Spinnaker Pole Sources

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Spinnaker Pole Sources

Postby holstein » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:40 am

I'm in the process of rigging my Precision DSI up for a spinnaker.
I've procured a spinnaker, and am now in the market for a spinnaker pole.

I've been looking at a product from West Marine:
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/st ... sNum=10188

But I have also noticed that many of the DS images on this site show a spin-pole timing lift in the center of the pole, for which there is no connection point on the West Marine product.

Does anybody have any suggestions on where to purchase a DS-I spinnaker pole, or should I consider modifying the West Marine product.

Bill H
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Postby GreenLake » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:06 pm

You can always make your own.

There are inexpensive end fittings you can purchase for use with 1" aluminum stock, or you can use whatever else comes handy. I made a pole from bamboo, reinforced with a single layer of glass fiber.

For the middle fitting, you could just attach an eyestrap.
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Postby swiftsail » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:28 pm

Hey Bill,
The most inexpensive way to build a strong spin pole is to use 1" Alum. tubing. Fill the inside with a hardwood dowel. Put some ends on it. Don't use the cheap plastic Forspar ends. Then use a lifeline pulpit eye. They are 1" and fit around the pole and secure by compression. The pole is heavy but almost indestructible, which is important if you are going to do any reaching. Less than $100 total.
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Postby jdubes » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:33 pm

If want the "spin-pole timing lift in the center of the pole" just use a steel ring on the center of the pole. Attach it with some string wrapped through the center of the ring around the pole. Then use a little tape on top of that. That's what I have for my DS and my Ensign.

Image

To make my poles float and little stiffer, i took a pool noodle broke it apart and jammed it into the pole with a broom. It made the pole stiffer, didn't make it heavy, and now i could almost use it as a flotation device. :D
Last edited by jdubes on Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GreenLake » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:10 pm

+1 on the "ring on a string" method. That's what I use on my bamboo spinnaker pole.

Which incidentally cost me less than $40.00 including the material used for the glass sheath. (That one is a single layer of lightweight glass tape, run as a spiral around the pole and laminated using epoxy, and varnished for UV. Without the sheath, the pole is already strong, but prone to splitting).

I did use the cheapest fittings, of course :) and, instead of press fitting, used some MarineTex to hold them in place. Haven't had any strength issues with either pole or fittings, so far, but I gather that other sailing areas tend to higher winds than where I sail.

You can buy aluminum extrusion that's specifically intended for use as a pole. I wonder whether that offers a better alloy, or different wall thickness, because I'm wondering very much about the need to "reinforce" the tube.
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Postby jw » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:52 pm

Annapolis performance sailing will build you one - http://www.apsltd.com/

Or you can buy the parts from them and build it yourself.
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Building a spinnaker pole

Postby Lil Maggie » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:42 pm

Although I thought about just opening a new thread, I figured I'd save some bandwidth and just add to this thread....anyway:

I am building a spinnaker pole out of a 1"O.D. aluminum pole stock (6061 multipurpose, 0.870" I.D. from McMasterCarr) and Selden pole ends (stock #SLD53483001 from Annapolis Performance Sailing).

My question is: What is the preferred attachment point for the pole lift/foreguy? S/S ring whipped to the pole? Eyestrap screwed to the pole ( I suspect this method would create a slight weak point on the pole)? Does anybody bother with wire-rope bridles (that's the method I'm used to on bigger-boat sailing)? Is the last method overkill on the DS?

I appreciate y'all's input on this
Cheers
Mike J
A crappy day sailing is better than a good one at home...
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Postby GreenLake » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:52 pm

A bridle seems overkill for a boat this size. I have another boat (slightly smaller than a DS) where the spinnaker pole has two eye straps and is made from two aluminum profiles inserted into each other (to make it double walled). For my DS I've used a variation of the ring on a strap (and bamboo for the pole itself). Both seem to work equally well.
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Postby swiftsail » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:58 pm

If you plan on doing any reaching in decent breeze, I suggest putting an Oak or other hardwood dowel filling the inside of the pole and I use a 1" stanchion lifeline attachment fitting for the attachment in the center. It slips on around the pole and then just compresses on the pole, NO HOLES in the pole.

The straight 1" tubing just isn't strong enough to do the job on it's own. That's why you see all the fancy tapered poles on the market in that size range. Now if you are just going to do daysailing and never put up the chute on a tight reach in over 5 knots of breeze just the plain 1" tube will do.

Sorry, I repeated myself. :(
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Postby GreenLake » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:42 pm

swiftsail wrote:The straight 1" tubing just isn't strong enough to do the job on it's own.


I tend to agree. That's why I see people reinforcing them by various means, such as inserting a second, narrower tube. I'm sure your dowel suggestion would work as well. I've used my bamboo pole when reaching in winds that went up to the limit where we felt it might soon be time to take the spinnaker down altogether. Our limit may be lower than yours, but it's well above 5kts of wind. 8) 8)

Avoiding holes is always good, of course.
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Postby Lil Maggie » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:56 pm

I like Green lake's idea of wrapping it with glass tape and epoxy...that would make it stronger and keep it on the light side, but anything you stuff into the pole will make it stiffer...I read someone used pool noodles, foam filler, etc.

As for when I plan to use the chute, well, being an ex racer I've flown chutes in some serious blow but now that I'm older and with a green crew (my wife) we're probably starting out light, say 5-10 kts...reaching with a chute is always fun so I can't say no to that either.

One observation: my boat came with a single pole ring about 2' from "datum" and not a hole or pimple at 4 ft, but it is evident from the way it was rigged that the PO's did use a spinnaker on it..does anybody ever use the lower ring or should I be better off moving it up to the 4' height?...and I guess that includes moving the topping lift block up too, which now sits right at spreader height...thoughts?
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Postby swiftsail » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:36 am

The Lowest legal limit seems to be the best. It gets the most chute out there and it is easier for the crew to reach.
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Postby Mike Gillum » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:59 am

I've built dozen+ spinnaker poles for several of my Thistles and DS #2772 the past 15-20 years using readily available Ronstan RF600 Spinnaker Pole End Fittings that are designed to fit around a 1" diameter Spinnaker Pole.
Except that I fasten them inside an inexpensive 1-1/8" diameter non-anodized aluminum Tube that I buy locally from a Camper Supply Company. I believe the wall thickness is somewhere around .065.
I have yet to "fold" one around the forestay of either a Thistle or Day Sailer let alone see one of them flex or bow and we sail in moderate to heavy winds from time to time.
I use Stainless Steel Pop-Rivets to blindly fasten the RF600 Pole Ends as well as the SS Eye Strap to the exterior center of the pole and the fourteen holes have never caused me to second guess them.
Just make sure you throughly wash the exterior and interior of the pole if you regularly sail or race in a salt water environment as corrosion will occur with the non-anodized Tube and inaction between the aluminum and SS will degrade the aluminum extrusion.
I splice a piece of 1/8" Spectra for the trip line between the RF600 Pole Ends.
Sealing the ends sounds like a good idea as I left a brand new DS Spinnaker Pole at the bottom of Clear Lake, Seabrook, Texas after we capsized at 2011 DS Junior NACR's as it wasn't sealed but not being to wash out and inspect the insides overrides the possible loss should I capsize again or my crew launch it overboard.
Build you own as its really easy, a great way to save $$ and a fantastic learning experience!
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Postby GreenLake » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:46 pm

Lil Maggie wrote:One observation: my boat came with a single pole ring about 2' from "datum" and not a hole or pimple at 4 ft, but it is evident from the way it was rigged that the PO's did use a spinnaker on it..does anybody ever use the lower ring or should I be better off moving it up to the 4' height?...and I guess that includes moving the topping lift block up too, which now sits right at spreader height...thoughts?


I'd say, depends on your spinnaker. I don't fly a standard DS spinnaker, because I got an approximately similar one from another boat for free. Can't beat that (and I don't race under class rules). With that sail, the pole wants to be lower.

Incidentally, I definitely recommend scrounging for a spinnaker, especially if its your first. Nice to know that you won't be able to lose financially when you make all the beginner's mistakes. If you're racing under class rules, you'd need one that measures, but if not, you can cast around more widely and see what will fly.

I sail with an eclectic group of other boats, none of them class legal in their class, and some of the other sailors have rigged spinnakers and whatnot to almost any type of boat. It's been educational to watch them.
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Postby Mike Gillum » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:21 pm

I'll second that an inexpensive used spinnaker pole that fits within the DS Class requirements will work as I haven't had the inclination to build a new spinnaker pole for DS #2772 following last year's loss of the new one at Junior NACR's.
Instead I've been using one of my Thistle spinnaker poles as they're only 70" long versus the DS Class maximium length of 72".
Being 2" shorter overall has no apparent loss of reaching or running performance as there weren't many other DS that could consistently hang with us on the reachs and runs at the recent 2012 DS NACR's.
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