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Old 15-07-2015, 01:35   #91
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Get a new wife, one who already is a sailor. It will be easier, less painful and possibly cheaper to trade up than to renovate.


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Old 15-07-2015, 05:17   #92
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

You've gotten a lot of good responses and good suggestions. Here are a couple more:

When we started sailing, I knew a bit about sailing, but my wife had never been on a boat before.

First - sailing is like skiing - a spouse cannot teach their SO how to ski (do not ask me how I know this). Getting lessons is the way to go.

Take the lessons together - that way your learning curves will be similar (ok - I knew how to sail but I took the basic sailing course with her - guess what? I also learned some things).

The first many years we had a firm contract - one day I would be the skipper and at the helm - the next day it was her. Equal time, including the docking even in very heavy weather. Gave her a lot of confidence and insured that sailing was an equal venture.

I simply can't stress the above (equal time) enough. It will ensure that you are true partners in this. Sure I have a lot more upper body strength than she does - so today I do most of the heavy stuff. But not at the beginning - we figured out ways for her to do the heavy stuff.

Today we are both Yachtmaster Ocean and sail in just about any weather, it doesn't faze her at all. I go below to get my sleep even when we are sailing in 45-50 knot winds. she can handle almost anything and if she needs help she'll call me (as I will call her if I need help).

Oddly - this approach has meant that my wife generally does not like to sail with women only - she feels they usually are not good sailors, nor do they take it seriously. I suspect because many women are subjected to their husbands not relinquishing control of the boat and the women being reduced to being "fender-benders".

last week we sailed home in a 30 knot following wind, with 2-4 meter breaking waves. The sea was heavy enough that the autopilot wasn't up to the task and we had to handsteer the whole way. She took her half the watches (18 hour sail) without a peep, despite having greenies break over both her and the boat numerous times, soaking her and everything else (not me - I was below sleeping LOL), but I got my share on my watches.

So my advice - go slow (at her pace, whatever it is), do everything together, learn everything together and make sure you both get enough practice doing everything so you're both comfortable.

We do not take the "equal time" rule as seriously anymore, since we both are reasonable sailors - If upper body strength is necessary, I usually do it - but she can if she has to.

And when you look for a sailing school and an instructor - take the time to get to know the instructor before you buy. Ask how he/she instructs. Is he/she used to instructing women? Ask to go on a lesson with him/her so you can see him/her in action.

Don't like him/her? Find another.

Good luck - the investment you and your wife make now will pay off in years of wonderful sailing.
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Old 15-07-2015, 06:13   #93
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

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I didn't want to write anything more on this thread, as I've said all I have to say, but feel I would like to say how sad I am for you that your wife has passed on.

It is a dread I have for myself, that either one of us should die early. I want us to waste no time at all in sharing our lives together, and would do or give up whatever it took for us to be together.

You are in a place i have never been, and cannot conceive. My heart goes out to you.
Thank you. Francie is in my Hart always, she is my Buddha. Her physical presence is missed, but our connection is always there. We only had twelve short years here...the best years of my existence here...but our souls have eternity. I am grateful for all we had here and with that gratitude I have peace and love today.

PEACE LUV & HAPPINESS
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Old 15-07-2015, 07:22   #94
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

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I understand! I love the ocean, the islands, and living on a boat. I am a little afraid of the wind, waves, heeling, etc. I did not grow up around sailboats. My husband has a dream of live-aboard. We started by taking a sail, having a short private lesson, and then bought ourselves an old boat. We worked together to get her ready to launch and are now sleeping on her and practicing our sailing skills. We are approaching everything slowly, learning together, and building our confidence. My husband is so patient, helping me to gain confidence. I want to do this, but it takes me longer than him! Working together to fix up our boat and learning our skills together has been amazing. He is not outrunning me. We are in this together and hope to someday meet our dreams!
This was my experience as well. When my husband and I started sailing together so many years ago he was all in and fearless from the beginning. I was all in, from the standpoint of wanting to do it, but was definitely not fearless. I was so uncomfortable with the heeling and had a hard time trusting any boat until I had spent considerable time on it. Every time we got a new boat I went through a fearful period where my gut wrenched every time we heeled over or every time the boat made a creaking or groaning sound I hadn't heard before. Eventually the motions and sounds of the boat would become familiar and I would gain confidence in it and be fine. This was really the situation for quite a few years and through a number of boats although the process seemed to go a little faster with each successive boat.

I am happy to say that I did finally overcome those fears, although there is a caveat....I still have to feel confident that the boat in question is in good structural condition, otherwise those creaks and groans all become threatening again.

I have never had a screaming instructor (we took classes together but not in the same boat) and my husband has always been the most patient and understanding skipper on the planet. Whenever I was in my "adjustment period" with a new boat, if he sensed me getting uncomfortable with the angle of heel he let the sail out a bit or fell off the wind, or whatever needed to be done to bring the boat upright a bit until my nerves steadied. If there was a noise that was making me nervous he made every attempt to identify it and explain to me what it was. The fact that I still love sailing is in no small part due to tremendous effort on his part to make it a comfortable experience for me in those early years when I was so unsure and fearful of everything.

Sometimes fear and discomfort, such as what I experienced, has no logical or rational cause and cannot be easily associated with a single experience. Maybe it was all about the screaming instructor, but maybe your wife also had some of those irrational "gut fears" like I had that only pass with time, experience, and a lot of patience. I would say that a lot of sailing in a non-threatening, non-competitive environment is what is needed. Make it comfortable for her even if it means you get there a little slower or the sail luffs a bit from time to time. If she says something doesn't feel right or sound right, don't be dismissive. Try and figure it out together so she can have some peace of mind that the rig isn't getting ready to come crashing down or the keel didn't just fall off. Don't get frustrated if she can't explain to you in a logical or rational way why something scares her. Most times it didn't make sense even to me, but that didn't do anything to stop the knots in my stomach. At some point the sensations that once felt threatening start to feel "normal" and you can relax and let yourself enjoy the experience.

subnate, I know that may sound like a lot of "work" to get to the place where you can sail together in a relaxed manner, but if it's worth it to you to do it, it will no doubt serve to not only open up the dream to the two of you but will also strengthen your relationship and your ability to function as a team as well.

Best of luck to you and your wife.
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Old 15-07-2015, 08:22   #95
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Ditto Steady Hand and SailSC. Unfortunately, my wife still has no interest, so I just have to tell her, "I'll be back."
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Old 15-07-2015, 08:24   #96
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
This was my experience as well. When my husband and I started sailing together so many years ago he was all in and fearless from the beginning. I was all in, from the standpoint of wanting to do it, but was definitely not fearless. I was so uncomfortable with the heeling and had a hard time trusting any boat until I had spent considerable time on it. Every time we got a new boat I went through a fearful period where my gut wrenched every time we heeled over or every time the boat made a creaking or groaning sound I hadn't heard before. Eventually the motions and sounds of the boat would become familiar and I would gain confidence in it and be fine. This was really the situation for quite a few years and through a number of boats although the process seemed to go a little faster with each successive boat.

I am happy to say that I did finally overcome those fears, although there is a caveat....I still have to feel confident that the boat in question is in good structural condition, otherwise those creaks and groans all become threatening again.

I have never had a screaming instructor (we took classes together but not in the same boat) and my husband has always been the most patient and understanding skipper on the planet. Whenever I was in my "adjustment period" with a new boat, if he sensed me getting uncomfortable with the angle of heel he let the sail out a bit or fell off the wind, or whatever needed to be done to bring the boat upright a bit until my nerves steadied. If there was a noise that was making me nervous he made every attempt to identify it and explain to me what it was. The fact that I still love sailing is in no small part due to tremendous effort on his part to make it a comfortable experience for me in those early years when I was so unsure and fearful of everything.

Sometimes fear and discomfort, such as what I experienced, has no logical or rational cause and cannot be easily associated with a single experience. Maybe it was all about the screaming instructor, but maybe your wife also had some of those irrational "gut fears" like I had that only pass with time, experience, and a lot of patience. I would say that a lot of sailing in a non-threatening, non-competitive environment is what is needed. Make it comfortable for her even if it means you get there a little slower or the sail luffs a bit from time to time. If she says something doesn't feel right or sound right, don't be dismissive. Try and figure it out together so she can have some peace of mind that the rig isn't getting ready to come crashing down or the keel didn't just fall off. Don't get frustrated if she can't explain to you in a logical or rational way why something scares her. Most times it didn't make sense even to me, but that didn't do anything to stop the knots in my stomach. At some point the sensations that once felt threatening start to feel "normal" and you can relax and let yourself enjoy the experience.

subnate, I know that may sound like a lot of "work" to get to the place where you can sail together in a relaxed manner, but if it's worth it to you to do it, it will no doubt serve to not only open up the dream to the two of you but will also strengthen your relationship and your ability to function as a team as well.

Best of luck to you and your wife.
Well said oldragbagger. as a man I go through those same fears on a new boat too. But I have experience and push forward, for the dream. And don't hesitate to EASE someone else along with less experience too.
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Old 15-07-2015, 12:20   #97
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Wink Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Take her to the Ionian in Greece and sail for 1-2 hours a day in light winds.. Mostly it's about drinking and swimming and just chilling.. Why some macho sailors seem to think you have to sail hard to be a "true sailor" is beyond me! Just sit back and relax and enjoy the sea, the scenery, and a relaxed life!
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Old 15-07-2015, 12:57   #98
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Perhaps it is not the sailing part that should be sold to people, but instead the idea of lying on foreign beaches in the sun, relaxing on a leisurely schedule, fishing, eating your way across the globe, staying warm during harsh winter months up north, walking dogs and playing with your kids (if applicable) in beautiful remote environments that you simply cannot see without a boat, traveling often and meeting new people around the world, or instead choosing to be isolated if that's what suits you, etc.

I wonder how many people like sailing because of what it gets them and where it allows them to go, and what they get to do when they get there vs. just the act of sailing itself and winding up back on a dock after day sails. Yes, there are many different types of sailors and that is well known, but perhaps some people may benefit from seeing what learning to sail can get them.

Just a thought, and perhaps not the best approach for everyone. Best of luck to all who encounter this challenge. I'm in the same process with my wife as we speak.
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Old 15-07-2015, 13:12   #99
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

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Perhaps it is not the sailing part that should be sold to people, but instead the idea of lying on foreign beaches in the sun, relaxing on a leisurely schedule, fishing, eating your way across the globe, staying warm during harsh winter months up north, walking dogs and playing with your kids (if applicable) in beautiful remote environments that you simply cannot see without a boat, traveling often and meeting new people around the world, or instead choosing to be isolated if that's what suits you, etc.

I wonder how many people like sailing because of what it gets them and where it allows them to go, and what they get to do when they get there vs. just the act of sailing itself and winding up back on a dock after day sails. Yes, there are many different types of sailors and that is well known, but perhaps some people may benefit from seeing what learning to sail can get them.

Just a thought, and perhaps not the best approach for everyone. Best of luck to all who encounter this challenge. I'm in the same process with my wife as we speak.
Love this perspective!!!
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Old 10-09-2015, 17:59   #100
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Well, just wanted to give an update, I took my sailing lessons and I have been taking the wife out on hobies, a 410 dingy and hunter 170 and she loves it, she is able to be involved with tacking, gybing and controlling the jib, so we're starting to trust each other a bit. I'm working on getting hours so I can move up through the boats on the naval base. They have a colgate 26, hunter 26 and a Catalina 31, and Nav courses and extended cruising and the instructors are great. Thanks again for all the great info, who knows maybe soon you guys can help me figure out my first boat.
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Old 10-09-2015, 18:22   #101
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Sailing is new to me. My husband has always sailed. When we got married he told me he plans on sailing around the world with or without me. I spent some time on friends sailboats in my teen years and most of it was hanging over the side. I then went on a catamaran and loved the power! I did not get sick! I sailed on hobby cats and loved it! First time back on a sailboat was two weeks ago. I did not spend the time hanging over the edge. At this moment, I am studying for my ASA 101,103,104,114. We are booked for Feb. 2016 on a catamaran in the Bahamas with water sailing">Blue Water Sailing School. I am studying hard. It is all new to me and kind of scared because of that. I am up for the challenge even though it is outside of the box for me. You do not need a women who already sails , guys! You need one willing to learn!
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:01   #102
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Subnate that is awesome! Thanks for the update!


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Old 04-10-2015, 00:43   #103
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Re: Thank You So much Everyone

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WOW! Thanks everyone for the quick replies I didn't expect that. And there's definitely great ideas I didn't think of. Well let me see if I can answer some to the questions I saw on here. First I don't think she hates sailing per se the experience just rattled her confidence really bad. We have been out on various sail boats, hobie cats and catamarans and she really liked those. I do think she would like a multi hull better she has mentioned the heeling aspect. Do we like the same things and is she adventurous? yes, she's rappelled 300ft into a cave system in Belize and did a waterfall hike in it, We've shark dove, surf, kayak fish, raft, gone bungee jumping so being skittish isn't a problem. But we did talk about the class and it was an all male class except her, she did feel like the info was being fire from a gatling gun, and the yelling didn't help her either. The one other thing she said was the community, and thats probably my fault I went to a sailing club and a lot of the people were extremely stuck up and were making fun of the smaller cruising boats and the people who lived on them. As for me, I have hardly any sailing experience I just retired from 20 years in the Navy being on submarines, I think thats why a small monohull doesn't bother me. And people are correct I may need to turn down my enthusiasm. Last but not least we've been married 18 years now so trading in ins't an option and going it alone isn't either she's a wonderful woman I would do anything for. Thank you again every one.
Ohhhhh. So sweet
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:44   #104
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Well one last update things are going great, wife wants to buy a hobie 16 this winter so we can have it ready for the start of next season, and we're already looking at getting a sail boat to learn on, just trying to decide on slipping something in the 27-33 range on trailering a Catalina 22. But we're going to take sometime deciding on that, thats what the hobie is for. But had a great day sailing again had dolphins playing in the hobies wake. Wife loved that. Thanks again every one for all the replies
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:07   #105
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Re: Wife Hates Sailing Help!

Good going. One step at a time and the bridle in her hands.

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