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marie_blomqvist 01-03-2001 02:33 AM

On board conflicts
Hi everyone,
I am a Swedish woman, living in Sweden and currently writing a book about common causes of on board conflicts. As you know, there are thousands of books on technical boat issues, but very little has been written about what really happens when people share such a small space as a boat. My book will deal with expectations, gender roles, leadership, fear and secuity, coming home again and more.

Im writing this, hoping that you would like to contribute by sharing your own conflict experiences or those of others. This book will provide important information to those preparing to cruise for a longer period of time as well as those going for shorter cruises. My aim, of course, is to prepare future cruisers for difficulties that may arise when going cruising.
Please get in touch with me for more information. I am looking forward to your e-mail!
Kind regards
Marie Blomqvist

dazeoff 01-07-2001 10:22 AM

On board conflicts
Hi Marie,
If you would like to make contact with me? I have been at sea for 22 months, sailed only with girls and have completed 300 miles : Keys, Cuba, Exumas and Abaco, hurricane Floyd survivor...What do you want to know??

newuser 01-19-2001 05:29 AM

On board conflicts
Hey Mike,
Thanks for replying!
I am interested in knowing about any experiences you might have about conflicts when sharing such a small space as a boat, money conflicts when cruising, difference of expectations before you set out and what that might lead to, conflicts about what to do once you reach land, about sacrifices you had to make, such as selling your home, missing friends and children and parents, gender roles on aboard (he is captain, she is first mate is very common, although that is not usually the case when living on land and how does a woman cope with that??) And what about women who decide to accompany their men, although they do not really want to.
I all honesty, I think more women than men experience theese difficulties. But if you have any personal, concrete experiences, I would appreciate it if you would share them with me. And, if any of your women sailors would like to have a conversation about this, I would appreciate her e-mail address.

I am sorry for not replying until now, things have been really hectic for a while. And by the way, are you sailing at the moment, and if so, where are you now?

dazeoff 01-29-2001 01:12 PM

On board conflicts
Please send me your e-mail address to '' and I will expand OFF MESSAGE-board

gwilli 02-02-2001 08:28 AM

On board conflicts
You might want to check out a book by Alayne Main who is from my neck of the woods and who writes from personal experience about the emotional side of extended cruising from a woman''s perspective. It is available through

Title: Sailing Promise: Around the World on a Catamaran

Alayne Main had an exciting medical career and minimal sailing experience,
but she and her new husband quit their jobs, bought a 33-foot catamaran,
and sailed away anyway. Their shared challenges were immense--storms at
sea, a collision with a whale, the threat of pirates--but her greatest challenge
was the emotional turmoil their adventurous and uncertain lifestyle created.
When her marriage began to fall apart, Main was forced to deal with her
fears and understand what drove her to continue sailing across vast
unpredictable oceans with only her husband to turn to.

dazeoff 02-11-2001 01:08 PM

On board conflicts
This message board is horrible. I have replied but I can''t see my reply to you.
(in my past reply I should have said 3000 miles over 22 months). Of course in an ideal world we should be able to sort out before hand characture mismarches - but sailing, sailing in confined spaces, owner with mate, who does what, the ground rules, etc: are all frought with problems. You can imagine, in 22 months - there is not enough space here to give you my experiences. If anyone is interested, e-mail to '''' (this is my land-based PC) and I can expand as required. I''m 53, single, hetro, very GSH, non-smoker, drinking, dancing and good time guy - sailing is now my prefered way of life - so just ask away.............

Weissdorn 03-13-2001 08:14 AM

On board conflicts
Hello Marie,

I have done a number of charters. I can tell you that chartering with different people is like taking pot luck. Sometimes everything works out so well, you get the feeling that it will always be harmonious.

As a woman, I find it hard to be a "good" skipper sometimes; particularily with inexperienced persons. By "good" I mean being nice and likeable. It seems that male inexperienced sailors have the biggest problems accepting "commands" from a woman. I never know why this is such an issue, but some men like to disguise their ignorance with macho braveur.

It is an interesting pyschological game, to which I have yet to find the optimum solution. If I give a male inexperienced person an instruction for an assignment he understands and is familiar with, and this instruction is vital for safety purposes, I do not like to discuss this until time has run out, and the situation cannot be saved. Either I have to raise my voice, or usually I have to do the job myself. In either case, I am thus regarded as the bitchy she-captain who has hormone problems.

I have oftened asked myself, if this problem lies in my voice, or the manner in which I have explained something, or my impatience, maybe. Then I tend to disagree that the problem lies within my person, since when I sail with people who have even a little experience, these persons can recognize, say potential dangers, that I also see. I have no problems with inexperienced women.

Perhaps it lies in the age-old chauvanistic adige, "men speak and women prattle". Some men will not accept instruction from women; there is a psychological barrier. It is a potentially big problem for longer cruises, because it can border on mutany.

I have tried a pyschological trick, that has marginal results, and sometimes I apply if time allows. I tell the man: "We have 30 seconds to save this or that situation, if you have a better solution, tell it to me in 5 words or less! If not, do what I say or get out of the way!" This trick has two advantages: The man has to shut up and think for a moment, and either can blurt out his answer, if he truly has a better idea, or his still occuppied with the puzzle you just gave him, while I remedy the situation alone.

I think if men are skippers and women are mates, it works out a little smoother, because women can accept expertise from either gender. The other way around gives us in this day and age competence conflicts.

I know of several women skippers, who hate the word "skipper". They call themselves boat organisers or managers, so that their male companions are not embarassed or challanged, by admitting "yah, the girl''s the big boss". The only harmonious type of sailing relationship I know of is equal partnerships on board, say like Sue & Larry. I don''t imagine they have squabbles all the time. I suppose that one of the ways of avoiding conflicts, is choosing your shipmates that have near equal experience. That, at least, may help avoid the needless arguements.

I look forward to reading your book in the future. Wishing you luck would be out of place, as you may see, the interest is overwhelming, and I am sure it will be an absolute success!


JohnYates 07-11-2001 02:07 PM

On board conflicts
Weissdorn, Great idea (30 seconds to respond)on how to handle crew members that wish to challenge every decision. I''ll have to remember that one. But, don''t think that your experience is limited to male crew challenging a female skipper. The same crew member that gives you a hard time would likely give a male skipper the same challenge. Though there may be a greater propensity in the male crew / female skipper combination for a challenge. But, I''ve had my share of obstinant crew members challenging my decisions as well. At 6''3" and 220 pounds, I have at least one more option than you in dealing with that. Bottom line though is that good communication, planning and fostering teamwork is what make great skippers. In short - brains are better than brawn. And, there is no substitute for experience! Give me the experience "seat of the pants" skipper over the intellect anyday. The very best skippers can communicate their combined experiential knowledge and learned book knowledge to their crew early in the game to obtain buy in from the crew. It''s not much different than management in the corporate world. BTW, the first challenge is likely to occur at the first anchorage. If you haven''t obtained buy in from your crew regarding location, anchor type, amount of scope, etc. expect a challenge. As a skipper I work hardest at communication. When I get that right, everything falls into place.

svsheela 08-18-2001 11:43 AM

On board conflicts
I sailed with my now ex-guy friend for 2yrs. on his boat. After 2 long yrs. of total hell, I finally smartened up. I ditched him, came home, and bought my own boat. My dog and I are now in 7th Heaven, no more conflicts for us!! Sheela

WildPony 08-24-2001 07:52 AM

On board conflicts
Have any ladies out there had any trouble with thier husbands/boyfriends that try to control every little detail on the boat and your left standing...saying duuuuhhh what DO I DO????? Even as far as the decorating is concerned in the cabin AND not putting any of woman''s magazines (that isn''t about sailing ...of course) in the chart box when docked.

Let me give an example....when we go sailing "he" puts up the sails, "he"lefts anchor, "he" is at the helm and so forth... I want to learn all this and he knows it! BUT he insists on doing it at the time. When we are home, he has always said he wants me to learn but when we are out there..its a different story. Yes...I have said many times that I want to help but he leads me on and then I never do get too. I feel like a little child, but if we are going to make a lifestyle of sailing..I need to learn!

Any suggestions or advice from you experienced ladies who has dealt with this kind of problem is greatly appreciated! In other words....HEEEeeelllp! We are preparing to move permantly on our(his) boat in Oct.

P.S. This is his first marriage at the age of 38 and has always done adventures on his own, alone!

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