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  #1  
Old 01-29-2015
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How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

Hello,

I am curious how many of the cruising couples here initially experienced reluctance from their partner concerning the cruising life. How did you approach the issue? What was the turning point in the situation?

My wife enjoys boating, but I am hoping that she will eventually agree to a long (over a year) cruise. (not in our current little boat)

I am committed to doing what I need to do to make this a smooth and natural progression for her. Also, I am willing to modify my expectations to accommodate her. Currently, I am limiting her exposure to passage making, and letting her meet me at anchorages and cruising grounds.

I could really use some advice from the "old salt" couples out there!
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Old 01-29-2015
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clmartin0721 View Post
Hello,

I am curious how many of the cruising couples here initially experienced reluctance from their partner concerning the cruising life. How did you approach the issue? What was the turning point in the situation?
You would have to ask my wife those questions
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Old 01-29-2015
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

hahah, put her on then....
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Old 01-29-2015
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

Started out with some ASA courses (be careful to pick an instructor that is "woman-friendly"). Moved to a couple of one-week, bareboat charters in easy areas like the BVI and Bahamas (our first bareboat charter, in the BVI, was "the best vacation ever" according to her). Moved up to longer charters. Eventually did charters where we made overnight passages (St. Pete to Dry Tortugas and back, island hopping from St. Vincent to Grenada and then all the way back in one shot). Now she's ready to go, as soon as our finances are in order.

Oh, and I would add... I made sure that she was really a part of the whole thing--from planning, to sailing, to docking, to whatever. In fact, she controls the helm more often than I do. No offense to anyone who might recognize themselves here, but I think the husbands who want to run everything--and basically only allow their wives to be winch grinders, or line handlers--are completely missing the boat. If their wife doesn't share the enthusiasm can you blame them?

Last edited by denverd0n; 01-29-2015 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 01-29-2015
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

We left Kemah back in November, 2012. We are back in Texas for a while, after cruising the past two years (5000 miles). The nice thing is that you can do the ditch to Pensacola, Fl., so not too many offshore passages necessary getting to the Keys. The ICW is fun actually, and a good way to break your wife in. Cross to the Bahamas for your first gulfstream crossing, and enjoy beautiful water, snorkeling, and in general, the cruising life.

In my case, this was what we both wanted to do. I'm not sure how it will turn out, if you have to convince her to go. She really should want to do it, otherwise it could be a short trip. Best wishes!



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  #6  
Old 01-29-2015
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

RTB

Good advice on the ICW....I had passed on that because I want to do the rhumb line passage and battle the sea, and all that. But I am going to seriously look into the ICW. My wife wants to do it, and she LOVES traveling and tropical areas....no problem there. I just would like to get her comfortable enough to do a multinight blue water crossing. But, there is plenty of time for that.

Denverdon,

I am kind of treating my boat as the "bareboat" charter by having my wife fly to meet me in Key West. So I am with you on that. The ASA route is a thought, I have taken some of the ASA courses, so I am familiar with the format. Good point on the woman friendly issue.
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Old 01-29-2015
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clmartin0721 View Post
Hello,

I am curious how many of the cruising couples here initially experienced reluctance from their partner concerning the cruising life. How did you approach the issue? What was the turning point in the situation?

My wife enjoys boating, but I am hoping that she will eventually agree to a long (over a year) cruise. (not in our current little boat)

I am committed to doing what I need to do to make this a smooth and natural progression for her. Also, I am willing to modify my expectations to accommodate her. Currently, I am limiting her exposure to passage making, and letting her meet me at anchorages and cruising grounds.

I could really use some advice from the "old salt" couples out there!
What passagemaking are you doing on a Grampian 26? What are you wife's lifestyle expectations?

My suggestions are:

- Sit down with your wife and tell her (if these are true) that you are interested in a longer cruise, you want her to come along, but that she is more important to you than this dream.

- Charter a larger boat somewhere beautiful for a couple of weeks.

- While there are many places for "baby steps" passagemaking is not one. I feel strongly that a four or five day hop is a better introduction to sailing offshore than an overnight. YMMV.

- Listen carefully to your bride's concerns and needs and address them. Don't argue with them or minimize them - address them. Build responsive solutions to her communication and comfort needs (for example) into your approach.

In our case Janet will sail passages with me if I need a hand but they aren't nearly as much fun for her as for me. Generally I sail (with crew) and she flies. Then we cruise and island hop. This works for us.
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

We have been sailing together for 11 years and cruising for 7 years and one of the biggest issues my wife hears on other boats is that the male did not learn to sail and navigate sufficiently well to make the wife feel safe. She will not enjoy if you scare her every time you go out.

Your wife needs to learn to be safe and competent in her own right. When we go in a new marina and they ask if I am the Captain I reply..."No I am the mechanic, the Captain is the Lady driving the boat!"

The other issue is comfort...my wife did not enjoy my 31 ft,18 knot tri but loves our big cruising boat.

Get her to enroll in the "Women who Sail" on Facebook...lots of positive feedback there.

Good luck Phil
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Old 01-29-2015
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

Quote:
- While there are many places for "baby steps" passagemaking is not one. I feel strongly that a four or five day hop is a better introduction to sailing offshore than an overnight. YMMV.
This is an interesting point, can you elaborate on why? I have never thought to take this route.

Quote:
- Charter a larger boat somewhere beautiful for a couple of weeks.
I have a specific reason for not doing this yet, tell me what you think. I want her to focus on the results of cruising vs. on the mode at this point. She is OK with the boat we have, and she has been very involved in desiging / decorating the cabin, choosing the exterior color scheme, sewing some of the canvas, ect. If I take her on a "fill in the blank" 40' palace, she may start to focus on the difference between the experience in the different boats vs. focusing on the experience outside of the boat. I want her to see the sights, feel the sense of community cruisers share, without "boat envy". I realize that the boat is an integral part of the cruising life, but I was hoping to focus on that a little later in the journey.


Initial trips are Cruising in the Keys, Bahamas, and Cancun / Cozumel. Three separate trips of about 3 weeks each not counting passage time.
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Old 01-29-2015
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Re: How did you get your spouse to embrace the cruising life?

My spouse is fully engaged, and as rarin' to go as I -- some days, even more so . We discovered the cruising life more or less at the same time, but it's certainly true that I glommed onto it quicker than she. A few things seemed to be vital for us to move together with this.

• Early on we both took sailing/cruising courses (CYA here in Canada). We took our initial cruising course together, but after that we did our intermediate and advanced courses seperately. This gave us both the opportunity to develop some sailing skills independent of the other.

• We've done all the planning together. From picking our boat, to deciding when and how to pull the plug on the land-life, we've worked hand-in-hand (so to speak ). We make sure our choices satisfy both our needs -- always.

• Finally, we approach sailing and cruising as a team. There's no "captain" and "admiral" for us. We both do everything. That's not to say we each don't have strengths and weaknesses, but I'm as likely to be found in the galley cooking as she is to be seen doing an oil change.

So from my experience I would say do it together. I don't think of accommodating my spouse, or about getting her to embrace something. What's worked for us is honestly moving forward together.
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