SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Living Aboard (
-   -   Want to live aboard (tried) but family, mainly wife does not approve (

privatearms 05-06-2009 05:14 PM

Want to live aboard (tried) but family, mainly wife does not approve
Hello everyone.
I have made it my dream to live abord but I encountered alot of problems. I am planning on getting a cheap 40' boat and fixing it up myself so it will be the way I want it to be. I know a 40' sailboat is plenty of space for a family, however, my wife hates the idea. She simply does not want our kids or herself on the water. I personally love the idea and I know people who live on boats and live well.

I am tired of the B/S on land. I love the water. Does anyone have any ideas on how to change my wife's mind? By the way, we live in NJ.

Also, I intend to sail to Australia and England when and if I get a chance to.

sailingdog 05-06-2009 05:44 PM

A good book to get is Changing Course, by Debra Anne Cantrell.

I would highly recommend you read it and then give it to your wife. :)

WanderingStar 05-06-2009 05:51 PM

Good luck persuading her. But first you should try daysailing with your family, so they can learn to enjoy it. Then a weekend cruise. Maybe over time she'll come to apreciate it.

theartfuldodger 05-06-2009 05:58 PM

If your looking for support would suggest joining a sail club where there are other female sailors and families, and get involved with the club will give her a chance to hear from other ladies, as I'm sure they have stories to tell her when they first started out and how they have come to change their minds. This I can say first hand as was the way I got my wife interested, and she now loves living aboard and looking forward to our up coming sail.

delan 05-06-2009 06:23 PM

You should get it comfortable enough for a couple of overnighters first, then see how the family feel, for sure, it's not unreasonable for them to not share your love of boating.
My wife has lived aboard with me, then we moved to a house, and now she'd never move back onto a boat. In fact, neither she or the kids have much interest in sailing.
Now for a Bahamas trip, I either go solo or sail over with a buddy, who flies back, then the family joins me. That way we all enjoy it.

the last thing you want is to be on a boat with someone that doesn't want to be there.

Cruisingdad 05-07-2009 11:19 AM

Certainly no one can tell you how to convince your wife. That is between the two of you and the family. How old are the kids? My oldest was on board at 5 days old and we lived aboard a Catalina 380 (with two dogs to boot!!).

Our Catalina 380 before a trip to the Tortugas

My wife and oldest at the wheel

Chase Watching TV 'Somewhere' in South Florida

I will tell you that some of the best memories of my life have been on a boat... and some of the worst. Living aboard is very tough... much more tough than living on land. I think it requires a high level of commitment starting off. You then get an eye opener afterwards because things just are not what you thought they might be. It certainly is not all sunsets and margaritas. And after you have spent many weeks/months aboard, 40 feet gets very cramped. You will find that you either have to become an anal retentive neat freak, or you will be tripping over crap everywhere. You will also have the storms, the concerns for lightning, the crappy marinas, and I should also mention that a very large percentage (I estimate close to 95%) of those that will be around you either have no kids or are very retired. We were by far the youngest people on our docks. THat creates difficulties for kids as there is no one their age. There is also a LOT of drinking at the docks. Some do it responsibly while others... well, let's just say you need some noisy fans and hatch covers.

I think the most frustrating thing is all the crap that breaks or runs out. Examples are ice (an absolute luxury on a boat that everyone takes for granted until they live aboard), or pumping out the head every week (with pumpouts that do not work half the time), or running out of propane in the middle of a meal, or having the air conditioner blowing full blast in the middle of summer and still being hot down below because the decks are 40000 degrees. The list goes on.

I am not telling you all of this to dissuade you from cruising and Living Aboard. I am telling you this because I have done it and it is different from than what is portrayed in the magazines. At least it was for us. You will either find a way to deal with it, or burn out quickly. That is also why I think all parties (wife AND kids) need to be "on board" for living aboard or it will be a miserable experience.

On the flip side, we are going to do it again and are gearing up just for that. We loved it so much (and are so passionate about it) that we bought another boat and talked my parents into doing the same.

Dinner aboard mom and Dad's Tayana 42

You will also learn to be closer as a family. You will learn to appreciate and enjoy the very simple things of life and the simplicity of living on the water. You will come to truly love sun sets and birds flying by. You will come to know (for better or worse) all you neighbors and call them friends like we as a country used to do 50 years ago. You will come to respect the life on land and all of its conveniences that everyone takes for granted. You will then come to realize how commercialized everything has become. And in the end, if you can take it long enough, you will come to learn yourself and respect the world around you. But it isn't easy. I dare say it is much more difficult then living on land.

But it was/is worth it - to us at least...

Mom and Chase before a casual dinner

Me watching the sun go down 120-130nm west of FL

Chase Steering our 400

Chase and Glen having fun

Me and the boys playing a game

Maybe it is sunsets and Margaritas after all??

Cruisingdad 05-07-2009 11:23 AM

Ideas to get her on board to sailing/LA would be:

1) Take a date night and see if you can go with some other people for a sail.

2) Find friends that have baots and are of similar mindsets (want to LA also).

3) Charter a boat for a week in the islands WITHOUT the kids.

4) Go to boat shows and just walk around.

5) Order the magazines and see if she will read some. THere are also some good books.

6) Once she is catching on to the idea, charter a boat in the islands WITH the kids.

7) When you do get her onboard, take care of her and make her feel comfortable. You are already sold on the idea. It is now up to you to make her feel comfortable with it.

- CD

smackdaddy 05-07-2009 11:30 AM

78 Attachment(s)
CD - I do admire your perspective on things.

I was going to tell the guy: "Dude you're scrude."

I think you did a much better job.

WouldaShoulda 05-07-2009 12:08 PM

Did you kids discuss this BEFORE the wedding??

Fstbttms 05-07-2009 12:18 PM


Originally Posted by privatearms (Post 483349)
I know a 40' sailboat is plenty of space for a family...


You looking to get divorced, or what? :laugher

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:05 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome