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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 09-27-2013
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Introducing sailing to the kids

Err wait to go again. That was an interesting auto correct.
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Introducing sailing to the kids

If the kids falling overboard is the issue, then consider 3 things:
1) lifeline netting - before anyone jumps all over me, please read this carefully: I am NOT suggesting that you rely on this as the only safety device between your child and the water. Lifeline netting, like any other part of the boat, will deteriorate, chaffe, etc., so it should not be the be-all and end-all of your safety plans. But, in my opinion, what it DOES do is help slow the kid (or me) down. It's one of those things that is so inexpensive, why would you NOT put it there and hope to see some benefit from it? If you don't do that, I've seen something similar with rope strung vertically along the lifelines, but I'm always afraid that the openings will be too big for my kids that's why I went with netting.

2) Tethers - I went to REI (rock climbing/outdoor store) and purchased nylon safety webbing. It's 1" wide, and has a breaking strength of 3000+ lbs. I ran a loop of that through the back of our boys' PFD's (through the arm holes) and sewed it closed. I've tested that by hanging from the webbing and bouncing, and it didn't give way (of course, if you go this route, you should do your own research and testing), so I feel fairly confident that the webbing won't give out if they fall. With the webbing, I can now attach tethers to the handrails, jacklines, pedestal, or other inboard (i.e. near centerline) attachment points and help reduce the likelihood that they will wind up overboard.

3) Swim lessons - I used to be a swim instructor when I was younger, and we tought kids as young as 6 months. Getting your kids competent in the water will go a LONG way toward making your wife and you more comfortable.

Now, neither of the first two helps when, as in Brian's case, the kids wind up falling in the water while walking at the marina (again, that's where swim lessons helps). But at least they are helpful/comforting when under way.
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Introducing sailing to the kids

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Originally Posted by seaner97 View Post
Thanks for the great advice. My wife and I sailed before the kids, but now she's a bit worried about one of them getting hurt or drowning. A combination I'm sure of her own fears and us being together for a decade and a half and watching me do one boneheaded thing after another. They being said, we actually sailed well together. May be as simple as having another hand on board for awhile, but now I can't swig to go again!
Just tell her she can watch the kids while you go sailing, or likewise. That's pretty much how it works anyways.

Brian
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  #14  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Introducing sailing to the kids

You guys have great timing on this thread, as I am trying to get my wife and 5 yr old daughter our for their first time on a friends boat tomorrow. Short sail, hour, hour and a half, and before the winds on Lake Michigan kick up in the afternoon. Me I grew up sailing, living aboard part time, so no issues, the wife and daughter...not at all, the last time I had them on a boat was a 132' 1812 gaff rigged cutter, Friends Good Will, out of South Haven, and they did not enjoy the 7' to 8' seas with a comfort rating that would make most people green. So thanks for all the great ideas and input all....
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Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Introducing sailing to the kids

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Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post
You guys have great timing on this thread, as I am trying to get my wife and 5 yr old daughter our for their first time on a friends boat tomorrow. Short sail, hour, hour and a half, and before the winds on Lake Michigan kick up in the afternoon. Me I grew up sailing, living aboard part time, so no issues, the wife and daughter...not at all, the last time I had them on a boat was a 132' 1812 gaff rigged cutter, Friends Good Will, out of South Haven, and they did not enjoy the 7' to 8' seas with a comfort rating that would make most people green. So thanks for all the great ideas and input all....
No worries. Cruising/Sailing with kids is my passion.

Brian
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  #16  
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Re: Introducing sailing to the kids

As I see it, you have two choices when trying to get your family involved:
1) go slow
2) jump in with both feet.

Brian did the later, and in many ways I'm jealous! If that approach isn't for you, the other option is really to get everyone "hooked". Don't rush it. Pick your days so the seas are calm and there is enough wind to get the boat moving but not necessarily enough for it to heel significantly. Get your kids to steer. Have your wife stretch out on one of the cockpit seats and enjoy some sun. Make it relaxing for her and fun for them, but don't try too hard. Then repeat this at least 3 or 4 more times before you start going out in 15-20 knot winds and 6-8' seas.
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  #17  
Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Introducing sailing to the kids

Just a follow-up to our sailing this afternoon, things were perfect for an intro to sailing for the wife and 5 yr old daughter, 82 degrees temp, winds around 10 knots, and 1-3 foot chop, the daughter immediately asks to go out again, the wife just isn't into it, but I hope she comes around to love it. I just may have to do some short/singlehanding, and have the wife meet up at various ports I hope to cruise to once we get our HITW...

Thanks all for your ideas, worked better than I hoped.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Introducing sailing to the kids

how old are the kids?

i was 7 yrs old when we started to learn to sail. a friend started at 3 yrs of age. he thoughthe was ready to sail from san diego to catalina in a sabot at age 7.

when we started learning, the thing that was said was ®who wants to go sailing?®
worked great every time. as you sail the boat, teach em how to do it. presuming you know how to sail already.
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  #19  
Old 09-29-2013
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Re: Introducing sailing to the kids

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Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post
the daughter immediately asks to go out again, the wife just isn't into it, but I hope she comes around to love it.
With all due respect, be happy with what you've got! This is INCREDIBLE! Sure, it would be great to have your wife instantly fall in love with sailing again and want to buy a 40' boat with all the bells and whistles. BUT, you've just found an AMAZING way to spend time with your daughter. You can get a lot of quality bonding time while, at the same time, giving your wife some good "me" time. If it were me, I'd probably be content with that, because I don't get enough one-on-one time with either of my boys.

Honestly, if your daughter and you have fun doing it, your wife will probably want to come along after while anyway. But, even if she doesn't, you've got at least another 5-10 years of fun with your daughter. Enjoy that while it lasts.
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Introducing sailing to the kids

Been sailing the last four years with three boys. They are now 11, 9 and 7. Current blog below in sig.

As has been said, short sails, lots of anchoring and swimming.

Couple of other things.

We have regularly hooked up with two other sailing families. When the three of us us go out to islands/anchorages, it's cake, everyone has fun, and adults get to have adult time.

Second is buy a cheap used sailing dinghy. Our boys thrived when they were able to "be the captain" and sail their own lite boat.

Next year we are going to the Carribean for a year. You can follow our adventures!
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