Whisker Pole - If you want to sail off wind you will need one of these gizmo's to wing the jib out on the opposite side from the main. Your crew will really love launching this sucker, especially in a fresh breeze. But you will get a much more stable and faster ride with it up. You can buy a $40 pole already assembled or build your own.

To build your own, locate an aluminum section, 1" OD, with a wall thickness ranging from .049 to .062 and cut it to 84 inches. Glue in a short length of wood dowel about 6" down in both ends, so the pole will float, should it decide to leave you.

I use a readily available Lexan piston latch fitting (Nicro Fico 10072 for the .049 wall thickness) on one end of the pole, that attaches to a loop of 1/8" loop of line on the jib clew grommet. The other end is fitted with an oar lock, (a fork, you can make your own from wood or metal), that rides on the mast. (Some use the latch on both ends with a pad eye on the mast. I like the fork, since nothing has to be undone to jib the pole). The fittings may require some sanding to fit snugly in the pole, before you epoxy them in place. With the fittings installed the pole length is 86", I would not deviate from this more than an inch either way.

I carry the pole on the boom out of the way. A loop of 5/16" (big stuff) shock cord is threaded through a hole in the boom near the aft boom block. (A loop of cord on each side on the boom). The crew merely places the fork of the pole in the loop, presses back a bit and lets the forward lend slide into a PVC pipe cap. The PVC cap is attached to the boom with a bolt and nut. (Drill a hole through both sides of the cap, so you can get a screwdriver on the bolt) The PVC cap should be a size or two larger than the pole - you don't want the crew to have trouble getting it in the hole. Real slick and cheap!

The Ultimate Toy! Automated Whisker Pole Launcher