Does your wife support your sailing

Daydream believer

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When I married my wife 46 years ago I said " marry me marry my boat" & she still recalls that as part of the marriage proposal
My wife is not a sailor & does not enjoy going on the boat having been on board in a few f8's & being scared .
12 years ago we bought our current boat with the intention of sailing down the canals to the med & spending summers there. However, when she found out that the boat was too big to transit she did dayskipper & we set of round the outside. By the time we got to La Rochelle she had had enough of the cold, damp etc etc & said enough is enough & got on a plane home.That left me to turn round & sail home & discover the joys of single handed sailing without the bother of sailing for someone else
To be fair she has always supported everything I do with the boat & enjoys meeting me at various places such as Ostend, St Peter Port etc for 1 or 2 weeks hols. She also loves motoring up the Dutch canals - we once spent 6 weeks there.
She has no objection to me disappearing to sail round UK twice or cruising to Biscay etc for weeks at a time so long as she can play golf

But reading this forum I get the inpression that wifes are often a big barrier to sailors. Many hating or disliking trips. They object to money being spent & skippers have to "hide" the cost. they do not like hubby being away for more than a couple of days ( so they can accompany SWMBO on shopping trips to Tescos)
I have just read one thread where the wife has said to the owner that if she goes near the boat it will be with a drill

Is this a sort of comment common with wives - does everyone's wife sail begrudgingly. is sailing a recipe for divorce. Or are forumites wives agreeable to sailing. & if not how does one cope with the animosity
 

NickRobinson

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It'd be nice but surprising if interests matched exactly. In our case, partner new to boats, enjoys good weather not 'washing machine' trips. does fenders and lines and at sea steering. Not interested in quals/skippering/berthing. Works well, though I do most sailing solo as part retired while she not. We also have the same experience with our quite large camper.
Our motto/tenet is 'its supposed to be fun'...
 

prv

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I don't have a wife. I intend to do my best to find a sailing-compatible one, though your story demonstrates that's not always straightforward.

In my parents' case though, it's my mum who's the sailor.

My dad doesn't hate sailing, but makes no particular secret of the fact that he'd rather have a civilised and tasteful motorboat. And that having no boat at all wouldn't be a huge hardship for him.

Mum has firmly vetoed both of these ideas :)

Pete
 

MoodySabre

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My wife has reached the age where she doesn't want to do wet, cold and windy. On Saturday we drifted around in the sunshine. I have always resigned to the fact that I need crew for long trips. She encourages me to go sailing with mates as she understands that this is my hobby. So, not a barrier exactly.
 

Halo

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I think it should be give and take. My wife did not sail with me for 10 plus years and by the time she did I was confident and had no need to shout or transmit anxiety. I think everyone should aim to get their partners sailing by NOT taking them out in foul weather but encouraging them to enjoy being on the water. There are far more women sailing now and that is a good thing. After many years my wife is now my main crew and we spend a lot of time sailing round the uk. So message is patience and care
 

dylanwinter

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I am luckier than most. Her father was a sailing vicar so I got Jill in a ready trained format. She had sailing wellies before she met me. She had also been trained to drive by her father. She was prepared to take her turn at the wheel when towing the trailer sailer to Scotland - 1600cc petrol sierra - Eboat on four wheel trailer .

She sails when the weather is nice - and if I am sailing around somewhere scenic. She says that six hours sailing is as much as she would want to do in a day so when she sails with me I adjust the schedule accordingly. She did most of the run from the Humber to Scotland with me - but I tried to keep the coastal hops short. She really has to be turned loose ashore at least twice a day - so no early starts or late finishes.

She would no more think of joining me for the non-stop trip from Falmouth to The Summer Islands I am planning for this spring than suddenly decide she will train as a fighter jet pilot.

My advice to the OP is that he pushed his wife to breaking point

please feel free to read the following sexist twaddle

http://www.keepturningleft.co.uk/sailing-around-britain/how-to-nurture-a-good-sailing-wife-2/

She comes sailing if she gets to choose how many hours a day we sail.
Unless she is turned loose ashore for a good walk or bike ride both morning and evening then she will jump ship.

jill11.png
 
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johnalison

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I don't think it is only wives. I think that most people don't enjoy sailing, especially of the more arduous kind or that lacking in home comforts. If you marry a non-sailor you are going to have to be very careful. A friend of ours started his wife married in late middle age off with a motor sailor and now has the second of two Island Packets. Of course, it is easier if you have his kind of money.

I have been lucky, with a wife and children who have enjoyed sailing, but I think the first stage is to recognise that you can't make people like sailing if they just don't, and then adjust your sailing to suit. Some of our friends had "ferry wives" and this usually turned out well.
 

sailaboutvic

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I have to count myself lucky, over the years I have met many a solo sailor, I too was one for quite a long time, not so much because my wife didn't like sailing but more that I didn't have one,
I spend quite a while, teaching sailing and speaking the the female on the courses I found out, many men buy a boat not knowing much about sailing, then take their wife or partner out in the weather they can't handle, scaring them shitless, then they wonder why they can't get them back on board.
If you want female company, you have to start by slowly introduce them to sailing, not scare them shitless.
Pick your day, nice sunny weather with fair winds will do the job nicely, more importantly do not shout when all goes wrong.
So after tens of thousands of miles I came to the conclusion as I am getting older I enjoy sailing more if I am sharing it.
Luckily my partner or has I call her my Co skipper, has also been sailing since a very small child, taught sailing, and just love being at sea.
The day we are not looking forward to is the day we have to move back on land.
 

reginaldon

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Mine was the wife who shouldn't be let loose with a drill! We've enjoyed the last sixty years of married life, her reaction was largely because I bought without discussing, at an Ebay auction that finished early one morning. She has been out in bad weather, never frightened or seasick. We are on each other's wavelength.
NB I had previously seen the boat.
 

dnickj

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I must be one of the few then - my wife takes a full and active part in everything to do with the boat she has done her day skipper and yacht-master and does everything from polishing the hull to doing the navigation - yes she does like a hot sunny day with 15kts of wind but also takes a 30kt wind and poring with rain channel dash in her stride
in fact if she didn't sail i probably wouldn't either - away on the boat is something we like to do together - hopefully we will be on board full time next year exploring togeher wherever that may be
 

maby

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When we first met, my wife suffered from terrible motion sickness and would not ever consider getting onto a boat - even a large passenger liner. I had been quite a keen dinghy sailor, but simply gave it up. Over the years, she managed to largely conquer the motion sickness and eventually I bought a very small, very cheap and very old sailing boat. She tried it out on a couple of days and got completely hooked - to the extent that she chose and largely funded our latest boat. Her motion sickness is a lot less now due to a combination of repeated exposure and Scopolamine - but when it gets the better of her these days, she just throws up and carries on.
 
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I would say she does in as much as there are no restrictions on my time or cash but she hasn't as yet visited the boat. Her life revolves around her horses which are possibly more expensive and time consuming than the boat.
 

RupertW

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Mine took a very early decision as my girlfriend to try coming along with my Dad and me as she would otherwise barely see me at weekends.
She still doesn't hoist sails, do fenders or boring dirty things but requested one thing after another to improve the domestic experience of sailing whilst becoming a very useful helmsperson and navigator. So first we had to have decent duvets and pillows, then good food, then Dad had to go, then we needed to move up from 24 foot to 31 foot, then had to sell that because it was too frisky and go chartering instead, and finally in the last 5 years buy and sail a 42 footer in hot climes with fridge, ice maker, 2 heads as a minimum etc.

So all very different from my idea of perfect sailing back then but we've sailed thousands of miles over the years together and will keep doing that as our main holiday and probably retirement. I won't often get the fancy sail out or sail the boat on its edge but I will keep having great compionship and holidays with a few overnighters thrown in, as well as plenty of friends who come on board, then actually come back again as our sailing is mostly non-threatening and comfortable.
 

Sticky Fingers

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I've been sailing for 50 years on and off (mostly "off" to be fair) whereas my wife had her introduction to sailing in San Francisco bay a couple of years ago with friends who live there and keep a yacht in Bair Island marina. Lovely day out, sun, waves, pelicans, swimming, beer and bbq in the evening. What's not to like. Since which we've done a week in Falmouth (mixed bag weather wise, no pelicans), she gained some great experience but she's deffo at the beginning of her experience. So far she's loving it but it could all change i guess. She's booking up a dinghy sailing course in the spring because she wants to understand how it all works.

Now we've had two boat show visits, identified what we do and don't like / want / need, and she's keen to buy which to be honest has surprised me a bit but I'm happy to go with it :)
 
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JumbleDuck

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My other half is completely supportive, if occasionally mildly sardonic, and will come and visit for a few nights if I am somewhere nice, but does not sail at sea, ever. It seems to work fine; there is a lot to be said for having different interests as well as things in common.
 

Topcat47

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My other half is completely supportive, if occasionally mildly sardonic, and will come and visit for a few nights if I am somewhere nice, but does not sail at sea, ever. It seems to work fine; there is a lot to be said for having different interests as well as things in common.

+1. She has her horse, I have the boat. We have quite enough shared interests for it not to bother us. I can't fault her support of my sailing. I'd hope she'd say something similar about my attitude to "dobbin".
 

jac

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Mine blows hot and cold.
She chose this boat and the last one but resents the money we've paid ( sand still pay) She wants more and better kit. ( She lusts after a Halberg not that secretly) she still thinks Contessas are the best boat ever made and ever to be made. She doesn't think we use the boat enough then complains she is too busy to go sailing
 

pvb

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My other half is completely supportive, if occasionally mildly sardonic, and will come and visit for a few nights if I am somewhere nice, but does not sail at sea, ever. It seems to work fine; there is a lot to be said for having different interests as well as things in common.

Mine's similar; she used to love sailing when we first started, back in the 70s, and we'd spend most weekends on the boat. Although she gets seasick at sea, she loves sailing in calmer waters. But, about 20 years ago she got a horse, and we sort of progressed to different hobbies. She's totally supportive of my spending on the boat, and indeed thinks that couples need some different interests and "their own space".

A friend with a wooden boat has a similar relationship - his wife is very supportive but doesn't often go on the boat. I think it's not uncommon at all - maybe our wives simply want to get us out of the way!
 

jj21

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I am happy to support my husband's sailing. It will never be my favourite activity, but he doesn't much like most of my hobbies either. We have some good holidays with the children (who do enjoy being on the boat) and days out and it is nice to do things altogether. I don't like water but do like seeing the scenery and I find actually sailing very relaxing (provided the water is calm and the boat it flat). I have done a variety of courses but I am pretty rubbish crew. I do try, and he is very patient. I do not resent the money (which is not actually very much as husband is pretty careful, has chosen a cheap mooring and does a lot of the work necessary himself) at all - we all need hobbies! And our holidays are far cheaper than if we did something else. Overall, when I am sailing he tailors our activity to suit me and the kids - when he wants to do something more exciting he goes with a friend. I think it is partly about compromise.
 

Wansworth

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The wife is blissfully ignorant of danger and loves it when its rough..... things I try to avoid.On the downside she persists in inventing new knots every time we err tie up, instead of learning how to do some simple knots known to most sailors.Being blissfully ignorant of nautical stuff she doesn't notice my errors .
 
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