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 Post subject: Whisker Pole
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:00 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:33 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Roseville, CA
I have only had my yak out once but in that time it seemed like it would be nice to have a way to open the sail up when going downwind.
:idea: Has anybody tried a whisker pole arrangement? I wouldn't want to carry another pole but maybe some clips added to the paddle would make for a usable whisker pole.

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Brian Ripley
Mirage Sport
Roseville, CA


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 Post subject: Open the sail up
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:47 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:03 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Oswego, IL
I just purchased my first 2 Hobie Sports with sails and was also wondering how to open up the sail going downwind. Perhaps a stiffening piece placed in the bottom seam? I am not experienced so I don't know how this might affect the shape and performance going upwind. Does anyone have any ideas on this? I'd like to keep this as simple as possible.

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Dave Reinker


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:39 am
Posts: 471
Location: Finger Lakes, NY
Hi folks! Life long sailor - soon to be kayaker here.

Having decent sailshape going downwind is always a challenge. The forces of apparent wind against the front of the sail battling with the wind behind the sail work against each other. So, yeah, a whisker pole is a great idea in my opinion. There is more to just "holding the sail out" though. Of course :roll: The purpose of the pole is to try and maintain a good "airfoil" shape as well as to keep the sail on a preferred side when running dead down wind. Note of Caution: in a heavy blow DO NOT sail DEAD DOWN WIND, always sail a little off the wind to keep the sail over on one side. It is a real pain in the head if a gust lifts the sail suddenly across the boat because it "wants" to be on the other side. :shock:

A whisker pole should be light and fairly stiff. You don't want to add any more weight to the clew of the sail than you need to. A full sail in light conditions should be able to "lift" the pole when you let go the sheets. For example: on a typical 25 foot 5000lb sailboat we only use a 1 ¼ inch diameter, 6 to 12 foot twist lock pole. So work that backwards into all of what you need for a 50 lb kayak. For optimum effect the pole should be extendable. I’m thinking a small boat telescoping tiller extension or a leg from a small camera tripod or the shaft of your kayak paddle could be adapted.

Here is a site for some whisker poles and parts info. You'll probably find a lot of other "boating" stuff too that will have your credit card maxed up in no time :roll: :lol:

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/st ... /342/341/2

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The fact that this windy world is largely covered in water obviously means that man was meant to sail.


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