Step number one is to get competent in handling your own boat.
When we started to learn sail trim we used whatever was available.
We read. We sailed dinghies. We cruised the bigger boat (at 21 foot it looked huge). We raced. We replayed the Norths videos on trim so many times they got worn out. Had they had electronic tools then, I would have used them also.
All of these resources proved of value in giving us the confidence we needed to move on but no one thing was more important than the others.
The vital component was the desire to leanr - which you appear to also have. If the sail trim of most cruisers we see is anything to go by, lots don't.
So no eye rolling. Congratulations to you for the question, and good luck in learning
IMHO a low cost starter is to get a local sailmaker
out with you on your own boat and getting his advice on how to set your own rig and sails
. You can easily stick down measurement guides on the deck
and ensure at least you've got your own sail plan set properly thereafter.
Step two, the gaining of knowledge on why it is being set the way it is, using one-on-one intruction without hubby involved is going to help also. It's a bit like car driving lessons. Sadly he's not going to be the best one to to help you out.
on a good skippers boat each weekend will ensure you get out like it or not.......and you will probably learn a lot more from the race
crew than you could from playing alone with a dinghy. Practically you'll learn quicker if you've someone to advise when you are not doing it right. Just make sure its a good skipper
and crew so you do get good input. Easy to pick as the boats at the front of the fleet are usually the best...........
Step 3 is putting it all into practive yourselves out on your boat. If you've not had time before you head
off, then don't go until you've found the time. Easy really, eh?
Best book? Probably North U Trim. At circa $40 it is a great reference tool to keep on board.
So good luck and trust you have fun whilst learning
. The curve you're on is probably one of the most enjoyable parts
of sailing and fortunately for us all whilst the learning curve does flatten out with time, it never stops!