I have been racing for many years now with a crew tall and strong enough to cope with the spinnaker pole in demanding conditions. I now sail with my wife as we enjoy sailing together, however she is only 5’2″ and when the breeze is up she struggles with the pole on many occasions.
The way forward for us is to go for a twin pole setup which will alleviate that issue nicely. However to make this the best of this a Carbon pole would make a much nicer setup. The weight argument would not come into it as we are doubling the arrangement and probably come out on a par (if not heavier), as for cost, the most expensive part is the new ‘D’ ring needed, the poles themselves are a standard uniform section so much reducing the cost.
For us to stay competitive in our 55 year old boat I see this as an important update, I see it as an improvement that is not going to break the bank and will make our lives aboard much quieter having gybed without raised voices on board 🙂