I'm a summer weekend sailor, have been for many years. Looking forward to relocating to the coast when I retire in 7 years, and spending a chunk of investment savings on a big cat for part-time cruising. But in the last year or so, I've developed trouble with my hands, and my doctor says it's arthritis. When I'm out on the boat
in a good breeze, I notice now that holding the mainsheet and the tiller against some pressure makes my hands cramp up. It's not a big deal now, but it gets me to wondering how other folks deal with it and how I would deal with it if it continues to worsen. I joke with my wife about it, saying that what I need is to wrap my hand around a cold aluminum
cylinder, but the only thing that really helps is ibuprofen (for now). I've already had to give up fly-fishing in the cold mountain streams here, because my hands turn into a couple of baseball mitts in the cold water
, can't tie a fly on anymore.
Are there folks out there who've had to give up sailing because of arthritis? On a big cat, say, like a FP or Lagoon
40-something, would an arthritis problem prevent sailing her altogether, or just make it a bad idea to single-hand?
I'm healthy as a horse otherwise, and I have every intention of staying that way for a good many years yet. The doc says there's no way to know how much worse it will get or how fast, but that regular activity will minimize the effects. How does that line up with your experience with arthritis, if you have it?
Thanks for your thoughtful replies, and friendly breezes to you all!