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Multi-section 18' × 2.5" gin pole w/ sleeve

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I'm building an ~18ft gin pole and I want to end up with something that can be broken down into at least two pieces for transport and storage without a trailer. I'm thinking two 9ft sections of 2.5" OD × 0.125" wall 6061 aluminium tubing, with a 1ft section of 2.25" OD × 0.125" wall tubing as a sleeve. I'd through-bolt the sleeve with 1/2" stainless hardware, and disassemble when the pole is not in use.

Curious if there's anything I need to be mindful of with using a sleeve to join sections of tube that will be under compression.


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if its under compression im not sure you need / want  huge bolts to hold them together

consider pop rivets for one side ( avoids sticky outy things )

and quick release spring pin retainers ( same sort of thing as used on most modern alloy crutches ) for the other end ( also avoids sticky outy things )


if your just worried about creating a weak spot by point loading ...  its not generally a bother with alloy sleeves

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12” splice seems short for an 18’ pole. I’d be using 10-12 diameters but that’s an amateur’s perspective. You only need fasteners on one end of the sleeve unless the working ends have to remain aligned. 

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1) You'll need compression sleeves or the bolts will crush the tube and it will fail under load. This is not a good way to join a compression pole.

You could drill and tap the sleeve (and use slightly larger holes on the pole to aid in assembly alignment). MARK where the poles join. Then use more smaller diameter machine screws you can undo with a screwdriver. If this was my boat I'd use #10-32 diameter, 2 rows vertically and 4 radially

2) Rivets is a good idea for the sleeve that remains inside one part

3) Tolerances my boy, tolerances. Nothing is EXACTLY 2.25" ID or EXACTLY 2.25" OD in this world. Find out what the tolerance on diameter is. You may have to slot the sleeve to get it to fit.

4) Use grease on the internal sleeve when assembling to make disassembly easier. Use Tefgel on tapped holes. Tape a film cannister or similar (remember them?) to your pole so you can put all the machine screws in after disassembling.



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