JimBowie

Significant Other Participation

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I guess maybe 1 in 10 sailors enjoys the company of their significant other joining in the sport.  By this I mean couples that sail together.  The other 9 of us just gang up together and talk badly about them, if at all.  Not counting cruising, how many people you know (in 10) actually sail with their other onboard.  For racers I know it's probably 1 in 100.

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I do.   Wouldn’t have it otherwise, most of the time !

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My wife is one of my best and devoted crew members. She’s raced with me for over 20 years and cruised with me over 30. 

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Leasing a J/22 for the season so the owners can concentrate on tweaking their “new” International 110 as they sail past on Beercan Wednesday. Yup. Some folks do it, and well.

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A little coaching, teaching, time and patience can make it work brilliantly. With some reciprocity (give-back), of course.

I wouldn't be sailing at all this year otherwise. Winning a race with the spouse you taught to sail is an awesome feeling. Add a couple of offspring to that cocktail and it's even sweeter.

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Mrs S and I have raced together for as long  as we have known each other although we have tended to operate at opposite ends of the boat.  As a long time participant, she 'gets' the sport, the commitment and the  before and after sailing camaraderie and hi-jinx, all of which can be hard to comprehend for non-participants.  In more recent times she has raced offshore while I look after the house, pets and kids or drive the boat van. Sailing is very much a part of who we are as a couple and as a family. It is still one of the best things we do together and hope to do again once we are clear of the current pestilence. 

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tried to get my wife to race with me,  whenever she crewed we either won or did very well..  but she couldn't stand it because she wasn't the one in control..

needless to say she doesn't sail with me anymore,   i had never  yelled or raised my voice at her ...

 

the funniest time, was our my first regatta and she crewed for me... we did two races and came in for lunch, she thought the regatta was over,  she didn't want to race in the afternoon, I had to scramble and find a new crew, which wasn't easy..

 

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There are a lot of couples in Seattle who race together or against each other.  A lot of the regular podium finishers are in that group.  Overall I love the PNW sailing crowd.

Racing is one of the big things that drew my wife and I together. She’s a more accomplished and generally better sailor than me.  Our crew likes it better when she’s there too (and we draw a more diverse crew which is good).

Neither of us is racing much right now (one baby and one toddler at home), but I look forward to racing with her again and cruising with the whole family. My toddler loves sailing, so I think we’ll be seeing more water time again soon. 

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My life used to race with us, but doesn't like how the boat heels and how we talk to each other.  I tell her that it is usually faster, and we need to be able to understand each other's commands. . . we don't usually use hyphenated words.  

She is now our best "groupie" and is happy to meet us on the dock, at the clubhouse, or fly to warm destinations.

 

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We met at sailing instructor school 34 years ago when she was 18 and I was 19. Been sailing together ever since...

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We daysail, race and bareboat charter - it's good, I also race on a big boat with the boys. She is a trooper, we went through a year or so of "you're yelling!"...."no you can't hear me up there (on the bow) if I dont raise my voice!" - 30 years and counting 

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The Tasar is a great example of a predominately couple boat.

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Mrs. Tonner likes to daysail with me, but she made it absolutely clear from the very beginning that I will be singlehanding with a passenger. 

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Always- racing and cruising, on our boat and OPBs. She usually drives on ours. 

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My wife served the crew fresh homemade lobster rolls on butter toasted buns before start of this year's Castine-Camden race. 

She won't do a Bermuda race, but she's done the return 3 times. She missed one Eggemoggin Reach  Regatta, but apart from that she's done every day race, usually classic boat races. 

She's aboard 90% of the time the boat is in use, mostly cruising. We love it, it's where we reconnect and remember why we fell in love 45 years ago.

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I raced for one couple who had a very successful program spanning about a decade. A guy I dated sails for a couple that owns, and actively races, 3 raceboats (and the wife is really into offshore). That bf and I did frostbite and J70 racing together throughout our whole relationship. It's definitely doable. Said bf was and still is a great sailing partner -- we most definitely had our tense moments and disagreements, but overall I really enjoy our racing time. 

FWIW, I think it helps if your SO has some sort of equal footing - an important role on the boat and the ability to develop real skills instead of just relegating (in the case of a wife/gf) a female to a "here pull this when you're told" kind of role. 

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15 minutes ago, BlondeWithFreeBoat said:

just relegating (in the case of a wife/gf) a female to a "here pull this when you're told" kind of role. 

that's funny

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14 hours ago, JimBowie said:

I guess maybe 1 in 10 sailors enjoys the company of their significant other joining in the sport.  By this I mean couples that sail together.  The other 9 of us just gang up together and talk badly about them, if at all.  Not counting cruising, how many people you know (in 10) actually sail with their other onboard.  For racers I know it's probably 1 in 100.

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 If my wife isn't on the boat, it isn't a cruise, it is a delivery. A common load was one baby, one dog, and one wife. Then a bit later on one toddler, two dogs, and one wife. Now up to one teenager, two dogs, and one wife.

* well there is the occasional cruise with several teens, one or more animals, and no wife, she has limits with crowding and noise.

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Thanks for all the replies.  I'd love to be able to perform a scientific study on the difference between sockpuppets on this forum and the group of people I actually meet around the country in marinas.  I say this simply because 9 of 10 responses here indicated coupling is the norm in sailing.  My 38 years experience is exact opposite.  Again, I am distinguishing cruising vs. racing.  We expect cruising to be a couples game.  Racing, not so much.

Anyway thanks again and guess I need be nicer to my own significant other... :)

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Yeah, be nice!

I recruited my wife to sail with me, she had signed up on a club crew list. She already owned a boat and knew the basics of sailing, although her ideas were very different about what "sailing" meant..... but she is intelligent, capable, and quickly got engaged in the art and science of spinnaker flying. We raced a Lightning and then a Johnson 18 together for about 12 years, interspersed with occasionally chartering and cruising. She did not like sailing OPBs with me back then, went out on a J-24 exactly once and hated it so much that shortly after the first start she went below and read for the rest of the day.

She took one look at an Etchells and said "No, just.... no" but she sailed with me on my Santana 23 for a few years. That actually got intense because she thought she knew it all from racing the Lightning, and tended to try and skipper from the pit as well as shoving other crew out of the way mid-task to do it better. She fortunately decided that racing small keelboats was not her game, but now we race on OPBs bigger boats in the relaxed weekday "fun race."

We cruised together full-time for about 4 years, with a couple of years before/after that as part-time cruising.

Earlier (not sure if it was this thread) somebody mentioned that sailing with a spouse should be considered single-handing, with company. That's a good descriptor for the method to bring a non-sailing spouse along. Let them do what they enjoy! And if they don't like heeling, adjust your sailing style! Most of the couples I know where one spouse sails and the other doesn't, it's obvious to all why the other doesn't. Nobody likes to be bullied and yelled at, while surrounded by scary stuff you don't understand. Nor can most husbands "teach" their wives to sail (to sure, some blame for this cuts both ways).

If you can make it work, there's nothing better IMHO.

FB- Doug

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3 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Yeah, be nice!

I recruited my wife to sail with me, she had signed up on a club crew list. She already owned a boat and knew the basics of sailing, although her ideas were very different about what "sailing" meant..... but she is intelligent, capable, and quickly got engaged in the art and science of spinnaker flying. We raced a Lightning and then a Johnson 18 together for about 12 years, interspersed with occasionally chartering and cruising. She did not like sailing OPBs with me back then, went out on a J-24 exactly once and hated it so much that shortly after the first start she went below and read for the rest of the day.

She took one look at an Etchells and said "No, just.... no" but she sailed with me on my Santana 23 for a few years. That actually got intense because she thought she knew it all from racing the Lightning, and tended to try and skipper from the pit as well as shoving other crew out of the way mid-task to do it better. She fortunately decided that racing small keelboats was not her game, but now we race on OPBs bigger boats in the relaxed weekday "fun race."

We cruised together full-time for about 4 years, with a couple of years before/after that as part-time cruising.

Earlier (not sure if it was this thread) somebody mentioned that sailing with a spouse should be considered single-handing, with company. That's a good descriptor for the method to bring a non-sailing spouse along. Let them do what they enjoy! And if they don't like heeling, adjust your sailing style! Most of the couples I know where one spouse sails and the other doesn't, it's obvious to all why the other doesn't. Nobody likes to be bullied and yelled at, while surrounded by scary stuff you don't understand. Nor can most husbands "teach" their wives to sail (to sure, some blame for this cuts both ways).

If you can make it work, there's nothing better IMHO.

FB- Doug

I've taken lessons with my love interest.  She's never sailed before so having us both be there at the same time with someone else involve worked out great.

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30 years ago,  Back in the days of tippy, dinghy racing,  SWMBO used to come sailing with me.. Until one particularly wet and windy regatta week,  we capsized 6 times in 27 races..  She's not sailed since,  but she does come out in the motor boat .

The club runs a 24 hour race,  where you might be tacking every minute or so for 5 hours,  or alternatively overnight you might be becalmed for several hours in cold drizzle and fog in an open boat.  For many couples that is the one race they won't do together. Very short tempers at the end of a bad race don't do much for marriages.

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My non-sailing wife and I have been racing our14ft scow design together for over 9 years. It's a main and jib only class which helps to keep things pretty straight forward for her.

I'm very competitive but she is the exact opposite.We really make a point of having fun and having a laugh when things get hectic. 

She believes that the close proximity of boats in those critical seconds before the star gun goes off is a good time to make new friendships and to strike up conversations with the other ladies on neighbouring boats. 

If I hail a port tack boat too loudly she accuses me of being overly aggressive.

Fortunately for me, the previous owner also raced with his wife and had set out the cockpit in such a way that the helmsman can take over all the control lines from the back of the boat should the lady in front have a total brain freeze.

Her only requirement is that should we capsize, we go home. And she refuses to hike. And I dare not ask her to "use your weight, my love". She goes wild if we end up near the front. That's very seldom.

All in all I actually like sailing with her. It's our thing. Oh, and our combined age is 118 years.

 

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17 minutes ago, trisail said:

 

All in all I actually like sailing with her. It's our thing. Oh, and our combined age is 118 years.

 

So you are in your 90's?

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My wife drives all the races. BTW my usual jib trimmer and bow are women. My jib trimmers husband does not sail, neither does my bowgirl's boyfriend.

 

BBR 2016.JPG

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Hell no! My better half races happily with her mates but I wouldn't take her racing.  We cruise perfectly well.

I was going to get her out on the Elliot 6.5 with a view to getting her out Ladies Racing but the skipper I had in mind died suddenly just a few weeks ago.

I'll hunt around for another.  Don't think mine's sharp enough to drive.  Just not instinctive. 

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On 8/15/2020 at 7:32 PM, PaulinVictoria said:

My wife is terrified of sailing.

Everyone needs a hobby they can escape too, this helps with one's sanity.

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On 8/16/2020 at 11:47 AM, JimBowie said:

Thanks for all the replies.  I'd love to be able to perform a scientific study on the difference between sockpuppets on this forum and the group of people I actually meet around the country in marinas.  I say this simply because 9 of 10 responses here indicated coupling is the norm in sailing.  My 38 years experience is exact opposite.  Again, I am distinguishing cruising vs. racing.  We expect cruising to be a couples game.  Racing, not so much.

Anyway thanks again and guess I need be nicer to my own significant other... :)

My wife has no interest in racing at all. A bunch of people running around her second home making a big mess is not on.

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Girlfriends were not required to sail, but I rarely sailed without one, even racing.

Both my wives I met during extended sailing adventures.

The first was my "training wife" where I learned a lot about relationships, mostly through negative examples. But we were young. When we sailed it was good, otherwise mostly torture.

I met my forever wife a decade after the first disaster, and the second time around has been amazing. Again, we met sailing. She is adventurous, and talented in every way I need.

When we go sailing, she is an active participant and relentlessly, sensibly, expanding her comfort zone. 

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We sail together all the time, both on race night and regular cruising. I wouldn't change it for the world! We've actually come across a number of typically older guys that bash on their wives when talking to us about sailing, I can only feel bad for them. To each their own, but I can't imagine not wanting to experience this without my partner. 

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On 8/16/2020 at 12:50 PM, JimBowie said:

I guess maybe 1 in 10 sailors enjoys the company of their significant other joining in the sport.  By this I mean couples that sail together.  The other 9 of us just gang up together and talk badly about them, if at all.  Not counting cruising, how many people you know (in 10) actually sail with their other onboard.  For racers I know it's probably 1 in 100.

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I've sailed halfway around the world with my wife in the last eight years.

So she's in.

She also raced with me the last season I raced my last boat before buying the cruising boat, and we went out on weekends and vacations all the time before full time cruising.

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My wife is one of the regular race crew on our boat and we daysail and overnight together often.  She'll ditch a day or two of racing a season since it's not her priority but she loves sailing and racing and I love having her on board.  2 of my other regular crew are husband and wife.  I have another couple that are stand by crew.  Several of the race boats in our club are husband/wife or BF/GF combos.

Our retirement plan together includes extensive world cruising. 

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On 8/15/2020 at 7:50 PM, JimBowie said:

I guess maybe 1 in 10 sailors enjoys the company of their significant other joining in the sport.  By this I mean couples that sail together.  The other 9 of us just gang up together and talk badly about them, if at all.  Not counting cruising, how many people you know (in 10) actually sail with their other onboard.  For racers I know it's probably 1 in 100.

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Just finished a 5-day bareboat charter a couple of weeks ago with the LFW.  Just the two of us.  It was great.

For racing, I prefer my daughter as crew.

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My wife has been sailing since about 1981. Sometimes with me, sometimes not.  She was part of the crew when we raced “seriously” (by our standards).  When we loaded our boat up with kids for Wed night jib and main class she was the other adult on the boat.  She jumped ship when we sold the boat and sailed with a bunch of guys on a C&C36.  She drank for free and got great back rubs.

Now that we have grandkids she still sails on our son’s J/70 as he introduces his wife and daughters to sailing. There are serious conversations about getting a cruiser/racer for next season.  Can’t believe it. 30 years after selling my last boat I’m on the cusp of being a boat owner again.  

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We sail together all the time, though she does not prefer the long passages. At least six other couples we know sail together frequently. 

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We did the Sydney-Hobart in 1996, and had 2 women on the crew, which seemed to be very unusual at the time.  We had Wendy do our evening reports to the RC, and we instructed her to sound sultry in her presentation.  Unfortunately it was a difficult year, and many boats were dropping out the first night of the race, and her pleasantries were not totally appreciated as we listened to the chaos.  As the race continued, her reports were noted, and as we arrived in Hobart the dock was crowded with men wanting to help tie us up and meet "Wendy".

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I met Rainbow in early 93 and she learned to sail on my Flying Fifteen. We did the 95 Worlds and bought our J35, “Jo de Ros”. She has been the trimmer and crew boss of both our boats until recently due to having her left lung removed.  We learned early that, Divorced on Friday and married on Monday has worked so well in keeping the peace.  During the week, Rainbow is the law. Then she allows me the weekend!!! 

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I'm perpetually single so haven't had a steady SO crew with me at any point.

I regularly cruise with four couples who've all got their own interesting dynamics.

Couple #1 are about 6 months in and they live aboard. Seems to be a pretty good dynamic and Mrs #1 is keen on sailing, learning and getting involved. Mr. #1 is a shitty teacher though (self-admitted). Good sailor and cruiser but not very good at communicating what needs to be done, if something's bothering him, etc. so the learning curve is slow. Mr.#1 and Mrs.X#1 could be a bit of a nightmare to sail with: especially towards the end of things. We raced together and it wasn't the best.

Couple #2 are 5+ Years live aboard together and are on their third boat. They gel really well and have a pretty good dynamic. They've got their general roles sorted out but both seem very knowledgeable and capable of doing anything themselves.

Couple #3 are a bit less "Gel-y" on the boat. They've been together for a few years and cruise regularly. Mr. #3 does the sailing related decision-making and Mrs. #3 follows orders (well, but blindly), cooks, and cleans. Mrs. #3 seems interested in learning but there's a bit of a clash in teaching style/learning style.

Couple #4 are just starting out with a boat they bought last year. Mr. #4 and I raced together and he's a pretty capable guy. Mrs. #4 is keen but totally novice still. She seems to be gaining confidence and she was envious when Mr. #4 took the boat for a boys trip and she didn't get to come.

I haven't sailed with any of these couples on their boats so this is just my general feel and what I witness during anchoring, docking, etc. They all seem pretty happy.

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Mine gets seasick on a floating dock, serious, she goes quiet if on one for more than a few minutes.

The first trip on one boat, just the two of us with furling two-sails.  An unexpected sub-tropical storm developed out of the blue,  between us and the harbour.  Can happen in these latitudes.   Shortened everything, went through it in full control, but she was terrorized by the wind strength and lightening.  There was a rumour circulated by one of the racing crew that I did it deliberately.

But the arrangement is a good thing for lots of reasons, including that I do not have to go to her chosen sport  events if I don't want to, no excuse required.  Bonus all around. 

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If she wasn’t trimming next to me, none of this would be worth anything. 

 

1B872438-2B56-4B3A-A3CF-5CA678EAED02.jpeg

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That's a great photo.

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I knew of a guy who married a keen racer to make sure and avoid any conflicts going forward.
After the wedding - "Hey look at these races we can do"

The new wife - "Hell no, we're MARRIED now, I'm not doing any more of that" :o

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Wife and I are married almost 35 years.  Been together for almost 45.  Sailed together the entire time.  We have done some racing together both big boats and dinghies but that is not really her thing.  And to be honest its not my first love either.  Cruising or even just day or sunset sailing is our passion.  Just getting out on the water together.  Or hiking / mountaineering together.

I think this (both sailing) is way more common than the OP realizes.  Especially for a bigger boat, its not the kind of thing most would spend money on if it wasn't a shared passion.  Be pretty stupid or selfish otherwise.

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The vast majority of boats at Catalina, power or sail, have husband and wife aboard.

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She steers, I trim. Wouldn't have it any other way (Frankly, she's a better steerer than me anyway, so thats fine... just quietly she's probably a better trimmer too, but she lets me think I'm good)

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Spouse of twenty years never misses a race and what she can't manage another crew member pitches in to help. The two of us along with two other young, nice looking and very pleasant young ladies make up our crew. It's my very very good luck. It's great fun beating the competition with our "Victoria Secret" crew on our Slam.

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My wife steers my boat and other yachts whenever there's a Women's Challenge or similar - she tacks the boat (any boat) better than me. She's won twice with my (our) boat, and also placed with the AC 12 metre Gretel II and the 1932 Fife Josephine - so can steer anything!

She doesn't like offshore particularly, although we did win a two-handed short offshore race once.

Her father was a well-known Sydney sailor, and instilled a love of sailing in her  - in fact she is the one that keeps telling me to keep the boat - talked me out of selling it!

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WhatsApp Image 2019-08-25 at 21.03.03 (4).jpeg

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My spouse of 48 years went couple times.  Our first issue occurred when I grabbed the tiller on an aborted Powerpuff Regatta that was cancelled due to early season cold front ripping through the reaching start-line.  As owner, I felt obliged to relieve her of tiller duty to get the crew to port safely.  Have never heard the end of that incident decades later.  Second issue was the birth of our first of three kids.  That pretty much sealed the deal, she was outta there.  Now that we're seniors with time, she'd rather get her teeth pulled than so much as look at me onboard.  I have no issue recruiting crew, just nothing personal.

--Signed

Sad Boy :(

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My wife is an excellent sailor and great company.  

I 'scale' my sailing to suit her.  That's a fair compromise.  Rules are to keep the boat (somewhat) flat, not be out so long that it seems like too long on the water (that entirely depends on the day, the weather, etc.), be nice and always have a nice meal (ideally accompanied by a lightly oaked chardonnay) after a day of sailing.  

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Bow is far and away my favorite sailor and crew mate. My goal is to go sailing with Bow, not to go sailing. She rocks, is funny as hell, and drives better than I do. If she can’t make a race, I’ll pout, say fuck it and take the A-cat.

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Racing with a couple in the crew is annoying. Been there done that, hate it! It's one thing if it's the owner's wife then it gets a pass but if it's just a 2-1 deal as crew it sucks. They usually bicker and it just creates an unpleasant environment for all. 

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My wife prefers to sleep in the cockpit while I sail the boat...

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For sum of us the thread title should be, "Significant Others Participation"

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