I can certainly understand wanting to sail when the wind is up rather than tinker with equipment!
I had seen the Solo-Right video, and was planning on building one, until I came across this thread. I think the aluminum one looks nicer and more durable, so if it floats and doesn't rattle around, I'll be building one of these instead! I figure if I make it as long as I can, I can always cut it down later if I don't need the full length.
Thank you. I have yet to test the pole simply because the winds haven't been all that great here so far this summer and when it has been blowing I've been sailing. What I can report is the pole has been stowed securely underneath my tramp for about a month and I haven't had any issues with the pole banging around or coming loose from the waves. The pole is 100% water tight and yes, I'm happy to report that it floats very well, even with the wet support line and carabiners attached (an early concern I had).
I had planned on testing it out on Saturday after our race but the wind completely died shortly after we returned to the beach. Then, yesterday, we had sustained 15 knots all day but I had John Lunn and his family out on the boat all afternoon and I didn't want to surrender quality sailing time to tinker around with the pole. Maybe I'll test it this week - I am anxious to see how it works.
Have you see the Gary Friesen "Solo Right" video? Same concept, only I used different materials.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCbihZsXESg