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Old 27-05-2013, 06:19   #1
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Another Dreamer

Good morning all,

As the proud husband and father in a family of four, one of which is a wife that likes room to stretch out... I'm not sure sure we'll ever making to the 'liveaboard/cruising' status, but we're going to give it ago.

We recently started saving for a boat with the hope/plan to acquire a 22-25' trailerable next spring.

The initial plan is to do some day sailing with occasional weekend camping/cruising trips to lakes around us.

The ultimate goal is to step up in boat size as experience/money allows and to hopefully one day cruise the Caribbean.

I grew up on a lake spending every summer on the water on everything from small 12' sailboats to 21' powerboats... some jetskis thrown in for good measure. I look forward to being back on the water.

The wife, on the other hand, grew up with a mom that was afraid of drowning, so she was never allowed to go into water deeper than what she could see her feet in... growing up in Texas means that the water was typically barely knee deep. After 5 years of marriage... we finally got her out to chest deep water last summer.

My background is circuit design and computers, so I've recently been finding the LiFePo chat informative, and of course, I've been reading everything I can get my hands on.

Thank-you to all the knowledgeable people on this board and hopefully we'll see you out there.
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Old 27-05-2013, 06:38   #2
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Re: Another Dreamer

Hi and Welcome,

Sounds like a good plan to gradually try out the sailing thing. First "get your feet wet" in a small way and work up. One concern, is a 22' boat going to be big enough for parents and four kids. I guess for day sails on mild days and as I think about it, I do fine with my 19' ski boat with several kids on board but that's only for a few hours tops and power boats tend to be wider and roomier than sail.

If you had plans to do more than an afternoon sail I would lean toward 25-27'.

Maybe take your wife to the local pool a few times and even get her some swimming lessons. Would improve her comfort level with the water and would be a huge safety factor in case she accidentally ends up in the water. A pool with clear water might be more confidence inspiring for her.
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Old 27-05-2013, 06:45   #3
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Re: Another Dreamer

Sorry for the confusion... only 2 kids. 4 people total... Me, wife, daughter, son.

The wife swims fine. We have a pool and she has no problems in water that she can see the bottom in. We've even been on a few cruises. She even snorkeled with the stingrays, although she kept her mask on and always kept me between her and the fish.

We also used to do a lot of camping, which I hope will carry over to the over-nighters on the boat.

Thank-you for your input.
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Old 27-05-2013, 07:32   #4
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Re: Another Dreamer

Welcome aboard. You got it right. Best thing to do is get the sailboat you can get, and get out on the water. Once, you're on the water, you're not a dreamer, any more.

Over the years, most of us upgrade to bigger boats, and you can get some killer deals on small sailboats right now.
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Old 27-05-2013, 07:41   #5
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Re: Another Dreamer

Best of luck to you. Plenty of boats out there to chose from.

Welcome to CF.
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Old 27-05-2013, 09:59   #6
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Re: Another Dreamer

G'Day Niget, and welcome to CF.

Your plan is entirely workable. Many years ago I had a wife and two smallish kids. Bought a 16 foot daysailor and after a year of adventures, a Catalina 22. Did lots of what you are describing: daysailing, overnight "cruises" on lakes and SF bay, then racing on the Bay, some coastal cruising with trips out from Santa Barbara to the channel islands and even a four week excursion from Port Angeles through the gulf islands to Vancouver and back. It can be done and be fun!

Warning: it is addictive and the addiction is cumulative. I retired early and my current wife and I have been full time cruising for the last 27 years.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 27-05-2013, 10:12   #7
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Re: Another Dreamer

Niget2002,

What a reasonable plan!

If your wife is willing to confront her fear of water she can't see the bottom of, I'd suggest going in the water with her near shore, depth about 3 to 4 feet, and let her experience floating, eyes closed. Gradually increase the depth. She may get to the point where she will trust the water to float her, regardless of color of bottom. What this is, is a form of de-sensitization therapy.

If she feels frightened to go out in the boat, perhaps a lifejacket would help, but personally, I prefer a slow accustoming to the can't-see-bottoms as a preferable solution. The trusting of the water to float her is such a liberating discovery!

Enjoy,

Ann
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Old 27-05-2013, 10:21   #8
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Re: Another Dreamer

Get yourself some scuba equipment and have your wife swim in the pool with it. Have her use it scrubbing the deep diving end. She will love being in the ocean some day when she doesn't have to come up for air or keep the snorkel in the right position. She won't be afraid at all once she can breath under water. That worked for me as I was never a very strong swimmer.
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Old 27-05-2013, 10:26   #9
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Re: Another Dreamer

Quote:
Originally Posted by niget2002 View Post
Good morning all,

As the proud husband and father in a family of four, one of which is a wife that likes room to stretch out... I'm not sure sure we'll ever making to the 'liveaboard/cruising' status, but we're going to give it ago.

We recently started saving for a boat with the hope/plan to acquire a 22-25' trailerable next spring.

The initial plan is to do some day sailing with occasional weekend camping/cruising trips to lakes around us.

The ultimate goal is to step up in boat size as experience/money allows and to hopefully one day cruise the Caribbean.

I grew up on a lake spending every summer on the water on everything from small 12' sailboats to 21' powerboats... some jetskis thrown in for good measure. I look forward to being back on the water.

The wife, on the other hand, grew up with a mom that was afraid of drowning, so she was never allowed to go into water deeper than what she could see her feet in... growing up in Texas means that the water was typically barely knee deep. After 5 years of marriage... we finally got her out to chest deep water last summer.

My background is circuit design and computers, so I've recently been finding the LiFePo chat informative, and of course, I've been reading everything I can get my hands on.

Thank-you to all the knowledgeable people on this board and hopefully we'll see you out there.

I know people like your wife, and I *urge* you to lead her into this gently. She sees your dream and isn't going to shoot it down ahead of time, but when she's on the water I think it could be very difficult for her.

I know someone who imagined that if she fell off my boat (how???) her legs would get tangled in seaweed and she would drown. There is no seaweed in Boca Ciega Bay but she could not be reasoned with. Her husband loves boating but she is just terrified of water.

First, she needs to swim. I would go even further than that, and make sure that she knows that swimming is WONDERFUL. In other words, I think she should learn to scuba dive. Get REALLY comfortable in the water. She can learn to do it in a swimming pool. She should learn to snorkel. If you can't snorkel, you don't feel safe in the water, period.

Then she needs to learn to sail, away from you (your dreams are going to be oozing out of your pores the whole time), and NOT on some little dinghy that can tip over. She needs to feel very SAFE, on the kinds of boats you're talking about sailing. Forget all that "You really know you can sail when you can sail a small boat." Those small boats live for the day your wife will come along so they can throw her into the water. The boat will laugh its ass off and your wife will be convinced that sailing is extremely dangerous. It will be even worse if she is with you, because then she won't feel safe with you at the helm.

Try to get your wife to do these things. If she isn't willing to try, then you have a serious mismatch of beliefs, skill sets, etc. If she's willing to do those things, then she's willing to move over to your beliefs and skill sets IF IT FEELS SAFE.

She can't help how she was raised. It is possible that she can be finessed passed that, but I suspect her heard skips a beat every time you mention this plan, because she doesn't see adventure. She may be seeing a survival experience every time you go out.
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Old 27-05-2013, 11:12   #10
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Re: Another Dreamer

Actually, I don't agree with Rakuflames on this: I think dinghy sailing separate from her spouse would be a good idea, after she learns to trust that she will float. Normally, dinghy sailors are required to wear lifejackets, anyway, some sort of approved flotation device, so probably wouldn't be a problem for her, as well as an inexpensive way to learn to sail. Your body learns stuff, it's your early warning system. In bigger boats, it's a longer process to learn what happens when you (for instance) ease the main.

I do agree that if the lady is up for it, the SCUBA training might be the way to go, but they require (or at least did in the course I took) that you be snorkel proficient beforehand. One of the beginning maneuvers is to snorkel down to the bottom of the pool, retrieve and don your SCUBA gear.

Ann
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Old 27-05-2013, 11:19   #11
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Re: Another Dreamer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Actually, I don't agree with Rakuflames on this: I think dinghy sailing separate from her spouse would be a good idea, after she learns to trust that she will float. Normally, dinghy sailors are required to wear lifejackets, anyway, some sort of approved flotation device, so probably wouldn't be a problem for her, as well as an inexpensive way to learn to sail. Your body learns stuff, it's your early warning system. In bigger boats, it's a longer process to learn what happens when you (for instance) ease the main.

I do agree that if the lady is up for it, the SCUBA training might be the way to go, but they require (or at least did in the course I took) that you be snorkel proficient beforehand. One of the beginning maneuvers is to snorkel down to the bottom of the pool, retrieve and don your SCUBA gear.

Ann

I think the first thing for her is to feel safe, and she isn't going to feel safe in a dinghy that can capsize. She'll also be told things like "be sure to duck for the boom." I've seen people who were very nervous about sailing completely scared away just by being told about those two possibilities. You throw in being uncomfortable in deep water, and i think this is a plan guaranteed to push this man's wife away from his dream.

I've seen it happen. I could name the names. People who are nervous about sailing and water should not start out in dinghies, no matter how "superior" a way it may be to teach sailing generally. This woman needs to learn a lot more than sailing.

I single-hand my boat with no fear, but I won't sail in a little dinghy or sunfish. I don't LIKE being thrown in the water, and I don't like being needlessly brused from hip to shoulders climbing back in. "He who hesitates is tossed" in those boats, and nervous people hesitate about *everything* they do on a sailboat of any kind.
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Old 27-05-2013, 11:34   #12
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Re: Another Dreamer

I would go as big as you can afford, especially with 4 people and a wife that likes to "stretch out". 25-27 ft is alot bigger than 21-23. There are some roomy inexpensive trailerables out there . A Chrysler 26 comes to mind. Yeah... I know... "Chrysler"? you say? These are great boats though. Had a friend who had one. Stiff for a centerboarder, well built and roomy. Maybe a San Juan 26, but the Chrylser's a lot better sailor.
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Old 27-05-2013, 11:36   #13
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Re: Another Dreamer

I think I made her 'fear' of water sound a lot worse than it is.

She's not afraid of water or of drowning... she's more afraid of what she can't see down there (fish nibbling on toes...). She has no problems going out in my Dad's 21' Sea Ray, in fact we'll be going out on Saturday.

She's even tried to water ski before.

She does wear a life jacket when swimming where she can't touch, but that's more because she doesn't like to tread water than anything else. She prefers to float than swim. When floating, she does tend to keep her feet where she can see them

I will agree that she doesn't like the idea of being in a smaller boat. We've discussed that, and that's definitely a 'no'. She is perfectly OK with me taking the kids out in one by myself, but I'm not going to start a hobby that separates my family.

As an aside, she also won't ride on my 883 sportster, whereas we used to cruise all over Texas when I had a larger Softail... so there is something there to do with 'smaller' vehicles not making her feel safe.

She is a bit of a city girl, where I'm a bit more country. This has taught us that there will always be a few compromises we have to make because of this. So far, the only two we have are 1) must have a working outboard to get us home if the wind dies 2) Must have a toilet. I think there's probably a third one centered somewhere squarely on 'access to pintrest', but it hasn't been voiced yet :-D

The 22' Catalina is a nice looking boat, and I've seen a few on Craigslist. I've used those ads to help figure an amount of money to save up to. It also falls within the 3500lb towing capacity of the small SUV we have ( I believe ).

Thanks again for all the information ya'll have provided.
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Old 27-05-2013, 12:18   #14
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Re: Another Dreamer

The Chrysler 26 has a separate head compartment, albeit small. Some others in that size do too. Nothing puts a damper on things like a smelly porta potti under the head of the V berth!
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:48   #15
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Re: Another Dreamer

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here. I don't like muddy water either but a good stable boat will keep you out of it. Some places here you can see the bottom 80 feet down but near a river mouth you can't see a foot deep. Get the easiest to trailer heaviest boat you can find. For example a Catalina 25 is easily trailerable and moderately heavy and pretty stable in the water. Good for weekend camping for you and crew.
kind regards,
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