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The Dolphin 24 Spinnaker Pole and Related Matters  

March 7, 2013. Our Technical Section needed some commentary on spinnaker poles - much of which aready existed on the Forum. These things tend to get buried there so this is an edited attempt to pull this information together.

This all started with a post on the Forum back in August 2007 from bcq pss

Hello all: 

Does anyone know where to get a spinnaker pole for a Yankee Dolphin 24 or the dimensions, so I could build one. Also would like to know to appox. location of the bail on the mast or location of sail track for adjustable pole height and would like any suggestions on running rigging for the chute.

Thanks for any info.

This started the responses (edited). This from Ron, Marionette, #12

The Spin pole length (SPL) is 9.0 feet. This is measured when the pole is on the mast ring and is horizontal at a right angle out to starboard or port. The measurement then is from the athwartship centerline of the mast to the end of the fitting. This info is from the ECSA PHRF handicap certificate. My pole is 8.85 ft measured this way. It is a 2" OD aluminum tube with standard end fittings. Any local mast/rigging supplier could do this for you - get you the tube and you build it yourself.

I have a 5 ft, 8 in long T-Track that is screwed to the front of the mast that starts about 12'' from the bottom of the mast. The ring slides up and down as needed..

Here is a rough sketch of how the spinnaker running rigging is set up on Marionette - I'll clean it up when I get a chance. Go to http://www.dolphin24.org/marionette_running_spin_setup.html for a detailed description and more pictures..

We almost never use a pole foreguy – maybe if it is really blowing and we have the pole adjusted high. We have a simple system for this – we rope tie a block to the main foredeck cleat and run a line with a snap shackle through it. The snap shackle clips to the lower pole bridle and the line runs back to a cleat on the outside of the coaming.

The Harken Technical Tips section on spinnaker systems is worth checking out. I see they call my Twing lines - Tweaker lines. What do they know...http://www.harken.com/rigtips/spinnaker.php

Ron, Marionette, #12


I agree with all of the above, mine is rigged with just minor differences. My foreguy is a block and padeye to the fordeck, more forward than Marionette's (it can also be used as a tack point for a staysail). My twing lines (yes, TWING lines) are led to a block on my sail track, and I also do not use the foreguy much, only if needed to keep the pole from bouncing around.

You could set up a block on a padeye wherever works for you typically on or near the outside rail around the widest part of the boat. The length of the pole is important if you are going to race, but not so much if you are just cruising. Having it a bit longer will not hurt if just cruising, but I would not go shorter. You can always shorten it if you need to later.

Any local marine store should be able to get what you need. I think someplace like West Marine sells kits as well. You could also try Annapolis Performance Sailing on-line store. Both of the above will have the parts you need. I have ordered from both with no problems. As far as the track length for the inboard end, you might check with your sailmaker. I believe the lowest you will ever need to go will be just above the bow pulpit parallel to the deck. I don't think I have ever gone any higher with the pole than 6 feet or so above the deck, but your conditions may be different and I would still go higher than that with the track. I do recommend a track rather than just a ring for better control of the sail, but if just cruising it may not be an issue for you. Another consideration might be whether or not you have a second ring for a whisker pole like I do, which is maybe two or three feet above the deck.

A couple other things - when deciding where to put your twings, keep in mind their function. They will keep the lead position forward on the guy so there is a downward angle to help keep the tack at the pole and keep the pole from raising upward uncontrolably. They will also keep the guy off the shrouds (can be a lot of pressure) when the pole is all the way forward when reaching.

Another way of setting it up is to use a pair of snatch blocks instead of the twing lines and simply open them up to release or return guy. We did it this way on a 40' boat I used to race on. Of course we had a mast man that could easily do this on a gibe. He would open one side and let it out (the old guy), and put the new guy in the other side. This method might be more difficult to use, but easier to install. You can also forget about the twings, and just use a foreguy. Depends on your needs. I think the twing lines are the way to go, though.

Edited by Mahew - 10 Aug 2007 at 10:02am
Yankee Dolphin Hull # 203


On Marionette our bronze genoa track on top of the toe rail only goes to a point about even with the forward edge of the coaming - this is a problem when close reaching with our 140% in that I can't get the lead block as far forward as I would like - and of course I have no track to which I can attach a twing block. I have often thought I would put on a new section of bronze track forward but just can't stand the idea of putting more holes through the toe rail and that wood clamp and end up with still more weeping bolts, etc'

So, the rope loop ties at the shrouds are the answer for us. Its a good location for the guy lead and being able to use them for the vang preventer is a bonus.

Also, we have 2 mast rings as well - once the pole got away from us and the forward end got in the water. The pressure bent the mast ring and we were lucky to have that other ring



Thanks to everyone for your suggestions; I think there's plenty info to get my spinnaker flying now!

A friend suggested buying an adjustable whisker pole, (6' to 16' ) instead of building my own spinn pole. I'm just a cruiser at this point. I guess the whisker pole could be used for the chute or any headsails.

bcq pss


You may have problems using a whisker pole as the bending/compression loads for a chute are pretty high especially for those whisker poles that have a slip ring design. A locking pin design whisker pole would be better, but even so, it might be worth getting some 'free advice' from your local sailmaker



I would not recommend the whisker pole. By the time you buy the heavy duty whisker pole you would need for the chute, you could probably make up a spin. pole and get a lighter whisker pole. Also, you can use the spin. pole for both as well, and it would be more reliable since whisker poles are usually adjustable. A lot of pressure on the chute! You also might note that the length requirement of both poles is the same for most racing fleets. If that is a future consideration.
Yankee Dolphin Hull # 203











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