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Re: Jaws up or jaws down?
I sail a J27, and the majority of my crewing has been on boats that jibe end-for-end. On the one boat that did a dip, I was taught to rig jaws up so that gravity would help release the guy when jibing. Same logic given for end-for-end, and pulling the new guy down was thought to be easier than pushing it up into the jaws. A few years ago, when "self-latching" fittings came out, I was taught to rig jaws down, since you could simply pull the pole down over the guy and the mast ring. Another reason I was given for jaws up is that it makes it easier to take the pole down while the chute is kept flying (to do a "mexican" takedown, for example).
Currently, I have an older pole with standard piston fittings (If I replace it, I will go to self-latching). Anyway, my current foredeck, who is smart but lacks the 60 years or so of sailing experience that sometimes encumbers my judgement, has about convinced me that jaws down is the way to go. Because they find it easier, I think because it discourages the guy from flying out if she inadvertantly opens the jaws and because, when we pole out the jib to leeward on a reach, the piston does not impede dipping the pole. So I'm becoming a jaws down kind of guy. I still think on a large boat jaws up might be safer, but on a little boat you can manhandle your away around any problems you might encounter, and the pole can be stowed so quickly we never have to do a "mexican".