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Old 11-01-2017, 17:41   #46
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
For your wife to have any staying power at cruising, she will need for it to be fun. It's kind of a tricky balance, because if she's a physically oriented woman, likes outdoor sports, your chances are better. Some women never take to it.

1) Having it be fun will be a composite of a lot of factors: she will want to learn, to do the sailing parts, not just caretaking you. If you take her out and make her cold, wet, and miserable, and then don't let her do any of the fun things, the attempt will be doomed.

2) Sailing lessons aimed specifically at women work quite well for confidence building, and getting over the earliest beginning stages, some of those are taught by women. It's like taking your new boy or girlfriend skiing, for their very first time, and buying them beginner lessons. You get to go off and ski your slopes, and after lunch you ski together and try to make it fun for both.

If you treat your wife as if she were your best friend's wife, with that level of thoughtfulness and kindness, you will be well on your way.

Ann
A lot of good advice for you there from Ann.
My perspective is I married a great girl who was terrified of the sea - would not go in past her ankles without going into a panic attack (bad childhood experience). Me, I was pretty well born in the stuff, and have been at home in it since I was two. So a problem you might think.

Well, since then I have had my best mate (that's my wife guys ....) swimming in big surf, diving well off-shore in 100 plus metres where you still couldn't see the bottom, and with manta rays gliding over our heads, and - in the cockpit of our yacht off the coast of North Africa when it was gusting into F9, and we were very much alone on a stormy day when everyone else was in port.

It's a long story that I won't bore anyone with here, but I just want to show that given love, understanding, and patience on your side, with a willingness to trust you and to at least tentatively try on your wife's side, all things are possible.

As to the boat, if you can give her some really great, relaxing, and non-challenging/non-threatening experiences on a really nice (does not have to be big) yacht, then you will know if there is a chance or not.

Lose your perspective of the typical gung-ho macho male where a face full of green water is all part of the fun. Most women are different, and we need to look after them, in the same way that they look after us - with care, love, and understanding.

When it came to agreeing that we were to give the cruising lifestyle a go, I would have been happy in an old traditional boat, but of course was also happy in a modern boat. We got to the decision point (after years of looking, and attending boat shows), then there were the options. "I you want a happy wife ...." I was told, so the price started to climb with the white leather upholstery, the water maker, the washing machine, the air-conditioning, the generator ........, but it meant my lady was delighted with our 'floating home' and said at the beginning that it if didn't turn out as hoped for at the beginning, then at least we would have a floating apartment we could holiday to, and move from time to time.

We have since been through some adventures together, but no sign of it ever being a mistake, or ever regretting the decision. At the moment it looks like we are confined to the Mediterranean, with little chance of an ocean crossing, but you never know - as I slowly introduce longer and longer passages .... (gently, gently, with as many stunning dawns, and amazing sunsets as I can manage in between less than ideal weather).

The other key from my experience is self-confidence. She had little, but we are getting there (a sailing course helped her a lot, but beware who runs it - a testosterone free zone is important). Perhaps an all girl course might be good, but then there may still be rivalry. Two or three couples may be the safest, with a decent skipper who shows patience and good teaching skills (ask around, communicate, get to develop a feel for who you are dealing with).
One of the big things was an overnight passage where my mate was on watch from late evening to early morning. Keeping watch, marking up the log, adjusting sails etc. She was on a high from that achievement for weeks.

Life is for sharing - that's one of the reasons many of us find a mate. I hope that you are able to share your passion, and slowly have it become hers, for a wonderful retirement together. But remember to also make an effort to share some of hers
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Old 11-01-2017, 17:54   #47
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

My wife jump right in when we boarded a Lagoon 450f at the Miami boat show last year. This year we are taking Cat classes at BWSS just two couples then going back to the show.
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Old 11-01-2017, 18:35   #48
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Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

When I was 50, we bought a new Hunter 260. We day sailed out of Grand Rivers, KY at Lighthouse Landing which is about an hour an fifteen minutes from our home in Clarksville, TN. We went out to eat and enjoyed Grand Rivers. It was a small boat- no air conditioning, had a toilet but little beyond that. We spent 1 weekend a year on an overnight, otherwise it was daysailing only. She did not enjoy being hot, cramped and claustrophobic on our 260 but tolerated it for me once a year.

After 5 years we decided we liked sailing - she still doesn't sail herself. We made a list of the things we wanted if we got a boat that would suit us both. She wanted Air Conditioning, TV when not at the dock and a comfortable boat. We bought a new 2003 Hunter 356 and fully equipped it with Generator, flat screen, KVH TV antenna and the interior was very nice and not claustrophobic. We have hot water shower, microwave, plenty of refrigerator/freezer space and are as comfortable as home on the boat. We have a full enclosure with side panels we remove in warm weather. We got Active in the local sailing club and have made a lot of very good friends in Grand Rivers. She does a seminar for our sailing club on how to manage a kitchen while cruising that the women and men in the club really enjoy. I put chartplotter, radar, sonar, sat phone, in mast furling Autopilot and all the stuff that made it easy to single hand.

We use the boat like a condo in Grand Rivers and spend between 60 to 75 days a year on the boat. We've sailed it over 8,500 miles, so we don't spend all our time on the dock. When we leave the dock, the generator is running until we plug back in on return. We are conditioned in the salon at 72-74 degrees. In 2013-2014 we spent 6 months going down the Tenn-Tom, across the Gulf and stayed in Punta Gorda, FL for the winter. She watched Tennessee and Alabama play football off the coast of Florida in the Gulf. She watched the Today show every morning like she does at home. She reads a lot of books on kindle and we have Internet in board via a Verizon MYFI that allows her to browse her IPad wherever we are. I have computers, a printer/scanner and work from the boat. Many times my clients have no idea I'm not in my office (I'm an Architect). On our Florida cruise we spent about half the time on the boat and the rest at home. She was mostly in charge of a blog and we sent it to over 100 of our friends and she loved making pictures and the feedback we got. We had a fantastic time. Most of the reason we have such a good time is that it is OUR boat, not mine, not hers. She has what she wanted and I have what I wanted. We watch the weather and don't go when it is not comfortable for her. We are 69 now and have spent 1017 days on the boat. She crossed the Gulf on one passage taking 50 hours, another 36. Although she doesn't sail, she knows how to steer and run the chartplotter and Autopilot. I am able to sleep 4 hours when needed. She did fine with the patch to avoid seasickness. I use SailFlow and watch the weather carefully and avoid high waves and high winds. We do a lot of motor sailing, but that is what she is comfortable with. We have also had some great sails. She has been in 40 knots and 6 to 8 foot seas and realizes that it was not planned and she does ok, but does not like it. We'll do the Florida winter trip again when time permits.

Don't push her, let her get involved on her own terms and share the experiences together. If you do, you will get to spend 1017 days in your boat, if not, I will wager you won't spend 1017 hours with her on it.
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Old 11-01-2017, 18:39   #49
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

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Originally Posted by NoahTreat View Post
I've been working on my wife for a year or so now and she is coming around. I've been focusing on the dream of traveling the world and seeing exotic places. And using a sailboat as a means to do that. Not sure if it's the right approach because I'm not out there cruising full-time yet. Stay tuned........
It's a realistic approach. If you want just sailing, then get into gung-ho racing with macho men (great fun, but it has it's limits). For most cruisers, the sailing is just part of it. It's the relaxing at the end of the day in the cockpit, meeting like-minded people, and exploring exotic places. Behind the wheel on a perfect day with the water rushing by is great, but again, it has it's limits.
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Old 11-01-2017, 23:49   #50
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

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Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
Make sure to incorporate her dreams in the plan.
Nice way to put it
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Old 11-01-2017, 23:57   #51
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

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Originally Posted by J Clark H356 View Post
Most of the reason we have such a good time is that it is OUR boat, not mine, not hers. She has what she wanted and I have what I wanted. We watch the weather and don't go when it is not comfortable for her.

Don't push her, let her get involved on her own terms and share the experiences together.
Nice story and great advice there
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:07   #52
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

"...Don't push her, let her get involved on her own terms..." - that's the ticket, not bootcamps, "schools" & "trainings" or worse: on a charter with 9 men
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Old 12-01-2017, 03:15   #53
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

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Originally Posted by btexpres85 View Post
I am closing in on the big 50 this year and have dreams of retiring early and coastal cruising in the near future (live near Annapolis). Been reading up on it (I am a Hobie 16 sailer, Laser etc.) but the other half is not sold on the idea. I feel I still have a shot at success if I keep chipping away at the idea; I can sense that she is warming up just a bit.

Anyway we are taking a big boat cruise next week to the southern Caribbean so I thought a nice day sail from a private charter while hitting the islands could help. We visit the islands as follows -
1/16/2017 St. Thomas, USVI 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
1/18/2017 Barbados 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
1/19/2017 St. Lucia, WI 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
1/20/2017 St Kitts, WI 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
1/21/2017 St. Maarten, NA 7:00 AM 5:00 PM

Looking for ideas to get her on the water and excited about the future possibilities of cruising on a yet to be purchased 35-45 sailboat. Recommendations on which islands would be best to try to book a day sail or if anyone in the area wants to help me out that would be greatly appreciated like you would not believe...
My advice is going to be a bit different that some others here, so here it goes.

Do not try to sell her on a "cruising lifestyle". Do not try to sell her on your dream sailboat.

Start with selling her on the concept of a boat. A boat you can use to get away, to explore. Take her to boat shows. Do not steer her towards your dream sailboat. Let her dream. Let her look at boats and decide what she likes. She may not like sailboats. She may like for example a power boat with all of it's space, views and amenities. Think seriously about this. There is a really good reason my boats name is Lisas Way.

Buy a boat that she likes and use it. Get into the boating lifestyle. Spend time at harbors meeting the other boaters, spend time anchor'd out. Because that really what coastal cruising is, its the people and harbors, and anchorages. The big thing is to use your boat.

If you both like the lifestyle you will gravitate to it. When you retire you will have time to do whatever you want. Perhaps boating/cruising will become a bigger part of your lives.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:34   #54
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by btexpres85 View Post
I am closing in on the big 50 this year and have dreams of retiring early and coastal cruising in the near future (live near Annapolis). Been reading up on it (I am a Hobie 16 sailer, Laser etc.) but the other half is not sold on the idea. I feel I still have a shot at success if I keep chipping away at the idea; I can sense that she is warming up just a bit.

Anyway we are taking a big boat cruise next week to the southern Caribbean so I thought a nice day sail from a private charter while hitting the islands could help. We visit the islands as follows -
1/16/2017 St. Thomas, USVI 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
1/18/2017 Barbados 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
1/19/2017 St. Lucia, WI 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
1/20/2017 St Kitts, WI 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
1/21/2017 St. Maarten, NA 7:00 AM 5:00 PM

Looking for ideas to get her on the water and excited about the future possibilities of cruising on a yet to be purchased 35-45 sailboat. Recommendations on which islands would be best to try to book a day sail or if anyone in the area wants to help me out that would be greatly appreciated like you would not believe...
By coastal cruising, do you mean that you want to live aboard, or commuter-cruise while maintaining your land base?

Either way, she's got to feel empowered to operate the boat and not be totally dependent on you. I'd suggest you enroll her in sailing lessons on 24' or larger boats, with professional instruction (not you). If she isn't interested, stop there.

If that goes well, shop for boats that have a decent galley, enclosed head, even better if there's a dedicated space for a shower. You both have a lot to learn in choosing and operating/maintenance of a cruise ready boat. Hobies and Lasers are significantly different from this.

Then start by day sailing and doing summer vacation cruising in your area, and winter vacation charters. A crewed charter might be best for both you the first few times if you tell the crew you want to help operate the boat, and learn about their navigation and docking strategies and thought processes. Make sure she switches off with you and you both take turns for all the jobs - galley, anchor deployment, helm, navigating etc. Important note: she isn't the galley slave, but if she prefers a job (or does it better than you) let her do it if she wants.

You will find she likes some things not others, as do you. If she wants to step ashore every night or doesn't want to sail more than "x" hours at a time, try to plan accordingly. My wife has seen enough flotsam (e.g. An entire tree) that she has a fear of things going bump in the night... I love night sailing but I'm with her so I don't do it. You get the idea.

Right now you're dreaming about this and she's not. she's got to internalize the idea that she sails before being able to share your dream. Good luck.

Edit: PS- Cruiseliners have nothing to do with sailing your own boat. Irrelevant.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:48   #55
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

Another thought: Once you have a suitable boat start with weekend overnight trips before you try a week long trip. Work up to the cruising things.

You both will evolve your thinking from there.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:50   #56
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

I like the stories/accounts on this thread.

As an over arching approach to this I would define the problem not the goal... what are the "problems" that need to be solved? You are sort of going from a place where you have a more or landlubber person you want to desire and be comfortable with life aboard and or cruising around to new places.

When you chose this as a life style... you give up things... as well as gain things of course. You might want to identify as many things as possible and identify the benefits and the risks to changing each of those things.

For example... some may see "possessions" as a trap and an anchor... others see / experience joy in things they posses...wardrobe, art, furniture, libraries, motorcycles...jewelry... whatever even friends, relatives a job and so on. Paring down is not as simple or desirable to everyone as it may seem. Many people are emotionally invested in their "things".

I suppose anyone can evolve their lifestyle needs... or decide they've been there done that for long enough and why not something else? Or maybe some see their future as being on a boring treadmill with a too predictable future and want more freedom and adventure AND independence.

Whether early in life or later the sailing/cruising/live aboard life style has to have the "self reliant" gene in their DNA. I like to be self sufficient... I don't like to follow beaten paths. And I like being close to and INSIDE of nature 24/7 as opposed to the "built environment".

I suppose most people are OK with being part time sailors.... to step out of the rut into a the very different feel of a life on a boat.... and then return to the "comfort" of the rut that was their life aboard.... friends, cars, clothes, garden, possessions, hobbies... job.

It's a very big deal to make a permanent move. It's not only technical skills... all of which a motivated person can learn given time and motivation.

How to do it? Surely it could involve exposure in small doses... whatever that turns out to be and it's different for every couple.

One thing you can tack on.... this is not going to happen over night.

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:19   #57
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

Get her as involved as she will be without pushing.
My wife picked our boat, she did value my opinion on general seaworthiness and condition of the engine etc., but she picked it, it was her choice to make.
In the Family we call it "Gina's Luxury Yacht" as a play on the show "Keeping up Appearances"

I don't think she was too keen on sailing though, as a small child her Father had I think a racing pram and on it she was told "move Gina" so much that she told me that she thought move was her first name, but I think she has realized cruising isn't sailing so much as it is about travelling and going different places with no schedule.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:05   #58
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

Not sure if this helps, but while in St. Marteen check out the America's Cup excursion. We've been twice. You can volunteer to be crew or ballast. I haven't worked so hard so fast as when I helped man the main sheet winch... But it was seriously FUN! There are three old J27s (?), including STARS & STRIPES 97.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:23   #59
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Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

i cannot help but notice the men are all gung ho get her into racing bs--that is not the way to do it. LADIES do NOT like WET and uncomfortable sailing.
nor is throwing her inbto a dinghy for sailing lessons with a clown in a motorboat yelling at the kids in the dinghies.
do the charter for a day with a female captain. you want her into a cruising mindset-- have female captain on a day charter.
i have watched as many a male with testoseterone addled blood tries to MAKE his woman like sailing. hahahahaha might just as well put her behind the wheel of a formula 1 and telling her to drive. gads.
grow some sensitivity and try it easy.
charter with female captain so she can see it is not merely males yelling at females.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:29   #60
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pirate Re: Help! Trying to get the wife in the game.....

When I bought my Bene 321 in St Martin back in 2000 I had an extremely enthusiastic GF who flew out from the UK to join me in 'Living the Dream'.. she loved the boat and the time we spent on the hook Dutch side in the lagoon.. after about a week I decided to go round to Marigot Bay on the outside.. F4-5, down wind then almost a beam reach in semi sheltered waters.. what could go wrong.
We exited the bridge and headed off.. and she spent the next 4hrs puking her guts out non stop..
I went back into the lagoon French side and tied up at Marina Royale.. inside a week she had booked a flight home and was gone..
Only saw her once more after that when I got back to the UK.. some you win, some you lose..
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