Your ball joint version may work out fine. I look forward to your testing reports. My concern with your design is that it just slips over the ball and could dislodge while tacking. It's amazing how much the hiking stick gets thrown around when sailing and hiking out!
Thanks Stringy for calming the waters that I inadvertently stirred up by my unwise comments about the have's vs the have-not's.
The following is slightly off topic but pertinent
All my life I've had to run on the smell of an oily rag and I constantly seek ways to recycle/repair/innovate, etc. as opposed to buying new. I guess it's my heritage from my Ukrainian grandfather who immigrated to Canada in 1924 with only a suitcase and $10. He transformed a wilderness into a productive farm living hours from the nearest city or any stores. I'm not jealous of wealthy folk at all - in fact I have some as very close friends. Perhaps some of my thrifty solutions will help others similarly situated.
My 2013 Hobie AI was purchased used (at a huge discount) from a spoiled rich kid who abused it terribly. However, I'm thankful I have this versatile craft that brings so much pleasure (and quite a few fish) to my wife and others!
I recently sold my Hobie PA-12 because after several 5-10 mile trips off Florida's east coast, I stirred up some arthritis in my hip due to dumping my motorbike in the Himalayas in '96. The only other boat I've owned was a well-kept 10' Parkercraft sailing dinghy which I took from Godzone to Fiji on a fishing trawler, and used it there to explore the Yasawa Islands (over numerous winters) which I'm sure you are aware of as many Auzzies holiday there.
Anyway, tomorrow I'll test my DIY hiking stick and report back to you if I'm not too tired.
"Take life seriously................it's eternal in one of 2 places - you choose!"