Lacking a reliable source for spinnaker pole end fittings, J/30 Class
Rules were revised July 1, 2004, to permit composite ends (5.11.4). The rule specifically excluded end fittings with a trigger mechanism, codifying an earlier measurer’s ruling (discussed here
). I would like to see the rule changed to allow trigger ends.
There is a modest cost differential. The class approved composite Forespar's Ultra Series™
UXP, is $100-120 depending on size and source. The UTR trigger version is about $25-30 more. Hall makes an aluminum end fitting the QuikTrip
, ($350 at Mauri Pro
) with the trigger version $10 more.
The original measurement ruling was made before my time as class president in the mid 1990s. I suppose the trigger piston was disallowed because it differed from and was perceived to have a competitive advantage over the original spec pole end. However, the approved Forespar UXP has an similar advantage since its piston has an angled attachment for the trip line (sometimes known as the ‘beak’). The beak allows the end to be pressed against the mast ring to snap the pole in place. Bow person can use two hands to complete a gybe while the original spec pole requires one hand free to trip the piston.
Pressing the beak onto the mast ring is quicker and the bow is unlikely to trip the other end of the pole. While I realize it is possible to rig the standard pole by fixing the trip line in the center or using separate trip lines for each end, doing so makes tripping both ends when you wish more difficult.
Why not just switch to the approved end fitting with the beak? Personal preference; we tried it on a carbon pole and decided for several reasons that we preferred the old pole. I’m replacing broken rivets and ancient wire on our 30 year old pole and realize one day I may have to replace the ends. When the time comes I’d prefer to have the option of the trigger version.