A whisker pole can also reduce the effect of the head-sail constantly filling only to collapse again. Holding the sail out and open will allow you to use those little puffs of wind to move forward rather than just momentarily fill the sail. Properly used in the proper conditions results in a very measurable advantage in speed and distance. Good luck and give us feedback as to how things go... upload_2016-3-28_12-11-26.png
 
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