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Old 28-10-2008, 08:13   #16
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Yeah, why do they do that in the military? builds character, right? not for me.
Yelling by drill sergeants is part of a training purpose to simulate a high stress environment in which soldiers must learn to operate. This is done to help soldiers develop skills to operate as a team under the intense stresses of combat. Outside of basic training, training is much more professional.

The difference is that military yelling isn't(shouldn't be) taken personally. Unlike with couples sailing, it isn't as emotionally driven and doesn't have the potential to stem from other pre-existing, underlying issues.
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:40   #17
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Turn to the left, and you get less degrees on the compass.....kind of like righty tighty written on the cover of the manual in the glove box to her van. So she can remember how to get the flat off.....
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Old 28-10-2008, 16:51   #18
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Turn to the left, and you get less degrees on the compass.....kind of like righty tighty written on the cover of the manual in the glove box to her van. So she can remember how to get the flat off.....

Your wife will change a flat tire??????????????????

Don't let go of that one!
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Old 28-10-2008, 17:18   #19
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We sail a 44' LOA, 20,000 lb, former racing yacht that, when racing, is normally served by a crew of 7. My wife is a 53 year old lady that stands 4'11" (tho' she claims 5') and weighs in at a whopping 110# soaking wet (tho' she claims 105). She suffers from moderate arthritis in her hands and fingers that, together with her size, gives her virtually zero ability to handle lines on our yacht save with our "Electric Winch Handle" when we are not heavily burdened. Accordingly, it would be silly of me to expect her do anything but steer, which she has learned to do very well. (She is the only woman in our 650+ member yacht club that is capable of docking a yacht, of ANY size, and upon doing so--in a very tight and congested yacht harbor--is often complimented by envious male on-lookers, much to the chagrin of other wives/girlfriends.)

She learned her skills by first standing in front of me with her hands on the wheel while I steered and then, gradually, became accustomed to handling the wheel for a moment at a time while I went forward to tend a line or some such. With that, over a period of weeks, I just extended the length of time before I returned to the helm. During the course of the foregoing she learned a few tricks that have served her--and us--well.

Firstly, that standing directly behind the wheel isn't necessary. On our boat the deck on either side of the helm is canted upward at an angle of 20*. By standing on either side of the helm while the yacht is heeling, she's standing "upright" and not fighting to maintain her balance as well as "drive".

Secondly, she's learned not to "chase the compass". The yacht moves with the seas and swings, rhythmically, to either side of a course. With the sails properly trimmed--my job--it takes very little effort and only slight movement of the helm to maintain a reasonably steady course.

Next she's learned the idea of sailing "full and by"--with the sails "full" and steering "by" the wind. If a wind shift is more than a momentary oscillation, we re-trim the sails for our intended course, and she watches the tell-tales.

Lastly, there is no yelling aboard the yacht. Nothing is so critical as remaining calm and rarely is anything so important that yelling unintelligible commands is necessary or useful. I must admit that, harking back to my service daze, I have been known to utter such things as "come right to two-six-zero" or some such, in response to which NOTHING HAPPENS--until I add a "please" (or sometimes, "PLEASE come right to two-six-zero-------I BEG YOU)!" upon which the helm is brought up smartly, and with a smile.

Learning to dock the yacht was the most difficult. We began with the idea that if one isn't bored while approaching a dock or mooring, one is going too fast. We also used, and continue to use, wireless headsets that allow her to hear me speaking in a normal tone of voice from the bow or wherever I need be to handle lines, ground tackle or what have you. With only a modest bit of coaching she did, and continues to do, quite well. (Although the very first time I had to ask her to take the wheel for a moment and then I simply refused to come back to the helm. "You will either steer this yacht into our slip by doing as I ask or you will pile her up on the sea-wall, the choice is yours." We landed quite nicely, thank you.)

At this juncture my wife is probably a better "helms person" than I in some respects as she has a good feel for the yacht and the "groove". It took awhile but with patience, and no yelling, its been accomplished without undue distress or difficulty and she has developed her confidence.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 28-10-2008, 17:37   #20
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She suffers from moderate arthritis in her hands and fingers that, together with her size, gives her virtually zero ability to handle lines on our yacht save with our "Electric Winch Handle" when we are not heavily burdened.

s/v HyLyte
You have one of those?

They do work don't they?
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Old 28-10-2008, 22:36   #21
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My wife has the same issues with reading the wind and rightly so she has sailed twice now...I see a need in mine for sure and possibly your wifes growth for us to just go out and act like a dingy for a day.

By that I mean..pick a day with 8 to 10 kts of steady wind and let her hunt on her own for sailing angles...let her pinch up to high and luff everything and fall back off or higher yet even and back wind the gib and stall us and then get back out of it...with ether calling for a tack or let her jibe her way out.
Things like finding out how far she can be off the wind befor pushing the accidental jibe threshold induced by the rolling motion of the boat or slight wind shift... all thoes things dingy sailing teaches you.


Granted not as spirited at a dingy and the feed back is slower in thoes conditions on a big boat but we/you already have the boat might as well use it as a teaching tool right.
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Old 28-10-2008, 22:55   #22
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I couldn't help notice that the original poster was asking for advice from ladies. Of course he received 21 answers from men. I often wonder why is it that women don't feel the connection to boats, water and sailing that men do?

If they did, we'd have some ladies actually responding to his request.

Incidently, Don Lucas you're a lucky guy to get her involved in sailing to begin with. Take whatever participation you can from her and hope for the best.
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Old 28-10-2008, 23:44   #23
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Hmmmm I responded and my husband considers me a lady. Could it be that you are not interested in what the ladies have to say?
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Old 29-10-2008, 05:05   #24
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oops.. apologies to Mrs Pitts
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Old 29-10-2008, 05:13   #25
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"Cindy
(Schoonerdog's wife who steals his account sometimes)"

Cindy responded early on. But still that's only two. Maybe it's a case of the female sailors not spending as much time BS-ing on Internet forums...
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Old 29-10-2008, 06:13   #26
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Your wife will change a flat tire??????????????????

Don't let go of that one!
When she learned to drive. I told her she could have the van on 2 conditions. She can check the oil, and change a flat. I gave her the van for 1 week, and then she had to show me she could do these 2 things, or no ride.
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Old 29-10-2008, 07:13   #27
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Thanks for the resonses by everyone. Overall I consider this one of the better threads I have been in/read because it stayed on track and no one seemed to go negative and start any attacks. I do still hope for more input from the ladies and this may be a classic "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" thing of our different way of thinking (for those of you that read the book etc). Being a man of course I want "fix" the "problem" and women don't always look at it the same way. I now believe I know the problem because my wife admitted what it was (though since I asked/phased the question she answered it isn't 100% we heard the same thing). One thing I know wouldn't work is the "you will steer this boat or else" as I tried a version of this once and tears started and I quickly changed methods (I took the helm). I also now realize that to her being within 100 yards of something is too close so maybe I just change when she is on the helm. So next year we go out into the wide open sea and just sail with the wind etc till she gets the feel of it. Last thing I'm going to do is risk doing something that stops her from wanting to sail (we already have the rule that we do the most conservative/safe thing either person says) .

PS - both my wife and I are ex-Navy nuclear plant trained people who believe that you have to know the systems etc to be a qualified operator. But that doesn't mean everyone has to be able to "do" everything, just that they know the total picture overall.
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Old 30-10-2008, 16:03   #28
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Advice from a woman: we got our first sailboat in our middle to late forties. None of us knew anything before. So, as in 99% of cases, my husband was the one steering, docking and undocking. I was "The Jumper". Until one day when he landed again three feet from the dock but the slip on the other side was empty, I refused to jump out of fear that I might go in the water. When you "abort" a landing all your "friends" make wisecracks for a week. So, we decided that I need to learn how to drive the boat (btw, women prefer the term "drive" over "steer", it is less scary) as the men on the dock won't be critical of me, since I am a woman and it's somewhat expected that we can't dock a boat. So next time we went out I took the wheel where I could not hit anyone and drove (under power, with no sails up) towards and around the sailing buoys of the yacht club. I tried to get as close to it as possible, then to turn around it, then to stop right next to it and so on.

Now, after three years, we have completed a nine months cruise from Toronto to Miami, I drove the boat in an out all the locks between Oswego and Waterford, all harbours and inlets (including New York, Norfolk, VA, Beaufort, NC, St. Augustine, FL, Lake Worth, FL, Miami, FL), docked and undocked in all wind and tide conditions and there is not a scratch on the boat or ourselves.

Since you said you were encouraging and did not yell, I must ask: did you use to yell in the past? Did you ever treat her like her place should be in the kitchen? She needs to know that no matter what you won't be critical.

Also, is the boat paid in full and is it insured? A boat with a lien on it or uninsured makes us nervous as we are afraid we may do something that would damage her.

In short, let her learn at her own pace, somewhere safe, under power only. Do NOT tell her what to do or what she should have done. Keep your mouth shut and let her figure it out by herself.

You'll be glad you did.
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Old 30-10-2008, 16:16   #29
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Advice from a woman: I must ask: did you use to yell in the past? Did you ever treat her like her place should be in the kitchen? She needs to know that no matter what you won't be critical.

You'll be glad you did.
Gosh I hate to be knowen so well by someone whom I'v never met..
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Old 30-10-2008, 17:31   #30
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Keep your mouth shut...
Hear, hear!
The key to a happy and long marriage...
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