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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 08-29-2006
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Zevirii is on a distinguished road
How?

Growing up as a military Brat, my family moved alot. Between the ages 7 - 12 we were stationed in Hawaii. I loved going to the ocean. Every time a movie with sailing or big boats came on the TV I absorbed it all in. When I was 12 we moved to Texas. Being in central Texas there isn't a ocean insight. I missed Hawaii, but at my age there is nothing I could do. Life went on and when I was 18 I met my future wife. We got married @ age 19. I loved the water and soon was able to afford my first boat.

We started out looking for a sailboat, and we found one for only $1000 w/trailer. Boat looked good, but the rigging wasn't in great shape. I thanked the salesman and started to leave when he wanted to show us a boat that he just got on the lot 20 mins ago. He took us to this 14ft Bowrider. My wife really wanted it over the sailboat style, and since I didn't know how to sail I agreed. We would cruise up lake Travis as far as we could, exploring along the way. I owned 2 other power boats within about a 4 year span. We had alot of fun. For the most part all we did was ride up and down the lake, cruising is what we liked. We ended up selling those boats because we just couldn't stay out long enough due to a open cabin, and various other reasons.

For the past 2 years I haven't had a boat, and really missed the water. I came into some money and started looking at boats again. This time we looked at sailboats. At first it was small trailer boats 20ft-23ft. Once my wife got on them she said the cabins were to small to stay in overnight. I found a 1982 Catalina 25, and showed her this boat. She really liked it so we bought it.

Now being the owner of a 1982 Catalina 25 for 1 month now, I have learned to sail pretty good for no lessons. I have read several howto books, and been out on the boat about 5 times now. Since before even purchase I have been having a burning desire to cruise the coast to Florida or even the Bahamas. I have spent nearly 6 hours + a day reading cruising stories and guides. I have been consumed by sailing. We have stayed overnight on our boat twice so far, and I loved it.

Now for the "How?" part of this post.

My wife/mother of my 2 children, doesn't care for the idea of crusing the coast or staying aboard for any longer than overnight on the lake. She likes riding while I am sailing the boat. She also informed me that we don't need to goto the lake but every now and then. It almost seems as if she is the exact opposite of me right now.

So, what do I say to convince her to cruise? I feel as I need a escape from the grind of life. I feel that while we are pre-30 with 2 young kids that now is the time or we will never go. I want to go places and see things, and she wants to settle down and raise kids on land. I feel so confused, and frustrated. Any words from people that have been in this situation?
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2006
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Don't convince her... get the book Changing Course, by Debra Cantrell.

Read it and then give it to your wife. This book is one of the best for couples, where one wants to sail away and cruise, and the other does not. But, as the book says, you can't force her into changing her mind without risking alienating her and causing resentment.

The book gives you the problems of cruising, as seen from the woman's perspective, and also gives you some of the answers to the questions she will be asking.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 08-29-2006
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Zevirii is on a distinguished road
Ordered the book off amazon.com $3. Not sure if it will help but I will try anything at this point, short of knocking her on the head and she wake up @ sea haha...

I am just hoping to get her out on my 25ft more in the local lake if nothing else. It would be awesome to just explore the whole lake over a few days trip, but even that seems like I am asking to much. I look forward to this book.

Thanks

Last edited by Zevirii; 08-29-2006 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 08-29-2006
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Zev...I've seen a lot of cruises end over this conflict. One idea is to plan a charter vacation somewhere nice...BVI's and Bahamas (Abacos) would be 2 options...and try the whole family aboard for a couple of weeks. If everyone has a great time, maybe the dream will get transplanted. If not, at least you'll have had a nice vacation in an exotic place!
Charters aren't cheap...but one might just be worth the investment in the long run.
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Old 08-29-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zevirii
I feel that while we are pre-30 with 2 young kids that now is the time or we will never go. I want to go places and see things, and she wants to settle down and raise kids on land. I feel so confused, and frustrated. Any words from people that have been in this situation?
Two things-- you don't mention the ages of your young kids, and it's also not clear what it means "to go." For example, is your goal a week-long, month-long or years-long cruise?

The paragraph about about "or we will never go" sounds like you want a long break to sail, but so far you've only done a couple of overnights. Also, a lot of sailing parents I know, even those who were advanced racing couples before kids, have admitted that young kids will change a lot on the boat. If they're younger than five or seven, for example, one of the parents is often on kid duty while the other sails.

Anyway, your excitement is great, but maybe some intermediate goals are in order. If the kids weren't along, would your wife be more interested in sailing? In the future, would she consider some women-only sailing courses? Would she feel better if you both got some certifications? Are your kids old enough to enjoy sailing yet, or go out with only you?

Getting past the "I'm the passenger" part is a major consideration, and that may be tough if she's just not interested in sailing. As hinted above, why not try some semi-romantic "no kids along" sails, in which she could be more a beginning co-captain (who doesn't have to worry about the kids). A bottle of wine back at the dock might help...

The future, however, is always changing, and don't make too big of deal of the present. You've got years to gradually improve the situation, especially if your kids become sailors. Take your time-- you're got at least more ten years than I to sail.

Jim H

p.s. I've read the Changing Course book, and it might be a little overkill given the stage you're at. Talking too much about "big changes" might be fun for some, but scary for others.

Last edited by Jim H; 08-29-2006 at 08:25 PM.
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In our 2 year cruise we met many couples cruising. In about 1/2 the cases the wife didn't care about cruising and some didn't even know how to start the engine much less do a tack. They went along for his dream.
Stayed ashore with the credit card as much as possible. The guy felt he
was luckier than most......
Kids..... we probably met 6 families out. The kids were really mature grown up and didn't have to be entertained. However even though as a Dad I was envious, I'm glad I left them at the dock. Most of the time I felt it was not the right environment for their upbringing. I'm torn on that issue.
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Old 08-29-2006
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I've been lucky in that department. My wife and I fell in love with sailing at the same time, even though I've probably spent more time learning to sail she loves getting away to the boat. Perhaps taking a sailing course together will spark her interest. I see my wife even more interested the more she learns and the more she does on the boat.
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Old 08-29-2006
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A bareboat charter, if you've got the sailing skills for it, in the BVI or out of Tortola, is an excellent introduction for your wife to the cruising lifestyle and sailing.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
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Old 08-29-2006
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Send the kids to summer camp, send the wife to a riding resort, meet them all in the caymens in a month. They can fly, you can get there however you want. Might want to inherit some money first, this plan is not cheap.
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Old 08-30-2006
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There are folks who literally sail around the world--him sailing, her flying back and forth to home and skipping the long cruises between destination ports. (Helps to have money.)

More often either there is a divorce because him and her aren't working out issues, or a boat gets sold.

Sometimes it is simply that women have more common sense and want to build a warm dry comfortable nest, and sailing is cramped, wet, and just not as secure. Sometimes...a compromise can be reached if you can stretch into a boat with hot and cold pressure water and a head big enough to stand up in, with shower. Hot shower.

Sometimes she's just not secure about her (or your) sailing abilities and afraid to say that up front. Formal sailing lessons (separately!) can help that.

The big question is what she really is or isn't saying, whether she might consider a compromise on something important to you, or whether it is the choice of wife versus boat.

If she's willing to entertain the thought that a bigger boat MIGHT be acceptable...it might be worth looking into a charter on something larger, to see if that would work.

If she's afraid "for" the kids...it might be worth finding other couples with kids, and some of the books about sailing with kids, and pointing out that while the ocean may not be SAFE, it certainly doesn't have drive-by gang shootings, road rage, pediphiles, and all the other dangers that we're accustomed to ignoring on land.

Time to get a babysitter, export the kids, and settle the wife down for a long talk without any pressures.
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