Spipoles, will we miss them?
Pretty soon there will be no more spinnaker poles on TP52’s. Will we miss them?
The choice for a bowsprit fits the fast, fun and simple principle that is the basis of the TP52 Class.
For sure removing the spinnaker poles, the jockey poles, the aftguys, topping lift and all that comes with these (like that this facilitates reducing crew) fits the “keep it simple” strategy.
On the other hand the complexity of the handling and the options for tuning the kite that the pole and equipment gives will be missed by many that mastered the art of downwind sailing.
Not that the bowsprit makes all of it easier. The low flying kite will considerably blank the view to leeward from most parts of the boat. Adequately sized windows are under consideration. Also going downwind in a big blow might have its specific limitations, which are different from the spipole flown kite area.
Further the boats get longer and on a busy starting line the bit sticking out from the bow will require attention, as it will when coming into the pack at the weather mark. It might be as efficient as a knights’ lance.
The TP52 Rule requires the bowsprits to be removable. In the future you will see most of them slot into a bow recess, tube or cone shape. Most retrofits will fit around the bow. Soon we can check out who found the cleanest solution.
Never a dull moment and lots to learn.