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.
Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.