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Old 21-06-2024, 17:20   #1
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Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

Among the sailing couples here, how many of you feel confident that both partners possess the skills necessary to safely bring the boat to port if something were to happen to the other?
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Old 21-06-2024, 17:46   #2
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

Iron E, no problem on our yacht. The kids and wife make it well known if I want to be grumpy bugger then they can happily leave me on the beach, and I can make my own way home.
The wife and I now have the issue of our 17-year-old son wanting to borrow the yacht for the weekend. We have been avoiding the issue so far......
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Old 21-06-2024, 18:24   #3
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

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Iron E, no problem on our yacht. The kids and wife make it well known if I want to be grumpy bugger then they can happily leave me on the beach, and I can make my own way home.
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Old 21-06-2024, 18:31   #4
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

I'm pretty confident my other half could call for help via cell phone and VHF. She could probably get the sails down and motor to somewhere near a dock, or at least have a controlled crash landing.

She's enrolled in ASA 101, starting tomorrow.
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Old 21-06-2024, 18:52   #5
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

My wife had a USCG 100-ton before we went cruising and 40,000 blue-water miles since.

She took a single-handed watch, at night, in a force 10.
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Old 21-06-2024, 21:14   #6
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

Not sure. Probably would need assistance.

Another question is whether either person could recover the other in a MOB situation.
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Old 21-06-2024, 22:15   #7
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

Sailing is my thing so is fishing.

Our original deal. She quite happily tags a long and is willing to help occasionally if it's convenient for her.
Provided I never try and teach her how to sail.
We have puttered about locally for years. Lost and recovered lots of hats and a dog.
I do most of the running about, she steers and uses the motor as required.
Despite this arrangement after a few years of sailing together she is quite confident telling me how to sail.
My kids think much the same way.
My younger son. The only one who might have difficulty finding his way home. Is a Marine Engineer.
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Old 22-06-2024, 02:54   #8
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

We both built the boat and either one of us can sail it single handed. Can't understand how couples can go ocean cruising without both being competent.
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Old 22-06-2024, 04:40   #9
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

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Among the sailing couples here, how many of you feel confident that both partners possess the skills necessary to safely bring the boat to port if something were to happen to the other?

Not me. My wife is semi-disabled.



An alternate question is "do you feel confident singlehanding?" If the answer is yes, then the answer to the first question should not matter. Plan as though you are singlehanding.


If the answer to both questions is no, then you may have a problem.
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Old 22-06-2024, 05:13   #10
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

Both my wife and I have the equivalent of a USCG 200 ton unlimited. both of us keep singlehanded watch no matter what the weather when on passage.

She is quite capable of sailing the boat around the world by herself
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Old 22-06-2024, 05:37   #11
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

Powerboaters here, not sailors, but I'd say yes with some caveats. The admiral is certainly capable of running the boat, although she's not as confident in a lot of situations as I would be. And she has far less experience at the helm in rough weather or when docking, but she can do it if she needs to.

For most other tasks on board either of us can do them with the exception of mechanical repairs. That's kinda out of her ballpark, so that's probably the job where we're least redundant.
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Old 22-06-2024, 05:46   #12
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

We cruise as a couple. We both do everything, from maintenance to all tasks while our boat is in use. While underway, we purposely alternate onboard activities daily, so that we both do everything.

So yes... my partner is perfectly able to sail our boat. As a cruising couple, it doesn't make sense (to us) to have only one of us able to operate the boat.
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Old 22-06-2024, 07:31   #13
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

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An alternate question is "do you feel confident singlehanding?" If the answer is yes, then the answer to the first question should not matter. Plan as though you are singlehanding.
I guess the issue arises when there is an accident or medical issue that puts the confident singlehander out of commission.
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Old 22-06-2024, 07:32   #14
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
We cruise as a couple. We both do everything, from maintenance to all tasks while our boat is in use. While underway, we purposely alternate onboard activities daily, so that we both do everything.

So yes... my partner is perfectly able to sail our boat. As a cruising couple, it doesn't make sense (to us) to have only one of us able to operate the boat.
We've been boating together for almost 25 years both sail and power, and while my wife is capable of much of the sailing and motoring, she's not familiar with many of the repairs that might be necessary: fuel, filters, bleeding system, electrical, diagnosis, etc. This is 100% my fault, I've assumed she wouldn't be interested.
A wise sailor very recently reminded me that having a capable partner makes them more comfortable and confident when sailing. Whether coastal cruising or passage making.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Not me. My wife is semi-disabled.



An alternate question is "do you feel confident singlehanding?" If the answer is yes, then the answer to the first question should not matter. Plan as though you are singlehanding.


If the answer to both questions is no, then you may have a problem.
I've read enough of your posts to feel that you're a capable sailor and that your wife has the knowledge to make it home safely in a worst-case scenario involving her being alone. Your situation is somewhat unique.

We have battery redundancies, extra VHF, extra fuel filters, Extra hardware and lines, and even an extra lifeboat in case our main boat quits floating. It makes sense that if we have a partner, they should be capable of filling in.
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Old 22-06-2024, 10:46   #15
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Re: Sailing Couples - Redundancy in Skills

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Originally Posted by Iron E View Post
We've been boating together for almost 25 years both sail and power, and while my wife is capable of much of the sailing and motoring, she's not familiar with many of the repairs that might be necessary: fuel, filters, bleeding system, electrical, diagnosis, etc. This is 100% my fault, I've assumed she wouldn't be interested.
A wise sailor very recently reminded me that having a capable partner makes them more comfortable and confident when sailing. Whether coastal cruising or passage making.
In*our case, we started into this cruising life together, so weve been learning together. Most boat projects we undertake together, because its just easier with two. We do all the basic maintenance on our systems, including the engine. And in fact, because shes smaller than I, sometimes my partner does things I cant get to, like manage the stuffing box.

While operating the boat, weve divided daily tasks into helm/navigation, and deck/galley/everything else. Helm person is responsible for navigation and steering, and for making any snap decisions. Deck person runs the sheets, manages the sails, anchoring (or hauling up), and is responsible for feeding the crew. We*alternate daily.

This is a system that works for us. It means we are both competent in pretty much everything to do with the boat. I should stress, we each have our strengths and weaknesses. But both of us can both do pretty much everything.
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