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Old 07-07-2009
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The sailing dinghy suggestions are sound -- I've been a broken record on that one for years here -- but I'd say you have a little wiggle room yet given the age of your kids.

However, I'm not sure I'd recommend an Opti as the best choice. On a 30-odd footer, you really don't have the luxury of carrying two dinghies. The sailing dinghy needs to serve double (primary) duty as the tender. While they are certainly favored for youth sail-training programs, an Optimist pram would not be my choice for a tender. If you go for a sailing dinghy/tender, I would suggest you take a look at Dyers, Walker Bays, Eastport Prams, etc.

Your elder child is already old enough to learn the basics of rowing, and in a year or so will be ready for sailing. This is where the ratio of being anchored to being out sailing is critical -- more anchoring now with young kids to let them play in and around the boat without too much stress for parents. Longer voyages to more distant destinations as they get older and acclimated.
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