Join Date: Mar 2010
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Follow-up from OP....
We've had numerous discussions and a sailing instructor has been recommended. Since we'll be at the boat before March, the timing for this thread has been perfect.
However, I want to note for the benefit of others. We married right out of high school and immediately were immersed in an academic environment. She pursued a career in Education and I in Management. Although we physically built our own home, I was lead carpenter, she was lead helper. Otherwise, her life was Mom to four sons, husband, and teacher.
It wasn't until 40 years later that we bought a boat and began a six month cruise. It was at this time I noticed totally unexpected "issues" pertaining to navigation, charts, and using certain boat equipment. Candidly, I have little patience when an intelligent person doesn't quickly learn to perform what I see as a simple task or learn a simple concept..if the person is intelligent, it must be an attitude problem, right? However, several other recent land "incidents" have also occurred causing me to suggest to my educator wife that the "boat problem" may be much more heavily aptitude based than attitude based. I have no reason to feel age is a factor, but rather think these boat related tasks and concepts are totally different than those she has ever encountered in her prior 40 years, ... other than learning to drive stick shift and down-hill skiing. I have always handled the mechanical tasks in our daily lives..
An academic classroom instructor has little interaction with mechanical items and support people are available if any problems occur. There is no need to "think through" or analyze anything mechanical in a text book. But a boat is entirely mechanical! ...imposing a myriad of new problems and devices never encountered before. ...and what may seem extremely elementary to most of us could be an unbelievable hurdle to someone not blessed with mechanical aptitude. As Sherlock Holmes said "When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
In our case, I no longer think it's lack of desire, but rather aptitude. Even though she grew up on a farm and in a rural setting, three brothers were the mechanics relegating her to traditional domestic tasks. So from toddler to retiree, she was never exposed to mechanical concepts ... causing "boat things" to be like someone speaking Swahili and wondering why you don't respond. I will now approach the situation from an entirely different position.
Definition: Disappointment = when expectations exceed reality.
So men, if your sweet little lady just can't get it, it may be that she never had it from the start. Divide the tasks so she can perform what she is capable of doing safely and PATIENTLY realize she MAY never understand how your Davis windex determines which way to turn the wheel when tacking. And if necessary, lower your expectations. Look at the positives, it will develop your skill getting out of irons.
Ladies, please don't flame me unless you really understand what I'm saying.