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gatorguy
04-24-2011, 01:10 AM
Took the fam to the lake yesterday after work. It was great! A couple of hours before I got off I got a text from my 13yo saying it was 95 deg with no wind. So I told him to prep the boat. We were driving less than 30 min after I got home. We had a blast on the water.

More to the point of the post... At the end of the day there was no one else at the ramp, so I figured what better time to give my wife trailer driving lessons. She actually did pretty good. I had her drive down the ramp almost to the water then up it in a giant u-turn. She had a little trouble on the first pass, so then she took a second shot at it and got it. I mostly kept my mouth shut the whole time. I am a much better do-er than a teacher which was evident from the angry looks she kept giving me. She kept insisting that there was no reason she needed to learn how to back the trailer, and she didn't want to learn. I on the other hand kept thinking out loud how she needs to participate with the family fun and how much easier it is to have one person driving the truck and the other driving the boat. It didn't go over very well.

So where/how do I give my wife trailer lessons, and still save the marriage?

JLeuck64
04-24-2011, 02:10 AM
Wait a couple years and I guarantee you will have a motivated 15 year old who will be more willing to learn ( ;

FrankSchwab
04-24-2011, 02:29 AM
Let the wife drive the boat instead?

tph
04-24-2011, 04:04 AM
Let the wife drive the boat instead?

That's what works in our family.

Covi
04-24-2011, 07:13 AM
My wife backs the trailer in the water when we arrive at the lake. I go get the truck and trailer and back it in to remove the boat while she is putting around the harbor with the kid. I think it's important to have them learn both.
I drink heavily during these time to help with me keeping my cool, it seems to help. Just kidding, it took a bit for me to keep my mouth shut and she learned quite quick. I was never worried about anything going wrong because I was never far away. take her to a big parking lot with a series of orange cones....

bturner2
04-24-2011, 07:27 AM
No such luck with my wife. She would help out driving the boat when we had the I/O but getting her to do anything once we went inboard is a rare occurrence. When my daughter was 12 I started teaching her to drive the boat. At 14 she was taking it out on the lake by herself during the week when it wasn't busy. At 15 she was loading it on the trailer while I handled the truck and trailer.

Teaching her how to load the boat took a leap of faith in her abilities and patience on my part at the ramp. I remember taking her there mid week in the afternoon when no one was around and having her load and unload the boat three or four times before finally pulling it out to get gas. All in all it was a good investment in time and I actually believe we're closer for the time we spent doing this together.

To this day we still get looks when this girl pulls up in our 07 X2 and sticks it on the trailer on the first pass. We pretty much have it down to a science now and spend less than 5 minutes putting the boat on the trailer and pulling off the ramp.

JohnE
04-24-2011, 11:12 AM
I couldn't get my wife to want to learn or even try to back up the trailer. We are now divorced. If she doesn't want to learn then you aren't going to change that and she will never be able to do that.

I know some guys who have wives who can back up a trailer better than they can.

WilliM1940
04-24-2011, 12:46 PM
My father taught me years ago on a lawn tractor. With a short tongue garden cart, there is nothing harder to keep tracking in reverse. Plus she can do this in her own back yard where she can learn at her own pace without pressure. By the time she masters that, a boat trailer will be a snap. The first time I backed up a boat trailer, it was done the first shot.

gatorguy
04-24-2011, 02:49 PM
Let the wife drive the boat instead?

I thought about that too, but I think that's even harder than the trailer. Especially here in OK where the wind is almost always blowing. I don't even consider myself a pro at loading the boat. It seems that right at the last second something happens and I get a little crooked and I feel the boat bump one of the bunks a little bit. With our I/O it was always a dead center shot every time. Maybe I should give her a shot at the boat. She may be better than me.

McDye
04-24-2011, 04:25 PM
My wife does the trailer. We did some practice while on weekday at the ramp...He did best with her hand at 6 oclock postion using mirrors, turn hand in the direction that she wants the boat to go. key is to go slow turning. she is now a pro.

nmcjr
04-24-2011, 04:38 PM
For driving the boat while pulling a wakeboarder, I had someone else teach my wife--that seems to go over better.

Skipper
04-24-2011, 05:54 PM
Let the wife drive the boat instead?

Agreed..............................

PT 1999 ProStar
04-24-2011, 09:21 PM
My wife cranks the boat up after I get it into the boat lift!!! ;)

JMPassch
04-24-2011, 09:30 PM
Practice makes perfect! My wife backs the boat up every time now. We had her back the boat in whenever the launch wasn't very busy. The true test is backing it in with five boats waiting in line for the launch.

Now she loves backing the boat in. She gets a kick out of watching guys struggle to back up and then she backs the boat in as they're still struggling. My dad actually asked some guys if they wanted my wife to back their boat in for them. Thought there was going to be a fishing boat vs ski boat throw down for a bit there!!

mccobmd
04-24-2011, 09:54 PM
Take her on post to the street over by reynolds that used to have buildings. If you can find a place that is big and wide and let them back straight for a while then learn minor corrections. I personally have my wife drive the boat. As long as she gets inside the trailer guides you can push it back out and pull it back on in position. My wife now drives the boat on as well as I do but she was motivated to learn.

bxroads
04-24-2011, 10:03 PM
If your wife is like mine, she doesnt want to learn if she feels tension from you. When I got my attitude right my wife became much more responsive to helping. Now I believe we are as fast as anyone (she always drives the truck and I the boat). We started where you are now so there is hope! Just be nice!

bxroads
04-24-2011, 10:05 PM
One more thing. It looks like you have young kids as I do. Make certain that if they are in the car with her they KNOW to sit tight and not make a peep.

onejdgreen
04-24-2011, 11:07 PM
Start teaching the son to either drive the boat or back the trailer. By the time I was his age I could back the trailer in or drive the boat. Plus yelling at the kid probably wont get you in the dog house.... OR your other 2 options, take a buddy with you that can back the trailer or make people wait at the ramp. I see it all of the time. Husband drives the boat up to the dock, wife stands there and holds it while he goes and gets the trailer and backs it down. However most of the time, that guy cant back a trailer worth a crap either...

Willski
04-24-2011, 11:18 PM
I guess, give her a choice of either the boat or the trailer. I think the trailer is much easier. Especially if it's windy. Practice with no one there, even you!! Go on a day there is no on there and let her practice while you take the kids for a boat ride. My wife can do either tasks, but I would rather her back the trailer in. I've been backing trailers in since I was 14, so I guess I just got used to it. Also worked with short tongued trailers for the lawn tractor as someone said.

FrankSchwab
04-24-2011, 11:37 PM
Arizona Mastercraft held a Trailer Driving school for wives-only a year or two ago. Taught by women, with only women there, it apparently was very good. My wife went, and felt much better about backing the boat afterwards.

Of course, I still do all the trailer backing when we go out, and she's good at launching the boat and getting it back on the trailer, so we didn't make much of a change as a result.

/frank

chawk610
04-25-2011, 09:57 AM
I pull and back the trailer... forgive me for saying this....but men have a better understanding of pulling and backing trailers... we just do. My wife pulls the boat off and on the trailer... she does a great job and we are really fast at the ramp. Let her drive the boat... she will find that more fun.

east tx skier
04-25-2011, 11:31 AM
Agreed..............................

My wife can thread a needle with our trailer. She was given this job after we discovered that driving the boat onto the trailer was a little more difficult with inboards than with I/Os (no go-arounds).

gatorguy
04-25-2011, 11:50 AM
My wife can thread a needle with our trailer. She was given this job after we discovered that driving the boat onto the trailer was a little more difficult with inboards than with I/Os (no go-arounds).

What is a "go-around"?

TayMC197
04-25-2011, 12:42 PM
Tell her your going to sell the boat becuase she has not interest in participating in the family event. Tell her we all have a job to do to have fun, if she doesn't want to do her part then she can stay home.

I tell my girlfriends this and they play hard to get and try to call my bluff. So I have a great time with a boat full of other girls. lol I don't suggest that being married though. I don't have them backing the truck but trying to help clean it and wipe it down...

east tx skier
04-25-2011, 01:11 PM
What is a "go-around"?

Typically, it's what happens when a plane can't make a safe landing (full power, nose up, reenter the traffic pattern). In this instance, it's what a person might feel inclined to do when the boat is not lined up correctly to get it on the trailer.

In her case, it was lined up just fine. But she's a perfectionist. In the old I/O, she could back up, realign, and do it over. In an inboard, in the tight quarters at that ramp, backing up was not a viable option. My reaction was as expected when our, then, new toy came within inches of the dock. So, from there on out (at least for several years), she became quite the proficient trailer backer.

When we would end up with morons at the ramp trying to dry off about 20 feet in front of where they loaded, I was always proud of how she could get our trailer in between the morons and into the water and back out without getting too close for my comfort.

Of course, they didn't know she is as good at it as she is. And I enjoyed watching them get nervous when she'd swing the trailer in around them.

KnoxX2
04-25-2011, 01:30 PM
I couldn't get my wife to want to learn or even try to back up the trailer. We are now divorced. If she doesn't want to learn then you aren't going to change that and she will never be able to do that.

I know some guys who have wives who can back up a trailer better than they can.

What are you trying to say!!!!!!:mad::D:rolleyes:

cutlerdaddy
04-25-2011, 04:42 PM
My wife doesnt mind backing the trailer striaght but its turning it into position that is hard. So here is how we have always handled it.

Launching
1. So when we get to the lake we prep the boat at the top of the ramp, out of the way.
2. Then we she stays in the boat with the kids while I get it positioned right at the water on the ramp. (usually the trailer wheels just touching the water)
3. I then get out of the truck and get into the boat and she gets into the truck and just has to back straight down like 15 ft and then go park the truck and trailer, I pull the boat off. The reason why we do this is because she wants me on the boat when we start it up just in case something is wrong and I can be there to deal with it.

Retrieving
1. My wife drops me off at the dock and I go get the truck and trailer.
2. I back it all the way down in the water and she drives the boat on
3. I am right there in case she comes in crooked, the boat is easy to maneuver by hand when that happens. (the more she does it the better she is)

It helps that my wife grew up on boats and can drive them good. The key is to go slow and be patient with her. Keep in mind its only a boat and no matter how crooked she brings the boat up to the trailer you can correct it by hand. This way works for us and it also keeps the kids in the boat so I don't have to deal with them in the truck while maneuvering the trailer down the ramp!

Good Luck!

Covi
04-25-2011, 06:43 PM
I pull and back the trailer... forgive me for saying this....but men have a better understanding of pulling and backing trailers... we just do. My wife pulls the boat off and on the trailer... she does a great job and we are really fast at the ramp. Let her drive the boat... she will find that more fun.

Chawk funny stuff! I laughed out loud. However, my wife thinks you live in the ice age and challenges you to a back off any day... That too made me laugh! I have to saY I bet she'd look better doing it than you.:)

Chief
04-25-2011, 07:21 PM
Master Cruise is the real marriage saver!

cbryan70
04-25-2011, 09:39 PM
teach her in a parking lot....didnt read all the post so if that has been suggested sorry.

CantRepeat
04-25-2011, 09:49 PM
Chawk funny stuff! I laughed out loud. However, my wife thinks you live in the ice age and challenges you to a back off any day... That too made me laugh! I have to saY I bet she'd look better doing it than you.:)


I agree. My wife does a better job on the ramp them most men. It's pretty funny watching them look at her as she backs up a 3/4 ton suburban and 25 feet of boat without even needing to put it back in drive while doing a 90 degree turn backwards going towards the ramp.

Most of the bass boat dudes can't even stay on one side of the ramp let alone get down it in one shot. They'll screw it up and take up 3/4 of a two lane boat ramp and my wife will still put down in the water with only 1/4 of the ramp and faster then most bozos using up the entire ramp.

mbeach
04-25-2011, 09:54 PM
Let the wife drive the boat instead?

absolutely, my wife does a good job with the boat but is lousy trying to back the boat.

JohnE
04-25-2011, 09:56 PM
What are you trying to say!!!!!!:mad::D:rolleyes:

Yes, I was referring to you 100%.

Kyle
04-27-2011, 10:25 AM
Have her take her cell phone with her to drive the truck. Tell her to put the phone on speaker phone and start backing. Tell her I will only answer questions or say stop if you are going to jack knife. (this eliminates over coaching) The only time i would say anything is if she is about to break or hit something then say stop or pull up other than that keep your mouth shut. Doing this you can calm her nerves. The first few times do give her some tips like turn wheel to left or right and you better never get your left or right mixed up. After seeing success she will probably start to be less fearful of being a dummy who can't back a trailer and you can start cutting back and go to answering questions only.

This way also eliminates yelling from the boat to the truck "TURN A LITTLE TO THE LEFT" and looking like a hillbilly or her thinking you are yelling at her and she is not doing it fast enough or that you are getting frustrated.

Worked great with my gf but she needs a few practice runs this year to pick up from last summer. Her issue is that she likes to turn the wheel way too much.

Now I learned in a field with a flat bed behind a jeep at about 12 or 13 with no one around. I like the concept but the trailer and jeep that I used were raggedy farm equipment that didn't matter if they got scratched or dented. My boat trailer and personal truck are a different story so the cell goes with her.

Kyle
04-27-2011, 10:37 AM
I can say perfect pass is the relationship saver not the trailer. Throw a trick and have the speed adjust abruptly and see how fast that frustrates you and the trailer doesn't seem to matter.

gatorguy
04-27-2011, 12:18 PM
Have her take her cell phone with her to drive the truck. Tell her to put the phone on speaker phone and start backing. Tell her I will only answer questions or say stop if you are going to jack knife. (this eliminates over coaching) The only time i would say anything is if she is about to break or hit something then say stop or pull up other than that keep your mouth shut. Doing this you can calm her nerves. The first few times do give her some tips like turn wheel to left or right and you better never get your left or right mixed up. After seeing success she will probably start to be less fearful of being a dummy who can't back a trailer and you can start cutting back and go to answering questions only.

This way also eliminates yelling from the boat to the truck "TURN A LITTLE TO THE LEFT" and looking like a hillbilly or her thinking you are yelling at her and she is not doing it fast enough or that you are getting frustrated.

Worked great with my gf but she needs a few practice runs this year to pick up from last summer. Her issue is that she likes to turn the wheel way too much.

Now I learned in a field with a flat bed behind a jeep at about 12 or 13 with no one around. I like the concept but the trailer and jeep that I used were raggedy farm equipment that didn't matter if they got scratched or dented. My boat trailer and personal truck are a different story so the cell goes with her.

I think we have a winner! This seems like a great idea, thanks. We have the hands free device in the suburban, so that makes it even easier.

As far as driving the boat, my wife hasn't driven it at all yet. My 13yo son has taken to it like a fish to water. I know I need to get her able to drive me too, but is't hard to force myself to endure less than awesome pulls when I know there is a great driver in the boat sitting there doing nothing. But I know the day will come when my son is not there, and I want to ski, so I guess well do it anyway.

chawk610
04-27-2011, 12:35 PM
Chawk funny stuff! I laughed out loud. However, my wife thinks you live in the ice age and challenges you to a back off any day... That too made me laugh! I have to saY I bet she'd look better doing it than you.:)



Prolly right :) I guess this is just our way... I know for us... my wife loves driving the boat... and she pulls the heck out of me on a wakeboard. She for one, wouldn't have it any other way. But as for the challenge... I don't know... been pulling goosnecks and little trailers for a LOOOOONG time. But for sure she would "look better".! :D

flyinryn
04-27-2011, 02:30 PM
This is my marriage saver.....

He has madd ramp skills and it is so easy a chimp can do it!!!!!

hahaha

Rockman
04-27-2011, 11:52 PM
My wife does not like the ramps and since I find it entertaining to watch the idiots get themsleves in messes, she happily takes the boat and can get it on the trailer easily, even with a current in the river or lake.

Best thing I love about my wife is that she can do great when it comes to difficult things like pulling triple footers long line on step offs and getting the ddrivingperfect the first time. Her response to my congratulations to her..."you guys were the ones behind the boat, not me!"

.

Covi
04-28-2011, 06:53 AM
LOL - Just messing with you. We are just like you guys super fast at the ramp. I think most people are shocked at how fast we make it happen.


Prolly right :) I guess this is just our way... I know for us... my wife loves driving the boat... and she pulls the heck out of me on a wakeboard. She for one, wouldn't have it any other way. But as for the challenge... I don't know... been pulling goosnecks and little trailers for a LOOOOONG time. But for sure she would "look better".! :D

chawk610
04-28-2011, 08:12 AM
TEAM WORK... I can't stand the "one man show" at the ramp... causes major back ups! But not as bad as the family that pulls the boat out... just to the top of the ramp... parks "in the way" and starts wiping down the old pontoon boat right then and there!!!!!

Iskidaily
04-28-2011, 01:22 PM
I can say perfect pass is the relationship saver not the trailer. Throw a trick and have the speed adjust abruptly and see how fast that frustrates you and the trailer doesn't seem to matter.
yep - perfect pass is enormous. A good pull matters to me and with perfect pass, that takes away much of the challenge for my wife. I did have to coach her about leaving the throttle all the way forward after getting me up though. It seems when she turns me around, the boat "forgets" the cruise control for a few secs and accelerates to where the throttle is positioned until she straightens out. finishing a turn at 35MPH on a wakeboard is quite an experience!

kdr
04-28-2011, 04:08 PM
Just my opinion, but...

If you're wife is usually the only other adult in the boat, then she MUST learn how to back the trailer, load the boat, drive the boat, and even trailer the boat down the road.

If something were to happen to you while out on the water, who is going to A) get you back to the dock, and B) get your stuff home. That's how I explained it to my wife and while she doesn't enjoy any of it, she does them without complaint and has gotten really good at it. While your wife may not want to do any of the work, she really needs to know how and be comfortable doing just for the sake of safety.

Iskidaily
04-28-2011, 04:42 PM
Just my opinion, but...

If you're wife is usually the only other adult in the boat, then she MUST learn how to back the trailer, load the boat, drive the boat, and even trailer the boat down the road.

If something were to happen to you while out on the water, who is going to A) get you back to the dock, and B) get your stuff home. That's how I explained it to my wife and while she doesn't enjoy any of it, she does them without complaint and has gotten really good at it. While your wife may not want to do any of the work, she really needs to know how and be comfortable doing just for the sake of safety.
hmm. You make a good point. I might need to take a class in diplomacy before I try this. I like my boat and my wife. I'd like to keep them both!