girlfriend/wife hates sailing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 54 Old 07-20-2009 Thread Starter
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girlfriend/wife hates sailing

Over the weekend I discovered my girlfriend actually doesn't like sailing. "I pray for bad weather on the weekends" were here words.

I've tried to introduce her slowly to sailing by not going out in bad weather and keeping the trips short to about 1 hour sometimes organized around events like fireworks, or the airshow to keep it interesting. I don't ask her to go a lot, maybe 2-3 per month. We have a 2 yr. old and admittedly she has to watch her most of the time which I know is hard. So... any suggestions.

I was thinking of making it more a date thing where we keep the kid at home and I can teach her sailing and then when we go out I can watch the our daughter while she helms. She also has a competitive nature so maybe racing on another boat with other people men/women would help her gain interest.

I grew up sailing with my family and wanted to do the same with our new family, but it seems that all may be lost. If she has anxiety about the prospect of going sailing, let alone actually sailing.
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post #2 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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What worked for me was to get my wife involved through a series of classes through our local sailing club. Sometimes the "first mate" doesn't like sailing because they either don't understand what is happening, or don't feel involved, or both. This was the case with my wife, and it was an absolute DISASTER for me to try and teach her. Now she not only enjoys sailing on our boat, but does the club races on another boat and enjoys both. We also took a weekend course together (without kids) which gave her more confidence. Before that she hated to go out.

Alternatively, some people just don't like to sail. If that is the case, you can often allow her to have an enjoyable time doing something else, such as sun bathing, or even reading while enjoying the peace of the sailboat. Having to watch over a 2 yr old on a boat is NOT a fun thing to do for a mother, with the boat rocking and tipping, and the child wanting to do whatever seems the least save or smart.

PDean
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Saginaw Bay, Michigan
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward
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post #3 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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I know a couple at our marina that has same sort of problem. After 3 margaretta's she loves sailing.


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post #4 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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I like the idea of selling "the dream". Talk about chill'in on remote beaches, in remote places in the world, etc.

Then the only way to achieve this is by learning how to sail, this is a great motivator!!

Although if this isn't in your plans then it might not work so well......
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post #5 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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Make it a date

I like your "make it a date" idea. Learning to appreciate sailing is hard enough w/o adding a 2yr to the mix.

Keep it simple, make it romantic and STRESS FREE for her (take care of packing the food and drinks yourself, at least the first couple of times) and really use it as an opportunity to "court her" all over again.

THEN, if she starts to appreciate sailing, see about classes.

Slow, steady and no pressure.
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post #6 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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I was going to suggest getting a new girlfriend/wife but since you already have a 2 year-old I guess you’re stuck. Go with the wine/margarita/liquor idea…might even get lucky too!

“Greatness Is Not In Where We Stand, But In What Direction We Are Moving. We Must Sail Sometimes With The Wind And Sometimes Against It – But Sail We Must, And Not Drift, Nor Lie At Anchor.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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post #7 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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Dont' do what I did:
My wife married me knowing that boating was my passion. After taking her out several times on my sailboat, she lost interest stating it took too long to get anywhere. We went out on a friends powerboat and she came alive on the water - now THAT's what she wanted!
In a fit of stupidity, trying to believe I could get her to embrace my passion for boating in that fashion, I sold the sailboat and bought a powerboat. A year of running the boat around PR and btwn PR and USVI she now states she wishes she hadn't asked me to sell the sailboat because powerboats are "too bumpy". ARGH!!!
Enough is enough. I'm not a powerboater by heart anyway - my discovery was boating was not my passion - SAILING was my passion. I now have a powerboat for sale and have repurchased a sailboat that I will be using in the future. I also discovered my wife just isn't into boating period, but let her know she's under no pressure to go, but she's welcome to sail with me anytime.

So my two cents to you is, if sailing is your passion - don't sell the boat because she's not into it. Enjoy your passion and babysit your little one once in awhile and let her go enjoy one of hers. you'll both be happier long term... but your mileage may vary! Good luck!
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post #8 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikrieger View Post
Over the weekend I discovered my girlfriend actually doesn't like sailing. "I pray for bad weather on the weekends" were here words.

I've tried to introduce her slowly to sailing by not going out in bad weather and keeping the trips short to about 1 hour sometimes organized around events like fireworks, or the airshow to keep it interesting. I don't ask her to go a lot, maybe 2-3 per month. We have a 2 yr. old and admittedly she has to watch her most of the time which I know is hard. So... any suggestions.

I was thinking of making it more a date thing where we keep the kid at home and I can teach her sailing and then when we go out I can watch the our daughter while she helms. She also has a competitive nature so maybe racing on another boat with other people men/women would help her gain interest.

I grew up sailing with my family and wanted to do the same with our new family, but it seems that all may be lost. If she has anxiety about the prospect of going sailing, let alone actually sailing.
If the date or margarita tricks don't work, get a smaller boat and enjoy single-handing it!

Does she like being on the boat at anchor or in a marina? If so, you can always single-hand to a destination and have your girlfriend fly/drive there to enjoy the easy part of cruising.

One other thing you can do is motor more often. When things are boring or scary, being under power and not tipping is often reassuring to non-sailors, especially with a tippy toddler on board. Also, any anxiety you might have will be recognized and amplified by your girlfriend, so if motoring quiets things down a bit and makes your life easier, then go for it.
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post #9 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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I've learned that a wife/gf's enjoyability of Sailing is directly tied to your own abilities as a skipper. For example, many weekend sailing couples face a panic situation when trying to dock..much yelling and gnashing of teeth occurs, resulting in a relationship that is bruised, as well as the occasional dinged/dented/gouged sailboat. If you're perfectly capable of doing most procedures calmly w/out drama, it may be better for her enjoyment of sailing as well.

Otherwise...well, you're pretty much going to single-hand. On the plus side, a bow thruster installed on most boats will be much less than the cost of a new powerboat. (Trust me, I've costed it out under these circumstances)

S/V Jendai
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post #10 of 54 Old 07-20-2009
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You have a very serious problem.What ever you do, don't try to force it on her.
That is something I would have done and it won't work.
Like Pain said, you might have to do more single-handing or find other crew.
Nothing in the agreement that I know of said you both have to like each other's hobbies. Just be supportive of each other.
Now..... man do I ever consider myself one lucky SOB.

Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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