But, just in case it doesn't work out that way, get the boat anyway. Some guys play golf or tennis or poker without their wives. A sailboat is a just reward for a hard working man who has met his family obligations all his life. Enjoy!
That's some very wise advice Sailormon. Be careful when choosing your first sailboat. Some wives emotions can be very enigmatic and difficult to decipher.
Even though I sailed before getting married, we've had a few powerboats during the past few years - always slipping them at a marina. My wife really loves being on the water and enjoyed the social aspect of marina life, from where we have made many friends.
The majority of these friends are sailors, including several liveaboards on large cruising boats. We spent a great deal of time on and in their boats and were often invited along on both day sails and extended cruises with them. This reactivated the joys I had of sailing on the Bay when younger. Although she never participated, except for taking the wheel on occasion, my wife appeared to show an interest in the design of sailboats and sailing - albeit never really experiencing sailing in heavy weather.
So, I began the search for a suitable boat for us to transition into - settling on a Nauticat 33. After finding the exact model we preferred, she finally agreed to the purchase. This I believe, is where I may have screwed up.
The boat is very comfortable, tons of livable space, well-built and easy to sail. But the aft helm is very high off the water, which can be exposed and intimidating to newbies, especially when coming about in high winds.
During a sail to the Vineyard one weekend, a sudden heavy gust created an unexpected gybe, combined with a large wake from a passing powerboat. This caused my wife to slam her back against the hard teak cap of the aft deck helm's railing. Long after the bruises of that incident healed, she became increasingly nervous of any wind gusts. This paranoia got to the point that I eventually had no choice, other than selling the boat.
She has made it very clear that she dislikes sailing and I often wonder if things would have turned out differently if I had chosen a lower freeboard and stiffer boat. It is likely that I will eventually buy a smaller sailboat to go out solo with family & friends - who fully appreciate sailing. Perhaps in time, she will come along and overcome her fears . . . just perhaps.