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14 Forums • Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles
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Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:57 am
by flano
Hey guys, Was wondering if you'd be able to give me some feedback on retractable poles.

The 16ft Skiff class are on the verge of introducing carbon spars (yes I know we're behind the times). We currently carry a fixed alloy pole, and it looks like we will be introducing a fixed carbon one.

It appears our overall pole length is about 40mm shorter than the I14s so they're pretty comparable, although we carry a bit more area in our kites.

I can see a lot of advantages in retractable poles but was wondering what you guys think. You probably don't care to be honest but you never know unless you ask.

Cheers,
Flano.

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:14 pm
by Shu
Retractable poles sure are nice from a convenience standpoint. You can leave them set up and ready to go when shipping and trailering. Also nice to have only 3 feet of pole to worry about when jockeying for the start, and port-starboard crossings. Almost everyone uses a single line system for the hoist and pole-out, which is nice. I suppose that can be done with the tackline for a fixed pole, so no difference there.

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:16 am
by rand
Way back when we adopted the poles, there was a widespread fear that a fixed pole 9 feet in front of the boat would lead to nasty collisions. So we added the rule that they could stick out no more than 3 feet (which was changed to metric when we adopted a single measurement world wide).

I still support this, starts and crossings can be much closer than having a long pole stuck out there all the time, and as Shu says it sure makes it easy to put the boat away. Probably makes for a heavier boat, but I don't think very much, and you sure can get your center of gravity further aft upwind.

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:18 am
by Colin Smith
Agree with Rand, that's the background. I still think we'd be rather less welcome in mixed club racing, major handicap events, etc (which the 14's do in some locations) with a fixed pole - not to mention the convenience rigging, launching, manouevering, etc. And the systems for extending/retracting the pole are very well sorted now

Only really worked with carbon poles though - early 14 ones were ally, they were horribly prone to bending. But with carbon poles we don't need bobstays or sidestays, which at least helps offset the cost of a couple of blocks and a bit more structure in the boat to support a moving pole. I'd go retractable if you can (although I guess you have the problem of current boats not being built for it, how hard conversion would be I don't know, we did convert existing 14's in our early days...)

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:57 am
by tomvaughan
It all can be found in Australian Fourteen history, presumably the same for the sixteens, they evolved using bowsprits but modern fixed versions proved rather boat park and beach space crowding. so the retracting version with the advent of carbon stiffness proved more adaptable. So more popular. Not sure how to add pictures
regards
Tom Vaughan
Ex 14 Historian

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:36 pm
by flano
Thanks heaps for your responses guys. I'd like to see the 16s go the same way as the 14s, but I think the expense in changeover will probably see a move in that direction knocked on the head.

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:17 pm
by Shu
"...but I think the expense in changeover will probably see a move in that direction knocked on the head."

You might consider allowing either type. That way there is no expense for existing boats. Might even be able to go with requiring new boats to have the retracting pole, that way, in 10 or 15 years nearly every boat will have a retractable sprit, but no-one is out of pocket for a change-over.

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:00 pm
by flano
You know what Shu, thats exactly what I had in mind. I remember Emmett Lazich and Cameron Mcdonald winning the 12ft skiff championships in Geelong (VIC) with a retractable pole while all the other guys had fixed. Not that I think that was a factor in the result, just that I liked the fact that there rules didn't define that the pole had to be fixed or otherwise. I think it would be a real good way to go in the interim, and I'm sure after a period of time the class would settle on one or the other.

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:31 pm
by Rich
Wouldn't the fact that you wouldn't have to maintain out rigging and reduce storage space and make transport easier more than make up for cost of conversion?

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:12 am
by flano
If you got the boat converted by a proffesional I could imagine it might be around $2000 AUS ($1500US). So its not real cheap. But I don't think the conversion cost is a major issue, if it improves the appeal of the boat significantly. And from what I can gather from what you guys are saying it most likely would. My main concern was how much movement there is in the retractable poles compared to fixed. If this isnt an issue, I think the class would be mad if it didn't allow retractable as an option.

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:39 am
by aem27
There's no play in my pole when it's out.

Feel free to meet and up and see for yourself down at Woolahra.

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:34 am
by Caprice
hi, i have a restractable pole in my i14, but i have to pull it out before i put on my spi, i ve seen some pole that come out like automatically when you start puling your spi up. how do you do that?

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:12 am
by rand
There was a sketch of how to do this on the site someplace. I can't find it at the moment, but try looking around. We did lose some images when we moved servers a while back. Hopefully this wasn't one of them!

Re: Retractable Poles VS fixed Poles

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:16 am
by Caprice
i found a tread about it was very clear thanks..