John, you win the prize. It is a Nic 35 (and much nicer than I thought they looked). Good Old Boat has a Cove Stripe Index for identifying boats, and here's the confirmation for the Nic 35:
....Back to cruising with kids
I just came across this link and thought it might be helpful.
Robyn, thanks for the link. I liked the article, and it should note that kids can be relatively good at the helm as well. My 10 year-old son had the tiller for about an hour and a half crossing a channel in the San Juan Islands earlier this year, and he was very proud of the accomplishment. My daughter was the official chart-plotter person, and both of them took the dinghy off by themselves to explore Lummi Island without us on the last night of the cruise.
I promised to look into a used Opti for them if they both take and enjoy Opti sailing courses next Spring at Welsh Harp Reservoir, and my son could even take British Offshore sailing weekends with me and earn his Competent Crew rating already (there's no age limit).
I just returned from another weekend of sailing on the Solent, and it was a great learning experience with the British Offshore folks. My muscles are sore and and I have more than one "boat bite" from the weekend, but I got to sail a Westerly Fulmar 32 footer and enjoyed the boat. We cruised up the Medina River on the Isle of Wight and docked near the Folly Inn, where we enjoyed dinner and then the big Rugby Match (England vs. South Africa). At the Folly Inn, there is literally dancing on the tables, and last Saturday night was no exception (despite England's loss in the match).
The boat I sailed is featured in a series of videos that the school supports, and the curious can see some footage from the boat I was on here (see Sailing Skills clip):
Overall, I think that the Yachting TV site isn't bad:
Of course, now I'm a weekend ahead of my wife in terms of earning my RYA 2 certification (only need my night sail now), so of course she's planning to head there this weekend for a three-day cruise to catch up and pass me. (She's actually be certified if she goes for 3 days).
One thing I think I can admit: the RYA certifications take about 3-4 times as long to earn as the equivilent ASA certifications, and I think that they are more extensive and confidence building. I'm really looking forward to the night sail to complete the RYA 2 certification. After that, to get the Dayskipper certification, we have five days of classroom work (theory part) and then five days sailing (practical part), with lots of navigation and other work involved.
So, the preparation for cruising with kids now is to really earn and learn some skills.