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Old 12-29-2012
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Life Lines and a 3 year old...

So I am getting my boat Cat 22 ready to hit the water, and my daughter is "old enough" (3, which I have read is a good time to start), to be on my boat. As every 3 year old, she is hyper and crazy. I don't plan on any fast sails or any heavy weather with her on board, just simple, easy day cruises.

I was wondering for any one out there, what are good ideas to keep her in the boat? Obviously a life jacket 100% of the time, and I would never have just her and me (so that someone else could help out with her while I am sailing).

What are some good ideas? Life lines of course, but she will go under them...are there more "suitable" types for hyper kids? trust me, I am not above doing ANYTHING to ensure she stays on the boat with me, dry.

Dube
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Old 12-29-2012
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Re: Life Lines and a 3 year old...

You can (should) get netting to install on the lifelines. You can get it from West Marine and a number of other sources.

Here's a thread with pictures:

Lifeline Safety Netting Installation
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Old 12-29-2012
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Life Lines and a 3 year old...

Toys in the cockpit will keep her where you want her. Stop up the cockpit drains and add 12" water and you have a great pool. Install a clinometer and show her where 10 degrees is. She's not allowed out of the cockpit if the black ball is left or right of 10. Works. Having mom occupy her with books works. Use a tether and harness, IMO as important as the life jacket right now. Show her what a white cap is; if whitecaps, not allowed out of the cockpit. Explaining stuff to kids, even young ones, works. Our daughter always listened until she hit 14 years... But that's a different issue.

Our daughter has been on the water since she was 3 months old. She's 18 years now.... And starting to listen again.
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Old 12-29-2012
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Re: Life Lines and a 3 year old...

Steve77,

Thank you, that is PERFECT! That is exactly what I/she needs! Plus it'll give the wife peace of mind!

Sabreman,

Great idea on the "pool" haha. I am not above "leashing" her to something so that she cannot move. I love the idea of teaching her stuff! Genius. I know I want too, but that was such a simple plan...Love it.

DubeJ
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Life Lines and a 3 year old...

Jim Bouy makes a child safety harness which we use with our two year old.
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Old 12-30-2012
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Re: Life Lines and a 3 year old...

I think if you are using a harness it would not be a bad idea for everyone to have one so she does not feel like she is being punished. I love the swimming pool idea, and is not just for kids! Don't forget a rubber duck :-) Sounds like a good idea on a really hot day, and you can use it as an excuse/use to cycle the water out of the tanks, rather than just pumping it over board.
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Re: Life Lines and a 3 year old...

Quote:
I think if you are using a harness it would not be a bad idea for everyone to have one so she does not feel like she is being punished. I love the swimming pool idea, and is not just for kids! Don't forget a rubber duck :-) Sounds like a good idea on a really hot day, and you can use it as an excuse/use to cycle the water out of the tanks, rather than just pumping it over board.
We had all her pool toys floating around the cockpit at various times, along with a bucket. It was nice for mom and dad too...cool feet on a hot day.

To be honest, we didn't use the harness much, preferring to use a life jacket when the Bay started to get "nautical". It didn't take much to keep her in the cockpit. We explained that the lifejacket and harness were because she was small and not strong enough to swim while we maneuvered to get back to her. Even at 3, she understood and didn't need us to wear ours. Anyway, mom was never far away. Whenever conditions got too vigorous, she went below on her own, so it was never an issue for us.

Our rule for wearing lifejackets was that when she could tread water for 10 minutes, she didn't have to wear one. That was in the days before affordable inflatables. Now, we wear ours at night, anytime we reef, or when there are whitecaps. We didn't use a net; we didn't think it necessary.

Dealing with kids on a boat has no set answer. You just have to find what you are comfortable with and what will work with your child. Everyone is different and what works for some won't work for others. And kids change, so what works today, may not tomorrow and vice versa.
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Last edited by Sabreman; 12-30-2012 at 06:35 PM.
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