Do you and your partner want to explore the world, or parts of it, and buy a sailboat? Are you curious as to what the sailing cruising lifestyle is like? Who does what when it’s a couple or a family? What roles and responsibilities does each person play? (Sailing Cruising Lifestyle Video below)
On our boat, we often make a joke that certain tasks are either blue jobs (things that a man typically does) and then there are pink jobs (tasks that a woman tends to do).
Little does Simon realize that blue jobs are all the jobs I don’t want to do. Hehehehe.
Joking aside, the sailing cruising lifestyle isn’t as traditional as land-based life. On land, the man typically mows the lawn, takes out the trash and covers the DIY jobs. The woman, on the other hand, does the more nurturing tasks like making meals, looking after the children and keeping the home comfortable and clean.
Nowadays, however, on land and on the sea anything goes.
But the typical cruiser is often older in age and more likely to be accustomed to traditional blue and pink jobs. So what are they? What on a boat is blue?
For the most part, many cruiser men work on the engines, clean the outside of the boat and instigate the passage planning. They’re often seen tinkering with the sails and racing other boats in the area.
Women, however, look after the internal cleaning, doing the cooking and relaxing on passage rather than playing with the sails. Women are out to chill whereas the men will race anything that goes by.
Both sexes, however, have to figure out who’s going to maneuver the boat in and out of marinas, up to mooring balls, in and out of anchorages and while sails go in or out. And what the division of maintenance and servicing tasks – there’s way too many for one person so who’s going to take which job?
When we started out we were overwhelmed with the number of things we need to learn.
We didn’t have a clue as to all the roles and responsibilities we’d have to take on. Even after several years Simon and I are still refining our processes, fine-tuning our cleaning & maintenance routines and swapping jobs to see if one of us is better at it (or likes it more) than the other.
Let me give you some examples. When we started off I did all the homeschooling. Simon would only step in when I lost the plot. Teaching a child with dyslexia isn’t easy. Heck – teaching any child isn’t easy, especially when it’s your own.
Over time, however, we discovered that it helps me to take a day or even week off where Simon will do all the homeschooling. And sometimes it works when he does a couple subjects, like Math and History and I do the others. We are now much more fluid and are both willing and able to find ways that make homeschooling more flowing and easier for all of us.
Another example is helming.
It makes more sense for the woman (or less strong person) to helm the boat while allowing the other to do the heavy work. Working with big anchors, heavy mooring balls, thick mooring lines and heavy loads on the sails can be quite a workout. For Simon and I, however, it works best for him to maneuver the boat. He’s a natural helmsman making my jobs rather easy. If I was helming we’d be all over the place!
And when it comes to troubleshooting, a task that you’ll have to embrace daily in the sailboat cruising lifestyle, Simon and I often work together to make magic. Between the two of us getting our head around an issue we both bring different perspectives and thus a variety of possible solutions.
So, for us, there are definite blue and pink jobs as we outlined in the video.
There are also pale purple jobs (a mix of blue and pink) that both of us do together or trade on and off.
The cool thing is that once you transition into the sailboat cruising lifestyle you and your partner get to feel things out and determine what works best for you both. To make it work you really have to have a fair division of labor because there is a lot of labor!
As long and you and your partner communicate about what’s working and what’s not you can keep adjusting. Over time, you’ll get very good at your roles and life flows easier and easier.
Sailing Cruising Lifestyle – The Roles (Video)
Any questions or comments?
Please scroll down and leave them in the comments section.
Other articles or videos you might be interested in?
- Whats the best sailboat for cruising?
- Living on a Sailboat Q&A
- Bluewater sailing checklist – everything you need to know and learn to become a blue water sailor
- Top 10 Must-Haves: The Best Cruising Boat For The Caribbean
A Resource To Help with the Sailing Cruising Lifestyle – Roles & Responsibilities
What if you could have a list of all the boat maintenance jobs, cleaning tasks, pre-passage jobs, and loads of other tasks that need to be completed? Don’t reinvent the wheel, get my Checklists For Sailors guide and hit the ground running.