Am I missing the boat... but have you thought of teaching them how to swim and blow a wistle. A wistle they can wear around their neck at all times like jewelry. If they can thread water just for a couple of minutes and blow a wistle, most likely, long enough to be pulled out. This is of course as a back up, children above deck or on the dock should have a life vest on... always.
I have no childhood memories of not being able to thread water. I think I was taught at age two. I was a water baby until my mother took us to see Jaws at age 8. Then not so much... LOL
I'm also presuming that you will have netting all around the boat.
PS the closeness that your family will have due to living aboard can far out weigh the increased risks. If I had kids I would home school and sail all over. Seeing the monsters that are coming out of our public schools and traditional housing makes me think your on the right track. I get my god daughter for the summers when she turns 10. We're going to sail.
Last edited by mjname; 10-26-2006 at 08:40 AM.