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Old 24-01-2013, 10:23   #1
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Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

Hi,

I posted this on the general forum, but wanted to specifically ask for input from women, so I'm reposting this question here...

I've been sailing boats for 40 years, from dinghies to 42-footers, from Lasers to cruising cats. I just plain love sailing and being on the water. My fiancee is a great sport, but highly prone to motion sickness. Our sailing range is Southern California and Mexico.

My current boat is a large sail cat, and is one of the more sea kindly cats I've sailed. The motion just doesn't work for her, though. Plus, both my kids and hers have left the nest. What we're realistically doing is daysailing as a couple with guests sometimes but not always, plus at best one annual coastal cruise vacation the two of us.

I'm game to buy any boat that will help her enjoy sailing. Old or new, mono or cat, 20-40' long, $50K fixer-upper or $250K gem, doesn't matter. It has to be fun to daysail, support short coastal hopping, but above all it has to have a smooth ride that makes my sweetheart comfortable.

My question to you folks is: what boats would you recommend?
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Old 24-01-2013, 10:31   #2
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

there is no magic boat for curing seasickness.
there are cures for most kinds of seasicknes, except the anomalies in some souls' ears.
sail many boats with her and see how she handles it. good luck.
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Old 24-01-2013, 11:03   #3
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

What she said.

A lot of people will tell you that no one ever gets sick on catamarans. Like your fiancee, though, there's something about the motion of a catamaran that gets to me. I get seasick more often, and worse, on catamarans than I ever do on monohulls.

Each person is affected by seasickness in their own way, and because of their specific sensitivity to motion. There is no single boat, nor any single remedy, that will work for "most" people. You just have to try different things until you find what works for you.
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Old 02-04-2013, 20:46   #4
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

RTN,

I think we need to hear more about your fiancee's seasickness.
1) how severe is it? does she just feel queasy? does she throw up? does she quit vomiting, or go on through dry heaves?
2) what medications has she tried?
3) what conditions bring it on? [for me, it's jerky motion; long, slow rolls don't bother me, but I was once seasick (queasiness and shakes) for 17 days in a row]

If her seasickness is a problem for her (I'm not being hard-hearted; some people just throw up and it's not a big deal to them), here are two suggestions:

1) Medicate (especially if she gets violently seasick, dehydration becomes an issue, too)...I used "Marezine" & "Bonine" (meclizine HCl) in the States, and it helped, but what really works for me is Stugeron, cinnarizine HCl, which has been discussed elsewhere on CF.

2) If she likes a psychological approach, she could work with an affirmation: "I, [her name], am learning to handle the motion better each time we sail." To be effective, this should be repeated 7 times, 3 times per day. It will take a while, but, oddly, should help. Be warned, though, there are some people who never quit being seasick.

I'll stop here. I remember you asked what boat you should buy to make her life better. There may not be one. Therefore replacing your boat may not solve the problem, and is a fairly drastic (IMO) solution.

Good luck with it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 21:02   #5
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

As Anne has suggested Stugeron is about the best there is. I've never met a person that Stugeron didn't work for (but I'm sure they are out there) start taking it a day or two before leaving and she should be good to go.
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Old 02-04-2013, 21:53   #6
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

Try to spend a night at anchor if you can as well. I find it's a lot easier to go bouncing around in the ocean after you spend a night on the hook with a bit of roll. Going straight from the mill pond of a marina to the open ocean swells can be rough.

I'm not a fan of stugeron, nor are several people I know. Bonine has always worked great for me and I usually pop one if I haven't been at sea in a while or am otherwise being cautious. After a few days moving around, or just being on the hook, I'm fine.
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Old 02-04-2013, 22:28   #7
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

Has anyone around here tried the anti-seasick goggles? They have little clear plastic tubes containing a fluid that provides a kind of artificial horizon.
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Old 02-04-2013, 22:44   #8
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

"Has anyone around here tried the anti-seasick goggles? They have little clear plastic tubes containing a fluid that provides a kind of artificial horizon."

Nope, haven't tried that, but standing at the wheel, keeping your eyes on the far horizon, and working at steering the boat has helped me. Needs the activity to distract me from feeling queasy. Also relaxing your torso and stomach help. I found that clenching my tummy muscles increases the likelihood of throwing up. FWIW I'm a Stugeron supporter, it works for me without the side effects of the ear patches.
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Old 02-04-2013, 23:07   #9
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

Anti seasickness glasses are available at Force 4 Chandlery | Boat Parts, Marine Electronics & Sailing Clothing store or www.lifejackets. co.uk
Not cheap, 45.
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Old 02-04-2013, 23:31   #10
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

Is this while she is maintaining eye contact with the horizon (the real horizon). Keep her outside to start. Then after that be careful of what she puts in her stomach. Good Luck !!
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Old 03-04-2013, 13:08   #11
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I've talked to someone who does just the opposite. She goes to a quiet spot & just watches waves before getting on the boat & then stays out on deck & watches the water-to allow her body to understand the reason for the motion. This helps her not get sea sick once on the boat. She says seasickness is your body thinking the equilibrium imbalance is from a toxin-so it makes you nauseated to remove the toxin from the body. I don't get sea sick & have never heard from anyone else who has tried this method. It sounds interesting in theory.
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Old 06-04-2013, 00:18   #12
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I wonder if it might be a difference for her, when she actually steers the boat, and sees the waves coming and understands better, which move the boat will make.
That would be an advance to looking at the horizon, where she also notice that when the boat goes down, it comes up again.
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Old 06-04-2013, 00:39   #13
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

Absolutely agree it would be better to have her steer.
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Old 06-04-2013, 00:49   #14
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

Hi, again, guys,

I saw an article, [B]a long time ago[B], written for airplane pilots about motion sickness, and it was most helpful in conceptualizing about mal de mer. I'll try to re-cap, and apologize for the simplicity, 'cause it's more complicated than my understanding, but when the boat bounces, one's semi-circular canals in the inner ears, slosh. When the sloshing is not in tune with the visual environment, seasickness results. The trip with focusing on the horizon, helps keep your head stable, or move slightly, and stabilizes the semi-circular canals, minimize the sloshing. That's why letting your mid-body sway a little and keeping your ears parallel to the horizon during downwind sailing helps make seasickness go away, as well as giving yourself something else to think about [steering the boat].

I think what Camperfan might have been getting at may also be that fear enhances seasickness. He's correct. So do cold, and fatigue.

As I wrote earlier, the OP was asking for a boat that would prevent seasickness. And as Zeehag wrote, there ain't no one of those. So far, we've not heard back from the OP.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:52   #15
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Re: Satisfying sailing for seasick spouses

No we haven't heard back from the OP LOL, but this topic is useful for many.

I remember back in uni days demonstrating the effect of conflicting info from the ears' vestibular systems and the eyes, by spinning someone around on a directors chair while blindfolded, then rapidly stopping the chair, holding the person (they tend to topple otherwise) and their head still and whipping off the blindfold. Few people could avoid throwing up .

So minimising the amount of dissimilar information helps tremendously.

As several people have suggested, looking at the horizon is effective, particularly outside where it covers a greater visual area (and you are getting some fresh air at the same time). Less potential mess too if you throw up .

If you have be down below, find a comfy spot with the least motion (eg lying with your head close to the keel and low. Closing the eyes help (obviously sleep is even better if possible), as no visual information is better than conflicting visual info.

Some people report chewing helps (eg gum).
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