(Here are some thoughts from a guy who married a non-sailor and 25 years later she still likes to go out on our boat.)
1. Be kind to your wife especially when you're out on the boat. Since it's supposed to be fun, and since it's an uncertain thing for her, you must work to make it pleasant. Two little walkie talkies with strings to hang them on your necks will permit
you to talk to her from bow to stern so you NEVER have to yell at her. Sound like a Air Force pilot when you talk to her - cool, confident and unafraid (no matter how you feel). She needs you to exude confidence. A rum
drink at sundown will also probably help - especially if it has an umbrella in it. Then you can laugh together about the screwups.
2. Buy a used boat
and hold off on the toys until you have enough experience to know what you and she will consider essential. She absolutely must feel comforted that you don't intend her to be destitute when she reaches retirement
age. (By the way, an autopilot
will become essential very quickly.) Show her you can control yourself at West Marine
and you don't intend to dump money
at every itch.
3. Look at used catamarans. After passing through 4 monohulls together, we finally ended up with an older Gemini
3200, and she is ecstatic about it. (Of course it's considered a coastal boat, but the Florida Keys
can be pretty sweet for a goodly number of years.) It doesn't heel. It has a full-size queen berth - none of this vee berth footsie stuff. It has plenty of room in the main saloon
. It has an expansive foredeck to camp out on with your sundowners. She's crazy about it (as am I). There happens to be a Gemini
34 named Reflections over at Herrington Harbor. It looked nice when it was for sale
three of four years ago. I don't think it sold (since it has the same name and is now looking very rundown). The office'll probably give you the name of the owner if you want to call him about it.
Enjoy your sailing life together!
Tiki Cat Gemini 3200 #374