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Old 02-12-2012, 06:53 AM   #1
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The Admiral

We've owned our boat for a year and a half. She picked out the boat and is still very enthusiastic about cruising on it. I don't want to change that. However she does not like or want to learn how to operate it. I've explained the many situations that may require her to have the skills necessary to do some basic boat maneuvering but still she does not want to learn and is very reluctant to take the helm in close quarters or in a channel with oncoming traffic. I've noticed her depth perception is not good as she is concerned about traffic that has no conflict potential, so I attribute this as one reason for her reluctance to taking the helm.*

While at anchor recently our windlass failed and she had to maneuver the boat up to the anchor so I could retrieve it manually. She did fine but I could tell she did not want to do this even though she realized there was no other way. Afterwards we spent some time allowing her to maneuver the boat in that same anchorage with the anchor stowed. Again she did fine, but did not want to do it.*

So, in order to keep her*enthusiasum*about using the boat I've decided to stop encouraging her to learn how to maneuver it. Our cruising grounds are the ICW in southern FL so if I was incapacitated she could set the anchor and call for help, which she does know how to do.*

I'm sure this is an issue with some others and could like to hear your comments.*
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:00 AM   #2
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RE: The Admiral

Big difference in wanting to do something and having to do something.

Is this her first big boat (bigger than a 18 foot bowrider?* If so...don't sweat it...I would venture to say most women don't want to be responsible for it.* Some are RABID about being the captain but the vast majority like the secondary role as long as you don't UNDERESTIMATE that role.

After many years...some interest may start to creep in...but don't force it.* Learn to do everything else as if you are alone....then when she does help its great and you treat her like it is.* There are even remote control systems that allow one person to start the engines and manuever with engines/thrusters when not even on the boat...pretty weird but I would do it if it meant keeping my wife interested in boating!!!!!!
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:03 AM   #3
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RE: The Admiral

Enjoy the boat and the fact that she likes to be on the boat. You have accomplished more than I could with my wife. You lucky duck you. Larryw
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
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RE: The Admiral

My wife has zero interest in running the boat. She cooks and cleans and does everything at the house. I try and make the boat a semblance of less work for her. My 9 year old has more interest in running our boat so I instruct him on stuff. My wife knows how to use the VHF and how to put the boat in and out of gear and that is enough. Give her a glass of wine and let her relax. I run my boat as if single handed and that is fine by me...as long as we get to go to the boat!
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:04 AM   #5
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RE: The Admiral

My admiral was always a bit nervous at first handling big things but I was always successful in talking her into it, then she just fell in love with it.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:52 AM   #6
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The Admiral

Quote:
Ocean Breeze NL wrote:
My admiral was always a bit nervous at first handling big things but I was always successful in talking her into it, then she just fell in love with it.
*Glad it worked for you...the ABSOLuTE way of scaring a significant other away from the helm or even*worse (the boat) is to coax them into driving and then something bad happening.

Best to let them decide what's good for them...the best thing you can do is make them want to enjoy boating more and more.* Whatever they decide beyond loving to be aboard and cruise is icing on the cake for most of us.



-- Edited by psneeld on Sunday 12th of February 2012 10:53:46 AM


-- Edited by psneeld on Sunday 12th of February 2012 10:54:21 AM
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:38 AM   #7
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The Admiral

I'm lucky in that my wife enjoys everything about the boat including running it. The only thing she doesn't do to date is dock it, and this is not for lack of wanting to but for lack of doing it. But she takes it out of a slip, drives it for hours on end, and in some ways is a better navigator and radar operator than I am (thanks in part to the US Navy). She wields a heat gun like an artist and does all our finish stripping when we do it, and also does all our canvas work. Her eyesight is fantastic and she spots wildlife--- whales, porpoises, etc--- long before I do. When we anchor she maneuvers the boat while I operate the windlass. Same thing when retrieving the anchor.

As my idea of gourmet cooking is to use a platinum can opener, she also does galley duty. And she assists where she can with all the maintenance and repair jobs on the boat from overhauling toilets to re-painting a compartment. She loves being in a bay and just watching what's going on around us. I don't mean other boats--- she dislikes that as much as I do. But the birds and otters and changing light and sky and so on.

We've had the boat more than 13 years now and she remains as enthusiastic about it and using it as she was when we first bought it.* We go up to the boat (100 mile drive) almost every weekend for one day or two, and even if we don't go out she enojoys staying on it.* It's like a getaway cabin for us in that respect.

So I've got no complaints......


-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 12th of February 2012 12:40:18 PM
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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RE: The Admiral

Quote:
Marin wrote:
So I've got no complaints......



-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 12th of February 2012 12:40:18 PM
*Wonder if she say's the same thing.

Just kidding.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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RE: The Admiral

As Timjet points out, it is never a good idea to push the admiral into doing stuff that is outside of her comfort level.
In our case, once she said she didn't like heeling over, the sailboat had to go. This boat is mine to operate, unless there is a task that can't be done without her help. Anchoring and tying back, which we do frequently, sometimes requires her to help, as she won't climb the rocks to tie the line. Usually, this is beyond her comfort level. Putting the boat in to or out of gear, often required while I am ashore, tying the line, is something she intuitively knows needs to be done, but occasionally, she increases the throttle instead of pushing the gear lever. Then she pushes the gear lever. OMG! good thing those Velvet drives are forgiving! I have mentioned this before, I believe her choice in high school to avoid the sciences is to blame, as I can't seem to get the necessary concepts of physics through to her, so things like that wouldn't happen. Lucky for me, she loves good cooking and is good at it, while I can boil an egg, so we divide the jobs into blue and pink and leave it at that.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:25 PM   #10
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RE: The Admiral

Quote:
JD wrote:Marin wrote:
So I've got no complaints......



-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 12th of February 2012 12:40:18 PM
*Wonder if she say's the same thing.

Just kidding.

*The list is long, I'm afraid.....

One thing that helps is that we long ago adopted a "rule" we learned from a friend, Bob Hale, who until recently was the publisher of the famous annual Waggoner [cruising] Guide to Puget Sound, the BC coast, and SE Alaska.* The rule his wife and he came up with is that if they ever disagree on the position of the boat or the course or action they are going to take in a certain situation they stop the boat well before any difficulties might be encountered and discuss the situation until they agree on what they are going to do.*

After hearing this from Bob my wife and I adopted the same approach, On the few times we have enacted it, it worked as advertised:* it got us the right solution without a heated argument and one or the other of us feeling angry.* Not to say we still don't disagree on stuff from time to time but it has avoided the big show-downs we have observed other boating couples having from time to time.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:55 PM   #11
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RE: The Admiral

Timjet,

*

Like yours, my wife is not comfortable maneuvering the boat, so I've got an inquiry in for this Skipper Saver class in June. I'd like her to be able to do more than set the anchor, push the DSC button and talk on the radio.* I'm not going to push too hard on teh course, but want her to know that it's available if she so desires.

I'm hoping it makes for an educational, relaxing weekend and an opportunity to make new friends and see new places.* Saving my butt in an emergency just seems like icing on the cake.

*
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:51 PM   #12
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RE: The Admiral

Just to chime in!
*
My Admiral does NOT drive our boats... as a regular course of action that is... never has, never will... she just dont wanna, simply wants me to.* Do I make sure she understands how to accomplish certain items for safety reasons... darn right I do; with yearly refresher courses smilingly provided by me!* You could call those times of making my Admiral actually operate and understand each boat item... force feeding!!* Anyway, Admiral can do things if necessary and will pilot when I strongly feel need to request but Captainings primary boat operation responsibilities are gladly and happily mine.* Admiral is real good at dock line fastening/anchor-doings and tow behind runabout assistance, as well as bimini raising/dropping, all forms of boat cleaning, and assistance to me if mechanical needs become a four hand event.* Luckily, my admiral is a great cook!* YUMMMMM!!* **
*
Providing much enjoyment for us, we often ply the warm (during late-spring / all-summer / early-fall) freshwater canals and small island bays up a ways in SF Bay Delta.* *My wife LOVES being on our boat and runabout and doing most water sports.* Albeit she is past the years of swim meets and fancy water ski or high dives.* She and I spend much time swimming and playing together in water; we carry aboard several water toys (now that sounds sexy!).* Sometimes friends come with their boats to enjoy swimming with us... usually we stay alone throughout our cruising/hooking weekends/weeks.* Were self entertainable and dont stay at dock unless severe weather, and, I refuse to stay co-fastened over night with other boats, cant remember the last time... oh yeah thats right... last time for me was 1972 in an Island harbor on Penobscot Bay, Maine; thats whole other story!* *Although I do love to shallow dive and one of my favorite pastimes aboard our beloved Tolly is going under to maintain, clean and keep-shined all her under gear and bottom... unlike past years, I no longer do deep free dives as the pressure now makes it feel like my head will blow a gasket.* If it hasnt already!! - LOL
*

Bottom Line Keep Admiral Happy and Everybodys Happy!* Especially the Captain... damn shes a good cook!!
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:00 PM   #13
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RE: The Admiral

Quote:
Art wrote:
...last time for me was 1972 in an Island harbor on Penobscot Bay, Maine; thats whole other story!
*Do tell, please.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:42 PM   #14
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RE: The Admiral

Try though I may, I am not the person that my Admiral needs to get information from. With a consensus of comment from other women and men aboard, she gains interest. She is one of those brilliant people (I'm not) that wasn't gifted with a great deal of machine sense (the only thing I have). This last year, it has been the visitors to our dock that have sparked her interest in learning more about cruising. It was her idea to take the seminars at Trawler Fest, and now she wants to take some Coast Guard courses. None of what I would have said would have inspired her to a new level of interest about boating. I've already tried it.

After several conversations with live-aboards, including one this afternoon, she's thinking that living aboard may be a possibility worth considering, provided certain comforts could be preserved.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:48 PM   #15
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RE: The Admiral

When we had our sailboat I could barely get her to hold the tiller so I could raise the headsail. When we bought our current power boat she was reluctant to take the helm at idle speed while I used the head. However, over the passed 8 years I've enjoyed watching her gain confidence in taking the helm and I even chuckle now when she will ease up the throttle on her own to the point we come up on plane.

She knows how to raise and lower the outdrive, run the bilge blower, use the VHF, start the engine and put the boat into or out of gear. Like the common statements here, she likes being on the boat but does not have any particular interest in taking the helm. At the recent Seattle Boat Show we attended a class on couples operating a boat. She paid attention and later commented on the instructor's statement that a boat with only one operator aboard was not a safe boat. I am confident she could summon help and get us to a safe place if I was incapacitated.

My advice is to not force the issue and let the Admiral take on the amount of boat handling responsibility she is comfortable with. You may be pleasantly surprised as the years go by and her comfort with being aboard grows. Remember, most females are wired to be risk avoidant.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:57 PM   #16
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RE: The Admiral

Quote:
healhustler wrote:
Try though I may, I am not the person that my Admiral needs to get information from.*

None of what I would have said would have inspired her to a new level of interest about boating. I've already tried it.
*
*Boy do I relate with that!* They will*spend their life with you and raise your children but on some subjects*they*will ignore anything you say and treat the*most total stranger's advice*as gospel????
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:22 PM   #17
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RE: The Admiral

My wife grew up around water, spent most of her time on boats until one day her big brother took her out in a 14' open speed boat to a favorite swimming spot across the harbor. *While her and her sisters were enjoying the waterfalls and swimming, the NE winds came in and before ya knew it, there were 5' waves and a bad sea on so they headed home ( 30min trip ). My brother-in-law ( 17yrs at the time ) had a lot of fun with his sisters ( 12yrs - 15yrs ) being scared in the boat which made things worst than they were. Needless to say that was the last time she got back in a boat until about 8yrs ago.*

We decided to go out for a day trip with a friend in a 55' fishing boat and it took her forever to get her nerve up to even get in the boat never mind anything else. I guess it helped to have all her family around her... even her big brother. She got better each and every time we went out and with each year her nerve got stronger and stronger to the point of last year she got back in a 14' ( 115hp ) and did figure 8's and enjoyed it.*

She loves it now and knows more than I around the boat ( being a little exaggerated here ). I believe it is all in one's interest and willingness to accomplish anything. It isn't any good to push but let things unfold as long as it takes. It is always more enjoyable for the admirals when there are other admirals enjoying similar activities.

She is now my best buddy when it comes to anything - biking ( mortorcycle crusing ), back-country stuff ( UTV's or quads ), fly-fishing or in the yacht.


Elwin*
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:52 PM   #18
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RE: The Admiral

Quote:
Budds Outlet wrote: Boy do I relate with that!* They will*spend their life with you and raise your children but on some subjects*they*will ignore anything you say and treat the*most total stranger's advice*as gospel????
*Wait a minute! Are you talking about my wife?
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #19
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RE: The Admiral

No Walt. mine!
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:12 PM   #20
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RE: The Admiral

Quote:
koliver wrote:
No Walt. mine!
*That struck a chord with me, too.* I think he's talking about most of our wives.*
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