At a very crucial moment (!) in the second race last weekend, our spinnaker pole end decided to shear off. That’s not happened to us before. We have Selden ends.
When I inspected the remaining end I realised that a fair bit of wear can set in. I’ve replaced both ends now, but you might want to check yours too.
If you use a fly-away pole, and like me you suffer jamming piston ends on the pole, then you may be interested to see this idea from Graham Brown….
End fitting (outboard / sheet end)
Most FF sailors know how these self launch / retrieve systems work but if not I can detail later.
Here are a couple of ideas I have tried and they work well are easy to make and have no moving parts.
In this photo we have shaped a Reverse hook arrangement with a slot down the middle that is slightly narrower than the spinnaker sheet (in this case a 4.8mm slot for a 5mm sheet).
Perpendicular to the “insertion slot” is a 12-15mm Sheet slot which the spinnaker sheet runs through.
This system works by inserting the spinnaker sheet (or Brace) into the slot and a simple twist then stops the sheet from falling out. I have used Black PTFE so the sheets have minimal friction when sliding through the fitting.
When Gybing , the pole is released back on to the boom then a quick twist and the sheet is ejected and ready to put onto the other sheet (With a reverse operation)
The fitting is the same Outside diameter at the pole but 40 mm if its length has be lathed down to the ID of the Spinnaker pole, inserted, and held in place by a small screw.
This was Mk 1 developed for a Sailing Dory I have. MK2 was sold with my last boat.