The modern asymmetrical headsail, in all its design variation, is a very popular and versatile sail. Today, a great many cruisers and club racers carry them. The sail in its original form was set off the long sprits of Aussie 18 skiffs to power their little rocket ships to impressive speeds, and from there, the sails were adopted to the planing sport boats and again set from sprits. In time, displacement hull cruising boat owners began to see the benefits of easy handling during off wind sailing, and the overall popularity of asymmetricals took off.
The important thing to note here is that the typical cruiser or cruiser/racer is not a planing sport boat, and the hull form does not reach downwind like as such. Thus, for better performance and sailing downwind angles of greater than approximately 135 degrees apparent, and even dead downwind, the right solution is setting a light weight fixed or telescoping pole. This way, the real versatility of these sails is achieved.
While these sails were originally marketed to cruisers and cruiser/racers as “pole less” sails, today there is a changing trend toward the use of poles to round out the full value of the asymmetrical.
Forespar has a family of fixed and telescopic poles in aluminum and carbon fiber. If a boat owner makes a choice of a fixed pole, using a pole 15% over the boat’s J dimension works well. Poles can be stowed on deck, on the mast or on the lifeline and Forespar offers gear to do it all.
1. You Can Sail Deeper Angles:
A whisker pole allows you to sail deeper angles downwind because it keeps the jib from collapsing and keeps it from being backfilled by the main. Additionally, a whisker pole allows you to sail wing-on-wing and increases downwind performance.
2. You Can Sail Faster:
An article in the September 2014 edition of Sail Magazine stated that “a poled-out A-sail pulls like a train.” Enough said.
3. Increases Sail Area:
A whisker pole increases sail area and pulls the headsail in front of the main. This allows clean air to power the headsail and keeps the jib from collapsing due to back filling.
4. Improved Performance with an Asymmetric Spinnaker:
Many people are not aware that sail manufacturers recommend the use of a whisker pole with asymmetric spinnakers when sailing dead downwind. The pole can be placed on either the windward side attaching to the tack or on the leeward side attaching to the clew. This pulls the A-sail in front of the main and allows you to sail dead downwind. Without a whisker pole, you’re stuck gybing to your mark.
5. Makes Cruising More Enjoyable:
Whisker poles improve the cruising experience in a number of ways. The pole keeps the jib from flopping and being back filled by the main. This results in a more comfortable ride and better boat handling. Additionally, with a whisker pole you can “set it and forget it”, allowing you to sail dead downwind with minimal effort because you do not have to constantly gybe. For the dedicated sailor, this greatly enhances your cruising experience.
Check out our whisker poles here: http://www.forespar.com/whisker-poles.shtml
Forespar’s Leisure Furl in-boom furling and reefing system is being displayed at the Newport International Boatshow which opens today in historic Newport, Rhode Island. Four boats equipped with Forespar’s Leisure Furl are being displayed plus the Forespar booth has a working display to see and examine. The boatshow runs today through Sunday, September 14.
Forespar’s is introducing its’ new Leisure Furl Voyagers group at this year’s Annapolis Boatshow. The show runs October 9 – 13 and is the largest sailboat show in the USA. The Leisure Furl Voyagers celebrate those most actively sailing their Leisure Furl equipped yachts. With various mileage award levels from 1,000 miles sailed to over 25,000 miles, the Leisure Furl Voyagers celebrate Leisure Furl sailors of all experience levels. Join us at the Forespar booth in Tent C to find out more or email Alan Massey a t firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.