Generally, a boom preventer is only used on longer dead-downwind runs. Rigging it for short ones can be a nuisance. A boom preventer isn't going to cause the boat to be knocked down unless you come around quite a bit... from a downwind run to a beam reach or so on the opposite tack. If your sailing skills are so poor that you can't keep on a downwind run, then you probably should be out there as that's over a 90 degree shift in wind and boat direction combined. Granted, it does happen, but should be pretty unusual, especially on open water. I prefer a boom brake to a boom preventer, as I believe a properly setup and designed boom brake is better and safer than a preventer is.
If you're running almost dead-downwind, you should probably have a boom preventer rigged, to prevent the boom from crossing the boat and injuring people in the case of an accidental gybe.
I've never heard of a jib preventer... The jib isn't all that dangerous, given that it doesn't have a large metal boom attached to the bottom of it to wield like a club.
To pole out a jib, you have to have a ring setup on the mast, like you would for a symetrical spinnaker. Then you take one end of the pole and attach it to the jib sheets, like you would on a spinnaker, and then make the other end to the ring on the mast. Now, if you're going DDW, then you might want to pole the jib out on the side opposite the mainsail, and sail wing-on-wing, to increase the effective sail area.
As for the main sail jerking around... can you describe what you mean by "jerking around" a bit more clearly, it's a bit vague.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Last edited by sailingdog; 02-16-2007 at 11:30 PM.