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Old 25-06-2006, 05:02   #61
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Originally Posted by S/V Elusive
Man.. I have NO problem tieing one on ... What you need to do is invite a bunch of sailors with alcohol over ..
Now that kind of tieing I have no problem with! Friends who used to tie up at our marina decided to tie up closer to home, but they must have missed our group in Iroquois because they came back to visit....with very large bottle of Appletons amber rum and a couple of bottles of ginerale. We went over to the marina to go for a cruise and found them all sitting there. Ed offered me a "little" drink before we went out....2 hours latter the bottle was half gone and I was well on my way. Rick wasn't drinking but was doing well encouraging me along....Well needless to say we didn't leave the slip that day.

Lori, Rick and Shadow

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Old 02-08-2006, 11:29   #62
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Life's valuable lessons

This may be a little late to add to this thread, but I have recounted this story about my education to many others and hope it can be of benefit to you as it has been to me.

I had been sailing since I was a teenager and my wife had never been on a sailboat before we met. Before we were married and for about the first four years we sailed a lot, but always on someone elses boat. I of course steered, tailed, cranked, hanked, sheeted, trimmed and any other nautical jargon you can think of while the females onboard sat in the cockpit and enjoyed the ride.

When we finally got our own boat it was just the two of us. I surmised that in all those cruises my wife had been watching eagerly and learning what it took to sail. It was definately not the case. Each manevour I yelled, she did the opposite of what I wanted, and bad seamanship ensued. I tried explaining what needed to be done, but to no avail, the wrong line got un-cleated, or the anchor line wound around the prop, or some other mishap occuered. More yelling, more indigation, and more maritime mishaps.

This went on for about four months until one day I finally realized what was going on. It was not that my wife didn't want to learn how to sail, but that I was a single-handed sailor and just didn't realize it. After that revelation the yelling stopped, the mishaps ceased and harmony ensued upon our vessel.

I now treat every situation as if I were the only one on the boat. If I get competent help from my significant other, I am grateful and acknowledge the help. If I get no help, I do it myself without uttering a sound. I am less stressed and I am sure my wife is also less stressed.


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Old 02-08-2006, 18:52   #63
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seaclusion, good point, and for daysailing, and the occasional weekend, that works great, but for longer cruises, everyone needs to work. A suggestion, ask her where she would like to take the boat, and have her take it there. Be a passenger. Let her make her mistakes, and let her fix them. As long as the boat is not in danger, the effort of fixing screw ups is a great teacher. Who knows, she might discover that she is also a single hander at heart
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Old 03-08-2006, 16:42   #64
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Did a double handed race with the skipper of an Express 37. Around the Farllone Island. 25 miles each way. When I got back people asked me how I liked the race. I replied, "singlehading with George is fun."

Point is -- I've met skippers who don't know how to run a boat except for the sacred wood.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 03-08-2006, 17:01   #65
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It's only a problem when they do not know they don't know how to sail the boat
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Old 03-08-2006, 23:52   #66
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I will admit I find myself getting frustrated when my wife isn't on the boat with me and we are docking or really any part of the operation, we've been doing it together so long that we don't even have to say anything to eachother. It's a great feeling when you are cruising along and both of you working i sync.

Of course it's my experience that when people start hollering at me, i stop listening and I am not the minority in that department, it also tends to panic people and when people panic someone often gets hurt.

I think i did some hollering when I backed into a gaf that I had left the cap off of it, but it was at the gaf, lol.
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Old 17-09-2006, 13:37   #67
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Took my wife about a month to learn simple bowlines. I hadda be quiet about "inside" and "outside" bowlines,and she never did get "bowline on a bight".

Now, if somehow, someway, she would take to the clove hitch. I think that with bowlines and clove hitches, she could cover 90% of what I would like for her to tie..
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
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Old 17-09-2006, 18:00   #68
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OK. It comes down to what is important to you. I cannot remember the names of flowers and plants although we have a nice yard/garden which is designed and implemented by my wife.

Yes, I can do a bowline, French bowline, bowline of a bight, etc. and she cannot. There are, however, only a couple of those green things in the yard I can properly identify.

She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
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Old 02-03-2007, 14:45   #69
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So I would have to agree that yelling gets you NO where fast. I am a firm believer that if you say something the correct way you will get what you need the first time.

Now this story has nothing to do with boating but the idea is all the same. We went camping one weekend, with my brother and his family to join us later. After getting three tents set up the fourth was going way past dusk. Pretty hard to set up a tent that you have never used in the daylight let alone the dark. My wife ( I love her dearly) says get me the flashlight. Me being the wonderful husband I am go to get said flashlight. I get the light and test before I bring it to her cause what good is a torch that wont light. I then ask her where are the new batteries, "in the box" she replies. Now I know what you are saying what box, this is exactly what I said as there was three different ones. So I find the batteries and it seems that the old no good ones are in the same place as the new good ones, which was her doing . I try in the dark to get good batteries and fill the flashlight so that it may be used. At this point my wife yells" bring me the f@*kin flashlight" I then yell back " I am trying to find some f@*kin batteries" she yells back "just bring me the f@ckin flashlight" I then proceed to take her a flashlight that does not illuminate anything as it has zero batteries in it from the not so necessary yelling at me. Needless to say she got real pissed that I brought here a light that was not working. I said " if you weren't yelling and cursing at me and could have waited one minute I would have brought you a flashlight with fresh batteries that worked". The rest of the weekend and camping trip sucked.

Long story short, if you are yelling and cursing when the situation does not require the immediate attention that yelling should get you. Then the next time you yell it will be kinda ignored.

When on the boat I order in a polite voice to put this there or that there and point as saying starboard and port simple confuses her.
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Old 02-03-2007, 15:25   #70
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Me and SWMBO have a rule. It is Rule 1 and it has stood us in good stead over the years.

Rule 1 says "If one of us says the wrong thing, uses the wrong tone of voice or starts yelling, either of us may invoke this rule by stating verbally 'Rule 1' upon which we must stop, take a deep breath, count to 10, apologise to each other* and start afresh in a sensible adult** manner"

* Note that regardless of who was at fault, we both apologise

** Or as adult as we can manage, we haven't grown up yet

It almost always works and in 24 years together we've had maybe two or three major arguments.
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Old 03-03-2007, 14:42   #71
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This is an interesting thread - I've been accused of yelling also when I was simply issuing loud and urgent instruction as we know on a boat things can get out of hand quickly. I believe the best course of action is to suggest your spouse/mate take sailing/boating courses without you there and then can build up their own confidence and skill level without the fear that they will be critisized for doing something wrong. I have seen my wife take - say - golf lessons where the instructor will repeat exactly what I said but she will listen to him and try without complaint where if it was me, she would feel that I was being critical.. It has to do with the old saying that 'familiarity breeds contempt' and nowhere can this escalate into major scirmishes more than boating where one spouse (usually the husband) knows much more than the other and there are alot of issues to overcome like firstly, the safety of the crew and boat and terminology and methodology etc. SO - I humbly suggest that if there is conflict when trying to raise a spouses/mates knowledge /experience level in boating, it may be be wise and may actually create more enjoyable boating to have that person take courses and then you can help them better to practise their skills without unrealistic expectations as to their onboard abilities.
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Old 01-07-2007, 18:36   #72
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Originally Posted by S/V Elusive
wow - Now *I*'m not sure if I've ever yelled or not. I don't think that I have, but perhaps it was perceived as such. I checked with two of the women sailors that I have sailed with, and they say that I don't (and are willing to sail again with me), and while I haven't checked with Scott, I'm pretty sure I didn't yell at him - I am alive after all.

But good points on perception of yelling and how people interpret voice tone, inflectioin, and volume. I think that guys mainly envision yelling as something that occurs during non-critical times, and "orders / urgent instructions" given during critical times as being NOT yelling.

Der wimmin folk have given their verson (at least a couple of them) and we (guys) should take heed of what they say. Perhaps our definitions don't match?? Mars vs. Venus?
If your "talking loudly" or "giving instructions in an urgent voice" includes profanity, blasphemy or name-calling, you're yelling regardless of decibels involved. If you're insinuating that your beloved has the brains of a rock, the grace of a cow and/or the sailing ability of a simeon, you're yelling. (And you're probably right about the lack of brains part -- she's with YOU, isn't she?)

Ruby (whose DH insists she is "yelling" regardless of decibels involved any time she disagrees with him, and who is fortunate to have such sensible spouse she doesn't often find it necessary to disagree with him.)
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:29   #73
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Originally Posted by Ruby V
If your "talking loudly" or "giving instructions in an urgent voice" includes profanity, blasphemy or name-calling, you're yelling regardless of decibels involved. If you're insinuating that your beloved has the brains of a rock, the grace of a cow and/or the sailing ability of a simeon, you're yelling. (And you're probably right about the lack of brains part -- she's with YOU, isn't she?)

Ruby (whose DH insists she is "yelling" regardless of decibels involved any time she disagrees with him, and who is fortunate to have such sensible spouse she doesn't often find it necessary to disagree with him.)
It may be obvious to state that the actual words used, and their perceived meanings & implications, should be of prime importance in effective communications.

Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another. It involves a sender transmitting an idea to a receiver. Effective communication occurs only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit. A message has NOT been communicated unless it is understood by the receiver (decoded). You know it has been properly received through two-way communication or feedback. This feedback tells the sender that the receiver understood the message, its level of importance, and what must be done with it. Communication is an exchange, not just a give, as all parties must participate to complete the information exchange.

Five steps to effective communication:
1) explain what we are going to do next
2) use consistent vocabulary
3) tell everyone what they are going to do
4) say it loud, but not yelling
5) give the warning, then the command

Hence, sailors use standard “Command & Response” sequencing:
a. Preparatory Command (ie: “Prepare to Jibe”)
b. Crew Acknowledgements (ie: “Ready on the Mainsheet”)
c. Actual Command (ie: "Trim the Mainsail” - “Jibe-HO!”)

Context is the way the message is delivered; and includes the tone of voice, the look in the sender's eye's, body language, hand gestures, and state of emotions (anger, fear, uncertainty, confidence, etc.) that can be detected. Although paralanguage or context (tone, pitch, rhythm, timbre, loudness, and inflection) often causes messages to be misunderstood, as we believe what we see more than what we hear; they are powerful communicators that help us to understand each other. Indeed, we often trust the accuracy of nonverbal behaviors more than verbal behaviors. As Ruby indicates, volume and tenor are two contextual agents of communication.

It may not be obvious to state that the actual words, and their perceived meanings & implications, should be of prime importance in effective communications.
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Old 02-07-2007, 19:00   #74
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I have taken a lot of "second time" sailors out. Many are reluctant and female. The comments I get are generally like this:

I went out with (fill in the blank guy) and he was always yelling at me.
I don't like sailing because I don't know what's going on and I get told to do things in a language I don't understand.
I don't like sailing because the boat tips over and it makes me nervous.

When I take them out I preface by saying something like, "Sailing is fun and relaxing and if it wasn't, I wouldn't do it. I don't own a race boat so I don't race. We bring lot's of food and drinks on board and I hate spilling my wine so there is no way we are tipping the boat over. Would you like to try again?"

I don't expect anything from a new crew. Zero, nada, zilch. I brief them about what I will be doing and I brief them about docking - stay put, don't touch anything, don't jump to shore and keep all your body parts in the boat.

If someone wants to help and I don't know their skills. I tell them that after we are underway they will helm the boat. I handle sails. I brief them that I will tell them what to point the boat at, I will tell them to push or pull the tiller and that if something breaks the immediate response will be to turn into the wind. I may be a little excited, I tell them, but depending on what breaks you will see me firing up engines and dropping sails and stuff. Don't be nervous. I'll explain it all afterwards.

During this tiller time, I assess their skills and decide whether they can handle any other duties. If they are able to do more I toss the nautical terms out the window and use civillian English. Pull the green rope. Pull the red rope. Prepare to turn. Turning left. Duck under the boom (OK you gotta call it a boom - LOL)

I get lot's of comments that I am really fun to sail with, I don't get excited and never yell. The boat always seems under control and it is very relaxing.

That is exactly the atmosphere I am trying to create.
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Old 13-08-2007, 16:06   #75
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I race my boat reasonably regularly, and usually with a crew of quite mixed abilities and degrees of exerience. If some of the crew are relatively inexperienced I find it very useful to explain, a couple of minutes in advance, what is going to happen at the next mark / through the next tack or jibe, etc. I explain what each member of the crew will do and, if necessary, why. Even if people should, in theory, know what they are expected to do, it certainly doesn't hurt to go over it.

I also try to point out, in any crossing situation, which boat has right of way and why. I encourage all crew to keep their eyes out for other boats and bring to my attention any boat they think might get within 50 yards of us. It is a good habit to get into, and although I usually keep a good lookout myself, I am by no means infallible!

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