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Old 30-05-2011, 11:38   #1
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Bummed-Out Sailor

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!
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Old 30-05-2011, 11:50   #2
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Re: Bummed out sailor

You have to find ways of making the experience fun for them and not necessarily fun for you. After they get hooked, then you can make them miserable. Just kidding. But I think that is the way of going about it.

Many first time sailors get bruised, cold, bored, don't know what the hell is going on and the skipper turns into Captain Bligh who starts with the yelling. It is no wonder many newbies "discover" that they hate sailing. I am surmising that this did not happen to you but that their first experience was less than a great time out on the water.

You will need to learn how to show them a great time for at least a few times out so they learn to love to sail. Get them steering the boat and doing things related to the operation of the boat as soon as possible and get them understanding how a boat sails so they have something to think about, challenge them and relate to. Make them a participant and not a passenger. Make one skipper for a day or skipper for a few hours. Let them feel what it's like to take charge of a boat.
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Old 30-05-2011, 11:55   #3
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Re: Bummed out sailor

Put yourself in their shoes. Think of something you hate to do, like maybe gardening or something. What if it became your wife's great passion and she wanted you to garden with her for "extended periods". What type of things would make it more fun or interesting for you?

People have different passions and trying to force your own on someone else is often times a recipe for disaster. I've always found that letting someone "discover" what they like is better.

Instead of thinking of it as trying to get her into sailing, just be into sailing yourself. Take ALL the pressure off of her. Don't expect or encourage her to like it. Don't begrudge her discontent of it. But if she does happen to come sailing with you sometimes, make it fantastic for her without letting her know what you're doing.

For instance, if an upcoming Father's day is great weather, suggest a sail and BBQ. Bring her to a beach if she likes beaches or a swim if she likes swimming. Don't make it about sailing. Make it about other things she loves while you just happen to be sailing. Don't expect her to like it. Thank her for indulging you. Make her understand her being with you makes YOU happy. Repeat this process. Clean up as much as you can, do as much as you can but most of all don't press her.

If she will love sailing, your passion, your happiness, and your quiet and unannounced attempts to let her do what she loves while sailing will let her fall in love with sailing. Often times that is the compromise of passions.

Just my .02. Good luck!
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Old 30-05-2011, 11:57   #4
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Re: Bummed out sailor

Why don't you ask your wife what she dreams about, and try that for 5 years first.
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Old 30-05-2011, 12:21   #5
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Re: Bummed out sailor

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Originally Posted by jjohnsonmarine View Post
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!
What are the objections, specifically?

Sometimes, all that's needed is open communication and patience. When I told my wife (my new girlfriend, at the time) that I wanted to cruise, I heard all of the common arguments - "it's not safe", "you/we need a house, not a boat", "I/we can't be away that long", "it's not normal", etc. It took years of slowly exposing her to different aspects of sailing and cruising - buying a small boat for day sails, attending a boat show occasionally, sailing lessons, chartering. At the end of the day, it was just a matter of demonstrating what is real to dispel what is imagined or assumed and overcoming fear of something new and different. Also, in my case, I was able to show that my wife didn't have to give up her wants, dreams, or desires in order to cruise.

Now, my wife is more anxious to cruise than I am. I think I prefer staying land-based until our daughter graduates high school. She'd rather home school from the boat.
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Old 30-05-2011, 12:30   #6
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Re: Bummed out sailor

Luckily we are both into sailing but if I hadnít had a back ground in camping and being able to make the best out of any situation then sailing might have been too uncomfortable. People who donít like camping canít seem to adjust to living without the comforts of a hotel, some kids canít get along without phones, internet, T.V, and games. If you can make the trips short and fun it may help.
Do they like water sports? Would they like snorkeling or diving, maybe making friends with other boaters who have kids the same age would help.
Sometimes our S.O.ís never get into our passion, itís sad but the up side is if they donít want to go with you, you can enjoy yourself without worrying about them having a good time. Have fun make friends and hopefully they will support you even if they never get into it.
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Old 30-05-2011, 13:45   #7
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Re: Bummed out sailor

take the kids by an adoption agency and give them a choice ???
have fum
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Old 30-05-2011, 13:53   #8
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Re: Bummed out sailor

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take the kids by an adoption agency and give them a choice ???
have fum
You Texans are sure hard on your critters!
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Old 30-05-2011, 14:02   #9
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Re: Bummed out sailor

It makes them think twice about sassing back
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Old 30-05-2011, 15:05   #10
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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!
Did you recently discover sailing or have you loved it for a long time? Did you talk about sailing before you were married?
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Old 30-05-2011, 15:16   #11
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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!
You need to get her out on a bigger boat with all the girly gear to see if that changes her outlook.
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Old 30-05-2011, 15:21   #12
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

Doh. Did you take her out in a storm before she was used to it?

Try to think outside the box here...
Does she like cooking and cleaning? Choose a balmy afternoon to have a dinner cruise for a few friends...
Does she like fancy resorts? Are there any near you? Cruise to one for a romantic short break...
Does she like spending money? Take her to a boatshow...
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Old 30-05-2011, 15:30   #13
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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!
LOL....I have the same problem.....I go solo.
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Old 30-05-2011, 17:01   #14
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

My ex-wife hated sailing also.
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Old 30-05-2011, 17:40   #15
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Re: Bummed Out Sailor

For getting the wife involved there are heaps of great tips in Lin and Larry Pardey’s “The Self-sufficient Sailor”. A lot of the book is about overcoming fear and successfully cruising as a couple. The ladies should find it as inspiring a read as the men, http://www.landlpardey.com/self-sufficient-sailor.html

For the kids L Francis Herreshoff’s “The Compleat Cruiser” is full of wisdom.

The real point for me is to take it easy and make things simple and fun. My daughter has luckily taken to the boat like a duck to water. Then if the wife does not want to go you might just have to learn to enjoy the space?
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