Originally Posted by dandrews
Perhaps reading "Changing Course: A Woman's Guide to Choosing the Cruising Life" by Debra Candrell. I read this and learned a lot about a woman's perspective that play into cruising and boating
I can't believe this thread made it to #19 before someone mentioned this book. I bought it for my wife for Christmas
, but read it myself first. Don't whisper the words "boat, sailing, cruising," heck, don't even think them in the vicinity of your wife until you read it cover to cover. Twice.
I also got a bit lucky in that I talked her into taking sailing lessons
, the ASA
101 and 103 (104 this fall) and the instructor was a cruiser in between gigs. He and his wife pretty much sold the lifestyle, warts and all. She went from absolutely opposed to wanting to move up the timeline. It also got her into wanting to sail the boat as opposed to just ride on it. A few amazing experiences out at the islands didn't hurt, either...
Another thing I discovered is to start small. I initially went in with the "let's just bail the rat race
and cruise" idea. Not my brightest idea. After that I went underground, and didn't even breathe the word cruising for at least six months, and instead focussed on day sailing
and enjoying the boat. The first set of lessons were key, as was my not being anywhere near the water
during them. I took her to look at some nicer boats, and she found that she really liked the Beneteau
style. In fact, on a 45 footer she actually said, "this is the first boat I could see myself cruising on." We did some overnighting, and even had a pretty hairy channel crossing when the forecast
didn't quite match reality
. Baby steps. Then the ASA
103 course where she realized she was not only capable of running a boat, but that she was good at it. The instructor was the one to set the hook.
I should also mention that I changed my own goals as well. Rather than set up for a reverse Cortez style land-tie burning, I've come to terms with a more realistic progression. Rather than ditch everything immediately, we're going to try and do a 1 month, then a whole summer, and then a 15 month cruise
over a period of years. If that is successful, then we'll entertain the idea of a long term lifestyle adjustment. I guess you would call it a compromise
rather than complete surrender on my part.
Looking back on it, I was pretty stupid. I don't like large crowds, and amusement parks are definitely not my thing. I go to them because my wife likes them. My wife's previous boating experiences had all been listening to my mom gripe about how expensive my dad's boat projects all were, along with a few stories of crisis on the high seas (because let's face it, those make better stories than the "we had a great two weeks harbor hopping this trip"). So what if she came to me and said, "Honey, I'd like us to sell everything we have, give up all our friends, buy a beater 1968 VW bus, and spend the rest of our lives road tripping to various amusement parks. Oh, and let's take our kid out of school
and take him with. Oh, and during the trips in between the parks we can't get out of the bus, and we can't stop for the night, we'll just take turns driving for weeks at a time." Yeah, I can see the initial reluctance on her part.
As a wiser man than I once said, "Let me explain. No, that would take too long. Let me sum up..."
Get "Changing Course" and read it, then give it to your wife. Get a boat and start slow. Build her confidence, give her lessons as a gift, and stay the hell away when she's taking them. Honestly re-examine your own priorities, and be willing to compromise. If you want her to sail, you may have to ride a few roller coasters...