Spinnaker Pole Systems

This was written in response to Alan Johnson of Seattle's question. Since a number of people are fixing up Classic 505s, this is probably of interest to others.

The systems currently in use are:

On all of the above, the pole uphaul (topping lift) and downhaul (foreguy) are attached to the outboard end. You are doing a form of dip pole gybe rather than end-to-end. You retract the pole going into a gybe, then push it out (or launch it again). You are gybing without the spinnaker pole on the mast.

Systems No longer used:

On the outboard end, some people use the fork end, but most use a conventional fitting. On the inboard end, a conventional fitting, with the pin removed in some cases is used, unless you have a pole launcher, in which case the mast end of the pole is ball shaped fitting.

The uphaul typically is thin spectra going into the mast shortly below the jib stuff luff block, and into the boat to a cleat. Some people do not adjust at all and simply tie to an eye strap on the mast. I have also seen the topping lift cleated on the end of the pole.

The downhaul should be line with a shockcord takeup. You need a positive stop such that the pole can only lift slightly before the downhaul prevents it going any higher. You need a little slack to get the pole on the mast when the mast is bent more in heavy air..... You may wish to raise the pole on runs, so you either need enough slack in the downhaul to allow that, or a way of adjusting the downhaul.

I use a Z-spar fork end, with a pin-removed conventional Z-spar end on the mast. Works quite well, but the pole launcher might make it easier to get the spinnaker pole on the mast after heavy air gybes.


- Ali