Pole takedown


Thanks Kent and Mark. 

Kent, I find that the angle where I can maintain control of the blue line goes down as the wind speed increases. Around 20 knots apparent, there is little control after about 10 degrees aft of perpendicular. Is this consistent with your experience? I try easing the sheet but at that wind speed, there is still lots of pressure on the sail and therefore on the sheet at the shiv. In fact, the pole starts to move forward.

Mark, how exactly do you use the boat hook? 

I have had two episodes of drama. Once in the middle of the night I lowered the pole, started a takedown and it crashed loudly on the hull. Needless to say, the shock to the sleeping crew was not appreciated. Second time, I raised the pole and it crashed against a shroud. Most recently, I have started bending two halyards to the rail just abeam the dodger, raising the pole, and then gradually releasing the blue line. With this method, the pole hits the halyards and stops less abruptly and with less potential for damage. But I keep thinking there must be a better way.

Thanks gents. Much appreciated. 

Ian Park

I have not used my twin headsails extensively and have only once been caught out leaving it a bit late in a rising wind.
I always furl the sails completely as the first step - I have never attempted to remove a pole with the sail still set.
I always lower the pole until the end is just below the height of the guardrail. So far I have managed to control it with the blue line, but if in doubt I put a fender on the guardrail as a cushion. This works for me but I admit that I have not had to try this in a heavy rolling sea where the pole end could catch in a wave top.
I believe there have been earlier posts on deploying poles, and there is a good description in the SM handbook of the whole process of setting and retrieving the twin headsails which I downloaded from the web-site.

Ian 'Ocean Hobo' SN 96

Bob Fritz

This is my procedure for setting and retrieving the long pole on the SM.
1. Set the short pole on the mast and attach the long pole and hook it on the rail.
2. Attach the fore guy, (blue line), the after guy, (red line), the down haul, (yellow line), and the pole lift. If from the factory, the lines are marked at the cleat point. I hope I have the colors correct.
3. Run the genoa sheet through the sheave on the end of the pole.
4. Deploy the pole by hauling rapidly on the fore guy. If the boat is rolling, use gravity to help by hauling when the boat rolls to the same side as the pole.
5. Unfurl the jib and sheet home.
6. Reverse the procedure for removing the pole. Furl the jib first and proceed from there.
7. Lower the pole to the level of the stanchion.
8. Maintain control of the pole by having a crew take up on the after guy as you ease the fore guy. If the boat is rolling, bring in the pole when the boat rolls to the pole side. Be sure the assisting crew is far enough aft that they will not be hit by the pole if control is lost. A bumper or cushion on the stanchion or rail will prevent damage should things go bad. I have never yet had a problem with the pole hitting the water although it could happen if the pole is lowered too much.