Originally Posted by NauticalFishwife
I'm preparing a seminar to present at Strictly Sail in Chicago on Kids/Sailing and safety. I plan on covering basic knots..knowledge of boat...and safety. I'd love suggestions from others who have sailed with children. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
Nice to have you aboard. We could probably start an entire forum on this. However, let's see if I can help some:
1) Knots. Clove hitch, bowline, 8. Just let them master those... especially the bowline. Not much a bowline can't do and it is a fun know to teach: The rabbit goes out the hole, around the tree, back in the hole. If you have some older kids, see if they can tie a one-handed bowline.
2) Knowledge of boat. Not sure what all that would entail. Is this from a safety aspect? If not, show them how to coil line with a couple of different methods for stowing the line, wrap a winch, sheet stops, running a winch, cleating a line.
For the older kids, maybe let them whip the bitter end and let them burn it closed.
3) Seamanship. How do you know if you are going to collide with a boat? Answer: mark the boat a fixed point of land behind the vessel. If the vessel is moving ahead of it, you shall pass her to stern. If moving backwards from it, you shall pass the boats bow. If it stays stationary, collision course. I think this is a great tool to teach kids because when in crowded harbors, they really can help watch out.
Rules of the road.
Flag etiquite in domestic and foreign waters.
For fun, let them try and ID some foreign flags.
How to make a Pan-pan or mayday call.
What goes in the head, and what does not. (Our rule is: Do not put anything in this head that you did not eat first). Exception is TP. This sounds grosse, but it is one of the first things I go over with new people (kids and adults alike). I think it has saved many people from having to swim back home.
4) Safety. Lifejackets with crotch straps - with Mustangs being the best. Never touch the panel. One hand for the boat, one for yourself. What to do in electrical storms. How to run a jack line and tether.
Those are some of my thoughts. Let me know if you need some more. Go have fun.