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Old 30-05-2011, 18:39   #16
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

Luckily my wife and I have a long history of adventure and traveling. She's use to roughing it and now that I want to start sailing again, she is right on board. If anything... her concerns were about our young son... but there is plenty of info out there from other families doing it and she's come around.

Good luck!
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Old 30-05-2011, 19:03   #17
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

Planning a trip the family will enjoy looks little like a trip I would take alone, with a friend, or just the wife. Trips that the family will enjoy take lots of planning, particularly if you're trying to sell the lifestyle. Only optimal conditions from here on out, not too hot, not too cold, not too windy. Sail the boat to the chesapeake and take the kids and wife to Busch Gardens. Get a room, or make sure you have lots of fans or AC in your boat. Go to Beaufort/Morehead/Cape Lookout and you get shops, Ice cream, maritime museum (AC), plus a nice ocean sail out to Cape Lookout, with shelling ,swimming, walking, etc. Learn how to singlehand your boat and only have family participate to the level they want. Make sure you have a shower for everybody when you're out cruising, if a small boat, get sun showers. Make sure the head works flawlessly, probably the most important equipment on the boat. Anyway, some things that have kept my crowd coming back. Good luck, and thanks for your service!
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Old 30-05-2011, 19:10   #18
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Wow...thanks for all the comments, so I gather from all this that I have to sell the kids and divorce the wife...hmmm...anyway...Im kind of a fanatic, I think it will be better with a bigger boat...hell, the kids will be somewhat self sufficient then too so maybe waiting is the best strategy.
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Old 30-05-2011, 20:13   #19
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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.
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Old 30-05-2011, 20:14   #20
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

Just go. She may follow. She may not. Work it out later. I think if you love each other it will work out just fine. And if you don't, it will work out fine too. Many couples are out doing their own thing.
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Old 30-05-2011, 20:26   #21
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

I solved the issue by taking my partner out on a Catamaran. Problem solved. She (we) will never go back to a mono now. Now I just have to work out how to pay for the Cat. She now finds monos to be claustraphobic.
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Old 30-05-2011, 20:36   #22
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

Take them on a FUN vacation to the BVI or somewhere you charter a bigger boat & show them a bit of the lifestyle. If it's really windy, find something else to do, don't force them to sail to the next island and scare them - go for a hike or even go shopping.

We own an 18 footer and a 37 footer.... the 37 footer is the cruising boat. I would never have assumed I'd like cruising from sailing on the 18 footer ... it's a one design race boat and there is NO similarity.

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Old 30-05-2011, 20:38   #23
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

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I solved the issue by taking my partner out on a Catamaran. Problem solved. She (we) will never go back to a mono now. Now I just have to work out how to pay for the Cat. She now finds monos to be claustraphobic.
Please....don't stir up the hornets nest.

Just kidding
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Old 30-05-2011, 20:41   #24
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

You definitely need a bigger boat. Kids get bored in the cockpit in five minutes and uncomfortable in 30. They need a place to play out of the weather. Your wife would probably enjoy having a new place to arrange & decorate if she doesn't like adventure. If you get a bigger boat and keep it in a really nice slip you can use it like a weekend condo at the beach for awhile and make it really fun for them. Make every trip to the boat a vacation for awhile and concentrate on the vacation, not the boat. Make it like a trip to Disneyland. After a few trips, take the boat out but don't even raise the sails and make sure it's warm & flat out there. After a few times like that, pull the jib out when you're going down wind sometimes. Don't even start beating into the wind, not at all yet. Let them tell you how quiet it is with the engine off and the sail out. Don't teach them anything about the boat yet except for normal safety items. Don't tell them the names of things and please leave the main wrapped around the boom for now. Later, when they want to sail faster you can use the main but for now don't make them worry about the boom coming across and taking someone's head off.
This is foreplay. You have to make them want more, not force something on them.
For now, pay somebody else to clean the boat, don't even let your family help.
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Old 30-05-2011, 21:13   #25
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I think the kids are just feeding off of their mom...I've taken them on trips out in the bays and they enjoy it...son likes the scenery and daughter enjoys more chop. I think its just going to have to be a bigger boat...the only problem is my wife has expensive tastes...to the tune of a Shannon or any other boat I'd have to win the lottery to buy! That will be the key...patience and a bigger boat.
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Old 30-05-2011, 21:51   #26
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

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Originally Posted by dandrews View Post
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...

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Old 30-05-2011, 22:25   #27
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

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Please....don't stir up the hornets nest.

Just kidding
A good tri is a cat and a half when it comes to sailing ability, but only two thirds of a mono when it comes to interior space!
Don't ask why I know.
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Old 30-05-2011, 22:47   #28
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

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How do I convince my wife and kids that sailing is fun? I love to sail and I dream of extended cruising...my wife hates it...help me someone!
Sign her up for a class if she is willing. In my experience that does help. She can learn in a lower stress environment.
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Old 30-05-2011, 22:49   #29
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

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My ex-wife hated sailing also.
Sums it up perfectly.
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Old 30-05-2011, 23:25   #30
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

This may not be the best first book for your wife to read but it's a VERY well done book.


Empty Nest to Life Vest - Plotting a New Course" by Christie Gorsline was a marvelous read.
The extreme ups and downs of life aboard a 37-foot cutter rigged sail boat were described in such vivid detail, I almost felt like I was there. Sometimes Christie and her husband, Rick, were in fear for their lives and sometimes the beauty and intrigue of the ocean had them elated. With two daughters in college, they contrived a plan to sail around the world. The first hurdle was to buy a boat. And that is where the adventure begins.
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