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Old 04-20-2014, 12:34 PM   #1
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Women in boating and here.....

Wifey B:

Ok our account is half man, half woman. Although he's the most active, I read and help in his contributions.....or harass him as he's writing sometimes.

Now, it does bother me sometimes not more females here. Perhaps it's the technical crap sometimes but not sure. I think it's something else and that is on most boats the man and woman aren't equal partners or at least take very different roles.

You hear Captain/Admiral and oh do not call me Admiral. Fact, we're both captains. In fact, both licensed and working toward higher levels. We do it all together. But in most couples, seems the woman sits back and lets the dude lead the way. She cooks, helps with lines perhaps, picks out boats she likes from spending time on view. Nothing wrong with the roles.....well, except.....

I think lots of times, especially really active cruising or live aboard, it's like she's being half dragged. She lacks his enthusiasm for it. I freaking love boating, just as much as my man. I mean love it just as much as he loves it, not nearly as much as I love him. hehe. Perhaps more women need a couple of courses. Just I see guys getting out of boating or reducing it in later years cause wife isn't so enthusiastic. So just a note to dudes to bring her as far in as she'll go, let it be equal love for the water. And for the dudettes, jump in all the way. Don't be just a spectator. It's so much fun. Learn to handle the boat. Be equally competent. Anything that lets both of you develop the same passion.

I mean I just so love the water and boats, boats, and more boats. And I'd love to see more women who felt the same as me and really enjoyed it. I think introduced and involved more they just might. I know our two best friends are females and they're both taking captain's classes now after boating so much with us and are learning some with us. But one of them intends to buy a boat soon for when we're off somewhere else boating.

And if there are women lurking behind hubby here, jump in...speak up.....Funny I notice most who blog it's a lot of women blogging equally or more, and same with books. Many so active, but here, not so much.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:06 PM   #2
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My wife is like you and is a major, equal (well maybe 51%) driver of all our boating activities, purchases etc. However, contributing to interweb forums and social networking are of no interest to her. Yes, I know that is highly unusual here in the Facebook age, but she rather socialize and discuss things verbally, preferably in person.

I haven't seen a successful cruising couple where one member was dragged into it and tolerates it for the other's sake. This is especially true on sail boats.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:16 PM   #3
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I see and hear the word "equal" all the time...yet it's RARE to actually see it.

Heck, it's rare to see a lot of active boating men with a true love of boating as a hobby. Sure every weekend they pack their bags and move aboard...take their 2 week vacations aboard...talk the good talk but can't truly walk the walk.

You see it in the way they walk away from a cleat they just put a line on, and it's a mess....the way they are surprised a buoy has been deleted from a light list, why one brand of bilge floats is having a bad run...etc...etc..

They don't stay up with the basics, the tech stuff or even simple questions to the locals before they head out...as in my example of the missing buoy....

I'm not surprised at all about the low attendance here (lurkers don't count as they are often in the group I just described...but hopefully they ARE interested in growing their hobby/passion)...and I REALLY not surprised at the true or perceived lack of women posters.

But don't take me wrong...that level of intensity has nothing to do with enjoying boating or being a pretty safe boater...just in how much time you actually do spend outside the ACTUAL actins of boating...like participating in forums.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
My wife is like you and is a major, equal (well maybe 51%) driver of all our boating activities, purchases etc. However, contributing to interweb forums and social networking are of no interest to her. Yes, I know that is highly unusual here in the Facebook age, but she rather socialize and discuss things verbally, preferably in person.

I haven't seen a successful cruising couple where one member was dragged into it and tolerates it for the other's sake. This is especially true on sail boats.
Well we don't do facebook. Some of you guys might ask your women why they don't participate here. What might interest them? Might learn something to make the forum even better.

As to the dragging into, I've sure seen a lot of that and it doesn't generally end well. You're true more on sail boats. As a man, if I was dragged into sail boats, after all the work for what I felt was going to be fun and relaxing, I'd be pulling back too.

But the dragging into is a reason I suggest a full partner from day one. Then when adversity hits she won't be pulling back but saying we'll get back at it. Often the cruising ends with the first injury or after a bad trip. One other thing is that learning to operate the boat makes the rough days a lot less scary. It's like most of us find cars less scary from the driver's seat than the back seat.

We haven't been on a boat since Monday and I can assure you that my wife is an impatient as I am and following the marine forecasts. We were on a trip by car, quite unusual for us, but had to see some kids we adore in NC. In fact, I was just informed that Wednesday looks like a definite.

Men, just remember. Drag her along and one day she'll pull you back. Walk arm in arm and it will be a lifetime adventure.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:28 PM   #5
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I've always thought the whole "admiral" thing to be very disrespectful. The way it's often meant is, "well, I'm the captain of the boat but my wife can pull the plug even though she can't operate the boat."
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:40 PM   #6
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I've always thought the whole "admiral" thing to be very disrespectful. The way it's often meant is, "well, I'm the captain of the boat but my wife can pull the plug even though she can't operate the boat."
We agree. Sort of passive aggressive put down. Amazing that a term of superiority just comes across as condescending. As "I do all the work, but she just bosses me." I don't think it was originally meant in those terms and probably still doesn't bother most. We just find it very awkward, but it also would be very misleading in our situation.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:33 PM   #7
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My wife is an avid boater, piloting on log races, crewing on CG Auxiliary patrols and helping with the interminable boat maintenance. There are very few women in our boating community that are actually involved in running the boat. Most are willing to just handle the victuals and keep the glasses full. Some of the blame goes to the male skippers who have a "Captain Bligh" complex. Not this guy. I am more than happy to share the skippering duties with my spouse of 45 years.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:11 AM   #8
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Not all women want to run the boat. My wife is one. I wish she would learn, at least minimally, its operation. But no, and I no longer bug. She won't
BUT SHE LOVES TO BE OUT ON IT. Even though I have scared her few times she still likes the darn thing.
And she also has no interest in participating in forums, of any kind.
She is the computer geek, programmer all her working life, but no forums.
BUt thankfully she likes the boat so who am I to argue.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:39 AM   #9
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Hmmm. Just my two cents coming, please no flames! My wife loves boating as much as I do. But she has absolutely no interest in learning how to chart a course, pump out the tank, fuel the boat, launch or land the boat, etc. but she loves to oversee and approve the big decisions. So yes, she is the Admiral. If she doesn't want to go somewhere, we don't go there.

She is a Type A and a super-high achiever. But she lacks the patience to dock a boat with a cross-wind and an unfavorable current. But she will absolutely get a line on a cleat so I can bring the boat around. In my experience you can't have two captains. When it hits the fan only one person can be in charge. If you agree on everything every split second then you'll never know who's really the Captain.

In our case if some gel coat gets crazed in a rough landing it's mine to fix. As far as I am concerned that makes me the captain. If you can chart a course and take the boat out single-handed, then you're a captain. If you like to let someone else do that and then second-guess their decisions, you're an Admiral.

Like everything else, there is a division of labor. Figure out what works best for you. Don't criticize what works for others.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:43 AM   #10
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Hmmm. Just my two cents coming, please no flames! My wife loves boating as much as I do. But she has absolutely no interest in learning how to chart a course, pump out the tank, fuel the boat, launch or land the boat, etc. but she loves to oversee and approve the big decisions. So yes, she is the Admiral. If she doesn't want to go somewhere, we don't go there.

She is a Type A and a super-high achiever. But she lacks the patience to dock a boat with a cross-wind and an unfavorable current. But she will absolutely get a line on a cleat so I can bring the boat around. In my experience you can't have two captains. When it hits the fan only one person can be in charge. If you agree on everything every split second then you'll never know who's really the Captain.

In our case if some gel coat gets crazed in a rough landing it's mine to fix. As far as I am concerned that makes me the captain. If you can chart a course and take the boat out single-handed, then you're a captain. If you like to let someone else do that and then second-guess their decisions, you're an Admiral.

Like everything else, there is a division of labor. Figure out what works best for you. Don't criticize what works for others.
It's whatever works for each couple. The best thing is you enjoy it together. The tough ones are where one spouse just doesn't like to be out on the water.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:47 AM   #11
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BandB, in my opinion, and I don't expect a chorus of disagreement, you and WifeyB are extremely lucky, but in the minority. Most of us are lucky if the spouse is happy to just come out in the boat and do home type things stuff while there, but have not got the luuuurrrve the boat and everything about it attitude like WifeyB, and…surprisingly (to me anyway), ancora's wife appears to have. Folk where the spouse loves the life as much as the other is a rare and lovely thing. Thank your lucky stars, and please spread the gospel.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:25 AM   #12
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BandB, in my opinion, and I don't expect a chorus of disagreement, you and WifeyB are extremely lucky, but in the minority. Most of us are lucky if the spouse is happy to just come out in the boat and do home type things stuff while there, but have not got the luuuurrrve the boat and everything about it attitude like WifeyB, and…surprisingly (to me anyway), ancora's wife appears to have. Folk where the spouse loves the life as much as the other is a rare and lovely thing. Thank your lucky stars, and please spread the gospel.
Wifey B: Yeah, I'm a strange breed. But I think we see a lot of women into it, just not as over the top as me. That's ok. A lot of women sailors too. But whether it's boating or anything else I just hope guys and girls give the passions of each other a real chance. And to guys, if she's not big on boating, find out why and see if there's a work around. Otherwise, just reach an agreement of some sort that works for the two of you. I'd say too that some couples can handle some time apart a lot better than we could.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:24 AM   #13
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WifeyB, is there a reason you don't have your own member account or did I miss that earlier in the thread?
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:33 AM   #14
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I'd just like to add one item to this discussion about women onboard...

It's fine if your significant other doesn't pilot the boat, change the oil, repair fiberglass, or back into slips. That's really no big deal. But seriously, make sure there are always two people (you + someone else, generally your significant other) who can take over and control the boat with the ability to keep it in safe water. There was a great example of this about a year ago where the "captain" collapsed and was unresponsive while the "wife" was unable to take the boat out of autopilot mode as it started approaching land. That's a situation that none of us should ever be in. And just turning off the engines could easily put everyone into a more dangerous situation.

I've been on multiple EMS calls on boats (I was advanced life support for our town). It was never required for someone in trouble to get their boat docked. We always jumped out in the fire boat to meet the boat in trouble. The fire boat moves at 30+ knots. We'd scoop up the patient and bring them back, treating them while underway. There were times when someone was brought to the boat to assist in docking, mooring it, whatever. Around any coastal location, there are always people capable - our town is home to the Maine Maritime Academy where hundreds of students earn unlimited captain's licenses for piloting ships - there were always people wanting to dock the "small" boat.

So while it's fine that a significant other not have all skills, it's critical that they be able to understand the systems while underway and have the skills to keep the boat out and safe (and use the communications capabilities to get help). Your life certainly depends on it. Her life may very well depend on it too.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:36 AM   #15
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Once into long distance cruising, wives and mates seem the norm, smart boaters at that!

Dock queens, gold chain set, short harbor hops not so much.

Come to think of it, I know plenty of dumb male boaters, all my SILs for sure. Male bravado makes all too many of us sound and seem sharp. Then the $hit hits the fan or real work is required, lots of men scatter.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:51 AM   #16
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The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a "Suddenly in Command" course for just such a case, where the skipper is disabled and the other person must take command of the vessel. It is a comprehensive one day course.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:12 AM   #17
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My wife and I are dock Queens. My wife has no interest in boating other than being a live aboard. That is what she bought the boat for! She does NOT know what is required to start the engine, open through hull, battery switch, prime fuel or where the start button is. However, she does know how to take the boat off/on auto pilot and the basic of electronics. When in open water she will take the helm if/when it’s on auto pilot. When away from the dock she has to stay in the pilot house with me and wear a life vest. Most of the time she reads, naps, and occasional will take the helm. However the Eagle basically runs itself for hours when in open water. I think cruising is BORING.

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Old 04-24-2014, 11:50 AM   #18
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I'd just like to add one item to this discussion about women onboard...

So while it's fine that a significant other not have all skills, it's critical that they be able to understand the systems while underway and have the skills to keep the boat out and safe (and use the communications capabilities to get help). Your life certainly depends on it. Her life may very well depend on it too.
We have both jumped into the idea of getting a trawler with both feet. I am more so only because I like to deep dive this stuff and research the heck out of a subject. Which is one of the reasons I think getting a trawler appeals to me so much because there are so many things to know.

One sad reality of the type of boating we wish to do, is that we have to have time and money for these trips, which pretty much means we have to be retired. It is possible that in five years we could have money for the boat we want but then the problem would be time. If we don't have the time, I cannot justify the money even if we had it to spend.

This pretty much mean we will be OLD. Course the kids call us OLD now and I can't disagree with them though I do not feel OLD. Looks might be a clue though. The sad truth this presents is that we can see a relatively short boating time frame due to age.

My wife is not afraid to work on engines and such since she grew up on a farm.

We have set up a "plan" on what we have to do if we wish to really get a trawler. First step is the Trawler Fest in WA in May. I have been on week long cruises on a 33 foot sail boat with 3-5 people and know how a small boat can get smaller. Our first Go/No Go will be her seeing the boat we are interested in at the Fest. It is not a small boat but will SHE think it is too small. It could be a No Go.

If it is a Go, then we can start planning vacations where we BOTH get training. I have a list of classes to take on boats the same size we are interested in buying. BOTH of us have to have operation skills or we won't go. I am not a risk adverse person, and I have done, and still do things that one is NOT supposed to do, but I manage the risk. For the trips we wish to take, it is not an acceptable risk to only have one person who can operate the boat.

I already have First Responder training and CPR certification. Wifey will have get this training if we go down this path.

Before we go on the trips we wish to do, I want a Captains license and it would be best if the wifey had one as well.

I think the skill sets broadly needed, and in no particular order, are:
  1. Boat handling
  2. Risk evaluation
  3. Navigation
  4. First Aid
  5. Weather forecasting
  6. Mechanical skill
  7. Radio communication
We both need these skills, not just one of us. I think the wifey will like boat handling and she will be able to perform the other skills though maybe not prefer to do them. I don't see anything on the list that she cannot do, learn to do, nor anything she would not do.


Later,
Dan
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:10 PM   #19
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Dan, you're going about it in a really smart way. The only thing I'd suggest is that if you and your wife really love the idea of being out there, you don't have to wait. There's always a way. Do it sooner than later.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:44 PM   #20
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WifeyB, is there a reason you don't have your own member account or did I miss that earlier in the thread?
Wifey B: Then we'd be like double teaming you, plus often we're sharing a tablet in bad or on the boat, reading together, so a lot easier to just have one account to open. On most things when he types, he's expressing shared views.

We've been on sites with our separate accounts and it was a bit awkward.
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