Re: Backing up (or not)
We have a longish keel (to house the centerboard) and backing up can be an adventure. One thing to try, get the boat moving and then put it into neutral. It should steer much better in neutral. The idea is to go into and out of gear. Also if your boat like ours it will steer more reliably in one direction than another and you consider this when choosing docks and how to approach piers and the like.
Heading back to Lake Ontario for this summer. Relatively few stops along the way from Grenada. Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin (must have something to do with the French food), then Bermuda, New England and up the Hudson/Erie Canal. We were going to go via Newfoundland and Labrador but June remembered that one of the kids is getting married this summer - details, details!