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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 04-23-2010
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Anchored or moored 'diversions' aside, the earlier you can get your kids actively involved in actually sailing the boat the better.

Even a 3 year old can "help" you steer... they can 'tail' a self tailing winch for you, look for nav aids with their own binoculars, help pull on sheets etc.

On long quiet trips with less activity, encourage reading as opposed to game boys and texting. There are plenty of stories based on sea faring kids (Swallows and Amazons, the Enid Blyton's Adventure series, etc that are great reads and entertaining for all ages)

Once they are 6, 7 or older then the sailing pram comes into play - they get some independence and self confidence, just pick the right location and conditions.

Before you know it they'll be egging you on to "catch that guy over there"!...
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2010
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I have a 10 year old daughter that loves to sail; however, my 12 year old son rather be on land. Unfortunately, when it's sailing time, it's not a family outing.
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Old 05-07-2010
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Hmm. Just came across this. It is old school Sailnet, back when this site had regular contributors.

I've read it a fee times before, has some good advice on planning that first family cruise.

The First Cruise
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Old 05-10-2010
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I read that post reference above and found it very insightful.

We had a great sail Saturday. I kept it short and let them bring their electronic toys. After a few hours of playing in the cabin, my oldest came up to the cockpit as we were heading back to the slip. I pointed out some channel markers and he "helped" me flake the sail. No meltdowns and everyone seemed to have a good time!

It's good to know other people have been there and to learn from their experience and wisdom.

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Old 05-10-2010
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That spinnaker sailing looks really interesting, here is a link to instructions by the way: How spinnakers work

I'm curious as to how young people bring their children out. I've heard that it's unsafe and a bad idea to bring a baby onboard under the age of 6 months or so. Do babies get sea sick?
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Old 05-10-2010
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Originally Posted by GraemeInCanada View Post
That spinnaker sailing looks really interesting, here is a link to instructions by the way: How spinnakers work

I'm curious as to how young people bring their children out. I've heard that it's unsafe and a bad idea to bring a baby onboard under the age of 6 months or so. Do babies get sea sick?
Ours never got sea sick. The only time they have gotten sea sick was after many hours in a fairly good sea whiloe sitting in the V-berth down below and reading a book. I would have gotten sick too.

As far as unsafe to bring a baby onboard, why? Heck, it could be argued that it is safer with a baby than a child because a baby stays where you put them. When they are toddlers, they can wander some, but boats are typically pretty baby safe down below. Once they get older, with a strong understanding of do's and don'ts (no different than a house), they are as safe on a boat as most adults.

My opinions.

Brian
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Old 05-11-2010
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Put them to work, make part of it their responsibility, tell them you need their help. I let my boy steer the boat a lot, I always have. I point him in a direction, a point of land, a channel marker, or a compass point and he'll steer and do it well. He helps navigate, checks the GPS waypoints and charts, blows the jib sheets when we tack, helps fix the boat, helps clean the boat, you name it.
He's 13, but he's a dwarf so there are a lot of things he can't reach but we keep him busy with things he can reach. I value his perspective and he has good ideas that help us all. His input is important and he's a part of the crew and I wouldn't do it without him.
And he can cook.
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Old 08-19-2010
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Cruising with teenagers

Well, just an update for those who know us or about us.
We're taking off in November for the second time with two teenagers aboard. Both girls. This time one will be 17 and the other 15; grades 12 and 10. The last time they were in grades 7 and 9 respectively and we cruised the entire 2007-2008 Atlantic cruising season. This time we'll be doing the same.

The main incentive for the upcoming cruise is the insistence of our two girls to do one more extended cruise with us, before they leave and go to university. So for those of you who fear you've left it too late - its NEVER too late, unless you're heading for, or already in, the box (which will happen soon enough ;-( )

Our girls have started their distance ed courses already and have another couple of months to get a good push in. Our trip itinerary will be highly dependent on allowing enough time for them to get work done, so we'll make passages less often and stay longer in places. I'm also working on an academic endeavor which will be well served by such a plan.

On many forums about cruising with children it would seem that there is an ideal age for cruising with children. We've cruised with our children since they were young and have enjoyed every age. The relationship changes but the fun and family experience remains. It might be "too late" when your kids are late teens and they've never sailed, but if they already know how wonderful it is, THEY might force you to go. I wish you all the same luck!

Magnus Murphy
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Old 08-19-2010
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We lived aboard and cruised before we had children and with our children from their infancy to adulthood. They are 30 and 33 now and indistinguishable from "normal" people. We didn't send them spinaker flying, but we did sometimes tie a bosun's chair to the clew of our larger genoa while on a stif broad reach,- great sport! Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-26-2010
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Originally Posted by skyvia View Post
Sailing with children then the adults must take care of them,because the children don't have the sense of self-protection.
Not sure I really understand this comment.

Brian
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