Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Sausalito, CA
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
sck5 is right
sck5 is right about first impressions. We men have a really hard time remembering just how foreign this whole sailing concept might be for our wives, and we have totally unreasonable expectations of her.
Maybe we grew up sailing, trimmed the main on our uncle's boat, took classes in college, or maybe we've just always had an affinity for all things nautical. She on the other hand might know how to swim, and that's about it. Show her the ropes? Teach her everything you've learned in a lifetime in the course of a month or two of day-sailing? Nobody (you or her) could live up to that.
Easing her into it and making sure EVERY experience is a positive one is the ONLY way to go. What will that take? Depends on the woman. Wishing or pretending she's something that she's not (right now) is where many of us go wrong. We get frustrated or are just too lazy to do what needs to be done.
We can't teach her ourselves, so we say "she's just not into it."
We run the boat without confidence and expertise and then we say she doesn't feel "comfortable" on board.
Saying your wife just isn't into it or is too soft for life aboard are lame excuses.
The next time you are out with your inexperienced or reluctant wife, pretend that she is a paying customer. She has laid down $500 for the experience of sailing with you for the day. She wants to participate-she's not just coming along as a passenger. Would you ever raise your voice or show even the slightest frustration with a customer? How about close-reaching with too much sail up? How about snacks on board? Cleanliness? What about music? Hot cocoa at the ready for the leg home? You bet.
If she were a paying customer; someone you really wanted give the best possible experience to, you would do everything possible to make sure she had the best time ever.
Now why don't you show that same level of commitment to your wife's enjoyment of the experience? Does she owe it to you to like sailing?
The real travesty in all of this is what eventually happens to the boat and to The Dream when he isn't able to get his wife on board. In time, he'll get frustrated. He'll either sail less or not at all. He'll slowly lose ground in the maintenance battle, and he'll come to grips with the reality in a year or two or ten. Then he'll sell.
Think I'm being dramatic? Surveys show that 90% of sailboats leave their slips less than 6 times per year. Go to a downwind anchorage in the Marquesas and count the single-handers (the real ones). You won't find many. The reason? The vast majority who end up living The Cruising Dream are couples in a loving relationship. You've go to get your wife on board, or you aren't going to go.
You and your wife, The Dreamers, are the most important part of this whole crazy dream. Silly how much attention gets paid to boat gear when the real engine of the dream is barely running.