We are currently cruising with our 9 month old onboard and having a ball. We love having her along, she is an enhancement to the experience, and certainly for us was not a reason to not go. I think she will obviously get more out of the experience when she is older and so our intention is to go again in a few years.
However to be honest there are times that we certainly wish we had done more cruising before we had her. The carefree romantic swims with just the two of us are few and far between, sundowners with other cruisers come to an abrupt end when madam is hungry and tired. Everything takes longer and requires more planning and organization. An afternoon ashore, bushwalking and swimming requires the planning of a small military operation. However having kids changes your life not matter what you are doing, and the benefits of cruising with her for us far outweigh the inconvenience.
I do agree with CD, the first time I was in a storm with my daughter was a very sobering experience. Thankfully we had pondered issues of safety long and hard before we left and knowing she would be on the boat completely changed my approach to safety. While I have never been I believe an irresponsible sailor, I have perhaps in the past as an ex-racer been happy to push boats and take gambles with my own safety.
I would say to you go now, and go again later. Life changes quickly, If you go now and love it, you would be surprised how you will find a way to make it work financially again later with kids. The benefit of going now is that it will build your confidence and experience, this will make the cruising with kids much easier and less stress.
'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing' - Helen Keller
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