Thank you for all the help, I do however think that after 30 years of marriage I know my wife better than you do. Especially since you have never met her.
I have gone through training with her as a ski patroller (This is an EMT on the hill) so to speak. I passed first time with out so much as a hiccup. I helped her through the next two years (Lots of crying on her part). As a husband I thought they were too hard on her, but others seethings that I did not. indecision was more than likely one of them. She went through flight ground school with my daughter and had a good time at that but again that is book work. Not a problem for her at all. Many have said before that the husband should not teach the wife. Yet I know my wife better than someone else and can teach her far better than some stranger. I instruct for flying, golf, skiing, snowboarding, and many other things that people would like to learn to do. I have taught her how to do many things. You are still under the assumption that she even wants to learn (Or take the class). We were going to take diving lessons while in Hawaii but she decided at the last minute that she would not be able to pass and we had to drop the plans.
Believe me when I say I do not want to do this for a vacation. I would much rather sell everything I own and live where the wind blows me. I know to you I sound conceded. I will tell you a little story so as maybe to help.
I was coming off back surgery and needed some help or something. Something medical I think it was. My daughter (really my daughter in law but after my son died we adopted her as she had no other family) was over to her friends house. I had called over to talk to her and the friend just suggested that I ask Cindy (Wife) I laughed and said yeah right. The friend was about to say "that was not nice" until my daughter said the same thing.
Some people just do not have the ability or desire to learn certain things. This is a nurse that if you ask her what to do in an emergency situation or just general medical situation will say "Don't ask me".
I know to you I sound like a blow hard but you do not know me or my wife. I think a benefit of doubt is in order. At least until you get to know me.
If I had to describe my self so someone would understand me it would be; I would live up in Alaska on a uninhabited lake in a cabin I built. I would do this with little or no supplies. Just the tools I would need to survive. I would be happy doing this. If I would describe Cindy a tent would not be her first choice, Cancun would top her list, condo on the beach. Not just sitting around though, she is very active. Tennis, golf, volley ball, dancing. Sitting around she does not do. She is just not the person that is going to grab the sheet in an emergency. She will just sit there and look at it. If you tell her to grab it she will. She is not the person who will get out of the car and help at a car accident, she will call 911 though. As long as she does not have to make any decisions she is fine. I can plan a whole trip and as long as I have fun things for her to do we will be fine.
You are right about one thing I am a control person. Everyone was shocked when I got my pilots license. They all thought I was afraid to fly because I did not. I said I was not afraid to fly, I was afraid to have someone else fly me. This is why we get along so well, I like to control and she does not. Something as simple as calling the taxi after we land while I'm securing the plane. It will not happen.
Those typical lesser duties like cooking and cleaning will be done by me. (Hold this heading while I go make us some supper).
One last thing, I am not telling her she cannot take lessons she just will not. She will love to go along while I take lessons though.
What kind of money are you proposing for your boat? I would probably not opt for something under 35. I feel that your wife in particular will want something nice and comfortable (and maybe a bit luxurious). Regardless of whether she particpates, learns to sail, commands the boat, or whatever, if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. So get something so that it will fit her lifestyle as much as yours.
I single all the time while Kris takes care of the kids. Difference being that she knows the boat really well and can get here-there without me. If you can tell her what to do (hold this course, using your example), you will be fine most of the time. Outfit the boat for a single-hand, with items like autopilot, radar, chartplotter, etc.
Also, as you ahve grandkids, should you want to maintain a shoreside connection, get an SSB with sailmail. That is a long discussion, but remember that on the water, you lose VHF and mobile phone ability about 20 nm offshore (depending on your area).
You can plan on her not participating, but you might just find she really gets into this and becomes very intersted in it. If not, at least having the company will be good for you (assuming you keep her comfortable).
If you can give some idea of budget, etc, maybe we can help give you our opinions on a boat that might be suitable.