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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #11  
Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

Thanks Shawn! Y'all may remember "lost in space" it was of course bad TV at best .. but the family dynamic as "crew" was very well portrayed.

One thing I know.. wish big chart plotter and a kid to read it! talk about computer games.
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  #12  
Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

Interesting family! S/V Totem - a family sailing the world
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

Thank you for all your input and advice. Reading through all the comments, I think there is value in every single response that I can use moving forward.

Denise: speaking with my wife, you appear to be correct on a few points regarding my daughter. Although I thought I did but apparently I don't involve my daughter with sailing activities as much as my son. Perhaps I see a little of myself in my son. When I was 10 yrs old, I grew up no Lake Ontario in Oswego, NY. Typical summer was that you woke up, ate breakfast and then my mom said, go outside, enjoy summer and don't come back inside until supper. So I either spent my day sailing my beat up dinghy, fishing on the lake or creeks or just swimming and floating (on a tube) in the lake for the entire day, you couldn't drag me away from the water.
I am going to plan on getting her much more involved and ask for her input, and see how that goes.

Shawn: you are so right, days are busy with work and everything else in our lives. Getting away from the TV, phones, school camps, office and most of all other people and just having some good family time is what we want. Everyone needs some down time, even our kids. My problem is that of late, going sailing is more of a tasks with objectives then family time. Starting off by doing some projects in the hot morning from 9am to 12pm, heading out for a sail from 12pm to 4pm, dock up, clean up and wash down, etc.... another words, making sailing more like our everyday life when it is getting away from this task oriented day what we really want and enjoying sailing and family time.

So some basic highlites for moving forward:

- Much more kid involvement and more kid time!
- Enjoy the downtime and getting away from the day to day activities of life, and don't turn sailing with the kids a firm schedule of must do activities and tasks.
- Separate working on extensive sailboat projects from having the kids out at the Marina.
- Less acceptance of electronics on the sailboat including my son's handheld video game, DVD / TV, iPad, etc... Use only as needed, rainy days or extensive downtime.
- Together with the kids, develop some a list of family activities that everyone will enjoy.
- Separate aggressive sailing / pushing the sailboat from "family sailing". Thus, don't always try to get the optimum speed when sailing with the kids. Less heeling so that it is more enjoyable for them and my wife.

Thanks, I think this will help!
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

Patrick,

You're accumulating some great wisdom! A couple more tidbits to throw into the mix:

- learn each kid. Our daughter loved to curl up and read. Our son built elaborate spiderwebs all over the cabin using various lines. We had to be OK with both

- definitely let kids have a major voice in destinations, pace, activities. Although at one point I'm guessing over half of our trips were short ones to the same beach. Then swimming ashore and playing the same games. Their choice and they always wanted to go. Be ready for out-of-the-box ideas (like one of them suggesting we turn the boom sideways and use it as a diving board. Mom had to swallow hard on that one, but it was great fun)

- add an element of continuity. Always sample ice cream shops (or whatever) Have lengthy debates about which is best. Be willing to sail back to places to 'prove' it.

- Pick games that everyone can play. Read books aloud taking turns.

- trust them. For us, it all culminated in an offshore family trip with each kid paired up with a parent to stand a watch. They maintained the DR plot on the chart, entered the log data, took their turn on the wheel, etc. And did fantastic. The only mistake we made was after a couple days we decided to 'give the kids the night off' and let them sleep. They were furious. It was their watch and they wanted to stand it. Shame on us!

Take it slow. Talk a lot. Learn from them and be prepared to be amazed by them.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

* Pick kid-friendly destinations, and then consider staying a few days. Tangier Island is made for kids, particularly if they like scooters or bikes. Lots of beaches to explore, marshes, and crabs to catch. Adult "destinations" can be a complete bore to kids.
* Calvert cliffs might make a kid-friendly day trip.
* Don't hesitate to motor if you need to to get somewhere they will like. You can drift some other day.
* Take a mini-aquarium for stuff you find. Lotsa fun.

This includes some good kid spots in mid/south Bay.
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I started taking long (5-15 day) trips in a small boat (Stiletto 27 cat) with my daughter when she was 10. The trick was to go to lots of beaches and pick kid destinations; if she was smiling, I was smiling. Fortunately, she was the same sort of "kid" I was.
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

Patrick, it's tough, but you might make a list of the projects that are outstanding. Identify the ones you NEED to get done for safety purposes, and plan on them for every other visit. The rest can/should be put off until the fall/winter. That will take the pressure off.
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

Patrick, I know to well the trials and tribulations of boat projects...I have acquired some big ones lately and still have more. We moved this year from a working marina to a yacht club with some amenities for one major reason, a better place for the kids. I am very pleased with our move, the pool in itself was a good reason. If I want to tinker on the boat the kids and admiral are absolutely fine with hanging out at the pool until I am done futzing
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Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I just lock them in the head and turn up the radio, seems to work well!

We had taken a break from sailing for two seasons and are now just getting back into the routine, in fact this past holiday weekend was our first real multi day trip in three years. With the need to finish up some major boat projects this Spring we were really only taking short day trips then coming back to the marina. It has taken some time to get back into the swing of things but the kids (and us for that matter) seem to be all good again.

I think your list is good, you could add to that
-a bird book for identification
-cooking
-fishing
-drawing
-writing, either their won stories or have them make their own "ships log" or diary of sorts, I have started doing this year and they love it, they record the weather, destination, and brief summary of what they did, what we ate, etc

Once anchored our kids really enjoy dingy rides (with nav lights on at night of course LOL) and beach combing. A trip to the nearest ice cream store is always well received

Soon I would like to get them into a kayak, I think my oldest (8) would really enjoy it, the dingy is not the easiest to row which she like to do. At the club I plan to bring down our plywood sailing dingy for them to use in the creek.

When they were younger we had a DVD player on board and it was very useful on rainy days or longer sails of 6 hrs or more, but it died and dont plan to replace it, I could always let them watch a movie on the smart phone as a last resort. They get a kick out of the Google Sky App at night, sheet I do too!

I am encouraging them both to invite one friend at a time out for a weekend, that should be interesting.

All in all, considering how busy their and our work weeks can be most of the time, I think we all enjoy just getting away from the TV, phones and most of all other people and just having some good family time. We rarely raft up with others, we mostly prefer to get away from all the crazy's. They seem to enjoy the down time too as they get older.

Hope that helps a little.
This will be interesting you pulling away from the dock with a shipload of girls.LOL

You girls are some of the best kids I have every known. You both encourage their curiosity with the things outside them and also encourage them to explore. It also helps they are friends together. Keep doing whatever you are doing

BTW when I don't see them now and the tunes are turned up...I know to rescue them from the head where you locked them up.
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  #19  
Old 08-11-2013
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Re: Sailing with 2 children on Chesapeake Bay Northern Neck

Put a playstation and a flat screen monitor in the cabin.

Problem solved.
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