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Stillraining 12-13-2009 09:05 PM

Are you training up your young?
I have a rock solid faith in Jesus Christ but I want my kids to "Own" there own faith not just follow me to church because that's what we do...the same goes with sailing...I want them to develop a love for it that hits a fever pitch...or at least one that if i were to kick the bucket tomorrow they would not want to See the family boat sold and would make sacrifices to see to it.

What are you doing to teach your young the love of sailing? What has been some of the memorable times that hooked them?...What didn't work that you can warn me about?


FWIW Mine are 15, 17, 19 year old girls

Ajax_MD 12-13-2009 09:13 PM

Well, I look forward to hearing the responses on this one. I have twins, 15, and when I told them I bought a sailboat all I got was "that's nice" and a blank look.

Daily, they Facebook themselves into oblivion. I'm trying to show them that there's a bigger world out there. I've given them horseback riding lessons, snow skiing, motor-boating, paintball...not much of it is sticking.

Perhaps when I actually get them out there, their attitudes will change.

padean 12-13-2009 09:28 PM

Both of my boys are exposed to sailing regularly. My 16 y/o is an assistant sailing instructor at the local community sailing program in the summer, and while he rarely sails with me, he is starting to race a little in the beer can races, and helps on the deliveries for longer races.

THe youngest son, 13, sails with us on the Wed night races during the summer, and while he doesn't do much yet, he is aquiring his own interest in sailing.

I found it better to give the the exposure and not push, than to try to force them to come along whenever I went out. Whether then aquire a life-long love of sailing remains to be seen, but at least they don't hate it, and are slowly picking up the skills they will need if they want to pursue it on their own.

At our yacht club there is a fairly even mix of sailors who's children won't come near the boat and those who are involved in sailing on some level. For me, giving them exposure is about my comfort level.

Faster 12-13-2009 10:05 PM

Our son sailed with us throughout his whole life... 18 days old the first time. I'm happy to say that he's a boat owner himself now and sails/races on OPBs as well.

While he had no choice in the matter, really, especially early on, I think what tipped the balance was a few things we did along the way.

We designed and built a littly opti-like dinghy when he was 4 or 5 and he started sailing it on his own not long after. He learned to row in it too, and it provided hours of entertainmnet (and independance) as he was growing up on the water.

We started a small jr sailing program with a small keelboat and that got him and a bunch of his peers interested/involved.

When he was 10 we bought a small dayracer and after a nasty broach his mother was not so keen on sailing it anymore - we raced that boat for 6 or 7 years with myself, our boat partner, and our two boys both the same age. We had an active little local race program in our club in an area with fairly challenging conditions. After a season or two, we had a great thing going.. rarely were words required, our boat handling was almost automatic and we "ruled" for many consecutive years. I think this alone was the key to his continuing enthusiasm.

When the boys were 15 we started to get the usual teenage reluctance to go sailing with the parents. Since we owned two boats in our partnership we let the boys take the 24 footer - they invited friends - and we cruised the bigger boat. We kept the food stocks so to be sure they'd join up at the end of the day. We had a fabulous 3 week cruise that year and we had all kinds of space on the bigger boat since the kids lived on the smaller one.

When he went to college he listed on a web based crew list, got on with a local racing boat and has never looked back. His resume now includes time on a variety of boats including a Farr 40, TP 52 and most recently a couple of seasons on a Melges 32. During this time they bought a Ranger 29 and have recently moved up to a Catalina 36, and "scooped" us by having his daughter on the water at 1 week old!

Still, I'd say you're starting a bit late but wish you the best.. as you say you can't force them, but you can make the opportunities available, and encourage them the best you can.

Apologies for the parental bragging......:o :p :)

Stillraining 12-13-2009 10:19 PM


Originally Posted by Faster (Post 550653)
Still, I'd say you're starting a bit late but wish you the best.. as you say you can't force them, but you can make the opportunities available, and encourage them the best you can.

Apologies for the parental bragging......:o :p :)

Yes Faster...To be honest this is my greatest frustration with my boat ordeal this past two years...crucial time and opportunities lost forever..:(
I remain steadfast in my faith about it though ..:)

No apologies needed my have all the right to...great post by the way.

sck5 12-13-2009 10:36 PM

We moved to a house on the shore of Cayuga lake when my son was 5. He has been sailing ever since and has an intuitive grasp of how to do it that seems sort of like speaking a language. He doesnt need to think about it, he just KNOWS when the sails dont look right or when the puff of wind is about to get to the boat. This is all about actual sailing, not the other systems on a big boat like the engine, electricity, etc. It came from sailing the laser and the hobie cat with his buddies and seeing how fast they could get it to go before they ended up in the drink. I think I will never have quite as instinctive a grasp as he does because I came to it later in life. My daughter is two years older and doesnt have the slightest interest in it even though she had all of the same opportunities. Go figure. Every kid is different and if they have the bug you cant stop them and if they dont then they just dont want to.

WanderingStar 12-14-2009 08:55 AM

I brought my 18yo neice out with some friends this year. I've had her out on my former boats, including canoeing, but she doesn't have much time for it. (college, work, social life) I also brought my younger neices and nephew (7,5,3) out this year. I hope to get them out in boats small enough to feel the wind and helm. My Dad started me in a canoe before I was 5, it stuck. Of course, we didn't have computers, video, cell phones or even cable tv.

tommays 12-14-2009 09:25 AM

It was my first best teachers mission in life to bring in juniors and i have allways followed his advise and do what i can

smackdaddy 12-14-2009 09:57 AM

78 Attachment(s)
My 5 and 9 year old boys go out with me most of the time. They've been pretty ambivalent about it for the most part. However, I recently instituted a rule that the only place on earth that they can cuss is in the cockpit of a boat while under sail. We call it the "cusspit". And they now LOVE coming out.

Hearing the little dudes shouting "idiot, jerk, stupid, butt-face!" to the winds like some kind of mantra for 2 hours is a small price to pay for their love of sailing.

A few weeks ago, after a particularly bawdy sail, I asked my 5-year-old what his favorite part of the day was. "The cussing", he said. I asked why. "I just felt so free", he replied.

I'm not sure how to feel about that one. Have I created a monster here?

cormeum 12-14-2009 10:09 AM

Great thread.
I take all but the youngest (just 1 y.o.) out whenever I go. The older boys (10, 8) like sailing but are more prone to seasickness so that puts a damper on things. That said, the 10 yo is getting a good handle on helming and we're working on sail trim. They both like doing maintenance tasks.

The girls (6,4,2) are my real hope as they are all water monkeys and really like going out. They are the biggest drivers for taking longer trips. :D

I like the sailing dinghy idea- We have a dhow and I think next summer will be a good time to take the boys out on it with an eye on having them sail it themselves.

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