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Old 11-04-2009
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Sailing with Spouses

A lot of comments regarding how to get the "wife" to go on a multi year cruising adventure, BUT sometimes I think to myself that could be the biggest challenge. Little things can get annoying after a couple weeks of too much time together but every minute....every day... together...perhaps this is the reason for the Rum
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Old 11-04-2009
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We don't live on a boat but for us its the other way around...If I'm working allot and gone we argue more in the time we do have together then If I'm not working very much and around the house more..

For us its the time together that makes us more sympathetic and tender toward each other..

I guess what I'm trying to say is I disagree with the "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" wives tail ..We get set in our ways quickly and selfish and demanding when we are alone but together constantly, we mesh together and love on each other constantly..always trying to provide what the other needs.

I don't know if mine will ever sail an ocean with me..but I would never leave her to enable myself to live the life alone or with some other..Hopefully our plan of 6 months on and 6 months off the boat will be to her liking..if so it will be plenty good enough for me....she is game to try it anyway.

Good luck
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"Go Simple...Go Large"

Relationships are everything to me..everything else in life are just tools to enhance them.


The purchase price of a boat is just the admittance fee to the dance...you still have to spend money on the girl...so court one with something going for her with pleasing and desirable character traits others desire as well... or you could find yourself in a disillusioned relationship contemplating an expensive divorce.

Last edited by Stillraining; 11-04-2009 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 11-04-2009
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you shouldnt have to "get " your wife to go sailing , because there has to be passion involved to suffer day in and out on a boat, it has to be something you cant live without.
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The couples cruising works because she's as devoted as he to the adventure. Older couple featured in Latitude this Summer was nice, they left for a 6 monther to Bahamas on an Islander 36 and have been cruising for 12 years straight on about 1000 bucks/month.

There's that, and I'm reminded of the young man who solo sailed circumnavy on some record but then met his wife in Europe; and their fight was about him not setting a record because she was onboard... compromising she met him at every port for the newlywed shuffle.

Close quarters is nothing but beneficial when the BOND fire is burnin. That said I do reccomend "Unlikely Passages" by Reese Palley, Chapter 2 "Love And Sex On A Sailboat".

Sounds simple enough, I'm 25, and all I've seen from marriage is a lot of hard work... Currently pickin em up like the Trades and riding together til it's time for a new heading.

Last edited by NoahsArk73; 11-11-2009 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 11-04-2009
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Mad Dog's Advice...

Finding the spouse and then trying to bend them to share your passions is a recipe for a headache, or at least an earache.

Mad Dog (not on this forum) recommended spending two weeks in close quarters with your potential spouse with the knowledge that things will never really get better in the relationship than they are in those two weeks.

This is where you find out that you cannot tolerate their personal hygeine and they cannot tolerate your "sergeant major" attitude to doing some things. I could rant that before I got married my fiance stalled on me buying a 17' Siren - yet I know I was still free to make my own decisions and simply was blind to how the only boat she would go on was a cruise ship. To me a cruise ship is a prison ship to me, that ain't sailing, but she wants it since they cook, clean and do everything else. Also odd is I get seasick on a Caribbean cruise ship but not in a 14 foot dink heeled in 20 knot winds with a 6 foot chop racing in the ice cold water of Lake Ontario. Ah.. the screaming and breaking fiberglass in the afternoon. Sounds like... panic.

I believe that to get the spouse interested there are four key steps:
1) Is there any interest... for my wife there never was and she gets seasick riding in a car heading for a cruise ship.
2) Awareness of communication (search out the four horsemen of the apocalypse as discussed in Blink and find out if one of the key four communication blocks are being thrown - both in the proposal and later in life on board.)
3) A common agreement in advance as to what is involved - you cannot skip and cook at the same time, they need to study to be able to helm and navigate should something happen, personal hygiene & environmental issues - someone here could probably provide a better list than me
4) Reopening the conversation after each trip to what worked, what didn't and how to improve things. Some people are afraid to talk about how to change things in a productive manner and find it easier to pick a fight and use that as an excuse not to go back on the boat and not to let you go back yourself.

Do I know this from sailing? No, she didn't let me get the Siren. I learned it from a variety of other efforts... canoe, bike, camp, ski cross country, ski alpine, ... (the list is long.) The compatibility issue is strange.

- Ron
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Old 11-04-2009
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OK mate.

A yacht can be a small space and you guys are going to have to sort out jobs/roles etc. I look after the physical sailing and maintaining the engine and other heavy stuff. My wife is the catering officer, but I can cook/clean & she can sail/ keep watch etc. She does any teak sanding/varnishing/oiling of the boat. I go up the mast for example. We know our territory and dont overstep without asking. Oh we do fight as per normal - just give some space and sort it out later.

As a partnership - you both have to plan and decide where/how/how long etc. We (hopefully) go about boat tasks including anchoring without speaking - no need, we know what the other is about to do. That takes time to sort out.

There are thousands of guys on boats who were Captain Bligh's and were given a choice - the boat or the wife! Dont join their ranks.

I would also say - go for a small trip and make sure it all goes well, then go a bit further. "Happy wife= happy life" and you guys are in this adventure together - you are not on a Royal Navy Destroyer, so dont turn into a jerk.

Good luck
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Old 11-04-2009
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OK mate.

A yacht can be a small space and you guys are going to have to sort out jobs/roles etc. I look after the physical sailing and maintaining the engine and other heavy stuff. My wife is the catering officer, but I can cook/clean & she can sail/ keep watch etc. She does any teak sanding/varnishing/oiling of the boat. I go up the mast for example. We know our territory and dont overstep without asking. Oh we do fight as per normal - just give some space and sort it out later.

As a partnership - you both have to plan and decide where/how/how long etc. We (hopefully) go about boat tasks including anchoring without speaking - no need, we know what the other is about to do. That takes time to sort out.

There are thousands of guys on boats who were Captain Bligh's and were given a choice - the boat or the wife! Dont join their ranks.

I would also say - go for a small trip and make sure it all goes well, then go a bit further. "Happy wife= happy life" and you guys are in this adventure together - you are not on a Royal Navy Destroyer, so dont turn into a jerk.

Good luck

Nicely said!!
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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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As I read it, you've got the girl and the dream, and you are trying to figure out how to keep them both (together with you).

My advice is to start VERY early (25 years is not too soon) and take VERY small steps. Visit the same favorite anchorage over and over, until maybe she asks for something new. The most important thing is that she needs to feel that your collective skills (yours and hers) are up to the demands the situation is placing on (the two of) you, or might place on you. Not to use a blunt instrument: she needs to have absolute trust in you in the sailing environment.

The more you can do to make her feel in control and competent, the better. When she's comfortable single-handing your boat, go get your ticket punched, because you've got it made.

Now and then you will screw up. I have, and do, and more often than my self-image has room to accept. If she can't give you absolute trust, etc., even with those events in your history, then the situation can't be saved, and that's a no-fault statement. When I screw up (most recently running aground on a rock ledge in the Perlas Islands on the Pacific coast of Panama) my wife gets very quiet, until I explain the tactical situation, and she understands what the options are, what the tradeoffs are, why I'm doing what I'm doing, and what I need from her (keeping her busy keeps her quiet) and what to expect.

Outside the portholes just now, it's pissing down rain here in Guatemala, with one Pacific low, one Atlantic tropical storm (Ida), and the tail end of a north Atlantic low all within a few hundred miles of us. We've come 10,000 miles since we left San Francisco 5 years ago. We're still speaking to each other.

Good luck.
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Old 11-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lshick View Post
As I read it, you've got the girl and the dream, and you are trying to figure out how to keep them both (together with you).

My advice is to start VERY early (25 years is not too soon) and take VERY small steps. Visit the same favorite anchorage over and over, until maybe she asks for something new. The most important thing is that she needs to feel that your collective skills (yours and hers) are up to the demands the situation is placing on (the two of) you, or might place on you. Not to use a blunt instrument: she needs to have absolute trust in you in the sailing environment.

The more you can do to make her feel in control and competent, the better. When she's comfortable single-handing your boat, go get your ticket punched, because you've got it made.

Now and then you will screw up. I have, and do, and more often than my self-image has room to accept. If she can't give you absolute trust, etc., even with those events in your history, then the situation can't be saved, and that's a no-fault statement. When I screw up (most recently running aground on a rock ledge in the Perlas Islands on the Pacific coast of Panama) my wife gets very quiet, until I explain the tactical situation, and she understands what the options are, what the tradeoffs are, why I'm doing what I'm doing, and what I need from her (keeping her busy keeps her quiet) and what to expect.

Outside the portholes just now, it's pissing down rain here in Guatemala, with one Pacific low, one Atlantic tropical storm (Ida), and the tail end of a north Atlantic low all within a few hundred miles of us. We've come 10,000 miles since we left San Francisco 5 years ago. We're still speaking to each other.

Good luck.
Perhaps to clarify..most guys seems to be trying to get their wife to go and mine is already willing and excited for our future adventure. We have owned a boat doing lots of weekends/anchorages and a couple of week+ charters in different locations always having a good time...but....

we always have our own careers friends etc to come back to giving us that time apart....

Living full time in close quarters for a year plus? Sometimes I question how thats possible without killing each other (not literally ) Im interested in hearing how others have worked through this....
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Old 11-04-2009
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We've been married for nearly 35 years, sailing together for nearly 30 - and both pretty much started as novices at the same time (with different degrees of enthusiasm to start with)

For most of the past few years our schedules have permitted us to sail for 6-8 weeks straight throughout the summer. As you say that's a lot of close-together time.. 24/7.

To be honest I find that kind of togetherness easier on the boat than elsewhere... things sometimes get a little testy after a long weekend confined to the house... We do have our own interests and hobbies apart, but of course on the boat they're not available.... yet (IMO) we get on even better 'out there'... FWIW
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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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