I dont want nessessarily take this into a serious discussion but I strongly disagree. I dont like that blanket statement. I understand you feelings in the PN and the water temp, but sending kids out in a dinghy without wet suits would be just as serious. Having their motor conk out in a curent filled channel could be s serious situation
A motor is not a necessarily a safety item. I can encourage a false sense of security also. Many times I have seen kids with motors stray far away from there home areas in inflatables or small skiffs...why...because they can,,,the motor will take them there. They will tend to travel out further because they have the motor and we all know motors stop working. Most kids especially of today dont have a clue how to fix a motor.
Also consider that gasoline is dangerous and explosive. Propellers can cut limps and fingers off.
I know that a sail only is not necessarily safe in all situations either, but I do not beleive a motor inherently makes things safer. Especially with younger kids. Liken a little to a bike. Which is safer, and foot driven bike or a motorcycle.
I know you are a thoughfull attentive boater and would never put your kids in harms way and it may not apply to them. I am sure you have gone over a myriad of safety situations with them from fire, handling gasoline, and what to do when they motor dies or doesnt start. I am sure they have pfds, and a portable VHF. Do the have PRB if they travel a long way? I would assume they have with them everything you would have if you were taking a long dinghy ride.
BTW I did put my daughter on a sailboat ( Hobie 16) without a motor. I lived on the beach in a shore community and she went as far as 3 miles out into the ocean whenh she sailed. She had a ditch bag of sorts with a communication device. She needed to go out if I wasnt there with other boats around her also vs doing it alone.
Here in the Chesapeake and we see in NE when we go north you see many sailing schools teaching kids and kids sailing without motors
I agree with Smacky about helicoptering and I certainly think you can overprotect them so as to smother them and you want them to learn their independence so I am not talking about that.,
I am not sure if you read the whole thread, but the poster I was talking to was talking about liveaboard sailboat for his kids. That was my reference on the motor. And I stand behing my comment that a motor on that type of vessel makes it safer. Not safe... but safer. A sailboat is restricted in its ability to move by wind which cannot be controlled. I understand that motors also have restricting aspects (breakdowns, fuel, etc), but they provide another means of moving. It gives you options... and options are good.
The failure of the motor in your reference (kids getting a long way from shore or where they should be) was not the fault of the motor, or the boat, it was the fault of parenting and supervision. I will say that the same thing could have happened in a boat without a motor. However, with the motor they at least might get back where without it, should the wind die or a storm kick up, they might be in a lot more trouble.
I have no problem with hobies and sunfish, etc. In fact, I love them. So that you know, we ditched the tender for two kayaks with sails (and no motors). A hobie is my favorite boat to sail, incidentally. I would love my kids to hop on one (and they have, and a sunfish). No, they do not need a motor. But if they were going to live on a Hobie (which they couldn't), I would rather they had a motor with the option of being able to use it than the other way around.