Assisting a trailer sailboat owner
For reasons of insurance, sailboat manufactures do not provide user manuals for their boats. Therefore trailer sailors create their own unique system of setting up and taking down their boats. However there are a few things common across every trailer boat.
1) When erecting the mast a new assistant, if not needed to hoist the mast can be helpful. Upon raising the mast, look for and help prevent entanglement of stays, halyards and anything dangling on the boat.
2) You can offer to attach the jib. Start by attaching the tack eye of the sail to the eye or shackle just aft of the forestay. Then begin clipping the luff edge of the sail to the forestay. Make sure all the clips are facing the same direction. Finish things up by bringing the shackle of the halyard forward and attaching it to the eye at the head of the sail. Do not hesitate to ask a question or to have the boat owner check out your work. Determine how the boat owner wants to secure the sail for the launch. If the sheets are attached to the sail, run the sheets above and outside everything, except for lines of the fenders (if attached). Continue the sheets to and through a block on the gunnel between the shroud and the cot pit. Finish off the end of sheets with a figure eight stopper knot.
3) If things have gone well so far, and the toping lift and main sheet are attached to the boom, offer to slide the sail slugs along the luff edge of the main sail into the channel of the mast. Begin this operation by first attaching the halyard. As you proceed, hoist the halyard only enough to accommodate all of the sail slugs into the channel. Finalize the task by determining how the boat owner wants to secure the sail for the launch.
At the launch, you can be an extra set eyes and ears. Look for potential concerns. Listen for sounds that may be concerning. This pertains to both launching and retrieving the boat.
When packing up the boat after the sail, look to remove trash, food items and crew apparel that remain on the boat. You should offer to remove the fenders and the sails and assist in preparing the sails for storage. True racing sailors roll their sails. True trailer sailors methodically fold their sails. And then there are sailors like me.