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Old 20-08-2010, 15:13   #31
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I have a possible reason your wife might be having concerns. Remember, I don't know her or her mind or your exact situation. I just know I felt compelled to register and share this with you in case she has a similar problem. Bare with me...

A few weeks ago my husband expressed his desire to buy a 'real' boat (right now we have a 22' pontoon for use on the river) after he retires and cruise the ICW and possibly the Carib. I thought about it and did my research. I lurked here for the last few weeks reading many many many threads, looked at several websites and blogs and looked at lots of boats for sale online to get a grip on what it was all about and to imagine myself in that situation. I started thinking we should buy the boat a few years before he retires so we are very familiar with it, etc. I was getting pretty psyched for it. Actually, I was VERY excited about the idea. Woohoo, this'll be fun!

Then, a few days ago he tells me he thinks the right boat for us is a catamaran. Okay, so I start focusing on those online. After some little research, my enthusiasm hit rock bottom! In fact, I started to not want to go at all!

What?! Why?! You may be asking. Now, don't laugh at me! I know that what I'm about to say may sound (and may actually be) irrational, but, well, there it is. Unless we get a very large catamaran, you will not be able to walk around both sides of the bed.

See? Sort of crazy, huh? I had been looking at trawlers with island queen beds. That I could live with. Making them, getting up in the night without rolling over the other, etc. And especially not being boxed in on both sides.

Obviously, there's a whole lot more involved in cruising than the bed. But, for me, this has put a damper on the whole project.

Carsten, I may be way off the mark. But, is it possible that your wife won't tell you that it's something so minor and sort of petty? Maybe she's afraid of saying it out loud? Or maybe she can't even put her finger on it? Maybe she enjoyed the day trip or weekend trips, but the thought of living on the new boat for any length of time just doesn't sit right with her?

Luckily for me, we've got a few years to work on it and look for a boat that fits the bill for both of us.

But, if you've already got the boat and she feels stuck with it she may take awhile to readjust.

Hope this helps even just a little. Good luck and I look forward to reading of your progress next year!
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Old 20-08-2010, 15:40   #32
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River Rat,

A bed accessible from both sides was VERY high on my wife's list.

Climbing over one another, especially as we age and have to pee more frequently (go on snicker you youngens!) is problematic.

You are not alone.

We now have a 44' cc aft cabin.
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Old 20-08-2010, 16:11   #33
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Beds and criteria

This is some serious thread drift, but I wanted to say that bed criteria are not a new thing in the how to get your favorite female (chick of choice?) onto the boat. And, while centerline beds are way out of the budget for many of us, it is hardly the only issue. My girl insisted: no pooping under the bed (i.e., no porta potty boats -- which are frequently under the vee berth). That put an end to my fleeting interest in micro-cruisers. I can't thank her enough!
-M
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Old 22-08-2010, 15:02   #34
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Hi Carsten,

This is a topic that fascinates me and I can relate to right now. Like your wife, I have sailed for many years, since I was three years old it turns out...I thought it was five years, but my Mom corrected me last week. So 37 years I have been sailing.

I have sailed with my Mom and Dad until I was nine. Then just my Mom for my teenage years, and then I went to a college where I raced on fifty footers. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, and once knew the Severn River very well.

Flash forward to the present. After college I only raced for one more year. I taught sailing to children and adults the first year I was out of school. This was my full time job. Then we moved and we were landlocked...no more sailing...I now know that was just an insane thing to do.

I had only gone sailing a very few times after that and now a little shy of twenty years later my husband and I bought a 32 footer three years ago and have started sailing together in North Carolina.

What stood out in your post for me was this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CFR View Post
We have anchored more then 20 night and she loves a quite and calm nicht at anchor, there is no fear about water or sailing BUT always fear that we run agound, that the engine quits or whatsoever.

I think and she confimred that not being in control about the situation esp. the weather and waves and water depth etc is her biggest concern.

It is a little bit difficult now.. carsten
I do not know your wife so any assumptions I would make regarding her discomfort could only be assumptions. But here is what I have learned from my own experiences over the last three years:

1) Sailing with my husband, for me, is much different than racing with eleven other people I am not intimately related to. We knew our jobs on the boat, we practiced for hours together, while we were friends off the boat, when we were sailing we were team mates. It was very clear what our expectations for each other were, we did our jobs like a well oiled machine, and we trusted each other implicitly. We studied, we learned, we maintained the boat and thus knew her systems, her quirks, her strengths, her weaknesses...much like we knew each other. We won a lot of races ;0)

2) Sailing is about 'Relationship'. Relationship to one's Crew and/or Skipper, relationship to Nature (i.e. weather, water, Sea Life), relationship to one's boat. I don't know about you all but when navigating new relationships whether they be to people or those mentioned above, I take my time, I practice prudence, I pay respect to others, I arrive prepared, I ask a lot of questions, and I make sure I don't put myself in too vulnerable a position in the beginning. I know when we started sailing on our 'new to us' boat and I had to manage establishing a new relationship with this boat I didn't know well, I had to manage my relationship with my husband sailing for the first time together, and also become acquainted with an entirely different body of water, weather patterns, and current it was a lot to take in and handle. I couldn't bite off a little at a time like I like to do, I was immersed in it all at once, and it did create tension and control issues for me and my husband.

3) I think these issues of fear we are discussing have a lot less to do with whether someone is a man or woman, and a whole lot more to do with different individual's comfort with different levels of risk. I am a risk adverse person I am learning more and more. I knew this a little before starting to sail with my husband but sailing has really highlighted the difference between my comfort with risk, and my husband's.

4) Styles of boating and sailing differ. I tend to like to be a bit organized. I like to have a plan in place when leaving the dock, practicing tactics, or dealing with any chore that needs to happen. I like to "talk it out" before hand just enough so that we are on the same page, and I like there to be a 'plan b' or escape route...my husband, not so much.

5) I like to be as prepared as possible before pulling up the hook, or leaving the dock. I like to be fed, coffee drunk, and dressed appropriately. I like everything put away...and this doesn't matter if we are on the Neuse River or going out to Cape Lookout...I have been known to get really t'ed off when we get out there with running seas, over 20 knots, and I haven't had my coffee and stuff is flying down below...

6) Those systems on the boat I least understand are those that I tend to build fears around the most. The engine for instance...I have fear about our engine dying too in some crazy busy channel with strong current...but I hope that my husband and I can practice sailing under these conditions in a safe place so that if that ever happens we will be prepared with our 'plan b' if the motor craps out. It also helps to remind myself that people have sailed for hundreds of years without engines. I am also trying to learn more and more about our engine and to do some maintenance. My most recent obsession is with the rig. I have developed this fear of the rig falling on my head...so I am learning more and more about rigs and how to maintain and check them. Doesn't mean that when we get out there and it is blowing stink that I don't have to shut my imagination off....

I am just now starting to feel comfortable on our boat after three years of taking her out on many weekends and multiple vacation weeks spent aboard. I know what her capabilities are, what she can take in regards to winds, and how to most efficiently sail her. I am just now feeling like NC waters are home waters now, like I can somehow understand their currents, weather patterns, and depths...

I have also learned it is an entirely different dynamic being out there in the capacity of skipper of your own boat vs. crewing for someone else. When you are the decision maker it requires a whole other set of skills. I don't think it is enough in a situation where a couple cruises and sails together that only one is Skipper all the time. It leaves the other at the disadvantage of never having to be the decision maker. There may come a time when the person who has never skippered has to take the wheel or tiller...and not only does this person need to know how to command the vessel, but they also need to be comfortable with calling the shots...So no matter how much flack it sometimes causes my husband and myself to switch back and forth skippering, I demand it because I need to build those skills...plus I like to be Skipper some of the time.

It all takes time, respect for one another's needs, comfort and belief in one's boat, building a crew relationship with one another. Nature can dole out some pretty rough stuff, and anyone who is not a little frightened at times I think is dangerous...it's all about healthy respect...

For me, I have had to reel my husband in, put myself in occasionally uncomfortable situations from my perspective to either see a) he was right, I was being overly careful or b) I was correct and we still have time to readjust and go with my plan. There have been moments I have been torqued onboard, felt unheard, or disrespected...those moments have been quickly remedied with communication though and a good kick in the arse

I am seriously considering getting an ASA instructor to come out with my husband and me before we hit offshore sailing. I do not have offshore experience and for me it is scaring the ba-jesus out of me. I feel like I have SO much to learn, including medical training.

So for what it is worth that is my experience with fear so far. I am determined though to not let my fear win. I am grateful to my husband for pushing me when I really just don't want to be pushed. He has so much Faith in me and my abilities, and it is helping me have more faith in myself. But there is a balance between healthy pushing and encouragement vs. pushing someone into a situation they are not comfortable with, or one that is too soon for their present knowledge.

I don't know if any of my blabbering has been helpful. I hope you all continue with the cruising dreams, and find a way to feel as comfortable as you can in all conditions. Just know your not alone...
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Old 22-08-2010, 15:53   #35
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Nice post High Heels
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Old 22-08-2010, 20:17   #36
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The problem about fear has to do with having enough knowledge to know of the potential dangers and the anxiety that you don't have whatever is required to meet the challenge. Ignorance is bliss here and enables many to go for it whether it is prudent of not relying on the odds of making it through.

The well prepared can get bogged down in dealing with every possible scenario, most of which never happen anyway. To most it makes them feel that they are in a better position having done all the what ifs.

However, having done them, you need the confidence and skills to actually apply all the knowledge often with no rehearsal, other than the "theoretical" which is probably much better than no preparation at all. But looking into all the horrors in advance certainly can be fear inducing and paralyzing and keep many at home in front of their TVs instead of out there actually doing "something".

Taking reasonable preparation should ease as opposed to grow fear, but it does involved dealing with some potentially unpleasant outcomes and get you thinking... why did I ever think this made sense in the first place?
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Old 22-08-2010, 20:24   #37
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the man who taught us to sail always said that if you didnt have some fear when you go to sea then you were dead or crazed.
must have respect for the sea--is serious business out there.
love of and for the sea causes folks to go out there despite these fears.
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Old 23-08-2010, 04:41   #38
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I'm with you on the bed, We have looked at so many boats and some of the beds.... well lets just say they scare the crap out of me and there is no way I could sleep in them every night.
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Old 23-08-2010, 08:04   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deck Scrubber View Post
I'm with you on the bed, We have looked at so many boats and some of the beds.... well lets just say they scare the crap out of me and there is no way I could sleep in them every night.


I didn't even cover my fears regarding the beds...that would have been another 1000 words
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Old 23-08-2010, 08:07   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
T
The well prepared can get bogged down in dealing with every possible scenario, most of which never happen anyway. To most it makes them feel that they are in a better position having done all the what ifs.

However, having done them, you need the confidence and skills to actually apply all the knowledge often with no rehearsal, other than the "theoretical" which is probably much better than no preparation at all. But looking into all the horrors in advance certainly can be fear inducing and paralyzing and keep many at home in front of their TVs instead of out there actually doing "something".
Your post makes me realize that good seamanship is not covering every single base or possibility, but having enough well rounded experience to understand how to deal with multiple scenarios. This I think takes practice and experience.
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Old 29-08-2010, 20:40   #41
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hi all, sorry for late reply, i am just travelling thru China the last week and a little busy here. really appreciating your comment and sharing allost with my wife allready, many things one know have to be wrtitten down and read to be more clear. one thing is clear I rushed sometimes to fast into something assumin that i can handle if something happenend, because actually i lying in my bed quite often and think about plan b for all sorts of problems from engine to rig to navigation, but this is in my head only and not explained enough. good advice to prediscuss and prepare more in detail each trip; to get used to a kind of procedure. maybe use the winter to write down together some detailed checklist and What to do list just as a backup etc.

Maybe i have to install a chart plotter also to have another "independent" position to doublecheck my own navigation.

so everybody gots more involved and in case one is unclear one knows where to look/. I already started to write e real operation handbook for the main systems at the boat , it helps my self to write such things down.

carsten ( now in Guangzhou)
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Old 29-08-2010, 21:11   #42
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Maybe i have to install a chart plotter also to have another "independent" position to doublecheck my own navigation.

You mentioned navigation twice. I am not going to suggest that this may be her concern, but you might think that it is - worth exploring with her.

Not to stereotype too much but the man often jumps in with both feet, explaining to the SO that "Everything is fine - trust me" confident in our abilities to endure some risk, hardship or discomfort knowing that we can make everything work out.

The woman or man in some cases, cannot see it that way. The partner sees it as a very demanding proposition to go to sea in small boats. They may feel they are not part of the process and don't have a say in the proceedings.

Treating the partner as "non-voting crew" is probably pretty annoying as well. Their participation being galley duties and line handling duties when docking.

Many successful partnerships work out as partnerships with a clear division of crew duties.

What if the partner were given the navigational duties, to include picking the weather strategy? The skipper partner remains responsible for the sailing duties.

Some who just read that are thinking, "No way am I going to turn over the navigational responsibility to my wife (husband) - they can't handle it."

Now you have some sense of what they might privately be thinking - "He doesn't really know what he is doing or if he does he hasn't demonstrated it to me."

If you are going into ta winter lay off, the SO has many months to become proficient at navigation and weather theory. Being in control and part of the decision making process may help.
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Old 29-08-2010, 23:05   #43
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you are absolutly right and i would be happy to leave some serious task completely to the partner and we will follow this strategy because if you are the skipper honestly sometimes it is a lot of things to combine and think about especially if you like your crew to be happy:
where and when to go, prepare the charts check all possible dangerous grounds, check a good anchorage or harbour, sail smoothly but fast not to long sailing hours and pretending you know everytrhing is a challenge. if you got to your anchorage you realize it is not as good as expected or too crowdy but on the otherhand everybody is tired to sail 2 more hours etc etc so we all have to learn a lot to become better and better and this i think is part of all. sometimes after school or university and after seeing everything on tv or reading in books we think we know all but actually a city and office guy is a greenhorn the first years going to sea.
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Old 30-08-2010, 00:22   #44
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We are two women sailing in the Med, so the relationship dynamics are a bit different - but there is one very common thing amongst cruising couples: one of them had the dream and the other one came along!

The other one may get completely infected with the nomadic bug along with the self-reliance ethic, but they may have a natural immunity, or only get a mild case. In such a situation the 'lead partner' will need to look at the choices and compromises that achieve shared dreams. This can be a very painful, long-drawn-out process, and does not end when you cast off the lines for good.

A wise friend said to us that where there is such a difference of view/aspiration, the 'lead partner' should find out where the other half wants to go, and then go there. This was very important for us in choosing between the Baltic and the Med.

It is also important to understand the jobs people want to do, and to map that against both individual strengths and skills, and the stuff that must be done. On RG, Sarah is the stowage queen and Pip is in charge of the engine. It mostly works for us. At the same time, it is crucial that either of you could, in some fashion, get the boat close enough to help to be rescued. That may mean knowing how to sail 3000 ocean miles alone or only being able to use channel 16 because you're never that far off-shore. A really important step for Pip was doing the RYA 'Suddenly Alone' course, which both showed her how much she knew and enabled us to focus on those crucial systems.

Good luck and I hope both you and your wife find your dreams.
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Old 25-10-2010, 09:30   #45
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I find risk perception quite interesting both professioanlly and personally.

In regards to gender, I've read a couple studies about how men and women tend to look at risk differently: Women tend focus more on the probablilty something may go wrong. Men tend to focus on how bad the consequences are likey to be (or well they will cope with it) when something goes wrong.

I've found this to be fairly consistent with a number of women I've sailed with. If exploring a shallow area in the Bahamas for example, she'll be worried about possibly grounding. I'm thinknig about how long it will take for the tide to float us if we ground. However, I think one needs to be careful in making assumptions about how people behave differnetly based on gender.

I also run adventure programming and hire male and female leaders frequently. One thing I've noticed is that many of the things we tend to ascribe to gender differences are really more reflective of the different experiences men and women tend to have. I find my best, most experienced leaders don't tend to have a male oriented style or a female oriented style. They have an efficient leadership style. They teach effectively and have a balanced view towards physical risk.

So, while I think there are differences between the way men and women tend to look at risk, I personally think this is more environmental than inhrerently gender based. Men often have more experience both in the risk associated with the activity being shared and in dealing with the physical risk overall. I think the significance in this is rather than making it a gender issue, make it a risk assessment issue.

I think the question is more about understanding why the person in one position worries about risk more than the person in another position, rather than just assuming it's inherent to gender.
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