Vertical Pole Storage

Author: Forespar   Date Posted:16 September 2022 

Storing poles (whisker or spinnaker) vertically up the forward face of the mast has become very popular.

Vertical Pole Storage on your boatIt clears the decks and keeps the cruising sailor from having to lift the entire weight of the pole from the deck to the mast car. It can, however, cause a few problems or failures if not used with the correct components.

Selection of the proper mast car and inboard end fitting combination is critical. Ring style cars (ours or anyone else’s) will not allow a pole to hang vertically without binding and eventually breaking the end fitting. Bear in mind that you have a significant “lever arm” effect on the end. A 10-foot pole can create enough leverage to fracture or bend ends and rings if they bind up without you ever feeling it from the opposite end of the pole. Therefore, Forespar® does not recommend ANY ring style mast cars if the pole is to be stored up the mast.

If using latch style ends (“UXP” & “UTR” Ultra ends or older “XP”, “TR” & “EL” aluminum ends) the FC-125 (#332002) flange style car is designed to allow up to a 4-1/2” diameter pole to hang vertically without binding up. The Toggle style cars will also allow mast storage with the “offshore” style “TS” & “UTS” style ends.

To aid in vertical pole storage, Forespar® has designed the “VPC” (this page) vertical pole storage cars in 2-1/2” to 4” sizes. These cars are designed to attach to the FC-125 or toggle style cars with a short “tail” (line or wire) and run in tandem up and down the track. When the pole is in use, they hang below the mast car and out of the way. Most importantly, when the pole is raised to the vertical storage position, the VPC car is raised up the track and engages
the pole near the top. This not only keeps the pole on the centerline (important with toggle cars) but also dampens the poles movement when at anchor. When used with the appropriate deck chock, (also on the mast) the pole can safely be stored up the mast and sheets will not foul on the outboard pole end that is captured by the deck chock on the mast. It is important that all components are on the mast so that the stored pole comes as close to parallel to
the mast as possible.

If storage of the pole up the mast is your choice, we also strongly recommend securely mounted deck chocks be available for severe weather. It is advisable to remove poles from the mast and store them on deck in storm conditions. This removes the weight and windage aloft and keeps the poles available for an emergency should your rig be carried away.

If vertical pole storage is not desirable, Forespar® offers stanchion chocks and standard deck chocks for pole storage as well.

Part numbers:
335100 VPC-125-250 for 2-½” poles
335101 VPC-125-300 for 3” poles
335102 VPC-125-350 for 3-½” poles
335103 VPC-125-400 for 4” poles

All poles that are to be vertically stored on the mast cannot use “ring” style mast cars of any kind.