An early-season mistake is a silly mistake, one that you have no excuse for except that it’s early in the season. A mistake like skying a halyard. Wait, wa, how? If you sail Mercuries at Community Boating, you learn to hold on to the halyard shackle unless it’s securely fastened. That’s enough to learn because the other end of the halyard has a stopper knot. In the big world outside of Mercuries though, halyards don’t always have such training wheels and you might need to keep track of both ends. This is probably especially true of spinnaker halyards.
Elena and Renee were planning spinnaker practice on an Ideal 18 and invited me when I appeared at the dockhouse with a Mercury sail in my arms. I convinced them I needed practice rigging the spinnaker and proved it when I skyed the halyard right away. Well, I’m sure it wasn’t the practice Elena and Renee had in mind, but was definitely the kind of lesson to lesson to get out of the way in early-season practice rather than rigging before a race.
Ideal 18, green flag, about 2 kts gusting to 8 from the SE, more or less.