Spinnaker Pole Location

I've started racing my Beneteau First 36.7 , and It's been fun. We're in a huge OD fleet, but we're still sailing with a pretty green crew, and a very green crew to the boat.

A few of the boats have switched to putting the spin pole (13 ft - carbon fiber) into a sock on the boom for the upwind leg, and running the downhaul off the mast base as opposed to dropping it on deck, with the downhaul run from the forward pad eyes. 

I'd like to get some opinions on this. I see the benefit of the bag, and mast lead downhaul to be a totally clear foredeck. Seems nice, we have a lot of hangups on tacks up there.  It'd also be nice to not have the pole directly across the forward hatch for douses. 

I see the drawbacks being, potentially more pole set time, and I'm a little nervous about the angle of the downhaul when running from the mast. I should mention we end for end the pole, and the downhaul pulls from a bridle in the center. 

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks! 

 

10thTonner

Leichtmatrose
1,469
499
South of Spandau
Many smaller keelboats like Soling, Dragon, H-Boat etc carry the spin boom on the main boom. Sometimes in a bag, sometimes in little loops or on brackets. If the spin boom isn’t soo heavy and the bowman and pit work together, setting and dousing it will be faster and smoother than with any other setup. I have it on my slim Scandinavian 33 footer and I like it. 
 

Running the downhaul from the mast base: it’s ok, but during the set, when you pull the guy to pop the chute, the spin boom will swing aft, sometimes until it is stopped by the shroud. So the bowman should stay on the bow and hold the boom forward until the tack of the spinnaker has reached the tip of the boom. OTOH you have more flexibility trimming the boom fore and aft, because the downhaul doesn’t stop it from swinging. Good for racing in big windshifts. 
 

One more thing: upwind with the spin boom attached to the main boom, make sure the slack downhaul doesn’t hang on the deck or cabintop. If it gets caught on a winch or something during a tack it can break your spin boom. (Did this on a dragon that wasn’t mine  :eek: .) 
 

 

SailRacer

Super Anarchist
3,521
87
When getting ready to race, attach inboard end and have track at lowest point. Pole on Stbd. side with BOTH sheet and guy in it (for Port rounding).

If the back of the boat decides to Gybe-set because the wind has gone far right, then open jaw and set up on port side. Preguy and open communication is key.

Forget that stowing it on the boom stuff. IMHO

  YMMV  

Sail Safe!

 
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neuronz

Anarchist
877
73
europe
I think the biggest advantage of running the spinnaker boom downhaul through the mast base is that it is deflected in the rotation axis of the spinnaker boom, which means you can trim downhaul and guy indepently. The downside is increased compression of the spinnaker pole.

 

10thTonner

Leichtmatrose
1,469
499
South of Spandau
Forget that stowing it on the boom stuff. IMHO
Have you tried it? If done right - and this very much depends on the pitperson working the upfucker - the pole will slide / swing forward into its position in two seconds, like the sprit in a sportsboat. (Admittedly, 36 foot boat length may be the upper limit up to where this works. Maybe more with a carbon boom.) 

 

Somebody Else

a person of little consequence
7,552
737
PNW
The boom system works well. Virtually all systems work well as long as you think it all the way through and develop procedures.

The considerations are:

  • After the douse, what needs to be done to be free to tack ASAP?
  • How do you keep loose lines (like lift and down-fucker) from fouling fittings and other lines?
  • Quick deployment regardless of if it's a bear-away or a gybe-set. Ditto douses.

Once you work out the mechanics -- really figure out all the permutations, weighted on frequency and importance -- the best method of storing the pole usually become clear.

 

Mr Moab

Anarchist
633
89
Keeping it on the boom keeps the entire jib sheet over the pole out of the equation. 

Foreguy at mast base means you can adjust the pole without having someone tend the foreguy. But as pointed out, it needs some assist on lighter air sets. Also good to have some tension in opposition to the guy in waves. 

On any boat under 30' I find it preferred. Faster, with less room for error. 

 

SailingTips.Ca

Feigns Knowledge
735
301
Victoria, BC
 I should mention we end for end the pole, and the downhaul pulls from a bridle in the center. 


Keeping it on the boom keeps the entire jib sheet over the pole out of the equation. 

Foreguy at mast base means you can adjust the pole without having someone tend the foreguy. But as pointed out, it needs some assist on lighter air sets. Also good to have some tension in opposition to the guy in waves. 

On any boat under 30' I find it preferred. Faster, with less room for error. 
I agree with @Mr Moab especially if you're end-for-end gybing the pole. 

If you were dip-poling on the other hand I've found success in keeping one end of the pole attached to the mast, other end resting on the bow under the pulpit, with the topping lift brought back to the base of the mast.  

 
I understand this concept for small boats, under 30' but it is really not a good practice on larger keel boats.  The loads are significantly greater and requires a direct opposing force to maintain control.  With the fore-guy at the base of the mast, you loose control of the outboard end of the pole.  No down-ward pull, just aft; its a bad vector.  In a gybe, especially in any breeze, the out board end will sky, making it harder for the after-guy to come on quickly.  Forget about close reaching, the pole will always want to lift.

I also feel a 13' pole on the boom 5' above the deck makes for awkward maneuvering.  I would much prefer clipping the pole onto the lower shroud with the topping lift clipped thru the jaw.  When it is time to set, you unclip from the lower shroud letting the topping lift free then clip on to the mast and hoist the topper. Its a one person job and really doesn't get much easier.

 

kinardly

Super Anarchist
I did mast for a very successful 36.7 campaign for several years. Dropping the pole on the douse, my first priority is always stowing inside the lower shroud base under all the jib sheets and making sure all is clear for a tack, then pulling in the kite and all the other stuff, finally carrying the unclipped halyard to the weather shroud and hiking. With good pit and foredeck teamwork it was never a problem and we won a lot of races at the leeward mark. Once over on starboard the pole is clipped at the shroud base to keep it on the deck and foredeck secures the topper, still attached to the pole, with a shackle on a lanyard at the mast base and pit takes up the slack. Easy easy.  Prepping the set was the foredeck responsibility, usually at the last minute but we had a good bow man who pulled it off every time. It takes longer to read this than execute it. Oh, and the 36.7 is about the biggest boat you want to end for end in a blow but it’s definitely the way to go. 

 

Meat Wad

Super Anarchist
Lots of good comments. We do exactly this with the pole stored on the boom.

It allows us to float at the set and gybe in an instant or just set. We decide in the last 10 boat lengths on this. Also if something is fucked up fly the kite with out a pole, just adj the tweekers to about lifeline height so the kite does not fly too high.

You also need to do a float at the bottom mark so the pole can be out of the way.

Of course all this works only when the crew and driver can sail a kite without a pole. Practice Practice practice. I don't know many 36' boats doing this.

My boats spl is only 10' but I would love it to be about 12.

 

axolotl

Super Anarchist
1,656
183
San Diego
If you were dip-poling on the other hand I've found success in keeping one end of the pole attached to the mast, other end resting on the bow under the pulpit, with the topping lift brought back to the base of the mast.
This.  Works good on big boats too.

 

SailingTips.Ca

Feigns Knowledge
735
301
Victoria, BC
I should mention we end for end the pole, and the downhaul pulls from a bridle in the center. 
I did foredeck on a Moore 24 campaign that did end-for-end gybes with the pole stored on the boom in the described fashion. It worked great on that particular boat, however it is a much smaller boat with much smaller loads than the 36.7. 

I understand this concept for small boats, under 30' but it is really not a good practice on larger keel boats.  The loads are significantly greater and requires a direct opposing force to maintain control. 
I have to admit that I did raise an eyebrow at the thought of doing end-for-end gybes on a 36.7, as the boat and loads are substantially greater. I nearly had my teeth smashed out a few times end-for-ending the pole on the Moore 24, so my personal preference would be for dip pole on a boat the size of the 36.7.  

My own boat was 42' and I was happy to do dip pole on that boat. 

 
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12 metre

Super Anarchist
3,780
632
English Bay
We did end for end on a Peterson 35 with lazy sheets/guys and it had about 20% more foretriangle area than the Benny.  In fact the entire local fleet of about a dozen P35s did it that way AFAIK.  It wasn't until you got to about the 40 foot size that you saw dip poles.

 

sledracr

Super Anarchist
4,734
825
PNW, ex-SoCal
The downside is increased compression of the spinnaker pole.
The biggest downside is losing the effectiveness of the foreguy.  When run to the deck, you get down-and-forward force, which neatly (along with topping lift and afterguy) holds the pole end where you want it.  When run to the mast base, you get no "forward" force, and it takes a lot more effort to get "down" force.

Not all that important on an etchells or a soling.  But a 36' masthead boat is getting close to that point where it makes a difference.

 

vtloon

Member
To 12 Metre and others point; end for end with lazy guys AND good twing system allows gying an unloaded pole.  The topping lift supports the pole; you just guide it.

 
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