Episode #026: Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast Sailing with your spouse…

man in white dress shirt standing beside woman in black dress shirt
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This is usually a hot topic for people and I was really expecting this episode to be funny, but in the end it was quite practical! Sailing with your spouse can be very rewarding! I do find it rare that both partners are fully committed to sailing, but it does happen! However, I would not say that there are more men who love sailing than women. I have seen a real shift in the last few decades that has really made sailing a sport for all, so let’s just take gender right out of this discussion.

Listen to Episode #026: Sailing with your spouse…

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Here are my most recent episodes:

  1. #53: Crew Overboard!
  2. Technical Tuesday: Flares!

What are your strengths?

It is important to recognize each of your strengths when you are sailing with your spouse. However, even more important (in my opinion!), is what are your weaknesses? As a coach, it is my job to make sure that everyone is pulling their weight on the boat and everyone is learning as much as they can at their own pace. This can sometimes be a challenge for couples. They are used to working together. Or they are used to dividing up tasks based on who is physically more fit, who is more analytical, who has better manual dexterity, etc. So sometimes, I need to push couples outside of their comfort zones and force them to work within their own weaknesses.

I do not do this to make you uncomfortable, I do this to make you a better sailor! It is very important that you each learn how to do things on the boat in your own way. For example, my grandmother always talked about how she didn’t need to know the crew overboard maneuver because my grandfather knew it. However, when I pointed out that she would have to do the maneuver if HE fell off the boat, well a lightbulb went off! (Or maybe she wasn’t too concerned as long as he knew how to pick her up LOL!)

Episodes that may help:

How much patience do you have?

So while you are working within your own weaknesses, it can often be hard for a spouse to watch their partner fail, or not excel at something right away. They may be used to helping each other out, or just doing a task for them. Nope. Not on my boat! I need to help each partner learn and develop on their own and this is super stressful for a spouse to watch. So, the best thing you can do for while sailing with your spouse, is try to guide them to help them learn a task in a new way. Try not to default to just doing it for them. Then they will never learn. Maybe there is a different way to tie that knot? Maybe there’s a different approach to the dock that you have never thought of? If you can manage to use a bit of patience you may be able to help your spouse develop new skills and their own love for sailing at their own pace.

Episodes that may help:

Who’s love child is this anyway?

What do you do if your spouse decides that they don’t want to sail? I know that this is pretty unfathomable for many of us sailors (lol), but it does happen! This could mean that your new hobby has become a one-person hobby.

All is not lost! I think it is possible to have a happy marriage and to have many sailing adventures. Like everything else in life, there may be some compromising. You may need to come up with a sailing schedule that works around your spouse’s time as well. Or maybe they have their own hobby that they do while you sail. I’m sure you can get creative and figure something out!

Episodes that may help:


In the end, sailing with your spouse is great fun! There are many ways to learn new things and what works for you, may not work for them. Don’t be discouraged if they need to learn at a different pace or in a different style. It may take one of you longer to come around, but hopefully in the end you end up in the same spot! Enjoy the ride!

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