Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Whisker poles and $pinnaker pole$

As we prepare to leave for our first 10 day trip, I was thinking about light airs. August is some of the best weather, in the Puget Sound. It's also the time of year the winds are lightest.

Our 10 day trip starts with the Perry Rendezvous in Port Ludlow. After we leave there, we will take a counter-clockwise trip around the northern Puget Sound, to Pt. Townsend, maybe Port Angeles, possibly Victoria, Deception Pass, Oak Harbor, Penn Cove, and finally south to Seattle.

Today, I got a wild hair and went looking for a whisker pole. I don't have a spinnaker on Brigadoon, nor do I want one. Oh, I may get an asymmetrical spin once I go up the mast and rig the blocks and lines for it but, for now, I will make do with the sails I have.

On a reach, Brigadoon does well, even with the old sails, especially if I can get all three sails drawing well. Running, however, is another matter. The heavier cruising sails hang in lighter airs. So, I thought about the lighter airs we would possibly find this week and, went looking for a solution.

My first stop was Fisheries Supply. I like the place. I have found knowledgeable folk there, who don't try to spend too much of my money. Today I talked to Mike, looking for information on a whisker pole to wing out my headsail so I can do better in lighter airs. Well, he started looking in the catalog. After a few questions, he came up with the answer. It was the one I dreaded. Sure, Harkin had a what they called a whisker pole. It was only a little over a thousand dollars.

Now, I made it clear I wasn't looking for a spin pole. I know they take lots of loads. They are big and strong for a reason. I was looking for a whisker pole, something to use in lighter airs. As a matter of fact, as soon as we have heavier air, I would douse the pole and let the sails pull all they want, without the support of the pole. They wouldn't need it. All Mike had to offer, though, was the thousand plus, Harkin pole.

It was too much, frankly. Partly it was the cost but, mostly it was all the things I would have to do, to make the pole work. Besides, the thing was huge.

Anyway, I went to Second Wave, a second hand boaty store.

I inquired about, and found, a 11.5 foot, 2.5" dia spin pole. It fits the boat perfect.

It cost $200.00, including tax.

I'll experiment with it on the 10 day trip. One of the most awesome things is, when I rig it to the mounting ring, and raise it, it fits against the mast. True, I don't have it secured really pretty but, I think it will be fine for this trip, and for figuring it out.

Sure, the new Harkin may have been the right thing but, who knows?

This may be just fine. 

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