Whisker pole length

My BCC never came with a pole. Does anyone know the length extended that works out here. I usually never run a jib larger than a 110%. Only would use for running wing and wing as I do not fly a spinnaker. Thanks in advance

SV “Lightfoot”

I will measure IDUNA’s whisker pole when I go to the boat either today or tomorrow.


Mark, The pole is usually the length of the “J” measurement (distance from the mast to the headstay measured at the deck). On the BCC that is 18 feet. However, I feel a better measurement is from the mast to the clew at the headstay. Regardless, 18 feet is too long and difficult to handle. I found that anything from 14 to 15 feet works perfectly. Also take into consideration where you will be storing the pole. If it is on the mast, on a track, make sure you allow that the track is long enough to accept your pole. If your dinghy is stored on the foredeck you will want to have the end of the pole above the dinghy.



IDUNA’s pole is 12 ft long. When poled out, the jib clew almost touches the pole. I believe out jibtop is about 105%.


Hi Mark , in 1996 Carol Hasse made a “Spin-Drifter”, (her words) for Calliste, and at that time, Brion Toss installed the pole track up the mast, and supplied a spinaker pole, for that huge drifter.

That pole is 2 1/2" diameter, and 16’-3" long, between the jaw to jaw openings.

I haven’t used it on that spin-drifter yet, but I do use it to hang the roll control plate on.

The top of the pole track extends high enough that when the track car is topped out the pole end just clears the upper lifeline, to swing it inboard.



Do you know the luff, foot and leech measurements of the spin-drifter? Would you be willing to publish them at the forum? Is the spin-drifter built from 1.5 oz nylon?

The spin-drifter must be huge.

What is a “roll control plate?”

Do you use a topping lift and fore and aft guys when you hoist the whisker pole?


Hi Rod , gosh, I don’t know the luff , leach , and foot measurments on that spin-drifter, maybe in the future, I could hoist and measure them, and for sure, I would post them here, if there is a need .

It is a huge kite, and it saved my bacon, a few times, already, but I fly it, while headed downwind, with a free adjustable tack,to a sheave on the cranze iron,(sheet-like) and then sheet it through the aft hause hole in the bulwarks, and back fwd to the primary winch.

I will try to find info on that roll control plate, and post that info too, I did purchase it from west marine, but had to rebuild it, with bronze, instead of the original iron perimeter rods.

Yes, when I deploy the roll control, I do rig fore and aft guys, and the topping lift captures the end of the pole, but it also is connected directly to the roll control plate, too.

Please stand-by , more info to come , Douglas


It is not necessary to measure the spin-drifter. I just thought if the measurements were handy, they would be nice to know. The spin-drifter (cruising spinnaker) is nice in light air. Do you use a sock to douse the spin-drifter? The Pardeys’s sometimes sheet their drifter though a block at the end of the boom. A light air sail can make a “boring” day into an exciting day under sail.

Bases on your last thread, I assume the roll control plate is a device for damping the boat’s roll while at anchor. If this is the case, I know exactly what it is. The Pardey’s made one out of an old plastic milk crate. They made the "check valve out of canvas.



Hi Rod, yes, Carol Hasse installed a A T N Sock douser, on that spin-drifter, and it works a treat .

I can not even imagine having to grab and stuff that huge sail while on deck.

That A T N also allows me to reef it down, from the top, and so far that sail has not dipped into the water yet.

Thanks to Bil on BCC Zygote, giving me very accurate daily weather forecasts on sailmail, I was able to fly that spin-drifter day after day on passage from Oz to Bali .

Yes, that roll control plate is similar to the Pardey milk crate thing. This modified West Marine one, uses a thick polyethyline sheet instead of canvas, for the flap-door, it works a treat too !



When you douse the spin-drifter with the ATN sock, do you pull the ATN sock down from the foredeck or do you lead the dousing line through a small block near the cranse iron.

I am interested in how you hoist and douse the drifter - hardward and operations. In the summer we could use light air sail on the Chesapeake Bay. Light air is the norm during the summer months - 5 to 10 mph and 0 to 5 mph.


Hi Rod, yes, when I douse or set the spin-drifter, I go forward to the fore deck, after all it is during v light air !

To hoist it, I attach the spinaker halliard to the spin-drifter head, then hoist it all the way up, out of the bag, then attach the tack-sheet, and then attach the main sheet, and draw up on these loosely, trying to anticipate how it will set.

Then using the tiller pilot, to keep a constant heading, I start hoisting that ATM sock from below, and watch the sail fill, if there is any problem, I just haul down on the ATN, and correct any problem, then hoist the ATN again , after that.

When the ATN is hoisted, I belay the ATN uphaul - downhaul to the upper lifeline, as it is convieniently reached there. I have not thought to take this line fwd to a turning block at the cranze iron, as yet, just not needed !

Then I adjust the tack-come-sheet, and the main sheet, to set the sail, to full and bye .

I will try to attach a pik, the best that I have, now .


PS: Notice how small the mast and spreaders look in the pik, that will give you a clue, just how huge this sail is !

Also notice that there is no whisker pole needed on this heading.



Thank you. The spin-drifter looks like a “mule” pulling hard against the harness. I will assume the tack pendant is attached to the cranse iron with a block or thimble then lead aft to the foredeck. Being able to work the sock downhaul from the foredeck is good information. The less time I spend out on the widowmaker is fine with me.

IDUNA’s fuel tank capacity is 10-11 gallons. Although we carry two 6 gallon jerry jugs of diesel in the lazaretto, one must rely on the sails for main power. Based on total fuel carried aboard, our cruising range under motor - 4.8 kt @ 1,500 rpm - is on the order of 225- 250 nm, hence a light air sail is a worthwhile cost. Although we can push the boat at 5 to 5.3 knots at 1,700 rpm, I have been trying to conserve the “liquid gold.”

The BCC is a sailboat not a motor yacht.

Again thanks,


Thanks forumites for the info on the whisker pole length. I have located one
(Forespar) which should do the job.
SV “Lightfoot”