You will love the Genoa Pole system for any downwind sailing and the double Pole system with the Ballooner for downwind passages.
We used the Port Pole two days ago in a 10.2 hour dead-downwind sail of 68 miles in light winds. We had the mizzen with a preventer out to Port, and for part of the trip, the Main out to Stbd with a preventer.
When we bought BeBe, the first 5 or 6 times we used the Poles, we followed the instructions in the book...there are a few things missing in the instructions like:
- The sheet is always to the outside of the lines when rigging. The sheet does not go through the car, but does go through the sheet block...AND...be sure that you cleat the bitter end of the sheet before swinging the Pole out.
- Fore (blue) and Aft (red) guys always connect to the outside connection points on the Pole, while Up (white) and Down (yellow) guys connect to the inside connection points.
- Setting the Pole out: Once all of the lines are rigged (including the sheet), raise the pole up with the up-guy about 1 foot above the life-rail...push it out while pulling on the fore-guy (blue), cleat the blue tightly...then tighten the up-guy to where the Pole is horizontal...this tightening of the up-guy will tighten all the other lines perfectly, assuming you have cleated them at the point marked on each line.
- When you swing it out, you may find that one of the lines is rigged wrong...if so, bring it back to the life rail.
- To bring the Pole back, lower the Pole by slipping the up-guy to about where the Pole was before you raised it to a horizontal position. Then one crew grabs the sheet and the back-guy while the other crew uncleats the fore-guy, AND slowly gives slack to the fore-guy as the Pole swings menacingly toward the crew and the boat. Brake the swing with the fore-guy and hold your hand(s) up to catch the Pole...now lower the Pole by slipping the up guy and hook the Pole on the rail to re-rig...
It is a little daunting the first time or two, but you will love the jibe-less downwind sailing and easy reefing the system provides. Continue to try it until you are comfortable with it...you will not be sorry.
Yes, there are many mistakes you can make setting up and rigging this system, BUT when properly rigged, the use of the system is almost fool-proof. Speaking of fools...about 2 weeks ago with guests aboard who had just bought a Super Maramu, I was showing them how to rig and use the Pole system to Port with the Genoa. I had them rig it while I instructed them...everything was rigged perfectly. Then I chose to use the Genoa furler and sheet winch to set the Genoa on the Pole...this went perfectly until the Stbd sheet stopped the process...I had forgotten to set the Stbd sheet to run freely.
We always rig both Poles, except for rigging the sheet on passages...but take care that your Genoa does not chafe on the knuckle joint between the short and long Poles.
I hope this helps you Chris.