Talking Her into it?
Hi, I need help. The wife is sitting on the fence, almost ready to take the next step to moving aboard. We do stay on board most of the summer on Lake Erie and sail to all the ports we can get into. But I want to get a bigger boat and sail south down the coast to the Keys for the winter. Do you have any ideas how to get her to let go of the land? She loves the boat and loves to travel. So how about some help.
Why push her? Why not wait until she is ready?
You do want her to be happy with the decision, don't you?
(Notice to my critics: I am not recommending marital counseling.)
I agree with James.
Pushing, even a gentle pushing, could result in a push back if it's not what she wants, or, giving in and potentially being miserable. Been there, done that, won't do it again.
Does it have to be all or nothing? My dream is to spend the winter months on the boat someplace warm but sail back to the Chesapeake and return to short jaunts during our summer (keeping our house).
Step 1. Take out a second mortgage on the house.
Step 2. Blow it all on a weekend in Vegas
Step 3. Explain to your wife why the bank is calling. A lot.
She's either going to go with you, or divorce you. Either way, you get to live on the boat.
Seriously, sit down with your wife and find out if she would be interested in long term cruising in the future. If the answer is yes, lay out a timetable that you are both comfortable with- longer cruises next season and the season after, then cruising full time.
Either that or do a cost/benefit analysis on selling the house, buying a bigger boat and living the vagabond life.
the dream has to be shared...and she may not be ready, or have the same priorities in boats that you do.
liveaboard is hard. And if the boat is not set up in a way that she feels comfortable, even more so. Marinas mean different things to each of you, and anchoring out a whole new set of challenges she or the two of you may not be up to, yet.
I am lucky, my wife had really only two requirements...queen size berth that she can get in and out of, without climbing or crawling or disturbing me AND a place, well lit to read and do needle work...almost anything else was negotiable.
If you have not done so, I would suggest listening to what SHE wants in a boat, and where she wants to be on said boat.
DON'T SELL THE HOUSE! Instead, do what many others have done in the past and either get one of your kids to house sit for you, or if you feel comfortable about doing so, rent it out for a year.
Next, be sure to get a boat large enough to be comfortable, but small enough to singlehand sail. Something in the 30 to 35-foot range seems to work best for most folks that have done the same thing in the past.
The most difficult part about all this is you must consider that you'll be residing in the same amount of space as your living-room with individual rooms smaller than a walkin closet. Your bathroom will also be your shower and in order to take a shower you'll need to put the toilet paper, towels, and anything else you wish to keep dry in a water-tight container. And, you only have a small volume of water to work with, so that shower will have to be well planned and very quick or you're rapidly run out of water--women don't like to take short, and sometimes cold, showers!
The amount of things you can take with you is also quite limited, which is not my wife's idea of a fun way to cruise. Most ladies want to take an entire wardrobe, lots of shoes, a couple matching purses, etc... Most of this will NEVER be used, but that does not count. As for me, I can get away with a pair of flip-flops, a pair of boat shoes, six pairs of shorts, two pairs of jeans, two hats (one spare), and a half-dozen shirts. One pair of socks is good for the entire year, and of course, a change of underwear for each day of the week. Your stuff will easily fit in a small duffel bag--her stuff will consume three, large, steamer trunks. ;)
Bugs are the biggest problem I encountered--even on week-long voyages. The flies gnaw your hide down to the bone every day, and when the sun goes down the mosquitoes and no-see-ums find their way through the tiniest openings. You'll need a liberal supply of skin-so-soft in order to survive in the sunny south. Fly swatters are also a good thing to have onboard at all times.
After six or seven months, one of many things will ultimately happen. 1. She'll become a raving lunatic and hack you to death with a machete. 2. She'll escape the confines of the boat, find the nearest airport and fly home, where she'll quickly file for divorce. 3. She'll love every minute of the adventure, want a bigger boat and tell you to sell the house. Option #3 is unusual, but it has been known to happen. ;)
In my case, my wife will NOT be accompanying me on the voyage to the Florida Keys this coming October. Instead, she will wait patiently for the month it takes me to get there, then when I'm comfortably tied to a marina dock, she'll hop on a plane and fly down to Marathon Key to spend a month or so on the boat and sail around the keys. When she tires of living in the cramped space she'll fly back to the frozen north to play with our 4-1/2-year-old grandson.
Good luck and I sincerely hope everything goes the way you wish,
Have you asked her that question ("How do I get you to let go of the land?")?
What's keeping her from taking the plunge? Is she afraid of the unknown? Is it a fear of the financial costs? Would she be giving up a career? Is she concerned about raising kids on a boat?
I think I'd start by having open conversations and find out what exactly is holding her back. If you don't know what's keeping her tied to the land, then you can't possibly get an answer for how to get her out to sea.
My wife and I talk about this occasionally as well.
She was concerned that indefinite, full-time cruising meant indefinite discomfort and the possibility of being homeless and jobless if something went wrong (read: boat sinks). She's quite a bit of a minimalist and doesn't mind not having much stuff (regularly donates/discards lots of our stuff anyway).
I originally was pushing for a long-term (multiple years) liveaboard vessel in the 45-foot range, but she didn't like the financial picture that painted. We could spend similar money on an apartment and have a real investment. Her ideal picture, instead, was a smaller, more affordable boat that she's be comfortable on for many months in a row, maybe a year, but keeping our land lives to come back to.
In the end she managed to convince me that a smaller (~35 foot) cruising boat is what we should upgrade our current 27-foot boat to, and a year or so of cruising is what we should plan for.
See what I did there?
But in all seriousness, you need to find out what her ideal cruising would be like and see if maybe it would be good enough for you. If it's her dream, her idea, her boat, she will get behind it and and make it happen without you "getting her" to do anything.
Why not sail down to the southern areas of interest and have her meet up with you along the way. You get to live out your dream and live aboard, she can join you somewhere warm, and enjoy the benefits of being in a warmer area.
My wife still has this must have home thingy, I hear her and accept her feelings.
So we agreed that I would sail down and she can hook up along the way for a few excursions and weeks or weekends till we are in the Bahamas.
the deal we have is 6 months on and 6 months at house. Were still working on what months where, but we are moving in the right direction and her level of enthusiasm is slowly growing, A very good thing.
Sometimes it takes more time to move aboard then physically just selling everything off and casting off.
She really has put her heart and soul into the home and honestly i do like it, but like yourself would like to be more on the move as of late.
Compromise and find a good agreement as to how to complete this.
lots of ways to both keep the house and be sailing, you just need to find your groove for the both of you.
cut her loose, she's all wrong for you !
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