Originally Posted by fallard
I have an 8 yr old grandson who wears a waterski-type PFD when we go sailing and he doesn't complain, because he knows it's not a negotiable issue. If you are really concerned in an open water situation, a tether is a good idea, but I' avoid round jacklines--except as a last resort--because they will roll underfoot and could send you flying. Flat nylon webbing seems to be the standard here.
Agreed. However, I was dirrecting my comments to the OP:
* It's a charter. Rope is what he will have. Actually, it can work very well if you are able to route it carefully; this is boat specific. When it works, it is easier to handle than webbing. Another reason people like webbing is that it is not vissually confused with running rigging (lazy jib sheets etc.), which is a very valid point.
* It's very hot there, not like CT. There are many places where a full PFD is not just hot, it's courting heat stroke. I'm not saying you don't wear a PFD; I'm saying there is more to think about, since heatstroke is a very real danger in small children. I too have sailed in very hot areas.