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Old 06-28-2010
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bljones bljones is offline
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Welcome aboard! It's good to see more Great Lakes sailors here. A few years ago, my wife and I were at the same point that you and your wife are at now- trying to run before we learned how to crawl, and breaking things in the process. I got some great advice here, which i will pass on to you:
Learn how to reef and how to dock before you worry about learning how to sail.
Next time you go up to the boat, spend the first few hours doing docking drills- leave, return, leave, return and analyze what you are doing right and what is giving you trouble. If you haven't done so already, rig a spring line as an "arrestor hook" to help keep you from bouncing off the dock when you come into your slip.
When you have an hour or so of no wind, take the time to set up your reefing gear, and practice reefing at the dock. Learn how to reef before you NEED to reef.

Create a "departure checklist." Go through the steps necessary to depart the dock, write them down, and when you head out, work from the list. It works for pilots, and it will work for you to keep you from pulling shorepower cords out, forgetting to take the sailcover off, forgetting to open/close seacocks.
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