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Old 04-07-2005, 11:49   #1
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Women sailors

Are there any female multihull sailors out there who feel the need to improve their sailing skills? My recent search for a women-only multihull sailing class left me with few choices, the best being to round up a couple of other women to form a sailing class. It seems that none of the established programs (Womanship, Sea Sense, etc.) have scheduled programs, but they will be glad to provide a boat and instructor if you give them the dates and bring them the students. While I would prefer a location in the Chesapeake, I am open to a Florida or other east coast location.

We live aboard a Manta 42 and are looking forward to going to the Caribbean, but I don't feel sufficiently competent or confident in my skills to be a true sailing partner yet.

Anyone interested in joining me for a class?
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Old 04-07-2005, 12:52   #2
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Cant help (unless you panted to do the course in UK) but just wanted to give you encouragement.

wish my wife was more interested in learning to sail and less in worrying about 1 ft waves.
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Old 05-07-2005, 15:20   #3
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Talbot,
Sometimes you just have to start off slowly and carefully to get your mate involved. Have you tried a charter holiday in some relaxing area with kindly sea conditions? Is there a multihull group in your area that you could join where she might meet other women who enjoy multihull sailing? I guess the point is that women have different reasons for going sailing than men do, and sometimes men forget what lures us to sea (believe me, it's usually not for the adventure or challenge of heavy seas and near-death experiences).

Good luck.
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Old 05-07-2005, 17:43   #4
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Believe me I have tried. We have had the boat for 17 years and initial enthusiasm has given way to "I would rather watch wimbeldon" , beautiful sailing conditions are met with "why dont you put the engine on" I could go on, but wont.
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:06   #5
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Other Options

There may be other options than an all girls class. A couple of things that seem to be working for us are:

1. We took a one week live aboard sailing class together. I had done quite a bit of sailing, but my wife had mostly been a passenger rather than active crew. While I didn’t learn a lot during the class, it was great for her and kick started her knowledge and confidence.
2. We did a couple of years chartering in BVI. Then began cruising on our boat taking things easy. We have done the Bahamas two year now. The first we were very cautious about holing up in frisky weather and did only one fairly long passage. The second year, we stretched a little, did more over night runs and did more time off shore coming back up the East Coast.

After two years we are building skill and confidence together. She still relies on me to do most of the boat handling, but is constantly growing in confidence.

You and your skipper might like to read our trip reports as a reference. You can find them at www.stateham.com/sunspotbaby.

If you haven’t read “Gentleman’s Guide to Passages South” do so. It stresses sailing in comfort and ways to achieve it.

Best of Luck.
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Old 08-07-2005, 14:24   #6
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Women Sailors

Thanks, Sunspot Baby, for your thoughtful reply. Unfortunately, although my husband and I have sailed together extensively (two years full time liveaboard, previous BVI chartering, and numerous trips to the Bahamas over the years), I still don't have the skills I need. He tends to be both a helm-hog and a poor teacher (to which he will freely admit).

I am curious. You say you still do most of the boat handling. Then how is your mate able to continue gaining confidence?

It may be that sailing simply does not come naturally to me, so that I need to work on it more. That's why I think I need more formal instruction with a group of people who learn the way I do.
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Old 08-07-2005, 16:41   #7
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Frankly, I am not sure that it makes sense to look for a class that specializes in teaching multihull sailing. Sailing a multihull is not all that different than sailing a monohull but it is much harder to teach sailing on a multihull. Your on the water learning time will be much more productive on a monohull. The one exception to that will be learning to maneuver in close quarters with the twin screws typical of most cats. Unfortunately, while the generalities of this can be taught in a classroom, since each cat behaves diffently under power this will need to be something that you will have to learn on your own boat.

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Old 11-07-2005, 22:51   #8
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Gaining Confidence

She gains confidence by trying things in bite size chunks. When we first started cruising our boat she didn’t want to be at the helm in anything other than open water in good conditions. Now she is comfortable taking her under fixed bridges or meeting a barge in the ICW. She takes the helm for longer periods and stands her watches on over night passages confidently.

Like you, she realizes that if I get hurt she will have to bring the boat in on her own. She would not attempt a man over board recovery under sail but can certainly start the engines and come back for me if needed.

As to being a lousy teacher, you husband is not alone. Many of us suffer the same problem. We might be able to teach a stranger, but not a loved one.

Wind in your sails
Sunspot Baby
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Old 19-07-2005, 23:10   #9
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Women sailors? What a concept…
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Old 10-08-2005, 04:30   #10
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Try the following link http://www.coming-about.com/ This will take you to a school run by Pat Henry. If you are unfamiliar with her, a few years ago she completed a single handed circumnavigation, and currently operates the sailing school in Mexico. She started out sailing on a multihull, and would probably be able to send you in a good direction, or at least provide some good advice from the perspective of a woman sailor, with over 40000 miles of multihull experience, and another 30000+ solo on a mono.
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Old 10-08-2005, 21:22   #11
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Thanks, Kai Nui, for the info. I'll check it out. I am still working on this project.
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Old 10-08-2005, 23:12   #12
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harriet - "challenge of heavy seas and near-death experiences" ? who you sailing with - last of the vikings ? think i'll hang with the women. capt. lar
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:37   #13
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Talbot once whispered in the wind:
Believe me I have tried. We have had the boat for 17 years and initial enthusiasm has given way to "I would rather watch wimbeldon" , beautiful sailing conditions are met with "why dont you put the engine on" I could go on, but wont.
With my SWMBO it is downright antipathy towards the boat maybe I went wrong by getting it when I knew "We don't want a boat"! Some of my offspring are glad I did anyway.
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Old 29-09-2005, 18:41   #14
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Hi Harriet,
I am also new to cruising, my fiance and I live aboard a Manta 40. We took a weeklong sailing course and chartered once before buying the boat. We've been up in Narragansett Bay for the summer, practicing our sailing skills and learning the workings of our boat's systems.

My suggestion would be to make a list of all the steps you take when you sail. For example, weather check, engine check, line handle, raise/lower sails, helmsman, navigation, etc. You can even put "galley duty" on the list if you guys don't already share that task. Then assign you or your husband to each task and perform your tasks as best you can, it's okay to ask for help but make sure your husband teaches you while he helps so you learn how. Then, and this is the important part, the next time you go for a sail SWITCH task lists so that you both take turns being helmsman one time and doing sail trim the next, for example. Alternate task lists every time you go out and pretty soon you'll be more confident in how you handle the boat. And over time, as a team, you can come up with what works best for you.

We are leaving RI next week on a slow trip south to FL. We plan on hitting the Chesapeake sometime in late October. I should probably take my own advice as my fiance usually does all the navigation Once he sees this post I know he will make sure I navigate for some of the legs. Hmm...guess I will have to practice what I preach, eh?

Cheers,
Amanda
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Old 30-09-2005, 04:38   #15
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