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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does this ever happen to anyone else? A few weeks ago, my wife and I were going to do a long planned sailing trip from CT to Boston and back. This was a going to be a major achievement because while she's a great day sailor, she generally considers an overnight on the boat to be like a bad version of camping. In the end, she didn't sail a single mile with me. Instead, she was the best shore side support team that I could ever ask for!

Day 1: Plan was to sail with a buddy to Block Island and stay overnight. He would leave Block on the ferry the next morning and I would sail solo to Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard where I would meet my wife, who would then join me on the boat for the rest of the trip. Buddy backs out at last minute (for a good reason, a broken foot). I decide to skip Block and go direct to MV.

Day 2: I sailed from CT to Martha's Vineyard myself (0300 departure to catch the tide at the Race) while my wife took the ferry to MV from RI as planned later in the day. She ended up getting there way before me, so she took a last minute room at a B&B to have a base of operations while I was still out in Vineyard Sound getting bounced around. I pick up a mooring at 9PM, go ashore and we grab a quick dinner. We stay overnight at the B&B.

Day 3: We do the typical sightseeing / beach-combing stuff - after the beach, we decide to keep the B&B room for another night. I have to admit that I was all for that decision! Another nice dinner and back to the inn. She hasn't set foot on the boat yet.

Day 4: Weather forecast was ugly (and accurate) for this day. She decided that bashing to windward from Edgartown to Mattapoisett (our next stop) didn't sound like fun, so she took the ferry back to RI, picked up her car and drove to Mattapoisett while I sailed there. I had a good time, but she definitely wouldn't have liked it. We stay overnight shore side with family in Mattapoisett.

Day 5: Weather is still not great. We're supposed to leave early to catch the current through the canal and sail to Provincetown, but as the wine bottles were drained the prior night, our sailing trip turned into a car trip out to Provincetown. We made another last minute reservation ($$$ - yikes!) at a B&B for that night. We drove there in the pouring rain and enjoyed the sights despite the weather. We both agreed that we would have been soaked if we had sailed there. Another nice night in a B&B rather than the boat.

Day 6: The plan was to sail / motor from Mattapoisett to Boston. It was a beautiful day, but there wasn't much wind. We drove back to Mattapoisett from Provincetown that morning. On the way she convinces me that it would be a pain in the neck to retrieve our car from Mattapoisett if we leave it behind there. She's right about that. She'll drive to Boston and that way, she'll be able to spend more time with our (adult) kids and their significant others, who all live in the Boston area. When I get to Boston (the next day), we'll have a nice BBQ with the whole family at the marina. I had to admit to myself that it was nice having access to the car during the past day so I could make a side trips to a grocery store, laundry and West Marine. She waves goodbye to me as I once again set out solo for Boston around noon. She still hasn't been on the boat.

Day 7: There was a lot of motoring to get to Boston. I arrive at the marina (Constitution Marina in Charlestown) in the wee hours of the morning and grab some sleep. In the afternoon, I took a few family members out to one of the harbor islands, but my wife didn't come along - she had to go shopping to get ready for the BBQ. We had a nice time with everyone at dinner, but now we have to solve the logistics problem of the car again! If she accompanies me on the return trip from Boston, we'll have to return to Boston to pick up the car somehow. Solution - she will drive home in 2 1/2 hours rather than spend 2 1/2 days on the boat. By now, I'm beginning to see a pattern. She leaves that night and I'm solo again.

Day 8, 9, 10: On day 8, I did a little sightseeing in Boston (there are 294 painful steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument!). I left the next morning for home, stopping overnight in Mattapoisett and arriving back in Old Saybrook the next evening. My wife greeted me on the dock with a big smile and said it was the best sailing trip that she had ever been on! I guess I'm really a fair weather sailor because I liked it too!
 

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You have just described my wifes favorite trip on the boat. She made more than a few very unpleasant passages with me, but meeting me along the way was the better part of our boat ownership. She was a great sport, but reality was that her inner ear did not do well on the boat. I loved it, she did not. She is still unhappy that I sold the boat. Did I say great sport?
 

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Captain Obvious
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It's painfully clear what is happening here. What a pity. Good thing is - she is trying to hang with you on land so that means she cares and is trying. I can see my wife doing the same exact thing.

Like many of us, you are devoted to your wife so you don't do the things which would put you in contact with better sailing partners. I am the same way. But maybe it is time to just put up a request for crew or ask around locally to see who can come and who you would enjoy sailing with. And then just come home to the wife afterwards instead of playing the cat and mouse game. Life is too short and perhaps when she has time to think about you out there enjoying sailing she will come around. I mean, part of being married is letting the other person do their thing.

Perhaps not. But solo sailing is a bit risky.
 

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Guys...guys... you are all missing the point.

Women want to feel safe and secure in their lives. Why would you think spending time on a small fiberglass boat would be any different?

I couldn't get my lady within a mile of a sail boat until she saw her first catamaran....

So... I bought one.

Having a happy admiral means you're a very happy captain.
 

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TropicCat has a point that few men understand, nor do they care to understand.

Women like men who keep them safe. Men who don't keep their woman safe will find she does the 'ol midnight flit.

Take a bit of science with your boat buying and wife-as-a-sailor learning curve:

Predation is generally thought to constrain sexual selection by female choice and limit the evolution of conspicuous sexual signals. Under high predation risk, females usually become less choosy, because they reduce their exposure to their predators by reducing the extent of their mate searching. However, predation need not weaken sexual selection if, under high predation risk, females exhibit stronger preferences for males that use conspicuous signals that help females avoid their predators. We tested this prediction in the fiddler crab Uca terpsichores by increasing females' perceived predation risk from crab-eating birds and measuring the attractiveness of a courtship signal that females use to find mates. The sexual signal is an arching mound of sand that males build at the openings of their burrows to which they attract females for mating. We found that the greater the risk, the more attractive were males with those structures. The benefits of mate preferences for sexual signals are usually thought to be linked to males' reproductive contributions to females or their young.
Our study provides the first evidence that a female preference for a sexual signal can yield direct survival benefits by keeping females safe as they search for mates.
That science says that if you have a better, safer, house the woman will head there. Give her the option of a man with a better house and some lame sailor trying to kill her she will take the dingo-ugly mud-guts slob with the nice safe house miles from the sea shore. Not only that, but the research shows if you ADVERTISE the bigger house or boat the women will come flockin'

PLOS ONE: A Preference for a Sexual Signal Keeps Females Safe
 

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Guys...guys... you are all missing the point.

Women want to feel safe and secure in their lives. Why would you think spending time on a small fiberglass boat would be any different?

I couldn't get my lady within a mile of a sail boat until she saw her first catamaran....

So... I bought one.

Having a happy admiral means you're a very happy captain.
Not sure we can be that stereotypical in our judgements. It was my wife's idea to do a circumnavigation (on a monohull) and she had only been sailing for a few years. I think what is critical is that both members of the couple need to be involved in the sport, from choosing the boat, to helping with maintenance, deciding what to spend on, etc. If it is one person's love and the other person is only going along for the ride because they see how important it is then it does not work nearly as well.
 

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Quirky
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Seriously, we're going to go into life as cavemen to figure out the problem here? C'mon guys. :rolleyes:

Instead of posting on a forum about it, ask her specifically what she doesn't like. She will tell you as long as you won't jump down her throat about it.
Maybe she likes warm showers.
Maybe she likes pretty hair that takes using a blow dryer.
Maybe she wanted to see her kids.
Maybe she wanted some alone time.
Maybe she doesn't trust you as skipper.

If you want her with you, figure it out. If she just doesn't like it, then she doesn't. She's not a bad person for it or a bad wife. Husbands and wives don't have to like everything the other does. Obviously she's supportive of it enough that you got to make your trip.
No need to start discussing women as primates. :rolleyes:

She might know she gets miserable on long trips and perhaps didn't want to spoil your fun. She tried and for some reason she couldn't tell you the truth. Either your feelings would get hurt or it'd turn into an argument. If/when you ask her why she didn't come with you, make sure you don't prove her right by being hurt or starting a fight.

Just remember, if she takes you to some girly store filled with gowns and other ******** you have little to no interest in, traps you there for days on end and keeps you miserable, are you gonna want to go back? No, you'll be waving from the front door of your house with a big smile saying, "Have fun, honey!"

And a big key most men are missing-
Women lose trust when scared.
Men are all, "I was scared as hell but he got us through the gale with 20 foot swells. Hell yeah I'd go back out to sea with him!"
However, if a woman is scared it doesn't matter if you got the boat through. You put her into a situation that scared her. Some don't get scared easily. Some do get scared easily. You may be out enjoying the trip because you're testing yourself while she is absolutely miserable and wondering why in the hell she got on a boat with you.
 

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I think what is critical is that both members of the couple need to be involved in the sport, from choosing the boat, to helping with maintenance, deciding what to spend on, etc. If it is one person's love and the other person is only going along for the ride because they see how important it is then it does not work nearly as well.
Very true in my experience. My wife has always enjoyed sailing though has developed few seamanship skills. She started experiencing some skin cancers and now almost never goes sailing with me, even passed on a BVI charter because of her fear of more skin cancer. I really don't fault her, but bottom line I'm sailing less without her as a partner.
John
 

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Before marriage told her I wanted to cruise. She said ok.
Before building boat got a hit list of her must haves and had her make final say of boat.
Before any cruise have her pick plan and approve weather window.

Reef to third reef when I would go to second.
Go to Solent when I would just put one roll on the genny.
Fall off when I would pinch.
Take it in steps. First 400 m jogs with pro crew and her. Then single watches for her. Then 200 m jogs with just us two.
Make her oversee my chart work and weather down loads. She has the final go- no go.
Take land breaks. We go where she wants. Never dump cooking/ cleaning on her. We share.
Always remind her she is more important than the boat.

Doing above so far so good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Interesting replies all - from cavemen and other alike!

Instead of posting on a forum about it, ask her specifically what she doesn't like.
I didn't make the post to get advice for the lovelorn - I was hoping to relate a funny story and give my wife props for doing all that she does to support my boating habit over the 30+ years we've been married. If I didn't make that clear, let me state for the record:

- I love my wife!

- I am completely OK with our "one if by sea, two if by land" arrangement.

- We get our fair share of sunsets together on the boat - it's just that generally, they are experienced within ten of miles of the dock!

With respect to your other points:
- She does like warm showers, as do I. Some day I might pull out the entire V-berth and install a jet tub and rainfall shower!

- She has beautiful hair - me, not so much anymore (OK, none!). I think my generator could handle a small hair dryer.

- We both wanted to see our kids - that was why Boston was picked as the destination.

- Maybe she wanted some alone time... absolutely!

- She doesn't trust me with the coffee maker, so trust in me as skipper? Probably not! ;)
 

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Interesting replies all - from cavemen and other alike!

I didn't make the post to get advice for the lovelorn - I was hoping to relate a funny story and give my wife props for doing all that she does to support my boating habit over the 30+ years we've been married. If I didn't make that clear, let me state for the record:

- I love my wife!

- I am completely OK with our "one if by sea, two if by land" arrangement.

- We get our fair share of sunsets together on the boat - it's just that generally, they are experienced within ten of miles of the dock!

With respect to your other points:
- She does like warm showers, as do I. Some day I might pull out the entire V-berth and install a jet tub and rainfall shower!

- She has beautiful hair - me, not so much anymore (OK, none!). I think my generator could handle a small hair dryer.

- We both wanted to see our kids - that was why Boston was picked as the destination.

- Maybe she wanted some alone time... absolutely!

- She doesn't trust me with the coffee maker, so trust in me as skipper? Probably not! ;)
Very nicely stated.

My wife has slept on my boat (and it is "my" boat by her own reckoning) a grand total of once. And I'm not expecting a repeat anytime soon. She has said any number of times that she just doesn't want to heel, so we only go out together in fairly benign conditions, and then only for a few hours at a time. Just last weekend, it was sunny and beautiful out, with a nice breeze. I had nothing planned and was going to go spend the day the boat, do a solo sail and maybe do project or two. But my wife said that she would go with me if I wanted to wait until evening. A no brainer for me. Even though we wound up actually sailing for only about 45 minutes (the waves were too big for my wife's comfort), we did have some drinks at the dock, then a nice dinner. I would rather spend an hour on the boat with the Mrs. than a day by myself on the water. Don't get me wrong, I love to sail solo and work on the boat; but given the choice, I always pick the Admiral.
 

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She buys pillows that are always in the way and Tupperware . She thinks of neat ways to store things. She found synthetic sheets of all the berths. She speaks of it as OUR boat. I'm glad you folks have strong marriages. God bless you. However for me the experiences on the boat are enriched immeasurably by her just being there to share them.

Btw- I think you can tell how vested the lady is in the vessel by the number of pillows on the settees and berths . We now joke if one comes in one goes out.
 

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As sublime said.

There are spouse (ok, wives) who fly ahead and spend port time with their spouses. And more spouses who just want no part of it because "camping" can translate into "I want a real shower and a real toilet not a stinky..." or hot water. Or a real stove that they can cook on, or a real fridge they can stock. Or maybe just a real bed and space for clean towels.

Try putting it this way: "Honey, if we won the lottery and I could change anything you wanted, is there anything that would make the boat better than camping ?" But if she honestly just doesn't like small spaces that bounce around and aren't climate controlled...You may have to make do with great shore support and just meet her at the next port.
 

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Think it breaks down to three general groups

Sailors who race or briefly cruise so they don't think of the boat as a home. Wife's comfort and concerns are not top of list.
Couples for whom the boat is a second home or their only home so having as many of the comforts of home they deem important is a major concern as is the particular boat and equipment they choose.
His and hers folks where even though the relationship is strong in this aspect of their lives they diverge.
Difference between a house and a home or a fish/ hunt camp and a residence. Choose your metaphor
 

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My loving wife of 54 years was into boats before I met her. We had a Coronado 25 in and out of San Francisco Bay for 10 years, plus other fishing boats in the open ocean. She enjoyed being on the water except:

1. When the sailboat heeled. I explained all the physics, but could not convince her it wasn't going to tip over & sink like a rock.

2. When in open ocean waters and other boats around us would "disappear" because of high seas

3. When it was foggy

However, all that being said, she always went with me. Now, our boating is on mountain lakes & she is as happy as can be. Her only concern now is being run down by a water ski boat. :D

Paul T
 

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20 years ago my wife did a similar thing as I sailed down to San Diego (100 miles) my wife and young children did the car thing, when in SD it was nice to be able to drive around and see the sites and such. I really enjoy solo sailing so it's not a problem
 
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