Spin pole ends

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Oct 3, 2006
Hunter 23 Philadelphia
So, i'm working on a cedar spinnaker pole - i bought a nice 1"x4"x10' board, ripped it down the center, and glued it up as a 2x2. Here's what i'm planning on doing for ends: using common slide bolt door locks, flipping the little knob around and putting a little plastic bushing around the slide. Total invested: < $25

What do you guys think?


Clever, it looks like it is spring loaded.

Did the latch come spring loaded or did you have to modify?

Brian M H23

it is a regular, plain old

cheapo sliding bolt you'd use for a door. i cut a groove into the wood, and put in in upside down. the spring i just had to stick in there - the end of the groove restrains it.


looks workable

But I'd be concerned with the grain orientation allowing the end of the hook to break off easily, not sure if the "L" shown in the drawing is a re-enforcement, but will it be sturdy enough to resist spreading if the grain splits?

A potential permanant fix would be to pick up a short length of square aluminum tube, then mount it on each end before boring the hole. That way you have the 'hook' supported from three sides

Good idea on the spring loading.


Eric M

Your idea looks workable, don't forget to round off any and all sharp corners. I would hate to see your sail get torn the first time the end of the pole gets away from you.


The pole is round right?

buy the real ends and stick them on the wood pole. You have to release this ends fast during a race or in case of a gust or wind.

I feel you would be better of spending the money!


Brian, I think that you will be alright with that

you may want to scarf a piece of hard wood into the ends and apply service at the ends. Avoid brass plated steel hardware. Take a magnet with you when you shop. Also look at the bolts for the lazy door on double door sets. Those get morticed into the body and not just attached to the surface.

larry w

I'm all for making things

yourself - I have a boat and a bike - but there are limits to the McGuyverism thing. Common hardware store metal bits will not last, and they are very weak. A good gust on that sail will rip your fasteners loose, break the metal parts, or snap the "pole". You may want to consider your choices here if you have friends and/or family aboard and take a catastrophic failure. JMO

Brian M H23


This is for a 22 foot boat. The "spinnaker pole" west marine would sell me is 1.25" thin walled aluminum tubing (about .040 in), with all-plastic end bits, for $150. and it's not even assembled!

I just finished the 8'6" 2"x2" cedar pole, and I think i'm going to chop the corners off slightly to give it an octagonal shape....I'm pretty certain that a piece of 3/8 rod will be more than strong enough - in fact, it's probably overkill! as long as I line the slide path with plastic (delrin maybe?) it should move really smoothly.

As for the mast end - still thinking! I need to decide if it'll be a ring, a socket/bell, track mounted..etc.


go for it

sounds plenty strong to me. I know the cost of a new one. I had one with my first boat and have it 15 years later on my third boat. Cant give it up to the new owners knowing the replacement cost. The old portapotty is another story. New is better bucks spent. If the hardware store stuff gets you thru a season or two then so be it. Try it out in not force 10 conditions and see if it works for you. others have used pool telescoping poles and such. Patrick


Nice job Brian

Are you going to attach some line the lock handle so you can release the catch from the deck without retracting the pole?


Brian M H23


So, I was thinking - 1/4" pvc pipe has an ID of .302" . I can buy 5/16 Bronze (not brass) rod for $7.50 / ft - polish it down in a lathe until it is a nice smooth fit in the pipe.


I built one with bamboo and turned cedar ends

Just a fork on each end. The in board end supported at the mast with a snotter and the outboard end just spearing the loop in the sheet. It served well enough. and cost nothing. I found it to be more of a bother than a benefit.
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