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post #27 of Old 02-23-2010
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Some good friends of ours have a couple of young'ins (3 and 5) that are on the boat what seems like 90% of their sailing days, race or cruise, and have been since they were toddlers. We've had them out with us on our boat as well and keep at least a couple of kids life jackets on board so non-sailing friends have no 'but the kids' excuses. First thought, a C30, or any boat for that matter, is a play palace for kids. Keys to happiness: snacks and drinks, favorite toys, and blankets or sleeping bags for inevitable naps. Every kid who gets on our boat just has to use the head, so be prepared. During races, kids go below for mark roundings, but other than that, hang out in the cockpit or sit up on the rail with the regulars. Kids seem to love hanging out in the quarter berth underway, particularly if you have opening ports they can see into the cockpit. We're all very supportive of their 'distraction' and just understand that's part of the deal if you're going to sail on their boat. In the end, when the kids are grown, the memories and family bonding that occurs is well worth the time spent being a bit less efficient. To the original poster, yes, learn to sail, but I'm with those in the thread that say it's never the wrong time to get the kids out on the water.
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