Every time you express to your partner your desire to take a boating vacation does a flat refusal come? Taking a cue from a fine article by Lyn Pardley in the U.S. magazine BoatU.S., we have derived six tips to make your better half love the boating life as much as you do.
1. “GENTLY” INTRODUCE YOUR PARTNER TO NAVIGATION
If you consider yourself to be an experienced sailor, make every effort to plan each day of sailing so that your partner gradually gains confidence in your abilities and at the same time builds his or her own. If you are both new to boating, make sure your first few sailings develop confidence. Go out only in good weather and calm sea. Ask around until you find other competent and relaxed sailors. Invite them to come with you. If you get along well, they may invite you aboard their boats so that you and your partner can grow about maneuvering and use the equipment more effectively.
2. PUT YOURSELF IN HIS SHOES
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it is easy to become a good skipper in a short time, and think about it from your partner’s point of view: would you ever take a flight with someone who just got a license to fly an airplane? It is easy to buy a boat and learn the basics of maneuverability. But it takes time and experience to learn how to react correctly, calmly, to various situations/emergencies. By taking your time before attempting anything ambitious, you will avoid problems that could destroy the dream of going on a cruise with your better half.
3. REMEMBER, EVERYONE IS WATCHING YOU
Until you and your partner have gained self-confidence (point 1), avoid entering marinas during peak hours. If possible, anchor in the roadstead, preferably uncrowded if conditions permit. This is to avoid the eyes of the “dock judges” on you as you maneuver: you will feel the pressure, make a few wrong maneuvers, and start swearing at each other. And goodbye complicity on board.
4. LET ME MAKE MISTAKES
Do not try to preemptively prevent your partner from making rookie mistakes: you yourself have learned by making such mistakes. And right that those who are novices make mistakes: and if you calmly and politely point it out to them, they will treasure your information and in addition gain confidence in you. Will mistakes cause harm? If possible, minimize: a bump in the dock during the mooring maneuver with your partner at the helm will be better digested with a “just a little putty, a little paint, nothing serious.” Boats are much easier to repair than reports!
5. NO “FALSE PROMISES” ABOUT NAVIGATION
Sailing is not always easy and not always romantic; if you make your partner believe this, you will already be on the brink. Even the most luxurious 45- or 50-footer will never have the space or comfort of a small “earthy” apartment, and at sea you will soon realize this. Not to mention the maintenance work! Before you go on a cruise, rather present it as an intimate adventure that will connect you to nature, and learn to give each other physical and mental space.
6. LIVE THE TRUE PROMISES THAT LIFE ON A BOAT CAN OFFER
Think beyond the boat when trying to attract your partner to shipboard life. Imagine what he loves to do and incorporate these interests into a cruise. Do you love craft shows, antiques or art galleries? Then off you go with the tender ashore and stroll through the stores of the places where you moor. Do you love visiting historical sites? Make time for this as well. Do you prefer cycling, walking on the beach, dining out? You know what you have to do. Before you know it, your partner will connect the boat with his or her interests and see the boat as a medium that opens up new experiences.