Topic : Spinnaker pole ends

Does anyone use the 'open' pole clips on the mast (see link) rather than the ones with the latch that you have to release?
I'm just upgrading to long poles and wondering whether the hassle of pinging the latch is worth it.

p.s. Anyone got any aluminium poles to sell me?

p.p.s. Which way up do you have the clip anyway? I've always used it with open end downwards, but others seem to have it upwards - so you have to lift the pole up to clip it onto the mast?!?!?

Posted: 09/05/2005 12:23:22
By: Mags
I guess the question is "How much hassle will it feel like when the pole pops of and smashes one of you in the face?"

Latches are easy with the right trigger mech. P&B supply poles with the clip up but you need to bring the trigger bobble up near the end of the pole to make them work better.

Posted: 09/05/2005 13:56:51
By: Jon
The ally poles on 'Who's A Pretty Boy' are open ended. 

So far, they haven't caused a problem on the 3 event it have been sailed at, with the snodger on there is enough friction to heold them in place, but I wouldn't be so sure if there was a bit of bumpy water.

Personally, I find a latch and a tube slider in the right place works fine for twin poles as you only need one hand gripped around the tube to open the latch and push the pole on/off. A corded trip is more suitable for a single pole, when you have to trip the remote end to drop the ex-guy. A piston latch end without either a tube trip or corded trip isn't easy at all.

I always have the open end downward, otherwise there is a risk when the snodger is off, of the latch being forced open and the pole dropping off

Posted: 09/05/2005 14:01:05
By: Alan Fuller
p.s. Lookind at the part you show, it looks like a plastic Jib Stick end, and whilst the presure in most of the time towards the mast so not directly on the jaw end, I'm not sure that that clip would take the presure of a big spin in an abnormal situation (like a capsize)or a bumpy sea.

Posted: 09/05/2005 14:09:40
By: Alan Fuller
I find it hard to believe that not having a latch is even a viable option.  When I've had a pole with a dodgy piston it jumps off, let alone without having one at all!

Posted: 09/05/2005 14:10:05
By: Chris D
Mags, for your crews sake fit carbon poles they are so much easier to use, this is the one item that there is an immediate advantage in using carbon less weight to waggle about.
The latch type fitting with the opening upwards is also very easy to use, using an open ended fitting is likely to result in missing teeth.

Posted: 09/05/2005 14:25:13
By: Max Headroom
Not only easier for crews but also kinder to helms when the crew gets violent with the pole (or helm!).

Carbon is worth the extra money in this case.

As for pole ends, agree that trigger latch is needed and that it should be fitted on upside down so that crew has to push the latch up onto the D ring. The bit of string to operate the trigger needs to be fairly short (2-3 ins max) and is usually attached to a collar which slides up the pole to allow crew to operate the trigger with just the hand that is removing the pole - the other hand should be keeping hold of the spinnaker so that crew can finish pulling it in as soon as pole comes off.

Posted: 09/05/2005 19:40:47
By: RichardT
Richard T describes the modern concensus, it does work well but under extreem conditions and even with new plunger type ends, the pole can still detach itself (things have to be extreem). Dan Alsop advises that if the area under the eye on the mast is reduced then the pole cannot twist and does not release. I keep meaning to do this mod!!

Posted: 09/05/2005 20:40:15
By: John Dalby
I've had this problem in the past too, but we (Tom!) found that the thing to do was to use the Z-spars pole ends.  I don't know, but they are probably the most expensive so I guess it depends on the amount of abuse/use you are intending they get.  Otherwise it might be best just to buy the cheaper ones and you may never have a problem, and just replace the naughty one as and when you do.

Invariably though once it's started to give up the ghost, usually because of weakening of the plasic due to twisting, it won't ever stop. No matter how much you swear at it!

Posted: 09/05/2005 23:20:40
By: Chris D
In response to Max Headroom. What is the difference in weight between Carbon and Aluminium poles?

Just curious.

Posted: 09/05/2005 23:46:19
By: Nigel
Ex fittings, Carbon pole 30% that of Ali.
Based on my old alloy pole (agrecultural) and it's Superspar replacment. Alloy poles thicknesses/weight may like it says on the label may vary!!!

Posted: 10/05/2005 07:21:27
By: Barry Watkin
The difference in weight is magnified many times when you are trying to put the pole on with the spinny flapping about, at that point the crew needs all the help available. Chris is right get the best pole fitting that you can, anything else is false economy, and hurts !

Posted: 10/05/2005 08:32:07
By: Max Headroom
Uncontrollably flying off poles also have a nasty habit of going through mylar mainsails. This can have a negative impact on the owner's temperament!

Posted: 10/05/2005 08:50:00
By: Chris
Pair of carbon poles - £200
Pair of aluminium poles - £50

Since MR3245 nearly qualifies as a 'vintage' boat, I thought it best to fit her out in the original style, and stick with aluminium. Nothing to do with the fact that my wife wouldn't authorise the spend on carbon, oh no...

Thanks for your advice - seems I ought to go for the piston ends, and get my crew used to the new routine. Cheers!

Posted: 10/05/2005 09:15:11
By: Mags
Has Chris Martin still got some carbon poles for sale?  I'm sure he didn't want 200 quids

Posted: 10/05/2005 10:33:21
By: Jon
I used to have the open pole ends (jib stick fittings) with the old 6ft poles and they worked OK but with the longer poles you will have the poles fall off the mast unless you have plunger fittings - there's just more compressive force & a pole pinging back, particularly an alloy one, is potentially quite dangerous - go with the pistons with a collar fitting close to the end to release.  Julian Parry was selling pairs of carbon poles fitted for £170ish a couple of years ago, might be worth contacting him if you can afford it, after using carbon poles I wouldn't go back & his ones are pretty robust


Posted: 10/05/2005 10:33:59
By: Andrew M
Mags  -  am reminded of that old joke about "Piston broke?"  "Shertainly am guv!!"  but seems nowadays only if you get carbon.

Posted: 10/05/2005 13:53:40
By: Garry R
What's the best way to prevent pole triggers becoming stuck (open)? And how can you fix it if it starts happening regularly?

Posted: 10/05/2005 19:59:34
By: Andy
Wash out the salt and grit. Try some lube WB40 or Silicon. But if it is wear and tear it is easier to replace, at about £8.00 each it isn't a lot.

Posted: 10/05/2005 21:39:15
By: Alan

Posted: 10/05/2005 21:39:29
By: Alan
30% weight saving. My wife thinks a few evenings on the exercise bike might help. less hiking power though!

Posted: 10/05/2005 22:15:52
By: Nigel
I am not sure that carbon poles make that much difference.
The outboard end is supported by the uphaul and the inboard end by the mast fitting. Perhaps you might need stronger elastic to keep them up to boom when stowed?
I'm with your wife Mags - keep it authentic (and cheaper).
We always used to use Holt plastic jib stick ends on the inboard end as it was quicker to knock them off comming into the gybe - but the poles were shorter then. Probably best to go with the flow and use piston ends.

Posted: 10/05/2005 23:43:35
By: Pat Blake
Worth remembering the reason why piston ends are properly used uypside down is-if the pole gets out of control and up the mast as it were! One can still get the thing off! If using opens hooks a bit of diagonaly cut plastICE HOSE TAPED ROUND CAN PREVENT AccIDENTAL UNHOOKs.

Posted: 11/05/2005 08:27:43
If things are so out of control the pole is up the mast, about two seconds later the mast is in the water isn't it? From the swimming position it makes little difference as to which way up it is.

Posted: 11/05/2005 09:13:52
By: Alan
Yes it does,  Our pseudonymed friend has a good point here.

Posted: 11/05/2005 12:06:06
By: Jon
Use rubber pins  in the ends ,they dont rot or stick  and are very light .WHICKED ! Stainless what got stuck where?

Posted: 11/05/2005 14:20:04
Beware sand or grit sticking to the WD40 or any other lube, its the grit/sand that causes the problem, last set lasted 3/4 years of very heavy use without any problem at all, and they are still going strong.
The other downside of ali is the noise they make as they clatter against the mast/boom, I prefer a quiet sail.

Posted: 11/05/2005 16:19:26
By: Max Headroom

Posted: 11/05/2005 16:28:08
Dont forget your ear plugs and bulls**t deflectors when sailing , very quiet indeed.

Posted: 11/05/2005 16:30:06
Cheers for all the advice. Reckon 25mm ally pole will be thick enough for the new long poles? My old ones were only 25mm but quite alot shorter!

Posted: 25/05/2005 14:53:04
By: Mags
Stick a double block on mast ring with leads to the back of the thwart from pole ends, mix in a taste of shockcord add a dash of pole end bushes and there you have it a buget twin fly away that works.
warning may cause scratches to carbon rigs(please consult an adult before completing this work)
no more dancing on the fore deck and allows quicker hoists and drops.

Posted: 25/05/2005 15:38:11
By: last of the summer wine
do you guys find that carbon poles snap a lot in windy conditions? Almost Every one in the scorpions use alu poles as in windy conditions we seem to snap carbon poles.Really easily

Posted: 26/05/2005 14:09:49
By: A Scorpion sailor
A lot of people have snapped the ends off single poles catching them on the puller wire in a tack.  Otherwise, the twin poles have been very successful and robust.  Use with knots not marks tho for exactly that reason, you will snap the pole if it bends round the jib halliard.  25mm 1" is not thick enough - though doesnt generally break it bends alarmingly and 32mm is the preferred diameter, much stiffer.  The load on a twin pole is all in compression as the fittings are at the outboard end so as long as the pole stays straight it wont break.

Posted: 26/05/2005 15:19:24
By: Andrew M
The Fifteens are worried about this, I think they are considering some sort of pad where the pole hits the jib wire.

Posted: 26/05/2005 16:14:00
By: Carlw
Golden Rule, keep pole off the forestay!  Our pole last broke against the shroud in a 9/10 for style windward pile in at Warsash.  Can't really blame the pole for that though, if you were bent backwards around a thin steel bar at about 20 knots, you might show some signs of wear as well!!


Posted: 26/05/2005 16:53:25
By: Chairman GGGGGGG don't let it hit the jib wire.  Put your knot in the spinny sheet to hold the pole at least a couple of inches clear of it & tie the spinny on with a bit of a tail to it to shorten the sheet even more when it's honking

Posted: 26/05/2005 17:01:37
By: Andrew M
I've never broken a carbon pole and we do capsise!  I think it depends whose you buy - I think I'm correct in saying that the P&B ones have some fibreglass in as well - may be slightly heavier, but the don't break!

Fingers crossed anyway...

Posted: 26/05/2005 18:01:11
By: Chris D


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