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-   -   The downside of sailboat ownership (https://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/38984-downside-sailboat-ownership.html)

deniseO30 12-03-2007 02:24 PM

The downside of sailboat ownership
 
I've aways loved sailboats, boats, boat building, restoration, etc. Now I finally own a sailboat! Also, now that I have a couple of yrs of sailboat ownership I love it even more! Isn't that wonderful? :D Of all the things I've tried over my lifetime this hobby doesn't seem to be waining,, it's actually becoming a lifestyle!

The downside; I've come to realize that many if not all friends, family, and associates DON'T share my passion and really aren't interested. NO one EVER thinks to ask or tell me they want to go out on the boat. Well, yes my son loves it, (but he's in love with a young lady now) and I share the passion with other sailors. I'm getting closer to having people want to race on my boat eventually. But from all those that are part of my life for many yrs. it's silence... Sure, a few have gone out on the boat once... then after? nada! zilch, nope no way :rolleyes:

Having been reading many posts on here and other forums I know there a many sailors out there that have the same feelings/experiance. I know some of us envy those that have big familes, lots of friends that want to go sailing, cruising, racing, or just being on the boat. But for those that don't.. I say, GO SAIL! You can and will have great times even if you just sit on the boat and chill out with your guitar, keyboard, reading material. Many times i can't wait to turn off the iron genny and radio so I can be more in tune with the water, wind and boat! (check back on me in the spring aftet i do my first solo trip to Chesepeake Bay)

TSteele65 12-03-2007 02:27 PM

It's much worse than you think - your friends and family, after years of speculation, have decided beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're a nut.

Screw 'em, go sailing.

CaptKermie 12-03-2007 02:37 PM

Sailing is not everyones cup of tea, some folks even have an aversion to the water for various reasons. Even if others do enjoy getting out with you on occasion finding the time to do it more often is a big challenge in todays' hectic pace of life. The biggest impediment for us is the impact of seasons, sailing season being less than six months in a good year makes for limited return on investment in our boat. We just had a weekend of snow and are now putting up with torrential rains, is spring and summer ever going to arrive again? Once I retire I will spend more time out there most likely singlehanding because most folks I know do not share my passion for being on the water.

rennisaint 12-03-2007 02:44 PM

Go to any local yacht club, or racing events and pretty soon you'll have people asking. A lot of other people feel that they shouldn't ask because it'd be too much of a bother or too expensive or annoying for you. Just keep asking people if they want to go out.

But most of important of all. If you want to get someone into sailing, let them sail your boat! Don't let people just be passengers because they are afraid of screwing up or hurting things. People think sailing is boring because they don't ever get a chance to make decisions and see what they can do to affect things on a boat. Explain sail trim and then make your guests do it right! Show them what they are doing is affecting something and most people will get excited. At least that's my two cents. :)

chucklesR 12-03-2007 02:59 PM

The upside (besides the boat and the sailing):

You get to meet a group of people who DO share your interest passionately, some who study every aspect of sailing and boating, some who just sorta hang out. Either way, interesting characters doing interesting things with interesting crazy assed stories to tell if you (me) can just shut up an let them tell the story.

I've been sailing all of five years, owned or own four boats, 3 dinghy's and have probably sunk a years pay into boating. I've driven my understanding wife half crazy (and convinced her to put up with it); and gotten myself elected commodore of my local yacht club - mainly cus I volunteer, and most everyone has already been commodore before :)

and along the way I've met this wonder group of people that share my passions to the point where they get sunburned and / or frozen cheeks right along side me whether I'm on their boat or mine.

I wouldn't change it for anything.

kananumpua 12-03-2007 03:21 PM

I'm a little shocked at this post topic because I have met very few people who don't enjoy being out on the water.

However some people are uneasy about sailing and I think rennisaint nailed the solution. Some people, even avid boaters (stink potters) feel uneasy on sailboats because they don't understand everything. I have had great success by putting the passengers in the driver's seat, while I run around and teach them all the lines and show them how they affect the ride. One important thing to remember is to NOT YELL AT THEM when they DO screw up. This even applies when racing! Also, I am 21 as well are many of my friends, and we all know how drinking and sailing go hand and hand so.... there never seems to be a shortage of crew.

Faster 12-03-2007 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptKermie (Post 231951)
....... The biggest impediment for us is the impact of seasons, sailing season being less than six months in a good year makes for limited return on investment in our boat. We just had a weekend of snow and are now putting up with torrential rains, is spring and summer ever going to arrive again?

Capt... I have to differ with you on the sailing season here... it can easily be full time if you're hardy enough and your boat's up to the conditions. Even you, with your boat on a trailer, can easily rig up and go for an afternoon any time of year.. Yes we do get (rare) snow and (less rare) rain but in between we can get some truly enjoyable weather, with the added bonus of snowcapped mountains in the background.

Getting people to sail with you is a constant battle against other committments they have - minor hockey and other organized sports, two people needing to work with little recreational time to spread around. Often there are people that would love to sail but can't arrange it on short notice (which is how many of our off season daysails come about) and eventually you stop calling and asking them to go.

Then you get lucky, get some regular steady crew together and things really start to go well.

sailortjk1 12-03-2007 04:12 PM

Denise,
I have to agree. Most don't have the same passion. Sure they will go out for a nice day sail for three or four hours in a gentle breeze and on a flat lake, but when the wind and waves build, or there is the threat of the possiblity of some rain, they run for cover.
Ask them to stand a midnight watch on a cold spring new moon pitch black no star night, and again they are no where to be found.
Ask them if they want to sleep in a protected bay while at anchor and they will ask you where the closest holiday inn is located.
I can't explain it, I know who you feel, I have the same addiction that you do.
Just yesterday, I asked my wife if she wanted to run by West Marine.
"What do you need from West Marine?" was her reply.
"Nothing," was the only answer I could give. " I just wanna go look."
"Your addicted," she says.
Now remeber, our boat is high and dry and will be for the next five months.
I just wanted to go look at crap that I don't even need.
"There are worse addictions. I could be a crack addict."

BarryL 12-03-2007 04:35 PM

Hi,

In my family (wife, and 3 kids ages 13, 10, 6) I'm the only one who is really enthusiastic about sailing. My wife enjoys it if the weather is good. Two of my kids like it, the oldest one does not. My dad and other relatives like sailing, but would never ask me to go. If I ask them, and the conditions are right, they will go.

This means that I day sail with other people sometimes, but, since I like to sail a lot, I single hand a fair amount.
Checking my records, I 'soloed' about 25% of the time, the rest were assorted family and other trips.

If you really want to spend a lot of time on the water, the suggestion to go racing is a good one. I would say that you should try crewing on someone else's boat before you start racing your own. You can go out 2-3 times a week on other boats, then you only need to round up someone 1 other time to get on your boat.

Good luck,
Barry

deniseO30 12-03-2007 04:39 PM

my experiance is people want to be coddled. Try to teach them anything they balk, others are terrified they will "break" something. then, theres the "too hot, too cold, too windy, too late, too early, what to eat, when do we get back, why did you go so, far people.

I do belong to a yacht club and enjoy the racing but rather race on someone else's boat. I'm slowy getting to the point where my boat is ready to race too. The one real race i was in this summer found my boat dead last at the start, then got my "crew" in sync, actually caught up with the racers! then a jib sheet got fouled and we lost a half hour and finished dead last LOL I really enjoy the club networking but i'm very turned off by the large amount of drinking people do. (not all people)

sailingdog 12-03-2007 05:10 PM

If they want to be coddled...then they're on the wrong type of boat.




Moonfish 12-03-2007 05:24 PM

Denise - Interesting topic, one that most all of us can relate to in one way or another. The one thing that keeps sailing in perspective for me is that I'm thankful only a small fraction of the human race gets it - let alone pursues it. Can you imagine how awful it would be if EVERYONE liked sailing...? :o

Raggbagger 12-03-2007 05:33 PM

Yup I hear ya . Once upon a time I used to have a bucket full of pals that would hang out and get crazy on the weekends. Then I moved away from land and onto my boat. My social life took a turn for the worst. No phone calls , no one stopping by . What was the deal ? Where they afraid of the dock? Was it jealousy ? Who really knows but it did happen. Then after a little whyle I started making new friends that all owned boats and pretty soon almost my entire social scene revolved around other sailors , even a stink-potter or two. So although it can be daunting at first , things will change and your friends will be others that share common interests.
Its just a matter of time , also the more you travel on your boat the more great folks you will meet . Thats been my case and Im sure it will be yours too. When one door closes another opens.

FishSticks 12-03-2007 05:58 PM

Denise, Raggbagger expressed it well. Give it some time, and you'll be collecting new, interesting friends along the waterfront. They will have diverse backgrounds which makes it really interesting. Membership in a yacht or boat club helps, but there are other ways to network with sailors.

A spring cruise on the Chesapeake will be a great way to get in the groove next year. Check out Baltimore - it is one friendly place. Although I hail from Massachusetts I belong to the Fells Point YC in Baltimore, and I know one member from up your way. Keeps his boat there and comes down every weekend.

teshannon 12-03-2007 06:30 PM

Denise,
I wouldn't call it a downside but rather a challenge. Once you've exhausted the group that just wants to out once to try it then you're left with only a few who want to go out again. We're all to varying degrees in the same boat. Fortunately my family loves to sail but they're all married with other obligations and so you're left staring at yourself saying "what now". That's where single handing comes in. I'd still like to have company when sailing but have gotten to a point where I go out myself rather than miss a nice day. Find it very rewarding.

rennisaint 12-03-2007 06:52 PM

Quote:

my experiance is people want to be coddled. Try to teach them anything they balk, others are terrified they will "break" something. then, theres the "too hot, too cold, too windy, too late, too early, what to eat, when do we get back, why did you go so, far people.
The trick with the whiny people is to just ask young dumb kids (21-25) along. Not meaning stupid, just not smart enough to know that when you have to back the trailer out onto the ice until it breaks through, then shove the boat off to sail, which is a racing scow that you will probably end up flipping several times, the season is probably over. And yes, up here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we do dumb stuff like this, and yes, we have over three feet of snow already. Sadly, the canal is now totally frozen so no more sailing :(

Sailormann 12-03-2007 07:49 PM

I like sailing alone. There are some people who think I'm strange to want to go out on the water by myself, but they tend to be the more troubled souls. Unfortunately, I find that I am out with guests more often than I am out solo. Something I need to change in 2008.

wiseleyb 12-03-2007 11:22 PM

I love the people who show up to go sailing and tell you they've only got an hour... great, we'll leave the docks, haul up the sails, go 10 feet, drop the sails and get back to the slip.

I like sailing solo as well. 99% of the non-boat world is on a non-negotiable schedule.

sailingdog 12-03-2007 11:28 PM

I basically tell my crew and guests... we can't keep a set schedule, doing so is relatively unreasonable given a boat that is subject to the whims of nature and can be quite dangerous. :D If they can't stay out the whole time, they can get off before we leave the dock.




camaraderie 12-03-2007 11:56 PM

Interesting topic Denise.
One thing to consider is that your friends like you and find you interesting for the things you were before you became a sailor. Since they have no interest in sailing themselves, to them, it is just something you do APART from them.

When we left for full time cruising, one of the biggest (and best) surprises to me was just how many very close friends we made in a short time "out there" ...probably more in 6 years cruising than in 30+ years of business and "neighborhood" living.
Having thousands of other "nuts" out there with similar dreams and similar concerns and needing each others advice and help just makes for a wonderful community. Probably the thing I miss most since becoming a landlubber again. (sailnet is a good proxy!)
Anyway...you just will have to go cruising to find true happiness!

sailaway21 12-04-2007 02:59 AM

I do quite a bit on soloing myself-it just seems to work out that way. And i'm not going to not go for lack of company. I don't particularly go to socialize and so actually like the mooring from that standpoint. And, even with no wind, it's worth it just to be on the boat; maybe doing some maintenance or just reading a book. I'd hate to be dependant on finding crew so having a smaller boat doesn't hurt too much. If I could get my wife to either stay with a job that doesn't require weekend work or quit altogether, I'd be set.

sailingdog 12-04-2007 07:37 AM

Hmm... I'm not surprised... ;)
Quote:

Originally Posted by sailaway21 (Post 232371)
I do quite a bit on soloing myself-it just seems to work out that way. And i'm not going to not go for lack of company. I don't particularly go to socialize and so actually like the mooring from that standpoint....




ehmanta 12-04-2007 07:54 AM

Posted by: Sailortjk1: "There are worse addictions. I could be a crack addict."
Although being a "crack addict" might just be cheaper:D

I've got the feever bad too!!! My wife and I used to have a close couple that had a sailboat that we could raft up in some gunk hole and they(She) sold the boat and fell out of sailing, too sad. Anyway we have open invitations for others to go out and sail, but many don't want to impose or feel that if we don't ask, their not invited. I guess my wife and I will just have to enjoy those beautiful sunsets anchored out all by ourselves!!!!

Jotun 12-04-2007 08:14 AM

My wife likes to go in good weather. In windy conditions, she does not. But she's happy for me to go and get out of her hair. Many Friday nights this past sailing season, I found myself calling around to everyone I knew to see if I could get someone to come out with me. Get is the operative word here. I felt like I had to twist peoples' arms to get them out.

sailingdog 12-04-2007 08:20 AM

Jotun-

Your wife and TB's should start a fair weather sailing wives club. :D

If you learn to single hand your boat, you'll spend more time sailing, and less time on the phone. :)




sailortjk1 12-04-2007 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jotun (Post 232411)
My wife likes to go in good weather. In windy conditions, she does not. But she's happy for me to go and get out of her hair. Many Friday nights this past sailing season, I found myself calling around to everyone I knew to see if I could get someone to come out with me. Get is the operative word here. I felt like I had to twist peoples' arms to get them out.

My wife hates it if the boat speed drops below 5.5knotts.
We were getting into some lumpy conditions one night with two distinct sets of waves, 85NM open water night sailing. I had to sit on the cockpit sole to be comfortable. Would look up every five -ten minutes or so to check the horizon. When it was time for my wife's watch she toke it with out hesitating. Sitting on the cockpit floor, book in hand reading by a flashilight while at the same time watching the horizon.
God I love her!
Not everybody has that same attraction to sailing.

teshannon 12-04-2007 09:20 AM

Sailortjk1,
Don't let that one get away!

sailingdog 12-04-2007 11:17 AM

Either you make a lot more than the rest of us, or you're not spending anywhere near enough money...
Quote:

Originally Posted by chucklesR (Post 231959)
I've been sailing all of five years, owned or own four boats, 3 dinghy's and have probably sunk a years pay into boating. I've driven my understanding wife half crazy (and convinced her to put up with it); and gotten myself elected commodore of my local yacht club - mainly cus I volunteer, and most everyone has already been commodore before :)

And she's cute too... damn you've lucked out.
Quote:

Originally Posted by sailortjk1 (Post 232442)
My wife hates it if the boat speed drops below 5.5knotts.
We were getting into some lumpy conditions one night with two distinct sets of waves, 85NM open water night sailing. I had to sit on the cockpit sole to be comfortable. Would look up every five -ten minutes or so to check the horizon. When it was time for my wife's watch she toke it with out hesitating. Sitting on the cockpit floor, book in hand reading by a flashilight while at the same time watching the horizon.
God I love her!
Not everybody has that same attraction to sailing.




JustinC25 12-04-2007 03:50 PM

I completely relate to this topic. When I bought my sailboat almost two years ago, I was thinking I would be taking my friends and family out all the time. One of my main reasons of buying a sailboat was because I thought it would be a great social activity. Being 25, it seems like most of the times friends and I hang out is often just going out to bars or hanging out at each othersí places. I thought sailing would be something new and something people would enjoy for a change. Well, it has become my passion, but not to any of my friends. Most of my friends have made it out once, only few have come out more than once, and then some have still yet to in the past two years. Most, if not all that have joined me really enjoyed it, but things often get in the way to come out.

I have found that many people cannot sail on short notice which sometimes I canít help but do. That would often be the case when weather wasnít looking good for sailing earlier in the week, but then Friday night it looks like there would be good sailing weather on the weekend. Rarely will I have guests for a Saturday day sail if I just call up on a Friday. I usually start invitations on a Wednesday, often going through my entire phone contact list calling each person up, leaving lots of voicemails or being told they canít make it. I would do this almost weekly, but it does get old.

Another reason that makes it hard for me to bring people out is most of my friends and I live 1.5 hours from the bay. That means at least 3 hours of driving in stressful DC metro area traffic which most people donít enjoy. It also means it is an all day activity and so many people are busy with other things. Then I also enjoy spending my entire weekends out there on the water sailing to new locations and anchoring out for the nights. There are only select people I would want to invite to overnight with on my small 25í boat for the entire weekend.

I probably single handed at least 75% of this past season. I donít mind it and find it to be very rewarding, but I do really enjoy taking friends and family out there. Probably at least half of those times single handling I was out there sailing with my good friend who was sailing his boat single handed. Those were fun times too sailing along together. I remember the first time I single handed during my first season. It was a huge accomplishment for me and great to know I did not have to count on others to be able to get out on the water.

Recently I have been thinking about how I may be more successful in bring people out next season. If I lived closer to the bay, I think it would be easier to invite people out. Right now itís a big commitment having to drive 3 hours round trip, but that wonít change for a few years. I think next spring I am going to send out an email to all my friends explaining they are welcome to come out sailing and to feel free to call me, or let me know when they are available to sail and Iíll see if I can fit them into my schedule. Iím sure Iíll still be making lots of calls, but it would be nice if I could convince them that Iíd like it if they would ask me if they can come out and let me know when their schedules are free. I may also try to plan some sails more than a week in advance just to get people lined up to come out. I think it will probably be easier to get people to plan ahead and if needed cancel due to weather or whatever reason, rather than trying to get people on short notice.

One of my sailing friends actually just brought this same topic up last week. He bought his sailboat a year ago, with dreams like mine but is finding out how difficult it is to bring people out. For him itís even harder since he has a family with kids and all their activities/sports and they are not passionate about sailing. If my dad sailed when I was a kid, I would have thought it was awesome. Instead, my friend was telling me how his son wants to meet up with his friends at the mall instead of go sailing with him. What is with kids these days? As a kid I never wanted to go hang out at the mall, it wasnít something we did. To choose the mall over something as great as sailing, just seems wrong.:confused:

Well, hopefully next year I may bring more friends out. It's not that big of a deal, just getting out there on the water is the most important part!

Bump 12-04-2007 04:17 PM

I can relate too! Bought the boat 4 years ago thinking what a great way to spend time with the wife and friends. Wrong. The wife gets real seasick and none of the "cures" seem to work. She is a good sport though and lets me daysail as much as I want and even get out for an overnighter once in a while. She dose enjoy meeting me somewhere she can drive to or take a "big" ferry to and spend a weekend of more on the hook or mooring. Love those times. Other than that 90% of my time is alone. Which is fine but its nice to share a great experience. My youngest son loves it too but he lives a thousand miles away so we get out only a few times a year. Do have one lady friend who truely loves sailing but....damn she is hot.

JustinC25 12-04-2007 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bump (Post 232727)
Do have one lady friend who truely loves sailing but....damn she is hot.

That's what I'm looking for! :D

deniseO30 12-04-2007 05:22 PM

Justin don't change your ways or plans to suit your friends. They won't go anyway. Like in my case. They thought my hunter23 was too small. Now they see I have a boat thats like a small apartment below and comfy to be on and they still don't want to go sail. I pretty much knew that was the way it would be and I'm happy just to have my boat and be able to sail it when ever I want.

I'd like to hear from really larger boat owners on this topic. I'm willing to bet it's about the same situation. :D

JustinC25 12-04-2007 05:35 PM

Denise, glad to hear your input. I've been thinking upgrading to a 30' sailboat but then think I shouldn't and don't really need to. One of my thoughts was maybe I would have friends join me more often with a larger boat, more space, more comfortable. Then I was thinking it most likely wouldn't make any difference and your post just reaffirms that thought.

deniseO30 12-04-2007 05:47 PM

I did find out handling a 30ft is way easier for me then handling a smaller boat with outboard! Heck I can spend some real quality time on my boat just like being at home..with or without family and "friends" The one exception is my baby grand won't fit in the boat! But that's another thread someday.. How to make a Yamaha electric piano fit in main salon!

sailingdog 12-04-2007 06:13 PM

If they don't want to go... leave them behind...




scottbr 12-04-2007 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ehmanta (Post 232398)
Posted by: Sailortjk1: "
I've got the feever bad too!!! .......
I guess my wife and I will just have to enjoy those beautiful sunsets anchored out all by ourselves!!!!

That's one of the reasons ours is named Sunset Chaser ;)

We spent more weekends alone and a full week alone , sans kids, than in 16 years. It's great when they get to the age ( 16 & 13) where " we're going to the boat this weekend.... you can come with us or stay home, it's your choice" ;) If they choose to stay home it's a bonus ;) .... if they choose to come with us it's a bonus.:D

RealityCheck 12-04-2007 07:28 PM

I have found that many people do not feel comfortable asking or even accepting invitations to go sailing... although they really want to. The feel they would be a burden to you or that they don't know enough to not be a bother... or simply afraid the boat will roll over since even the big ones tilt alot... LOL

In the 80's I did my ASA charter classes and had the ability to locally charter inexpensively but I wanted some people to enjoy it with but very few would accept invitations. Then I started asking them (girls) in groups to join me... that was the start of what was know for some time as Ken's Harem Cruises... and we all had a blast. That also lead to many more private cruises....

On one of the Ken's Harem Cruises we had to slow down to pass under a bridge that had a lot of weekend traffic... as we passed one 43 footer the two guys looked at me and my boat with 7 girls in small bikinis, the guys looke on with eyes wide and jaws dropped... they had a killer boat... the little 28 Irwin was not much to look at, except for the exceptional crew... the guy at the helm ask... "do you have one or two crew you could spare?" as I set on the cabin top with my "crew" doing everything for me.

It didn't take long for a total change to occur when people everywhere were asking when they could join me for one of my weekend day cruises up and down the Indian River at Cocoa/ Melbourne Florida.

When they learn they are not a bother and that the boat does not turn over, many people really enjoyed it and some took up sailing and did the ASA classes and are now chartering and/ or are boat owners themselves.

max-on 12-04-2007 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sailingdog (Post 232418)
Your wife and TB's should start a fair weather sailing wives club. :D


SD, TB and I are working on this for the wives; or, on the coldest, most windy, white-cap day of the year, we'll double-hand TB's boat, he can be captain on deck, and I'll manage the pilot house, turn the heat on and be nice and warm! :)

sailingdog 12-05-2007 08:48 AM

Max-

Sounds like a good plan... but how are you going to get him to agree to it???




max-on 12-05-2007 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sailingdog (Post 233084)
Max-

Sounds like a good plan... but how are you going to get him to agree to it???

I'll use The Force young Jedi. :D

TrueBlue 12-05-2007 12:29 PM

Hey - making plans behind the captain's back are we? I''ll keelhaul you mutinous dogs.

sailingdog 12-05-2007 01:10 PM

Yes, I hear it works quite well on weak minds... ;)
Quote:

Originally Posted by max-on (Post 233189)
I'll use The Force young Jedi. :D

I may be a dog...but I'm not mutinous... ;)
Quote:

Originally Posted by TrueBlue (Post 233202)
Hey - making plans behind the captain's back are we? I''ll keelhaul you mutinous dogs.





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