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brady5 10-08-2008 09:08 AM

Cruising with Children
We are planning a three month trip out this spring. We will be taking our three children. They will be 12(girl), 10(boy), and 9(girl)

I would like to hear from some of you about your experiences in 1st time cruising with children this age.

What was the hardest thing you faced with your children and how did you overcome it?

What was one of your most family friendly cruising locations?

What tips could you give to a first time cruiser with kids?

Faster 10-08-2008 10:09 AM

Your kids are at a pretty good age to have a great time.. they're not 'teenage" enough to resent being forced to spend time with you, and plenty old enough to take part in a lot of things. One factor you may encounter, though, is a bit of fear of heeling and waves if they are not already accustomed to being aboard..

Get them involved and educated on the running of the boat.. help sheet, steer (with guidance), rig and put away at the end of the day. They will become lifelong sailors if this goes well, and be real assets to you and your wife in the handling of the boat.

Hopefully they love to read.. there are going to be grey days, slow passages where boredom may rear it's ugly head.. reading is a great way to pass the time - miles ahead of all the various video gadgets available today.

Kayaks and sailing dinghies, or even just rowboats go a long way to amuse them too, as will shore excursions, beachcombing at low tide etc etc. Swimming is another great asset - make sure it's easy for them to clamber back on board - have a decent ladder or stern platform (you don't say what kind of boat)

Family freindly cruising areas are plentiful, look for sheltered reliable anchorages, shoreside facilities (personal and diversionary) and an increased likelihood of running into other cruising families - new friends are a good thing.

Fairly prejudiced here, but the PNW (a long way from Texas, I know) is a great candidate if you're looking to charter somewhere. Spring is too early for swimming though....

Our son is a sailing success story, having been on boats since his first month, sailed his own dinghy, raced with us from age 11, and now married, owns his own boat and had is daughter out sailing at 1 week old (in December!!)

What I've described above was our experience.

djodenda 10-08-2008 10:17 AM

I have been cruising with my kids, now 12 and 14 for the past 4 years or so..

I agree with everything Faster says above.

In particular, I agree with the PNW as a great place to cruise with kids. Lots of things for them to do and places to see. Everything is close together and, for the most part, kid-friendly.

Lots of safe small towns/villages, where you can let them run free.

If you decide on our area, we'll help you out with specific advice.

Cruising with kids is great family time. Don't miss it!


brady5 10-09-2008 07:47 AM

Thanks for the advice. This was just the sort of thing I was looking for.

Faster 10-09-2008 10:05 AM

If you search the forums there are quite a few threads discussing this issue...

sailhog 10-09-2008 10:17 AM

Faster's post is right on.

My wife and I are taking our two girls, ages 9 and 7, on a four-day cruise along coastal South Carolina and Georgia on our C30 on Oct. 25-29. We're going to have them keep a log of what they did and saw -- sort of make them play "marine biologist" for a few days. We've put a lot of miles under the keel together, and we know that keeping them interested in what's going on can be a bit challenging at times. I'd also emphasize Faster's point about teaching them to sail. Take paper charts along, so that they can see where you're going. Get them at the helm.
Good luck.

djodenda 10-09-2008 12:09 PM

Hey Sailhog.. .

Repost the video of your kids on the boat that you linked to a couple of weeks ago.

It will be encouragement for him...

Reminded me of my kids...


sailhog 10-09-2008 01:39 PM

sailhog 10-09-2008 01:40 PM

brady5 10-09-2008 03:27 PM

These are wonderful ideas. Thanks for all the posts and the videos!!!

I am also reading the other threads as well...

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