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Old 01-12-2012, 06:20   #121
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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For me, once I commit to being 'out there' I have to want to be out there with every ounce of my being because the consequences of being out can be momentous, and I feel strongly it has to be my decision to be out there...not someone else's, even a Skippers...
Awesome post (I could have highlighted all of it, not just the above extract).

From what you have written IMO Chris is the best person to act as Captain of the boat - not because he is a bloke, but because of his experiance and capabilities.......but nonetheless he is clearly failing in one important respect - keeping you happy, as Wife, as first mate and (co)Owner.............Perhaps time to show him the countless posts on CF from fellas whose wives have given up on the boat thing - and some of them have then wandered off to pastures new, with the contents of the bank account etc .

IMO him not making clear to new crew (no matter how experianced) that you are at the least his no.2 and he genuinely values your input is a mistake as likely that in most husband / wife scenarios the wife is happy enough to be crew / cook / guest (and admiral?!) and that any new crew would over assume that was also the case with you.

Whilst I remain to be convinced about the joint skipper approach (especially when the doodah does really hit the fan - one liferaft each? ), nonetheless I have no fundamental objection to anything that actually works. In addition, if I had a woman aboard and I thought she was capable of being Skipper (whether or not I thought she was "better" than me) I would have no problem with putting me feet up as crew . and that on my boat or hers. Perhaps you could (in addition to your role as first mate and admiral / wife / owner) take turns in formally being Skipper for certain passages?.


IMO a good skipper takes input from every source and also factors in the capabilities (and that includes the comfort level) of the crew he / she has (for all his boat skills sounds like Chris has some work to do on that side) so when you are formally the Skipper it is not a sign of weakness to be drawing on the thoughts and knowledge of crew - IMO just prudent, which kinda leads me onto the excerpt above.........


.........I am not surprised that you feel that way, my only surprise is that others (crew of all genders) do not always fully realise the potential of what they are entering into. Boats is not like Disneyland where all the risks have been magicked away by Mickey and freinds . IMO more like riding pillion on a motorbike - 99.99% of the time all fine, but nonetheless requires a great deal of trust (especially the more "adventurous" one is!) - in the knowledge that going splat is always a possibility (including from no fault of own) and that going splat has consequences ......IMO simply prudent to be damned sure about what you are signing up for before jumping aboard (Boat, Skipper and how used / when).

Anyway, as already said - sometimes fellas do need stuff spelling out to them. in crayon . and remember that you have the ultimate deciding vote of.........."no". Might also want to mention that the boat is also meant to be enjoyable - for both of you.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:14   #122
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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Thank you, thank you, thank you...this is by far the best post I have ever seen for this topic. I am the OP (original poster). I have entered into a relationship with a person I see myself with sailing on the boat. She is everything I could have hoped for in personality and spirit of adventure. Your comments glue together the necessary pieces to make a working sailing relationship. I thank you for this.

I also like that you stood up for yourself. Ingrid (my partner) is Austrian. If she has an opinion or has something to say...guaranteed, you're going to hear it. You're right that it comes down to respect. Treat your signifiicant other with less and they'll leave. Simple as that. Who would put up for any length of time being the second fiddle.
thanx, again...I will make sure Ingrid reads your posts...you're awesome.
I am glad that my book of a post clarified some issues for you Celestial....for me, it was cathartic to share. I have been walking around struggling with it internally...Chris and I have discussed it quite a bit, but until we get out there again it seems like progress can only be made in theory.

Just the fact Celestial that you care enough to post here and ask the questions is a testament that you care and respect Ingrid and you want to ensure positive experience out there sailing for both of you. That is a big deal. BTW, love the name 'Ingrid'!

Wishing you great sailing days together!
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:35   #123
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pirate Re: Man Up, Ladies

[QUOTE=carstenb;1097572] Almost every time we sail into a harbour, we end up seeing one or more boats coming, the hubby at the helm, screaming orders at his poor mate who is up front trying desparately to get her lines ready. Finally when the docking has almost failed, she make a "death leap" across to the dock and gets the boat tied off. All to the accompany screams from the husband. ... Truly unacceptable. The fault in the above scenario lies with the helmsman.

I've grown old working in/on the water. I've seen the above a thousand times. It gets uglier. Once you meet these folks it turns out that the guy doesn't know carp. You know they have almost identical capt and crew tee shirts. I've seen galley slave, first mate, and worse. Some of this is generational and dying out for the good of all.

We have our own skillsets. .... If we're docking in really heavy wind, I usually do it. Not because I'm better, but because I have a bit more of a "devil may care" attitude, and sometimes you need that when the crosswinds are heavy.

Gals lag behind only because they haven't been going for it their whole lives like we have. Many women waste the first 20-30 years of their lives trying to look good for us. Some do it for a lifetime. Guess it's a genetic default position that I'm glad is evolving away. Someone asked (in surprise) Danica Patrick how she could drive so well. Her response was that she'd been doing it for 22 years.

Yes, sailing is a male dominated culture. I' really pleased to see that more and more of you ladies are stepping up and doing it.

Me too. The many womens sailing courses are a good thing. My old club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, had this going on 30 years ago.


To HH, 'hate to stir up the holding tank, but after sleeping on it, I can't think of a way the friend/crewmember could make the captain comment respectfully. Shoulda kept his mouth shut.

I was in a non-analgous situation once during Abacos Race Week where, once ashore, I just took a cab to the airport and flew home to Miami. There wasn't any drama, and no one was left short-handed; some things are just unacceptable.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:43   #124
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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Awesome post (I could have highlighted all of it, not just the above extract).

From what you have written IMO Chris is the best person to act as Captain of the boat - not because he is a bloke, but because of his experiance and capabilities.......but nonetheless he is clearly failing in one important respect - keeping you happy, as Wife, as first mate and (co)Owner...

IMO more like riding pillion on a motorbike - 99.99% of the time all fine, but nonetheless requires a great deal of trust (especially the more "adventurous" one is!) - in the knowledge that going splat is always a possibility (including from no fault of own) and that going splat has consequences ......IMO simply prudent to be damned sure about what you are signing up for before jumping aboard (Boat, Skipper and how used / when).

Anyway, as already said - sometimes fellas do need stuff spelling out to them. in crayon . and remember that you have the ultimate deciding vote of.........."no". Might also want to mention that the boat is also meant to be enjoyable - for both of you.
Thanks DOJ for your insights.

Yes, I am sure you have seen Chris' numerous technical posts on CF and he is one smart guy and extremely talented when it comes to fixing stuff and inventive thinking. When the auto-pilot had an issue at 3 a.m. in the morning coming home, he was able to figure it out and fix it in less than twenty minutes. It just had a part that had disconnected itself...he had installed it too - I have to work on understanding ALL of the systems of the boat.

I also have skills too, like having it drummed into me how important it is to make lines fast on cleats and finish every job you start aboard to its completion. After trimming the sail on a 50 foot racing boat and working the pit lowering a very heavy dip pole on to the foredeck to your fellow crew member as to not decapitate him in heavy air after lowering the spinnaker in heavy air - you learn some stuff...

I rode pillion on the back of Chris' motorcycle for a few years up in Massachusetts when we lived there. He wanted a motorcycle badly and after eight years of courtship - 6 weeks before we were to walk down the aisle he stopped by a motorcycle showroom on his way home from the airport - I wasn't too keen on it...told him his timing could have been better. He let up until 6 months after we married...then he started working on me...until finally one day I said - "Do what you want to do..."

So he did...he bought a motorcycle...we lived in VA at the time. After two months of not riding with him I said, O.K., I at least owe it to you to understand why you love this so much...if you can borrow a helmet from someone I will ride around town with you...I got it...

We moved to Massachusetts and I then took the Motorcycle Safety Class, and started riding pillion. It was not always easy...but it was fun....rode to Canada with him for a BMW rally two up...I got my license but never rode on my own...maybe some day...but similar experience riding two up with him in a group of guys who rode more aggressively - his riding style did change occasionally - so the 'dangly bits' do occasionally play into critical decision making I think...

When we were coming back from Abaco, a 42 knot squall that morning moved through and we weathered it on the lee side of a little island staging ourselves to go out Whale Cut Cay which became like glass afterwards. The winds dictated that we could make the run and they would clock around nicely to just stay way out and not go the route of the Banks like I had been anticipating we would...suddenly I was up against the mental hurdle of not returning the way I had thought we would.

It was obvious the boys were up for a grand adventure and my questioning of it in any way was a detriment. I felt like I had crashed the party...and in a way I was. As soon as I gathered all the information from the gribs they were looking at and the info. from Chris Parker I made my own decision to go out with them and not ditch out. It was a First, and I got to see what our boat could do...and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world...

I have spent a lifetime caving into to other's needs, demands, bad behavior, and have not stood up for myself in many situations in the world at large. Chris has not taken advantage of this but it has given him a lot of leeway. I have navigated our marriage by choosing my battles and supporting Chris' freedom because I know this is valuable to him. On land, the stakes are not that high...I had some training before we left becoming a bodyworker that built the foundation of needing to have stronger boundaries with people and it was a brave, new world for me. Getting out there cruising has just grown me up even further in this regard, and when the stakes are high out there, making decisions to stay safe, I no longer cave. When a person changes their behavior to this degree it is going to be abrupt for those around them to adjust to - especially after being in relationship for years...So there is that going on.

Thanks to Celestial for starting this thread...and Thank You all for your encouragement and support...I really do appreciate it and feel better for having posted...This forum rocks!
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:15   #125
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

I'll go where most people here do not like to go...Most sailors here either never go or when they do, cruise for a few years (2-4) and swallow the anchor back on land. So then what? You still have to deal with your partner. Nothing changes. It may be a little easier on land is all. But I think if two people can survive one another on a boat, they can survive together anywhere. I have seen relationships dissolve because one or the other either did not want to live the others dream or when they tried, the worst of their personalities came out. Cruising can be a real test-tube for relationships. I'm glad I am older (hopefully wiser) while doing this
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:20   #126
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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Thanks DOJ for your insights.
...but similar experience riding two up with him in a group of guys who rode more aggressively - his riding style did change occasionally - so the 'dangly bits' do occasionally play into critical decision making I think...
Ok, so that sounded like reverse sexism...however there is a pack mentality that can dictate people making decisions that they may have treated differently if not influenced by others, and that can happen to men or women...however I think it can be a bit more influential with highter levels of testosterone mixed in...
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:45   #127
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

The touchy-feely has reached new heights on this tread, I'm OK with that. A man woman relationship should be interdependant with both of them contributing making the whole a whole lot better. OK I get that.
But the yacht (OK my yacht) is a very simple machine in a very complex environment. When we are meeting standing waves at the beam we don't have time to vote for the solution. When the wind changes direction suddenly and increases in magnitude, we already know who is in charge. In order to learn quickly and correct things quickly, only one person is in charge at a time. Now that sometimes is me, but often it is Deb or one of my sons- usually whoever is at the helm. If the person at the helm dose not want to make all the decisions, there is a person in the cockpit who accepts the responsibility.
Now sometimes this system fails. I am just now recovering from a flying jybe in September. But that person will probably never make that mistake again. I know I won't. That's how we learn.
So I am for just one Captain. But that responsibility can flow from person to person.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:53   #128
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Captain is a non transferable title, it is someone who must be woken up while the watch is dealing and someone who takes ultimate responsibility, even if they are not on watch at the time of an incident.

So, what you are describing is pretty much what has been described recently; most have said explicitly that decisions are made together, situations are dealt with as they arise.

Respect is not particularly touchy freely.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:19   #129
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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......
So I am for just one Captain. But that responsibility can flow from person to person.
I agree 100% . At any one time one person needs to be "in charge" in case very quick decisions need to be made. It needn't be the same person for an entire passage though, in fact it actually works best if it is whoever is on watch at the time, rather than someone waking up from deep sleep who then needs time to assess the situation before making a decision. It does, however, need to be someone familiar with the boat and with reasonable sailing skills.

So when cruising long term as a couple I disagree that the best way of handling things is for Captain to be a "non transferable title" as Greenhand suggests and that this person "takes ultimate responsibility, even if they are not on watch at the time of an incident". This is certainly necessary on commercial vessels, but in my experience is not what works best for a cruising couple.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:09   #130
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Old 01-12-2012, 13:12   #131
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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Yes, I am sure you have seen Chris' numerous technical posts on CF ..........
...........This forum rocks!
I'll let you into a secret, I get easily confused about who is who on CF .

Actually it's stuff like your contribution that to me really makes CF what it is (not the squillion posts that some of us have made on all manner of nonsense!) - both simply for the interest, but also adds to pot of knowledge / things to think over for own circumstances.......for me a large part of the joy of boats is the ability to puzzle things out for self and then the freedom to do pretty much WTF you want without consideration to others not onboard - only at the price of living with the consequences of own decisions .

Anyway, be interesting to hear Chris' take on all this.........

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Old 01-12-2012, 18:07   #132
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I beleive for a particular passage there should be one skipper. Responsibility can be delegated as appropriate. It's not a man or women thing to even whose the best sailor. It's the " buck stops here". That's needed.

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Old 01-12-2012, 19:15   #133
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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I beleive for a particular passage there should be one skipper. Responsibility can be delegated as appropriate. It's not a man or women thing to even whose the best sailor. It's the " buck stops here". That's needed.

Dave
That's a very "man" way of thinking. I don't agree with this model of leadership in other areas of life (and in fact most current research indicates its a lousy way to run things, companies especially- see Daniel Pink for one). I have not been cruising enough to know if sailing is THE exception but I strongly doubt it. I do understand however that most men tend to want to operate their boat in such a fashion. I'm sure there are a lot of knee-jerk and likely antiquated explanations for it.
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Old 01-12-2012, 20:00   #134
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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What if she throws you out:
Larping?
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Old 01-12-2012, 20:08   #135
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Re: "What make the perfect boat woman...perfect"

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That's a very "man" way of thinking. I don't agree with this model of leadership in other areas of life (and in fact most current research indicates its a lousy way to run things, companies especially- see Daniel Pink for one). I have not been cruising enough to know if sailing is THE exception but I strongly doubt it. I do understand however that most men tend to want to operate their boat in such a fashion. I'm sure there are a lot of knee-jerk and likely antiquated explanations for it.
All the women Captains I know, about a dozen, are 'Marge in charge' and for good reason. Decisions/sacrifices have to be made, sometimes tough ones. Cooperation and teamwork must reign supreme, always. But when the kimchi hits the decks, one person needs to be in charge. Off shore is a different animal than land based activity. Those not with the program can't walk away..
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