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Old 07-08-2008
Grotius Grotius is offline
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Learning to ... sleep?

Hi all,

I've been daysailing off and on for years. I started in Seattle, where I took a course on sailing Lasers, then fooled around with beach cats and Sunfish, then took private lessons sailing a 19-foot boat, and finally group lessons sailing 35-foot monohulls on Puget Sound. I feel reasonably comfortable in a smaller boat; I never did get as comfortable with the 35-foot boots. And then a dozen years ago I had kids, and I haven't done much sailing since, other than the occasional romp in a beach cat or some such. I now live in the DC area, about an hour from the Chesapeake.

I've always loved the idea of overnighting, maybe doing some weekend cruising with the family, maybe working my way up to longer coastal cruises. I have two kids who might like sailing, and a wife who hates all boats as she gets VERY seasick, but she wouldn't mind the peace and quiet if I were to take the kids for a weekend. I have fantasies that a cat might change her mind, but I'm doubtful.

Anyway, I'd love to take a cruising course, but my biggest worry is: the sleeping. I honestly doubt I'd enjoy sleeping in any monohull; I'm claustrophobic, and an insomniac. And I snore -- loudly -- which would make me even more self-conscious. Ideally, I'd like to try sleeping in a cruising cat for a weekend, but again I worry that I'll get out there with a class and either freak out from claustrophobia or keep everyone up all night with snoring or insomnia or both.

Is there a way to charter a boat to...sit at the dock? Or, maybe more realistically, a way to learn enough cruising skills so that I can take a boat out with just the family (no instructor or other strangers) and then learn how sleeping is? I think I could handle the settee in the salon of a cat. I think.

I realize this is an odd question, but it's honestly the thing that worries me most about taking any cruising lesson. Any advice?
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