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Old 20-09-2012, 11:48   #1
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Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

Hi everyone,

I just have a small question for cruisers who have invited family to come spend a week or so on the boat with them for touring. How with multiple people on a boat for vacation do you avoid serious conflicts? Even for a larger cruising yacht, with parents and/or in laws aboard, it must sometimes get to a point where you feel like you are crammed nto a canoe together.

Are there a pre-existing set of rules/guidlines somewhere that help lay down some sort of ground rules to make it easier for everyone to get along? Has anybody had a bad experience with this, and thought of some guidelines after the fact that might have avoided this?

I apologise if this has already been addressed. I did do a quick search and didn't find anything.

I would just like to know how people manage when there are several people aboard for a week or so and potentially getting in eachothers space frequently.
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Old 20-09-2012, 11:55   #2
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Rules are great for the workings and safety of the boat but the best way to avoid a conflict, if you think there will be a conflict, is to have day sails and send them to a hotel. On the other hand if you get along great...take a chance. If they get on your nerves then you can simply push them overboard. JUST KIDDING!!
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Old 20-09-2012, 11:58   #3
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

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If they get on your nerves then you can simply push them overboard. JUST KIDDING!!
Will do. Can I tell them you said it was OK for me to do that?
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Old 20-09-2012, 12:00   #4
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Will do. Can I tell them you said it was OK for me to do that?
Sure! But just don't do it!!! Haha
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Old 20-09-2012, 12:11   #5
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

You're serious , aren't you?

Families and relationships in general are about as different as anything could get.

For my family nothing at all is needed. We think about our impact on others and have always done unto others as we....

Our grandparents taught us the true value of treating everyone with respect and we sometimes even go so far as to put the interest of others BEFORE our own....In today's society it's a very strange concept that lots of folks just can't fathom...

Other families, especially the generation of me FIRST, might have a different outcome...

What's your families values?
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Old 20-09-2012, 12:40   #6
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

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You're serious , aren't you?

Families and relationships in general are about as different as anything could get.

For my family nothing at all is needed. We think about our impact on others and have always done unto others as we....

Our grandparents taught us the true value of treating everyone with respect and we sometimes even go so far as to put the interest of others BEFORE our own....In today's society it's a very strange concept that lots of folks just can't fathom...

Other families, especially the generation of me FIRST, might have a different outcome...

What's your families values?


Pretty much the same, however the fact is there have been times at family gatherings where drama occured. I just worried that in a tight space like a boat tensions might be aggravated by the sheer closeness.

Most families have "that relative" or even a few relatives like that, or perhaps two relatives that always get on each others nerves. As they are family I would not like to exclude them, but I do wish to avoid a poisoned atmosphere.

I would assume that on a boat, if everyone was fighting it would be worse than in a house where it is easier to leave.

Myself, I am not confrontational. I'm always the guy who specifically makes a point of saying "don't drag me into this" when people are not getting along.

Either way, as they say an ounce of prevention is worth pounds of cure, so if you have any advice as to how such problems could be avoided that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 20-09-2012, 12:46   #7
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

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Sure! But just don't do it!!! Haha

Not to worry, I am anti-violence, have zero temper and am pretty much impossible to provoke. Sadly, some other members of my family do not share my propensity for walking way from conflict.

I kind of thought some basics like;

1: Staterooms are off limits (gives everyone a retreat when they need privacy)

2: Always let someone walk away form an argument

3: Avoid awkward conversations (and let someone change the subject when it appears they find the currnt subject awkward)

4: Be prepared to entertain yourself. The idea behind this is if everybody else just wants to read and you feel like having a conversation, well then too bad......pick up a book.

5: No drama (kind of a general one)
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Old 20-09-2012, 12:51   #8
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

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if you have any advice as to how such problems could be avoided that would be greatly appreciated.
If you have to ask, don't do it. Alternatively, tow something larger than a dingy and give them their own space when they get on your nerves
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Old 20-09-2012, 12:54   #9
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

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If you have to ask, don't do it. Alternatively, tow something larger than a dingy and give them their own space when they get on your nerves

Wish I could

That said, I figure at some point they might wonder why they were never invited and I wouldn't want anyones feelings hurt.

I'm guessing that there has to be a few people on here with less than perfect families who have had to manage some sensitive personality issues..
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Old 20-09-2012, 12:59   #10
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

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You're serious , aren't you?

Other families, especially the generation of me FIRST, might have a different outcome...

What's your families (sic)values?
I think this was a legit question that deserved a serious answer. First of all not every family is perfect. Second, not every person is a boater who would be familiar with boating customs and the fact that there really is no personal space on a boat.

Steve,
I don't think it is at all out of bounds, even if your family is generally considerate, to come up with some basic expectations to make a harmoneous visit. This has been discussed before, so you might try the search function. There is a range of "rules" of course dictated by your concerns and comfort level with the folks coming aboard. It can be simple or more elaborate. That's really up to you. I recall one guy who made folks sign a contract. I think most people would consider this excessive, but I think he was taking on strangers not family for a long trip.

I haven't had to deal with this for an extended visit yet. However, I pulled some basic stuff together from what I found/stole from archives and blogs, plus put my own spin on it. So, I'm ready when we get guests aboard. I don't have it with me, but if you PM me, I'll send it to you.

Scott
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Old 20-09-2012, 13:16   #11
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

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I haven't had to deal with this for an extended visit yet. However, I pulled some basic stuff together from what I found/stole from archives and blogs, plus put my own spin on it. So, I'm ready when we get guests aboard. I don't have it with me, but if you PM me, I'll send it to you.
Scott
Thanks Scott,

I will PM you asap. Again for the most part my family get along, it's just that there is one person who has a habit of being the center of all confrontations, and another who when upset can't seem to let it go and always wants to drag everyone down with them when they feel wronged.

My wife and I for whatever reason never seem to fight, and neither of us ever let's themselves get dragged into other peoples issues, but again it's a boat so the dynamics do change.
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Old 20-09-2012, 14:01   #12
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

The best solution is to limit the time you let relatives or friends visit you on your boat.
If you are uncomfortable with a certain person or persons....stick to short day trips. Most boats are small enough where you can say....we'll take you out for a sail in the afternoon but feel you will probably be much more comfortable spending the night at the hotel. No one is forcing you to allow them to vacation on your boat.....only allow people who keep the peace and who can behave in tight quarters. At least this is my opinion.
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Old 20-09-2012, 14:04   #13
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

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What's your families values?
Well, me father severed links with half the family before I was born. but I did most of the rest meself .

They say you can choose your freinds and not your relatives - that's a lie, you can choose both. and it sure makes Xmas a lot cheaper .

The only relative I would be onboard a boat with for an extended period is me father (his boat or mine) - and in real life we get on very well......but onboard the limit seems to be about 2 days ....we are both as annoying as each other. I have travelled home alone . The first secret is being able to walk away (and for that yer need the shore. and good rail / road / flight connections ) - that's why we can last 2 days ......the second secret is not to invite the f#ckers onboard in the first place .........especially not if you / they are somewhat tiresome ashore anyway - being in a confined space 24/7 ain't going to change that. Trust me!

Of course my family ain't exactly the Waltons .
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Old 20-09-2012, 14:05   #14
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

one option I have used is the power of being captain. I basically step in and either resolve/defuse the situation with respect, or separate them and have a chat, telling them they HAVE to get along!!. And tell them they have to get along as it can become a safety issue. On a boat EVERYONE has to work as a team. Does it always work, hell no!!!!!!!!!!! I have had people stomp off to the front of the boat or go for a dingy ride. But it just can not fester and linger. Being on a boat is just different and land people generally don't understand. But as captain you have to be the leader, counselor, and mediator, their safety, and the boat's safety is your responsibility.
Unfortunately we have had guest only visit once, and some thought I was a dick head, but that's Ok. The biggest rule for us that pisses people off, is that we do not allow intoxicants to be used while under way. And sloppy drunks get on my nerves
But you will learn who you can have on board and who you can't. Remember some of them think you are crazy for living/cruising on a boat anyway. And everybody/cruisers will tell you it is great when guest come, and great when they leave . And the motel on shore really does work. Then they can talk about what an ass you are!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 20-09-2012, 14:11   #15
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Re: Family aboard: Personal space and avoiding conflict

We met a fellow who gained privacy by playing the stereo loud for a specified period each day. Guests could then repair to their cabins for whatever loud lovemaking, fights or complaints they wanted to air.
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