One thing I do that really turns off my wife and kids (older teens) is that I often have little projects to do on the boat, like attach this or re-rig that - you know, little things I think of during the week that I put on my list of chores when I get to the slip, an hour and fifteen minutes away. For me, this is part of the fun of owning and understanding a sailboat - the constant tinkering and upgrading.
But my wife really dislikes sitting in the clubhouse waiting for me - she has to chat with strangers (I love to chat), sit there with nothing to do, feels like she's wasting time, etc., even if it's for 15 minutes. And as we KNOW from being guys who like to TINKER with our TOYS, a 15 minute chore often can suddenly become an hour.
So I've learned to do a few different things:
1) forego a lot of little things that I would like to do and just skip them
2) talk to my wife and/or kids beforehand and ask permission to take 15 or 20 minutes to do a few things before we sail, WELL BEFORE WE ARRIVE
3) make sure it only stays to that amount of time
4) find a way to get up there some other time to do these things
It's frustrating to me because hanging out at the club and tinkering with the boat, and chatting with folks as they walk by and comment on the work is all part of why I've moved my trailerable to a slip and club. But it's not for my family. And if I want to engage my family I need to put their needs foremost. If don't do this I run the risk of becoming yet another middle-aged guy having a few too many beers on his boat after a solo saturday sail.