Re: Newbie questions after first time taking out sailboat
Do a search on "boom vang". This is the loop that you are describing but it usually involves a couple of fiddles and a cam cleat. Pretty handy. As far as a new sail, Ebay. There are also MANY sail lofts that specialize in used sails. I'd bet $100 would get you a nice one with lots of life left in it. I tie the gooseneck of my boom to the base of the mast, through a pad eye, before I tighten the main. This allows me to tension the luff properly. What might help you is buying a copy of Sailing for Dummies. No insult meant at all. I have a copy and studied for months before sailing. Great info written by sailing champions in regular guy language. A good resource.
As a trailer sailor, your needs are different that some others. This post has some great advice from knowledgable guys. Others I've seen are written by folks with big boats and very deep pockets. The things that will serve you (us) best is common sense and Yankee ingenuity couple with good sailing skills and COLREGS knowledge.