Q. Can you explain the difference between a spinnaker pole and a whisker pole?


A. Any pole used in trimming a spinnaker is a spinnaker pole, and it is rated as such with its overall length declared as ‘SPL’. A whisker pole is a pole used to wing out headsails only, and its length is limited to not more than 1.1*’J’. A spinnaker pole with a declared length not longer than 1.1*’J’ can be used as a whisker pole to trim headsails. A boat can use a spinnaker pole with either symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnakers, but if a spinnaker pole is declared, the boat will be rated for an s-sail spinnaker area, whether or not she actually carries any s-sails.

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