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Old 09-07-2015, 08:41   #16
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Fear and Control. Whenever we are not in control or trust those in control, it is natural to fear.

Ease back into it slowly and let her feel in control. If the sails go up and the fear kicks in, listen to her, take them down and motor around for a little bit. Once she feels more comfortable, you can start increasing until the rail is burried in the water again and she yelling at you to not let the weasel sailing up behind you pass.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:41   #17
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Excellent posts, all. My need for speed has scared off a few family members, so now I put up just enough sail to move us along and to look pretty. Remove the fear factor and suddenly everyone is smiling!
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:43   #18
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

My wife also hated sailing initially. Remember that a bad driving instructor can just as easily put someone off learning to drive a car.
I put my wife onto a cat (it was 76ft with a top deck jacuzzi) she fell in love with the whole concept. It had a wholly female crew and there was no pressure.
She has never sailed on a similar boat since - but she got over her inhibitions. We have stayed with cats ever since. We both recognise that it is diificult to deny the beauty of certain mono-hulls but she simply wont entertain the idea of a passage on one. Initially, it is all about patience, timely explanations and keeping calm, nothing in a rush - just like those car lessons. Also, keep to fair weather day trips until she has confidence.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:44   #19
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

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Originally Posted by bhill View Post
I love all the suggestions! As a wife of a sailing addict, I was in the same boat - literally and figuratively! DH and I tried racing together and it was a total FAIL!
I agree that racing is not the ticket for many women to get into sailing, but there can be exceptions. My wife and I raced together for 16 years. Started on beach cats, graduated to two-person team on a Corsair 24 trimaran, and then a four-crew Corsair 28R. The only races she didn't do was the long distance offshore races. When we moved to the Corsair 24, we found in the first race that she didn't have the strength to trim sails, raise the chute, etc. (It was very busy, with just the two of us.) So she moved to tiller and slowly learned to steer, and I managed the sails. She got to be very good at the helm. She liked it also, because it gave her a sense of control and if things got really hairy she could steer up, etc., and really knew the limits of the boat. And she will admit it that she liked beating the guys! (A competitive side came out that I have not seen otherwise)

After a dozen years of trimaran racing though, we both got a bit burned out. Bad thing about Nationals events, NOOD series, Key West Race Week, is that if you have any intention of finishing in the trophies, you have to go out every day in all conditions - even when they are very bad. Sometimes racing gets called. Most times that has to be really bad weather. We struggled with wanting to win, but sometimes not enjoying the sailing to do so. And eventually just had enough and moved to the Seawind cat. She enjoys the comfort, the security in bad weather, and the boat sails nice (just not 20+ knots with the chute up, like the C28) We still do some bay races (with wife), and occasional distance offshore (without wife, as unfortunately she has heard some of our stories of being stuck in horrible conditions, trying to go fast in a race).

So my current challenge is to work thru a fear of going offshore. We've had some nice days, and that's no problem. But reluctance to go outside if we can do ICW (which I detest, but do). We will have to work thru it though, as end of year we are retiring and both heading off to the Bahamas next year. From Texas. With a stop in Florida.

Hope I didn't hi-jack your thread, but just wanted to point out that racing=bad is not true for all women.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:46   #20
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

I agree wholeheartedly with Steady Hand. If sailing is your dream and you want to share it with her, which opens up so many more possibilities, then it is worth the effort and expense to give her a positive and reinforcing experience. You then have to follow-up with the right attitudes yourself afterward though, or you risk undoing all you gained. There are a number of good books written by women about this very topic that you would be well advised to read yourself. I am sure other readers can help with some of those references, but here are a couple I have read.

Changing Course : A Woman's Guide to Choosing the Cruising Life
Debra Ann Cantrell



It's Your Boat Too: A Woman's Guide to Greater Enjoyment on the Water
Suzanne Giesemann


P.S. My wife loves sailing now and we are looking forward to some grand adventures in retirement;>)
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:52   #21
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

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Steady makes a good point. Jen is a much better instructor for new crew then I am. In one hour she will gently explain how to tie a bowline. In the same hour I will cover everything for apparent wind to celestial navigation to understanding every possible button combination on the chart plotter confusing uh ...
Yup, I guess its a male thing.........
I do the same and cannot fathom out why they cant grasp it all in 30 nano-seconds.

Then again, they can knit a jersey, cook a meal, tend to kids wounded knee's, have four seperate simultaneous conversations, do the washing and ironing, make FaceBook postings and all this at the same time.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:57   #22
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

I used to have a sailing school. I took 4 people (2 teams) out at a time. In less than 1 day they would be sailing without my help and i just sat on the bow for the last hour. Its all in the approach.

After over 30 years in the caribbean, i can tell you that when you are anchored off the beach there are a gazillion ladies sitting in the hot sand wishing that they were out there with you. Some will even swim out and knock on the hull. Really.

Im just sayin....
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:58   #23
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

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I'm trying to figure out the best way to reintroduce my wife to sailing, she had a horrible experience with lessons that totally shook her confidence, and convinced her she could't ever possess the skills to sail. Long story short she took lessons in Hawaii with an instructor that I guess raced and thought she should too,he screamed at her the whole time, and ended up telling her that this might not be for here. My wife loves everything about the ocean and I know if I can find a way to show her sailing isn't whatever that guy shoved in her head, she could at least have a chance at enjoying it. But I'm just starting lessons now, so I'm not a wealth of knowledge. I have some ideas, but maybe you guys have better ones, any idea would be well appreciated.
1-Fly to Hawaii and beat said instructors a$$ in front of her until he apologizes for being a &*%%#$.

OR

2-Fly to Saudi Arabia and buy new wife.

OR

3-Tell her there's a new shopping mall that you can only get to by boat.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:59   #24
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

I agree with the catamaran suggestions.
A friend of mine loves to race but unfortunately all of his family hated sailing.
He bought my catamaran so that he would encourage his family to join in sailing on the level with more creature comforts.
It worked
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:03   #25
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

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Originally Posted by subnate View Post
I'm trying to figure out the best way to reintroduce my wife to sailing, she had a horrible experience with lessons that totally shook her confidence, and convinced her she could't ever possess the skills to sail. Long story short she took lessons in Hawaii with an instructor that I guess raced and thought she should too,he screamed at her the whole time, and ended up telling her that this might not be for here. My wife loves everything about the ocean and I know if I can find a way to show her sailing isn't whatever that guy shoved in her head, she could at least have a chance at enjoying it. But I'm just starting lessons now, so I'm not a wealth of knowledge. I have some ideas, but maybe you guys have better ones, any idea would be well appreciated.
divorce worked quite well for me.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:26   #26
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

agree with the all woman sailing group. start with very small sailboats. it's all about teaching sailing theory and how to handle boats on the water. women have different ways of dealing with these things.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:27   #27
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Find a woman sailor and give them some time alone on a sailboat - a couple of hours to start with. I started talking to a woman who wanted to know how to use the radio, what if he has a heart attack, how do I call a Mayday? During our first lesson I asked her why she was scared. She looked at me and said that in 2 years with this man he had never asked her that question. So I suggest you ask her some of the "feeling" questions.

Your wife had an undoubtedly rough start. She was trying to learn something you two could do together and getting scared and embarrassed (and mad) for her efforts. The charter idea sounds like salve on a burn, try it. If she is a naturally curious person she'll start asking questions and then the fun'll begin.

I hope this works out for you - it's the best thing we ever did. I took us from a couple with two lives lived in one house to a couple who are a unit. He mostly confers instead of acting like Captain God, I don't get my back up when he uses his strong voice. Things are good.

PS I got a call from that woman yesterday, she'd like me to teach her GPS and paper charts next week!
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:34   #28
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

WHAT doesn't your wife dislike about sailing?
The angle?
The motion?
The work?
Being screamed at?
Fear of water?
Total lack of understanding of mechanics/physics?
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:37   #29
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

There is a great book you might suggest she read. My wife and I learned lots from it.
It's Your Boat Too: A Woman's Guide to Greater Enjoyment on the Water



Here's the Amazon blurb:
Commander Suzanne Giesemann draws on her twenty years in the Navy as a commanding officer and leadership instructor to write this empowering guide for women boaters. Power or sail, if you’re just going along for the ride, you are limiting your enjoyment on the water. Suzanne encourages women to take a bigger role on board by addressing common fears and self-limiting attitudes. She shares the nautical knowledge necessary to become a safer, more competent, and more confident boater.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:38   #30
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Would you miss her for 2-3 months at a time?


I've met ton of single handers that leave the wifie at home. Maybe she comes to visit for a week in Georgetown, St Thomas, Tahiti, Auckland, etc. Or maybe the guy fly home.


Don't think it would work for me, but likely cheaper than anew wife?
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