The Admiral

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timjet

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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.*
 
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!!!!!!
 
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
 
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! :)
 
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.
 
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
 
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
 
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.
biggrin.gif


Just kidding.
 
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.
 
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.
biggrin.gif


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.
 
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.

*
 
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!!
 
Art wrote:
...last time for me was 1972 in an Island harbor on Penobscot Bay, Maine; thats whole other story!
*Do tell, please.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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????
 
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*
 
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?
 
Not me, but I hope Bess will respond to this thread because, so far, Marin's wife is the only one CLOSE to our experience.

Bess, can, will, and generally WANTS to learn how to handle Skinny Dippin'. We just haven't made the time to get her skills up-to-snuff. We have our routine and we'll MAKE the time this year for sure.. I LONG for time that we can play Rock-Paper-Siccors for the helm as we dock and I am as comfortable running lines with her at the helm as I am now. She's done it a couple of times (almost) as well as me. I can't fathom what it's like to cruise with just a cook and sun-goddess on board. That doesn't sound like a team effort at all. Isn't that what this is all about?

Sun goddess pic attached!
 

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dwhatty wrote:Art wrote:
...last time for me was 1972 in an Island harbor on Penobscot Bay, Maine; thats whole other story!
*Do tell, please.
*Ok You asked for it, and it was FUN!* Well... it was either 1972 or 73... Those years sort of meld together, know what I mean??? lmao!!
*
Mr. John, Crazy K, Skibs, Trapper, Mad Dog, me and about 50 other wild and crazy boys took four to six lobster boats (with a few hundred traps set each) to Ponderosa Isle (at least thats what we called the islands name during that party, Mr. Johns family had rights to use it anyway, as I recall, it seemed like a rather small Island and had a fairly large log cabin house up on a bluff that looked like it came from the 1960s Bonanza TV show).* As I remember, it was not too far off Port Clyde and its indent-harbor was pretty small.* So... we all spent three days on the Island hauling live*lobster by the 55 gal drum up to the house and outdoor BBQ.* House had a big old fireplace with large black caldron that swung out to load with water and lobster.* We brought tons of butter with us and many kegs of beer from a pub in Camden that I had designed, built, owned and operated with Albert Richards (hope my old partner is doing well in afterlife) that in 1971 we had named The Hunter.* Skibs purchased my share and when in biz with Albert they renamed it Washington Street Pub.* After Skibs and Alberts The Pub it went through several owners and eventually closed sometime in the 1980s.* I left the area in mid 70s.* Albert and my The Hunter was a wild and crazy restaurant tavern we built to take care of lobster men, loggers, construction workers and Glouster Mass fishermen.* Man, we made good money on that baby... not bad for a couple guys in late teens and early twenties!* When we opened drinking age was 19... Within a couple months after opening the age dropped to 18 - - > that week the waiting line to get in went around the corner, boy do I remember those weekends!* As The Pub it continued its excellence as a rowdy drinking mans tavern with food and full-on weekend bands as well as many other week night musical entertainment venues.*

That lobster party on the island was pure young-man-party insanity with lots of heavy beer drinking and good ol lobster eaten fun!* If anyone curled up in a bed with covers wed chuck a few real-alive lobster in with em, they jumped up pretty quick - LOL* Thats the most lobster Ive ever seen cooked on an day after day ongoing basis in my life.* When wed run short, boats simply hauled a bunch more traps!* THE GOOD OL DAYS!!


-- Edited by Art on Monday 13th of February 2012 07:45:36 AM
 
FlyWright wrote:
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.

*
*Ditto, ditto!* Al, keep us informed.* I want my Perla to take a more active part too, beyond her tremendous psychological support.
 

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I run the boat with a few exceptions; head duty but heaven help me if it's rough, actual anchoring duty when she runs it at my direction [hand signals]. Docking she handles the lines while I make a mess of the throttle.
Shore lines she takes in and does a quick tie and then I'll redo to suit myself later.

She does the nav. work, reads the book, bulk of the cooking.

I too have tried to get my wife to run the boat but with the exception of necessity , she won't and I don't push it any more. I've found my wife is like Kolivers, smart in other ways but not running the boat. In my case I think I fail at explanations too. She knows what is necessary for emergencies and likes it like that, but not running it.

She likes being out on the boat, sometimes more than I do now. I like working on the boat, it's my hobby, she still likes to go out and use it.

Encourage but don't push and you will sort things out to suit yourselves.
 
Random thoughts of a newbie... The wife and I have been on a few boats lately. Our own is a 20 foot O'Day. When the motor is in the water and we are making 6mph by GPS, she couldn't be less interested in taking the tiller. Hoist the laundry and catch a breeze and the knitting needles are put away and just try keeping her hands off the tiller. 3 to 7 mph no matter, just hoist the sails.

Went out on a friends 36' Albin with a single 120 made 8-9 mph all day, she enjoyed the company, liked the layout but hated the ride. Had no interest in driving when she was offered. Went with another friend who has a 30 foot '60's vintage Chris Craft woodie with a single 350 gasser. Made 15mph and she loved driving it. Got back to the no wake zone and she was not interested in driving anymore. Tried a runabout that will do 40mph and she hated that.

We talked about it day before yesterday and she told me "Driving the boat is boring when it doesn't feel like we are going anywhere". Also, "She gets nervous in the marina when there are other peoples boats she can damage". What that means I am still figuring out. She loves the sailboat under sail going slower but is bored with it motoring. For her I think it is more about the perception of speed than the speed itself. I know one thing, I'm glad I passed on a Grand Banks 36 right now! What I am learning about her on the water is she loves the layout of trawlers but is no fan of the speeds???

The Admiral is the most important thing in the boat with me. If she desires a cruiser with more speed, that's the direction we will go.
 
FlyWright wrote:
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.
Al I am interested in taking this class, let me know if you decide to take it as it would make it more fun for us if you are there.* We are keeping the boat at Delta Bay this year, we will be there April 6.* Maybe we can hook up with you and Meg in April and see if Meg is more interested in the class if she knows another couple that will be there???

As to the question in general,*I am ok driving the boat in most situations, though I don't take it in and out of the slip (I want to practice this and become comfortable with it). *I occasionally*have to remind myself which is the transmission and which is the throttle, though I would know to throttle back down before shifting gears if I picked the wrong one at first
wink.gif
.* I also have to remind myself which button is the starter and which is the shut off.* I have as much involvement with projects as Matt does.* I occasionally drive him insane by making him help me*with a project he doesn't want to, like changing an impeller the other day.* Often times I come up with a*project Matt thinks is going to be awful but later admits turned out well, like*changing*out the electric*heads for freshwater*ones. *Like Marin, the boat is our home away from home and we spend most weekends on it, whether we go anywhere or stay at the marina.
 
Although we have owned boats for decades it has always been my passion and my wife's tolerance. With some longer-term cruising on the horizon my wife took the Women Only (including instructors) boat handling course at the most recent Trawlerfest in Baltimore. Not only did she learn how to handle the boat well (using a Selene 47 for the class), she had a great time making lasting acquaintances with the other cruising women. They all felt having a "women only" setting was paramount in their learning. Over the course of a few days, they also decided they were all married to the same man!

dvd
 
GonzoF1 wrote:
Not me, but I hope Bess will respond to this thread because, so far, Marin's wife is the only one CLOSE to our experience.

Bess, can, will, and generally WANTS to learn how to handle Skinny Dippin'. We just haven't made the time to get her skills up-to-snuff. We have our routine and we'll MAKE the time this year for sure.. I LONG for time that we can play Rock-Paper-Siccors for the helm as we dock and I am as comfortable running lines with her at the helm as I am now. She's done it a couple of times (almost) as well as me. I can't fathom what it's like to cruise with just a cook and sun-goddess on board. That doesn't sound like a team effort at all. Isn't that what this is all about?

Sun goddess pic attached!
I*pilot the boat all the time!* I love it.**I don't have but one experience docking Skinny Dippin'.** I could do it, I'm sure of it.* But we have achieved pretty good communication in docking with him piloting and me line handling...why upset that apple cart?* Do I want to learn how to dock with confidence? Of course!

There is also another option.* SeaSense.* This is a group of women captains who will come and teach you on your trawler.* We met a pair of friends with a SeaSense captian onboard a traweler in Swansboro NC.* The friends were both married and the husbands had recently bought similar trawlers.* SeaSense taught them mechanicals as well as piloting. They easily spent 2 hours in their engine room while we were there.* They were doing a 2 week cruise or something just the three of them.
 

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Besslb wrote:*I don't have but one experience docking Skinny Dippin'.** I could do it, I'm sure of it.*
One thing my wife and I keep intending to do but it never seems to be the right time despite how often we use the boat is for her to practice docking out in the middle of the bay.* Throw a floatation cushion overboard and have her maneuver up to it.

She has a good grasp of how to use the shifters and throttles, particularly since being exposed to the "swivel your hips" method of determining how to manipulate the shifters to pivot the boat.* But it's mainly been a lack of learning and then practice that has kept her from getting into the docking phase of boating.* Leaving a slip is no problem for her, in part because she's not heading into something unyielding but going away from it so she doesn't have the inherent concern about a big bang happening.

But one of these days we'll make time for her to practice with a floating "target" in open water.* Once she gets that down we'll try a dock.
 
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