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These have been kicking around my shop for at least thirty years. 
They were in a 3” Aluminum tube and I think it was some sort of Spinnaker or whisker pole on a 1960-70 vintage boat 

I don’t know if we installed more modern ends on something or if we removed them from a pole that  was bent.

One has a couple ropes tied to the loop and the lines have different color  (red and blue)  flek, so I think somebody cared about easily identifying which line did what job. I think the line is 3/8 Samson but it isn’t quite like XLS. If memory serves, this line was sold as Parallay. 

The white stuff>>> There is some old fiberglass packing tape wrapped around the insertable part which was obviously used as a bushing to make the fitting fit the pole. 
 

They each were held to the pole by four # 10 x 24 machine screws

 

I have some ideas how I could make the fittings work to create a whisker pole. 
 

i could use the fittings to make the outboard end of an asymmetrical chute pole but NOBODY  had retracting poles  on anything around my shop forty years ago. 

the above is already more than I know.

anybody ??? 
 

 

 

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Hmm - same fitting on both ends so that would imply some kind of end-for-end system, maybe? But on the other hand the end with the lines on it looks a lot more beat up than the other end...

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I'm thinkin maybe they were some homemade contraption for doing something that shoulda been done by something else ...

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It did NOT work , and this is why it ended in your shop - « hey - could you just cut open those 2 rings, so that I can clip this pole to the mast ? »

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1 hour ago, Slowboat said:

Gin pole?

looks more like a vodka pole... just sayin'

 

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Do you know if there was anything in the middle of the pole?  If so, it may have been for a square sail of some sort, perhaps on a training boat.

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How about ...

one rope from each end passes thru a ring on the mast then to a winch, the second rope on each end is the foreguy.Assuming there is a spinnaker sheet and guy on either side, the  guy on each side passes thru the relevant same side ring. I presume there is a topping lift take off or maybe it was a bridle

.To end for end gybe, say from starboard to port, release starboard guy and port "ring rope", tighten port guy and starboard 'ring rope" adjust each foreguy during the gybe.

It would make a hell of a mess of the mast and it wouldn't be any good shy.

Crazy? yes but who knows?

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Unfortunately, the boat owner is probably dead. 
I think it wax on one of the following boats:

Cal 25

Pearson Triton

Columbia 26

Ericson 27

 

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