Move Over, Men!

Move Over, Men!

A women’s boating class that taught this writer about more than just boating.

Story and Photos by Eileen Mansfield - January 2004

 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Boating School
• Part 2: Boating School
• Part 3: Boating School
• Photo Gallery

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• Sea Sense

No way is he going to go for this,” I thought as I went to pitch a story about a women’s boating school to my boss. You see, our core readership is 95 percent male, so my idea for a story about a boating school founded and taught by women, for women, didn’t seem like a great fit.

“On the contrary,” was his reply. “Just because the name on the address label is male doesn’t mean his wife or girlfriend isn’t reading the magazine, too.” He added that although boating is indeed a male-dominated activity, most men welcome the idea of sharing their love of the water with their partner, and plenty of women are interested in learning the ropes.

But sometimes those ropes are best taught by a person you do not live with.

“There is an emotional aspect of learning from your husband,” says Capt. Patti Moore, who, along with Capt. Carol Cuddyer, founded Sea Sense boating school in 1989. “This class takes you out of that element.”

I can certainly relate to that. I remember when I was learning to drive a car. I was fortunate that my father has a laid-back disposition and poker face when it comes to fear. He was the same way when he taught me to drive his runabout. But not all men are willing to hand over the controls of their “baby” so easily.

“My husband lets me take the helm, but usually when he feels comfortable with me taking it,” said Lori Hume, my classmate (and roommate) on our five-day, liveaboard class. Hume and her husband own a Mainship 390 and dream of retiring to a larger trawler once their daughter graduates high school.

Altogether, I had four classmates with me aboard Paper Moon, the 42-foot Grand Banks that was our classroom. Each of different ages, different levels of experience, and different reasons for being there, but ultimately we desired the same thing: to acquire the confidence and knowledge to handle a boat on our own.

Next page > Part 2: She has the patience of a saint and the ability to explain something technical in layman’s terms. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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