Spinnaker pole

Dear forists,

by good chance, I had the opportunity to buy a Mirror dinghy quite nearby some six weeks ago, and my kids and I are zooming quite happily across the lake of Bordesholm with it. (And by equal good chance, I hit upon this splendid forum!)

With the boat came a spinnaker which I haven‘t used so far. I should like to give it a try, and the book of Roy Partridge gave me quite a good notion of how to rig it. But the spinnaker pole is puzzling me. There is what seems to be a primitive „quadruple clamp“ in the center (I don't know how to insert a picture; you can see the clamp as my "avatar"). Does this mean that I use a single rope as the pole‘s up- and downhaul and simply clamp it to the pole? That seems to be a very uncomplicated, but slightly unstable solution.

I would be really grateful for an answer.


One end of the pole clips to a loop on the mast, while the other either clips to a guy (a spinnaker sheet) or directly to a plastic ring at the corner of the spinnaker (to which the guy is already attached). The "clamp" in the middle (I don't know what it's called either) is to hold onto the knotted rope/bungee whose ends are screwed to the mast (a rope which is used to hold the pole at the right angle - you choose which pair of knots to put above and below the pole, then pull that bit of rope into one of the four "clamp"s). When you gybe, you'll find that you need to move the rope from one of the four "clamps" to the other one on the same side of the pole: when gybing, you detach the pole from the loop on the mast first, attach it to the free corner of the spinnaker (or to its guy), then detach the other end of the pole from the spinnaker and attach it to the loop on the mast, and at some point along the way the knotted rope will move from one "clamp" to the other one on its side of the pole. The two "clamps" on the opposite side of the pole simply avoid the potential problem of the knotted rope being on the wrong side of the pole if you pick it up the wrong way. The knotted rope only needs to pull the pole down strongly to resist it rising in strong winds, while in very light winds the elasticated part only needs to support the weight of the pole, so a single rope does the whole job, and it's very secure.

Linnet's picture

Thanks a lot. That sounds convincing. What I didn't consider was the possibility of knots on the "uphaul/downhaul" rope. I'll have a try this weekend.

I don't understand the description of your pole. Mine was an aluminium pole with a spring loaded hook on each end and a small metal hoop in the center. One hook attached to a loop on the mast the other onto the spinnaker. The small metal hoop in the center is attached to a line which was used to raise or lower the horizontal position of the spinnaker pole. I fear without a diagram my explanation may be as puzzling as yours was to me. Perhaps someone else can be clearer for you.

Linnet's picture

Thank you for the prompt reply. My pole is of the same kind, but instead of the small metal hoop there are the clamps depicted. But I think David's explanation is what I needed.

Linnet's picture

By the way, how do I upload pictures or diagrams? I made several unsuccessful attempts, and somehow couldn't find any instructions on this page.

The best way to do it is to post the photo somewhere else and then provide the link to that site in a message here.

Linnet's picture

Thank you; I will try it that way. I hoped there was some way simply to insert or attach it in/to a message on this site.


PuffinInTegel's picture

Ich habe Dir eine PM geschickt.
PM sent on the pictures issue.


Technically it is possible. However, the forum is financed only by Gernot and the available space is limited.
The suggestion above is the one I've seen Gernot offer a number of times.

62816inBerlin's picture

The spinnaker pole I was given by a kind member of this forum seems to be heavy for such a short aluminium spar and I was wondering whether this is intentional and if so, why?
Is there a "normal" or "preferred" weight?
Greetings from Berlin,

Gernot H.

My spinnaker pole never felt heavy, but I don't have any means of weighing it (and it's out of reach at the moment behind a pile of stuff in the garage). I'm sure someone else will be able to weigh theirs though, so it would be worth finding out what yours weighs and then asking on the FB group. It doesn't seem likely, but perhaps someone's filled yours with heavy foam to stop it sinking.