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Old 12-10-2012, 22:27   #16
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

My ex got motion sick at the dock when she went below. Her idea of a great day on the water was an hour out, diinner at anchor in a cove, and an hour back. My current partner loves to sail. I also learned why divorce was so expensive. it's worth it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 23:21   #17
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Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
No wary spouse, but here's what has worked for cruising in Maine w/ [initially] reluctant children:

Short sails in good weather, beautiful islands, nice hikes, good food and wine [for the adults, not the kids), a warm blanket and good books, a few movies on the laptop for inclement weather. Avoid beating into wind and waves until they're [she's] ready for it. Low stress and no yelling, ever. Be a calm, relaxed skipper who listens to the crew. Make it a collaborative endeavor.

Get a copy of the Taft / Rindlaub cruising guide. It's great browsing - history of the islands, short pieces on geography and sea life, and great recommendations for activities ashore. Let her think about where she would like to sail, choosing from the hundreds of destinations only 50 miles from your mooring.

Short sails: we sometimes tell friends that we're going "cruising" only to duck a mile around the corner from our mooring and just chill for a day or two. It looks like there are several nice coves less than 5 miles from Friendship. A long distance destination, with good weather, might be something like High and Dix Islands off Spruce Head. It's only 15 miles, so three hours downwind in a nice Sou'Wester, but it will be a real adventure to her, and the anchorage will feel like it's worlds away.
+A1...
And always remember.. steer clear of the 'Tippy Tippy' till she's really hooked.. and even then keep it as minimal as possible. It has a tendancy to accelerate the breaking point where she'll want to get off...
The learn to solo handle the boat is a good suggestion as well.. if she see's your proficient enough to sail unassisted it boosts the confidence no end.
My crew sailed with me from Florida on my delivery.. suffered one knock down in the Atlantic, rolling through the Caribbean to Panama, a 36day crossing to the Marquesas but jumped ship in Pago Pago... the squalls and 30-40degree rolling through the SPCZ proved the straw that broke the back... but she suffered 5 months of hell because of faith in the skipper.. and I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet here... some find me scarey because I'm not a by the book sailor.. to laid back..
Hope you guys find your way... as the song goes..
Even the bad times are good... as long as your next to me baby....'
have fun... thats the key
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Old 12-10-2012, 23:30   #18
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

Someone said "learn how to singlehand" and that's solid advice.

Being a really good sailor helps. You'll reduce the amount of freak outs, you'll have a comfy well trimmed boat, and you'll know how to make the ride more enjoyable and less barf-ing. Maybe go some places she wants to go. "Sailing around" is one thing, but how about a trip to NYC or somewhere she might actually be interested in hitting up? How about the Bahamas?

My wife took a week long ASA course taught by someone else because the whole husband-wife thing doesn't work well for teacher-student.

Try to let her grow at her own pace. If you can handle the boat 100% yourself, go places she wants to go, and you can get her seasickness under control, you're in a good spot.

A lot of dudes on her want to go where they want to go how they want to go there, and then they're confused why their significant others aren't interested.
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Old 13-10-2012, 05:29   #19
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

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Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
...
Get a copy of the Taft / Rindlaub cruising guide. It's great browsing - history of the islands, short pieces on geography and sea life, and great recommendations for activities ashore. ...

I met a couple out cruising in Maine this summer who said they like to spend winter evenings reading aloud to each other from that book. Now that is true love, and love of cruising. Lucky people.
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Old 13-10-2012, 06:24   #20
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+1 for small steps and going slow. My SO would get motion sick at dock, was terrified of the water and bad weather while aboard, etc. When we'd head out, she wore one life jacket and clung to another.

Short trips in good weather eased her anxiety, I taught her how to use the radio to call for help, slowly gave her lessons on how to 'drive' the boat, and I took a safe boating course with her so she could learn the basics of safety and the Navigation Rules. I also got her a comfortable inflatable life jacket she can wear when we're out in what she deems bad weather now, which are afternoon thunderstorms here on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Now she lives aboard with me, doesnt notice the boat moving around at dock even on windy days, and did a 10 day trip (I arranged it with buddy boats so help was just a handwave away if needed).

Still working on getting her comfort level up to the point where we can do extensive cruising, but right now progress is moving in the right direction. Please excuse me, I need to start prepping the boat to head out later this morning to my favorite anchorage

Later,
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Old 13-10-2012, 07:19   #21
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

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My companion says she doesn't like sailboats because they are "too close to the water."

This ...



Versus this (companion unstressed taking photo from the Coot's stern):



A motorboat with strong and high handrails could be more to the liking.
This is the primary reason I have a catamaran. My wife has no balance (inner ear trouble) and could not tolerate a leaner. I would have have been happy with a monohull... though I love the cat. It works for both of us.
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Old 13-10-2012, 09:05   #22
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

We used to rent sailboats for daysails. I grew up sailing, SO didn't, but was "game." When we got serious about buying our first boat, we took lessons, together on three boats and then the final fourth lesson on our own boat. The first three lessons were on slightly larger boats, but the one on ours was an eye-opener! The instructor applied the lessons we learned on the bigger boats to our smaller one, and we gained a LOT of confidence.

However you do lessons, separate or together, DO them.

1. Teaching a family member yourself is usually doomed to failure.

2. You CAN learn a lot even if you think you're a sailor.

3. Even if it IS a lesson, you ARE out sailing! What more could you ask for?
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Old 13-10-2012, 09:20   #23
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

Take her for a "day sail" then extend the trip for a couple of days.

My wife and I set out for a "short" sail out of Cieba, P.R. and arrived at Ocean World, Dominican Republic about 50 hours later. She elected to stay on the boat from the DR to the home port in Little River, SC, a total of 10 more days at sea.

As of this post we are still married and, She's ready to return to the Carib late this year.

YMMV
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Old 13-10-2012, 09:44   #24
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

My family is fortunate in that we have great ice cream joint five miles away (crepes too!). We sail for an hour or so, hop off for a great treat, then back on the boat. Short little hops are good initially. Recently the kids and I took off for a five hour sail, and we broke it up into two, two and a half hour sails. On the way back, we did the entire leg without stopping.

Little steps.

I also find it very helpful to explain to all crew what is about to happen, and what I expect of them. Before we go out, I explain what the boat will do, what to do in emergencies (radio, cell phones, boat handling, etc.). As we approach another boat I talk about who has the right of way, how to tell if you are going to crash if you stay on course, etc. Then before we are docking I tell everyone what will happen, and what they need to do. Then when you change your mind at the last minute, you can tell them calmly what about the plan is changing, what is staying the same.

Alleviating the fear of the unknown is really helpful.

But it's probably just the ice cream that keeps them coming back.
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Old 13-10-2012, 09:44   #25
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

My wife is now my avid sailing partner. here's how we got there:
- I've sailed most of my life, and my main outlet was windsurfing. We tried but she didn't take to windsurfing. So... a trailerable small cruiser was the agreed next step to finding a way to share the experience.
- My wife is my equal (actually she's superior, but shhhh!). This means that she has equal rights to get what she wants out of the experience. She's not just my crew/cook/berth-warmer. She owns and controls 50% of the enterprise. She gets to be captain too. I get to cook and clean the head, too.
- Some couples can take instruction from each other; some can't. We can't. So it became very important that she took sailing instruction by herself, without me around. She completed the CYA Basic Cruising standard and thoroughly enjoyed it.
- I respected her boundaries. In the first years she was uncomfortable with a certain amount of heeling or a certain windspeed, so I respected that. Likewise, the boat had to provide enough amenities. (pronounced "useable head")
- I honed my solo skills, which is easy on a smaller boat. Our schedule gives me the time to get out more if I want to, so I can get my sailing fix without dragging her out too, or cutting into our together time.


Bottom line: sailing and everything to do with it is OUR activity, not MINE. (caveat - it's acceptable that I do most of the maintenance and am the one to obsess over equipment and modifications )
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Old 13-10-2012, 11:21   #26
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

I will tell you what my wife did. She did not grow up around boats and at first was uncomfortable steering our 30ft catalina. I let her steer and drive as much as possible, but what really sold her was a weekend learn to sail class where she got to sail in her own small sailboat (12ft). No husband or captain yelling commands, ect..

Also when she made a wrong move, the boat tipped or she got a boom in the head. She learned fast and loved it, because it was all about sailing not just motoring and maintenance.

She now has done multiday passages and has thousands of miles of experience, even a knockdown. There are still things that scare her, but you need to listen and work out a way to both be happy.
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Old 14-10-2012, 08:39   #27
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Thanks everyone! Great advice all around.

I took her, one of my daughters, and a couple friends out yesterday, as planned. It didn't go as planned, though...

We had strong winds and had the little B24 cruising right along, trying not to heal up too much (though we did have a gust that pushed the rail right down to the edge. That scared all the passengers, but, was just a single gust and I let the boom out to right her quickly.

We were taking a passage between a couple islands where there are some rocks below the surface (as seen on the charts) with the sails loaded when the shackle that holds the main sheet to the boom gave way.

I handed the tiller to a friend, asked him to keep us pointed the way we were headed, and dropped the sails.

Then, we motored around for a bit and headed back to Friendship Harbor.

Not the sail I had wanted and we didn't get to have that nice lunch at the Port Clyde General Store, bit, it was a good time woth friends and we were on the water!
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Old 14-10-2012, 08:51   #28
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

Have you tried a cat?
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Old 14-10-2012, 08:58   #29
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

If there's a seaworthy cat out there for $780, Dan will find it. ;-)
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Old 14-10-2012, 09:23   #30
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Re: A Reluctant Crew - What Do You Do?

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...We had strong winds and had the little B24 cruising right along, trying not to heal up too much (though we did have a gust that pushed the rail right down to the edge. That scared all the passengers, but, was just a single gust and I let the boom out to right her quickly.

We were taking a passage between a couple islands where there are some rocks below the surface (as seen on the charts) with the sails loaded when the shackle that holds the main sheet to the boom gave way.
I don't want to nag, cos you apparently handled the contingencies quickly, but I see two potential confidence-killers:

- Stuff like that shackle shouldn't be failing. Have you put enough attention to the boat's maintenance? If that had happened during a tack, someone could have been clobbered, or worse.
- Should your sails have been reefed for the conditions, so you wouldn't have had to battle the wind as much, and the boat would not have been heeled so hard by gusts? With tender crew, it's better to be underpowered than heroic.
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