Typically, when we decide to raise a sail, I will go forward to the mast and begin pulling the halyard. When the sail begins to fill with air, it will flap like a flag, cyclically loading the rigging with each beat. The solution is for Maddie to sheet the sail in as it is raised and then ease the sheet as I tension the halyard. The whole process goes smoothly as long as we understand each other.
Wisdom has 3 different headsails, a mainsail, and a trisail. This means there are a lot of sheets leading to the cockpit. Thankfully, the halyards stay at the mast and don't add to the spaghetti!
The problem is that I would tell Maddie "I am going to raise the jib, sheet it on the primary winch." She wasn't exactly sure which sheet I was referring to, and usually ended up placing the wrong sheet on the winch. This would lead to a state of confusion because I would raise the sail and she would sheet in the wrong one, causing it to flog around wildly.
Maddie came up with a creative solution to our miscommunication. She gave each sail a name!
The Drifter is Dill
The Jib is Josh
The Staysail is Stanley
The Mainsail is Marge
The Trisail is PJ
The first letters coincide to help me learn their names as well. PJ is the odd one out because we would sleep hove to during storms with him flying, hence, he would act as our boats pajamas.
Instantly, our communication improved, and "I'm going to hoist Stanley first, then Josh, please get them on their winches" became a clear command with no confusion. I would go forward, and she would sheet the staysail onto the secondary winch, and the jib onto the primary winch.
I still don't know why she couldn't learn the real names of the sails, but the important part is that we were able to find a solution to our problem and to keep us sailing smoothly and calmly.
If you guys find yourself having communication issues, an open mind helps to find a creative solution!