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Old 14-08-2018, 08:19   #1
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Assessing Your Partner

We are about 18 months out from moving aboard and cruising for our retirement and I'm concerned about my husband's physical ability....

About 5 years ago my husband had an accident and shattered his tibial plateau (that's the cradle shaped bone that holds the ball of your knee). He shattered it into 9 pieces. We were very lucky in that we found a surgeon who patented a metal device for these kinds of injuries, and was able to put him back together. Because of him, my husband isn't lame.

However, he was given some physical restrictions. No worries, we could work around that. But that was 5 years ago.

In the last couple of years his physical abilities are becoming more concerning due to his knee. Arthritis has really set in. Sometimes he limps really badly (still no problem, we can work around). What really concerns me is:

1. being on a rocking/ wet deck and falling and hurting himself. This year we went on a charter with friends, and he feel getting on and off a dock from the dinghy, and had some trouble moving about when the boat was rocking. Another injury to his knee, and he will lose use of the leg.

2. He cannot safely move fast. If we hit bad weather, and something needs to be secured.. or we lose a sail, and I need him fast up front... or any other situation where I need him somewhere, quick. He can't do it. It would take him 3-4 times as long to get where I need him that it does me. I'm afraid that him being so slow moving could cost us our life.

I am 100% confident in his abilities on those duties that he would be responsible of on a daily basis, such as helming.. electronics and anything electrical. managing the dinghy... cleaning the bottom of the boat, and any underwater work such as prop maintenance, etc. He is an excellent navigator, has had weather training, etc. So, in everyday/good weather/non-emergency situations. I have no worries. But, there is reason for me to be concerned with the things I listed above.

Trust me... I know we all get older, and the body starts to breakdown. (I'm already seeing evidence myself as I get older). But his situation is special.

Can anyone offer me some insight regarding sailing with a person who has some physical limitations? Maybe safety features we could add to make things easier for him, (and ease my mind). Or maybe we should limit our sailing grounds, and stay close to the caribbean rather than venturing beyond?
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Old 14-08-2018, 08:32   #2
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Does he have a track record of grossly overestimating his own physical abilities, being foolhardy, clumsy, accident prone?

Is he mentally disabled in some way?

If not, I would just let him take responsibility for this issue.
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Old 14-08-2018, 08:35   #3
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

A boat has only one captain and based on your OP I assume you are the captain. Seems for one the more capable of movement, you, should be the one going up front while he maintains the cockpit. The reverse is more risk for the vessel and crew.
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Old 14-08-2018, 08:44   #4
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
his knee.

Can anyone offer me some insight regarding sailing with a person who has some physical limitations?
Beth had bad knees while we were on Hawk. When we finished that voyage she had double knee replacement. Cruising is hard on knees - there can be more kneeling than you guess, and the companionway steps and dinghy are also day to day challenges. And walking around destinations is one of the joys of the life, which is hard with bad knees. We were on a Monohull, I would guess (but don't know for sure) that it would be a bit easier on a cat.

She did manage, in some of the toughest sailing/cruising possible - so it is certainly not an absolute knockout, but you do definitely have to manage around it. And (while it should not be) it may be harder to manage if it is the captain, with a Captain's expectations of himself and a captain's ego; than in our case where it was the first mate.

As her knees got worse, it was one of the factors which caused us to come ashore. But she managed it for more than a decade of great cruising.

Good luck.
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Old 14-08-2018, 08:53   #5
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

If you are sailing the Oday 22 in your title. You should be able to rig the main for easy reefing from the cockpit on that small boat. Larger boats I dont like it. Small boats like that do rock and roll a lot though. But at least your companionway steps etc are not high.
-Make it very easy to reef. Reef early.
-If someone needs to go forward, I think you should learn to do all that instead of him going up there.
-roller furling headsail if you can.
-He must wear a life jacket or float aid of some sort.
-hand holds everywhere you can put them.

With precautions and smart thinking there is no reason your lives should be "at risk" sailing locally, boats take pretty good care of themselves.
I assume you are not offshore long distance sailing.
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Old 14-08-2018, 09:13   #6
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Not sure it matters who is the Ďcaptainí. I know a cruising couple who are more adventurous than most of my other friends who are husband and wife sailing teams. He has accepted that heís not allowed out of the cockpit when they are at sea and that works well.

My only other advice would be for you to get on with your plan asap. Perhaps ask yourselves if you can accelerate the plan rather than waiting for another 18 months. Iíve never met anyone who complains that they retired too early!
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Old 14-08-2018, 10:15   #7
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Are you guys gonna move onto the oday 22? That seems super tight even for a pair of teenagers, no offense meant...I sure couldnt do it at 40. So if I assume you might shop for a more liveaboard boat, not to toot my own brand, look into Amels. The old guy who designed them was quite physically disabled if I remember right, injuries from the war, bum knee for sure, maybe half blind too... anyway, he made Amels have a deep, safe center cockpit with absolutely everything accessible from within it. No need for anyone to go up unless things are off the charts and breaking... but with good weather routing and the skills you say your husband has, you have no need to sail into conditions that would break an Amel. Which you'd have to look for pretty hard. New ones are pricey, but older Super Maramus like ours are fairly cheap, and Mangos and Maramus are much much cheaper still, but still built like a beast and very much designed for an older couple....
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Old 14-08-2018, 10:39   #8
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Hi Scarlet.

The following is written in a friendly tone of voice, and the questions are just to get some clarification, and if you answer them, I think it may help others help you more.

You wrote in your Opening Post that you are soon going to be moving aboard and cruising.

Which boat will you be using for liveaboard and cruising? Do you own it now, or are you still looking for a boat?

You mentioned aging. What are your ages (roughly)?
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Old 14-08-2018, 11:18   #9
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Hi Scarlet. You have had a few posts lately with concerns. You seem to be pretty stressed lately. I know it's getting close and change is scary, but you (and your husband) can do this!
Like anything else, take it one day at a time.
Your house is sold(I think that was the last time I contributed on your post) downsizing is happening, and his job is secure till it's time.
Cruising also doesn't have to be all or none. Find your boat and see how it is at dock. Then day sail until you are ready to anchor. Expand your view as is comfortable to the both of you.
It's retirement, do what you enjoy and live the way that works for both of you, just as you have done since you met.
Now as for joint injury and arthritis. I have a fused ankle with extreme arthritis in a couple other joints.(those will be fused this fall) Arthritis in the neck and shoulders, both wrists, thumb, and minor in a few other places.
We are starting our boat search next summer.
There will always be obstacles, you just move forward dealing with each problem as you can.
You will get there! And then all these worries will just be memories as you watch the sunset from the cockpit:-)
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Old 14-08-2018, 13:05   #10
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Get a powerboat.
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Old 14-08-2018, 14:49   #11
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Does he have a track record of grossly overestimating his own physical abilities, being foolhardy, clumsy, accident prone?

Is he mentally disabled in some way?

If not, I would just let him take responsibility for this issue.
He doesn't overestimate his physical abilities, but he denies them... but, he is clumsy and accident prone..
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Old 14-08-2018, 14:52   #12
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

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Are you guys gonna move onto the oday 22? .
Oh HECK no!! lol.. we are looking at a catamaran, which, with the larger side decks, should be much easier for him to move about.
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Old 14-08-2018, 14:53   #13
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
Hi Scarlet.

The following is written in a friendly tone of voice, and the questions are just to get some clarification, and if you answer them, I think it may help others help you more.

You wrote in your Opening Post that you are soon going to be moving aboard and cruising.

Which boat will you be using for liveaboard and cruising? Do you own it now, or are you still looking for a boat?

You mentioned aging. What are your ages (roughly)?
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HI Steadman... We will be looking for a boat starting next summer. We are looking for a catamaran. We've been researching for years, and have a pretty good idea of what we are looking for. I'm 51.. and my husband will be 56 in october... Still young, of course..
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Old 14-08-2018, 14:58   #14
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
Hi Scarlet. You have had a few posts lately with concerns. You seem to be pretty stressed lately. I know it's getting close and change is scary, but you (and your husband) can do this!
Like anything else, take it one day at a time.
Your house is sold(I think that was the last time I contributed on your post) downsizing is happening, and his job is secure till it's time.
Cruising also doesn't have to be all or none. Find your boat and see how it is at dock. Then day sail until you are ready to anchor. Expand your view as is comfortable to the both of you.
It's retirement, do what you enjoy and live the way that works for both of you, just as you have done since you met.
Now as for joint injury and arthritis. I have a fused ankle with extreme arthritis in a couple other joints.(those will be fused this fall) Arthritis in the neck and shoulders, both wrists, thumb, and minor in a few other places.
We are starting our boat search next summer.
There will always be obstacles, you just move forward dealing with each problem as you can.
You will get there! And then all these worries will just be memories as you watch the sunset from the cockpit:-)
I KNOW.. right?!! I must sound like a neurotic basket case.. lol...

It is like a person jumping out of an airplane.. even though it is the "jumper's choice"... and even though they've trained well.. and planned well.. it's still scary as heck when you take that leap... UGH! I still am so excited, though

You and I are on the same time frame. We will start shopping for the boat a year from now as well. We will start in august or sep as that is the time when most people decide to sell, and we will probably have more choices.

Ar you worried about your physical limitations?
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Old 14-08-2018, 15:06   #15
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Re: Assessing Your Partner

True story....about one of my heros.
Two years ago we met a couple on a rough commercial dock. Dock surface is over my head height standing on deck. This lady comes up the (broken) ladder and gets into her electric wheel chair and zooms off.

20-30 years ago he brother built two identical steel boats, in Australia. One for himself, one for her. This lady and her husband went down there finished their boat and sailed it back to BC. A few years ago they had it tricked to the east coast and are sailing the Canadian Marintimes, I met them in northern Newfoundland. Her disability predates their going to Australia.

Hubby claims she does all the foredeck work, she likes it, the rigging gives her stuff to hang onto. She also does a lot of boat maintenance. Like replumbing the sink.

I don’t know what condition she has. She is very thin, she can stand but needs to steady herself. She can take a couple of tentative steps only.
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