Q. Can I use a spinnaker pole in flying my asymmetrical spinnaker?
A. Yes, as long as you declare a spinnaker pole length ‘SPL’. Note that a whisker pole can only be used to wing out a headsail, and not to trim a spinnaker. Also, be aware that if you do declare an ‘SPL’, your calculated spinnaker area will be larger, and your rating will be faster, than it would be if you declare just a centerline a-sail tack point ‘TPS’ with a length equal to that ‘SPL’. This higher rating is due to the fact that being able to square back a spinnaker pole increases projected spinnaker area and in some conditions it allows a boat to sail at deeper true wind angles off the wind, resulting in potentially higher downwind VMG.