Spinnaker Pole Jaws

Can anyone tell me the correct position of the spinnaker pole jaws in relation to the top of the pole? Do the jaws open up or down? Thanks (FS2101, Sayville, NY)


Mine is set up to open down.

Mine is set up to open down. It might be more easily accessible to have them open down so that you don't have to lift the guy out of the open jaw. dave boling Huntsville, AL FS3431

I teleported home one night
With Ron and Sid and Meg.
Ron stole Meggie's heart away
And I got Sidney's leg.
-- Douglas Adams

Definitly down, as you want the off sheet to drop out during a j

Definitly down, as you want the off sheet to drop out during a jibe. Bob New FS 5143 Merritt Island Florida Fleet Captain Fleet 179

Jaws should be up

Because the spinnaker and pole on a Flying Scot are relatively easily manhandled you can get away with jaws down (i.e. hooked over the top of the guy) however this is not the right way to do it, especially on a larger boat or in a stiff breeze.

With the jaws up the pole will drop when released. With the jaws down then the guy will only drop out if there is very little load on it, and if the poles "skies" you won't be able to pull it down and get it off.

You should attach a short piece of line, or loop, to each jaw piston. That enables you to clip or unclip one end without freeing the other. The line that goes between both should be used as an "emergency" release. When the line is pulled hard near the middle the pole comes off both the guy and the mast ring and hangs on the topping lift.

Without a short line at each end then it can be difficult to pull the line so that only one end comes free.

To gybe, for example, hook the sheet into the guy clip first, pull the short line at the mast to release the pole from the mast ring (it will drop down easily), place the sheet in the free jaw, push the pole over to the other side, release the former guy by pulling  the short line, and clip it directly on to the mast ring, then take the sheet (former guy) out of the guy clip.

Having both sheets in the pole as it is gybed simulates twing lines, which Flying Scots don't have, and keeps the spinnaker under control during the gybe.




Spinnaker Pole Jaws

In part to keep some topic active and also to second Julian's comments that spinnaker pole jaws should be up I am putting in this response.  I must admit to having been a little perplexed by my used Flying Scot when clearly it is set up to be jaws down.  I have always sailed PHRF boats that were jaws up and been taught that the pole should be jaws up.  One of these days I will get around to switching the pole lift ring to the opposite side.  

Jaws Open DOWN

My scot was delivered from the Factory with the jaws in the DOWN postition, and I do believe that the correct method is to have the jaws point DOWN.

The Flying Scot is not a Big PHRF boat.  Things work differently on it.  I have a PHRF racer, and jaws are UP for sure!

Gybes on our scot are done by only one hand on the pole; using the topping lift as a folcrum point.  When the jaws are down, by lowering the mast end you are raising/releasing the guy end...in that same motion, in the opposite hand the new sheet will be guided onto the pole.  It's fast.  

With the jaws up, you would have to actually push the mast end UP to make the sheet end of the pole go down, releasing from the guy.   Well, it the tack of the kite is up high, this becomes a difficult maneuver. 

Also, we put the (new) guy in the guy hook before we start the gybe, this makes the (new) guy easily reachable by the crew, and keeps the spin under control.