Well, thank you for all the wonderful comments. This sure seems like a great forum. Incidentally, one person PMd me, but as I have only 3 posts so far, I can't PM back yet. I'll get that post count up soon enough. (To answer the question in PM: I live in Wash DC now.) I won't be posting much today, though; I just arrived in Hawaii. I need to "research" the beach here.
Take the basic ASA 101, 103, 104, 105 courses, and you should be able to qualify to charter a small sailboat.
I would love to do this -- but can I take all these courses (especially ASA 104) without sleeping on board with the instructor and class? Likewise: an I take an ASA 114 course without sleeping on board? That would be optimal: I could learn cruising skills (anchoring, piloting, etc.) and then charter my own boat to "learn to sleep" with just my family around.
good news, you didn't say the thought of being on a boat made you nauseous for days
Also, some people who can't stand normal sailboats do quite well on multihulls—the motion is very different and many people do not get seasick on them.
I have been seasick only once in my life, on a ferry to Nantucket in big swells and waves, and I got over it before the ferry ride was over -- I didn't hurl, I just watched the horizon while sitting on the centerline of the vessel for a while. On those occasions when I've been on multihulls, it's certainly never been an issue for me. Who knows, maybe sleeping would be different, but I'm not particularly worried about seasickness for me.
My wife, on the other hand, gets seasick on everything she's tried -- keelboats, powerboats, ocean liners, hydrofoils, canoes, rowboats, whatever. But she hasn't tried a cat. So I'm holding out a little hope. And while she hated sailing Lasers, I don't think she got sick in them, so maybe it will help her if she steers. Maybe.
Don't tuck the top sheets or blankets in. Try and pick a place where you'll see more of the boat than just a bulkhead, hull, and overhead when you open your eyes.
Yep, definitely! I do those things routinely even on land.
As I mentioned, I'm concerned about both claustrophobia and snoring, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't feel claustrophobic sleeping in the saloon in a cat. I'm going to look at a bunch at the Annapolis boat show. I've been reading reviews of the Gemini (which I know from lurking that Chuck loves) and, in daydream mode, of larger Lagoon cats and the like.
Thanks for all the comments on sleep apnea. I've certainly read about it, and I've mentioned it to my doctor, but he doesn't seem concerned that I have it. I sleep pretty soundly once I'm asleep, waking up once to use the loo. During the day, I feel rested, I don't fall asleep in meetings, I don't nap, and I never consume caffeine. On the other hand, I've snored like Fred Flintstone since I was a kid -- I remember other kids throwing pillows at me on my first night of camp because I was keeping everyone awake.
Anyway, I hadn't heard of CPAP, so I'll certainly raise it with my doctor. I have noticed some other "remedies" for snoring but haven't pursued them.