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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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  #1  
Old 02-21-2002
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sailteachr is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?

I am a sailing instructor in Puget Sound. I just had my first baby and was looking for advice from fellow sailors on how to best sail with a three month old little girl. I would probably be sailing with my partner who is really not much of a sailor, but wants to learn, on a boat in the 34-38 foot range. I am capable of singlehanding the boat so I really don''t need to worry about how to handle that end but I would really appreciate any advice on how to help both the baby and her mom to have a good time. Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-22-2002
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bporter is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?

With our daughter, who was a March baby, we took her out the first summer with no trouble. The only real hassle was getting her in to a PFD for the trip out to the mooring, but that wasn''t too bad as she seemed to tolerate it well, all things considered.

In our experience newborns are easier than toddlers; at least they stay where you put them and don''t try and climb around when you''re heeling.

We had a portable car seat that we brought along. This snugged in nicely down below in a space between the table and the port settee, and the handle could be kept up to provide lateral stability. The motion of the boat generally put her to sleep pretty quickly. For feeding my wife could go down below with her, or we could come up with a bottle.

I had always figured to rig up comething with a car seat and a seat belt from a car, but never really found the need for anything that fancy. A simple removable car seat that could double as a carrier did the trick.

Sleeping wasn''t a big deal either, we stuck her in the quarter berth which was mostly enclosed and put some cushions up to keep her from escaping forwards. Once she could sit and try and stand that become more problematic as she kept conking her head on the top of the berth. It was generally more trouble getting big brother to leave her alone though...

The only time it was more difficult was when she started getting restless down below and/or big brother started fussing AND the boat needed tending too. It''s one of the reasons we decided to get a new boat; the newer one is more friendly sailing short handed so one parent can manage kids.

We tend to tether the kids in the cockpit in addition to PFD''s. Of course last year when they were older and our daughter walking and being more mobile, the two kids were fully capable of getting into things, falling over, and irritating each other so you need more care in amusing them. My daughter HATES it when her big brother pulls on her tether...

The one other thing about sailing with babies is that the Rule of Accumulated Junk You Have to Schlep With Kids still applies if you plan to get off the boat anywhere but where you started. In other words, don''t forget the darned stroller! The stroller is actually kind of handy on shore, and a very good place to tuck/hang the kid''s PFD''s once they get on land.
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Old 02-24-2002
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BigRed56 is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?

Ahoy Teach, first off ye seems to have a gender issue or two in yer question, iffin ye had a baby ye''d be the girl and iffin ye didn''t have any idea on how to have a good time with da mom then how''d ye have the baby if yer a man? Thirdly why would you want to have a good time wit a baby you sick swabby?
Forth check out her sailnet for this kind of silly thing. Iffin ye ani''t figured out the basics of life you can''t be much of a sailor to ask such a question in the first place. But if you still need an answer I''ll show you all a good time !! Big Red 56 the Pirate of Pine Island.
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Old 03-01-2002
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danaa is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?

bporter is right. Infants are easier than tottlers on boats in my experience. I now sail with a 2 year old and a 4 year old and the way I keep my wife happy is to not try to go too far and always go places where you can take the kids ashore...although with an infant, they don''t care about that.
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Old 03-03-2002
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bporter is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?

Red - we have one of each.. Girl turns two in a week, boy turns five in may. No problems telling girls from boys on this end. We did not take the older one out as much as the boat we had at the time we didnt seem too safe for kids down below. Not seaworthy saf, but environmentaly safe - paint peeling stil lto be dealth with, etc.

The boyhs second summer was the longest of my life since moving to the watgerfront as we had no boat. So, no gender bending children here, just one who was more relevaznt to the question.
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Old 04-03-2002
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masslobsterguy is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?

I sail with a toddler. As time goes on my little guy loves it. I''m always amazed how he can sleep below when it get''s busy. Soon he''ll be sailing and fishing with me. Can''t wait. Hates the PFD though.

I don''t know what Big Red is talking about...I don''t think he does either. Sounds like the James Brown of sailing to me.

Have fun with your little one.

Boston
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Old 04-04-2002
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dimwit is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?

Gotta throw my two cents in here. . .
I''d hate the thought of whatever carseat I stuffed the kid into tumbling over when the boat heeled over hard, sending Junior and carseat rolling around on the decksole. Not really what the phrase "bouncing baby" should conjure up. . . It must be MADE FAST.
But it occurs to me that a small net hammock, like the type used for storage of just about anything in a sailboat that you don''t want on the decksole, would hold an infant nicely, if strung bow-to-stern so that it can sway with the heeling of the boat. If the sides of the hammock are wrapped around the kid and tied together, there''s no way for him to topple out. A little shock cord should keep the hammock from swaying too much when on the beam and rolling over a swell.
This is a very interesting problem; a little inventiveness will go a long way.
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Old 05-02-2002
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MaryBeth is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?


I know this is probably too old for someone to have a look at this, but sailing with babies is WONDERFUL. They sleep most of the time, and when they awake, they are in a most happy mood. Even the simple hammocks they make for hanging food stuffs and such in the saloon area is great for them, providing they are not too heavy. If you have enough room, snuggling them in their portacrib with pillows or towels is lovely (nothing around the face, of course!!).

Have sailed with many and loved each of them. They wake up so happy - and I can''t help but think it is a better cure for colic than the old car drive or washing machine. So much easier to appease than the teenagers!!

If you do read this - best of luck to you and your infant! Please enjoy sailing with them! Nothing looks as sweet as a peaceful baby''s face, and that is often acheived by sailing!

Mary
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Old 08-30-2002
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Bluesmoods is on a distinguished road
Sailing With Infants?

We recently completed a trip that included two 8 1/2/ legs with 5 yr old and 10 month old daughters.

The kids were just great. This was also their (our) first trip in the brand new 35 '' Catalina. We keep the lower panel in place in the companion way entrance. This does two things: Keeps our 10 mo. old from falling into the cabin below and to our suprise, gives her something to hold on to and rock back and forth for very long periods of time. She also gets to keep an eye on anything happening below decks. Our 5 yr old draws, reads, sleeps and just hangs out.

I have read many articles that provided tips on sailing with children, .. keep the durations short at first.. and so on and so forth. We just went for it not knowing how the kids would do. I should note that temperatures on the return 8 1/2 hr. leg were just about unbearable. Very hot, mugging, lot''s of sun. No relief. The kids and my wife stayed below for almost the whole ride. and had a pretty good( but hot)time.

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Old 10-28-2009
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davidscrivener is on a distinguished road
We are planning a bareboat charter in Greece in June - we will have two sub 1 year olds. All good advice which I am absorbing, but in terms of 'portacots' is there a specific one designed for the limited space on sail boats or are people just taking their regular ones? Appreciate anyone's input!

Cheers
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