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post #17 of Old 02-12-2012
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Trying to get back on topic...

Cruising with kids, whether full time of summer time, is a great idea (of course you're asking on a sailing forum....) but anyhow we had great success. Our son grew up on a series of boats with us and now, near 30 continues to race OPBs and is a boat owner himself. While we were proud to have had him sailing at 18 days old in May, he had his daughter out on their boat at 1 week old in December...

We were vigilant, and not once did any of the kids we had on board fall off. PFDs were mandatory on deck, they learned early on to keep one hand for themselves. It did help to bring friends, esp if your child is an only, and introducing non-sailing-families' kids to boating was always interesting (but not always successful..)

Still there's no reason to avoid sailing because you have kids. I find it sad to run into people (and it's not that rare) who say... "We used to sail but then we had kids and we couldn't go out anymore."

It may well be more difficult to introduce older children to sailing than having them grow up with it and not knowing any different, esp in this day and age of required 'connectedness' and 'gadgets'. That may well be your challenge.

Finding a boat that is affordable and will accommodate your extended family (and it is nice to have room to invite non sibling playmates) is going to be another challenge.. Many 35 - 40 footers are not really laid out to sleep more than 4 people on a regular basis. We had (with partners) a 40 ft "cruisified" ex-race boat that, counting all the pipe berths could sleep ten. We routinely spend a few weeks each summer with 4 adults and 4 kids (incl one friend) with success.

Best of luck and don't be discouraged!


1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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