Here's the plan
I have started a plan toward retiring and sailing. Number one factor is getting the Admiral all in.
A little background on myself. I am retired Navy (23 years) and loved every minute of being at sea. Retired 7 years ago. My final years I was Officer of the Deck underway and there is nothing better than being responsible for all aspects of safety and navigation of a 550' US destroyer. So I gained alot of navigation experience.
Since retiring I have really gotten into sailing. Did a year with Sailtime, sailing a Hunter 33. Obtained my ASA 101, 103 and 105 certifications. Time and money weighed in their for a while. Have been sailing the sounds of NC in a Hunter 216 as well as recreational sailing on my Hobie 16. While the wife does not know whether cruising is for her or not I would leave yesterday.
Experience is the limiting factor here, both on my part and hers. We have a place on the Currituck Sound in NC where I can get a ton of sailing experience (as mentioned on the Hunter 216). I am looking at either a Catalina 22, Precision 21 or Com-Pac Eclipse for weekend excursions and to increase my sailing skills. Imperative during this that I teach the Admiral all she needs to know about sailing.
Later move up to a 33-36' something (that is another thread) and sail further.
Sorry for the long thread.
While there is nothing wrong with the boats you mentioned, overnight trips would be little better than camping out. Not, I think, a good way to impress the Admiral. With far less, actually no formal training, I went from a few months on a 21' to a 26' and then a 32'.
Of course, the shallowness of the area you are in is a factor in boat size, but if you have channel access to the Ablemarle Sound, then I think a larger boat would better suit your purposes, especially in regards to the Admiral.
Thanks for the input. I forgot to mention that I am strictly looking at trailer sailor and swing keel at this time as the water is shallow. We have a camper on a permanent site and will be doing the sailing during the day, back to the camper at night routine for quite a while.
Two things. First, any of those three would be good choices, given what your plans are. Second, I would highly recommend you have your wife take a basic ASA 101 learn to sail course by herself. It will be far less frustrating and far better for marital harmony to do so.
I'd also recommend you get and read the book Changing Course, by Debra Ann Cantrell, and then give it to your wife.
photo courtesy of amazon.com
I second Sailingdog's comments, both on the book and on the sailing course. They will both reduce the Admiral's pucker factor, and when you consider the option of teaching her yourself vs. letting a pro do it, just think about the stories you've heard about husbands trying to teach their wives how to ski or play golf. Rarely a good outcome. Don't ask me how I know this.:(
You have gotten some good advice here already. If the Admiral needs to learn the basics of sailing, safety and boat handling have her attend a good sailing school. Both of you should get good comprehensive first aid training (You probably already have that from the military)
The next step I would take would be to charter a bare boat for a week or two. If she likes the charter experience you're in there :cool:
Never having sailed out of sight of land, my wife wasn't sure she would like voyaging so we signed on as crew in a square rigger sailing from Vancouver to Hawaii. She liked it so much she stayed with the ship another three weeks and went to Fiji while I went back to work:confused: , Then she started looking for delivery crew opportunities and sailed a schooner from San Diego to Kauai. She was well and truly bitten by the cruising bug and loves to be at sea at least as much as I do.
You already have more experience than a lot of cruisers I know. For most, the problem is not sailing skills but never having been out of sight of land in any kind of vessel. As you know, there is a world of difference between day-sailing and two or three weeks at sea. If the Admiral trusts you to take her to sea (One would hope) all you need to do is find a boat she likes.
Latest video cruising log added 4-14-09
My advice to you is to keep an open mind as far as your wife's participation in your sailing dream.
For us, it turned out that my wife hates sailing the boat, but loves sailing on the boat. In other words, she loves being a passenger and having me do all the sailing. If I had pushed her too hard for her to take courses, read sailing textbooks, and learn to sail, she would have bailed out.
We worked our way up to cruising. We had a lot of family fun with the kids on a Hobie 16, then started chartering keelboats, then bought a small swing keel sailboat (ODay 222), and finally chose an Island Packet 380 as our cruising boat (with a lot of input from her). We day-sailed on the Chesapeake, got into cruising around the Bay in the IP, and then to my astonishment, she agreed to sail to Bermuda with me. We ended up cruising up and down the Lesser Antilles for two years.
Your wife might end up fighting you for time at the wheel. But I guess my point is that it's important to make sure you really listen to what your wife wants and doesn't want as you work you way toward your goal. Make it her dream, too.
One point—if your wife is out cruising with you... as a couple—she really should have the knowledge, the skills and the ability to sail the boat herself. What happens if you fall overboard? Would she be able to make a MOB recovery single-handed under sail or power? What if she can only drive the boat with the motor running and you fall overboard trying to get a line free that has fouled the prop???
I know of at least one cruiser who nearly lost her husband because she hated sailing the boat and didn't have the skills to do a MOB recovery. If my friend's boat hadn't been nearby, and able to pick up her husband, she'd probably be a widow today. I understand that she now can and does singlehand their boat quite skillfully.
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