Spinnaker Pole Up/Downhauls…….!!

We ran a small item a few days ago about the ten boat FF Classic/Silver Fleet at Ullapool.  By the way, google says the population of Ullapool is 1,300 people, so 10 FF’s makes them one of the densest concentrations of 2 person keelboat racing than anywhere in the UK, including Shetlands!!  
Adrian Morgan there asked recently how best to rig up a spinnaker up/down haul system and asked the question of Graham Lamond – Graham’s answer is below. It would be great though if someone in the National Fleet could send us explanatory photos, or a hand drawn diagram in jpeg of pdf format…. Can anyone help??
Adrian – you should also check out this very good FF 2663  Resoration Project
 I use a standard double ended pole, rather than a single end and launch roller on the mast. The pole uphaul downhaul has a loop through which the pole passes and there is a standard ‘ramp’ with a notch in the middle of the pole to hold the uphaul/downhaul in place.
The uphaul is rope, which goes up through a sheave below the spreaders and exits from the base of the mast on one of the sheaves in the mast base plug. The tail then goes on to a block through which a rope passes, going via turning blocks to the side deck cleats fitted midships between the helm and crew, so we can both make the adjustment on pole height. The length of the uphaul rope is set so that when released from either side deck cleat, the pole lies level when stowed along the boom. When the crew puts the pole on the mast ring prior to launching the kite, the pole will sit below the horizontal with the uphaul in the uncleated position and just resting on the rope end ball stops. The purpose of this is that when approaching the windward mark ready to bear onto the reach, the pole can be set ready (as long as you know you won’t have to tack again). Once round the mark, the helm hoists the kite, while all the crew has to do is ease the jib and raise the pole as the kite comes out of the chute/bags, then trim the sail. When dropping the spinnaker, the reverse is true. Releasing the pole uphaul allows the pole to drop to sufficient height to let the spinnaker be ‘flown’ into the chute, thus minimising the chances of it going under the boat. The pole can be stowed as soon as the sail is far enough in the chute to be under control. So you can see it is worth spending some time to get the length of the pole uphaul correct.
The downhaul is also a rope which passes through a small block on the front of the mast just above deck level and then to a double block mounted on the keel in front of the mast. The rope then goes forward round a turning block and back to the second sheave of the double block before coming up to a turning block and cleat on the vertical aft face of the foredeck. The turning block forward is anchored to a strong elastic which itself goes to a turning block on the forward deck beam and then aft to a convenient anchor point under the side deck. This way, the down haul is given tension to hold the pole down and also to take up the tension when the pole is stowed, but the length of travel is limited by the rope being adjusted by the cleat on the fordeck. I usually set this length so that the pole cannot rise by more than about 10 degrees above the horizontal, but the cleat allows adjustments if necessary. In truth, I rarely touch it once set. This system was copied from a GP 14, except that the elastic take up on the downhaul went sideways instead of forwards because of the bulkhead and I think they had to double the purchase because of the lack of length.

The Piston-less Spinnaker Pole End…

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.


FF – Hauling the Pole Off the Forestay in a Breeze – 3 (!)….

This came in from Keith Jamieson, Secretary of BIFFA on our new favourite subject ….

“If the guy/brace is cleated both at the shrouds and at the side tank, the crew places a hand on the standing part of the rope running along the side deck and pushing it outboard makes the job easier…
You effectively create a two to one doing this, even small crews can do it.
Not my idea but from mr Apthorp via the President I believe….”

FF – Hauling the Pole Off the Forestay in a Breeze… 2….

A few days ago, we published an item about a nifty gadget/idea on a new P&B boat for hauling the pole off the forestay in a breeze. We had a comment come into the blog from a lady FF sailor in Australia, who just happens to be a God-Level sailor in her own right (!) – and whose UK boat still sails at our Club (Hakuna Matata).  Anyway – this is the technique that they use for dragging the pole back…

“Alternatively, and much cheaper…… Because the guy will already be cleated on the jammer by the side stays , all the skipper needs to do is reach down the side tank and pull the guy (brace if you are Aussie!) upwards. The pull is 90 degrees to the direction the rope runs in, so even in a big sea breeze on a tight reach it’s very easy to pull on the required few inches……. And so much cheaper!!…”

I guess that the point is to cleat it at the side-tank AND the shroud so it’s cleated at both extremes, then Brace/Yank the guy….. So that’s telling you !!….Great !!

FF – Hauling the Pole off the Forestay in a Breeze…

We have a boat which is great for mixed gender crews, and we have some terrific teams at Datchet. A lady though occasionally will find a couple of tasks quite tough, and you need to set the boat up for them accordingly. Popular in our club is a fly-away pole system for example.

Another tough job though, for men and women, is hauling the spinnaker pole off the forestay in a breeze. It can frankly be a pig of a job and very distracting.  This photo is froma very recent P&B boat which attempts to deliver the solution – very clever….

The spinnaker sheet takeoff (ratchet blocks here) is mounted on a track running parallel to the genoa track. The bow is to the left of this photo. You will see a double purchase grey line running forward. This emerges on the console and from there the helm or crew can give them line a whack and pull that ratchet block forward – this will cause the guy to shorten and the pole to come off the forestay.

I’d love to have a go and see how it works in practice….