Hard to assess what is going on here. Frankly I don't like the helm either and only hand steer for coming to a dock
, getting off a dock
and when there is absolutely wonderful or extremely challenging conditions. The rest of the time I use the auto pilot and spend my time with trim, watch keeping and a bit of navigation
However, I DO know how my boat handles... especially under power (without sails) which is when it is critical to have control of the boat. Winds and current
can make boat handling in close quarters challenging. But all the above depends on the boat - how big. A J24 and a Hallberg Rassy
45 are very different beasts to helm.
My wife doesn't drive or care to do sailing "things" because it does nothing for her. She helps out in ways she can - watch keeping, cleaning
and most of all good company. She does enjoy being out there and cruising to a new place. I also defer to her judgment about whether to sail because of weather
. I have sailed thousands of miles for more than 2 decades so being more or a fair weather
sailor to make her comfortable is fine with me. It's a sweet price
But she also stays at home many weekends and I am free to sail or not, singlehanded or with friends, fair weather or foul. ''
There is no competition between us concerning the boat. Yes, I would like her to be more competent in boat handling and operation, but I don't push her because she will only do something which she wants to do. End of story. So effectively, even with her on board I singlehand.
I, on the otherhand have a need to feel confident and somewhat in control of the environment
I am in so learn what I can to further that. When I am around competent people I can relax and let them take control. That's nice too.
My philosophy about boating
is that you need to be completely self sufficient with your boat or else you are dependant on others to use it. If you can't run it completely yourself, it's hardly "yours". And in that situation you need to find others who can do what you need done... helm, trim, navigate, bleed the fuel
system.... The key to my enjoyment is the freedom that can be had from being able to manage a "large" yacht that can take you anywhere... alone, any time, under any conditions.