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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 02-23-2011
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Sailing with a 4-year old? Yes, my daughter has come on most trips since she was born.

Can you think of anything (lets stay on-thread) more fun than taking a 4-year-old to small beaches? That is the main thing with kids; they enjoy the exploring more than the the hours of sailing.

Single handing with a small child? Depends on the child to some extent, but I did it many times. As stated above, tethers are a must. Set the example by wearing one too and it's no problem; the child will see it as part of being a "big" sailor.

Like adults, children are all different. Keep it light and keep it safe.
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Old 02-23-2011
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They make and sell toddler size PFDs for this reason. Just get one that fits very well or wearing it becomes a problem. You all might have to wear one to make it work.
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Old 02-23-2011
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Bought our first boat when our middle daughter was 6 weeks old. All of our kids went sailing throughout their lives. Now our grandchilren have their turn. Our first, our one grandson, went sailing at 6 weeks; each of our other three have gone sailing as infants. Our grandson will be 4 this summer and talks about sailing a lot. To be sure, the infants are easier than the toddlers and bigger kids; they are required to wear lifejackets and we pay close attention. We also usually do shorter sails and sail quite conservatively when they are aboard. BUt they learn to sail and learn to love it and are quite safe.
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One thing to consider is your wifes ability to handle the boat in your absence. I have been sailing with my wife and 3 kids (all under the age of 7) for a while when it dawned on me that my wife had never really learned to sail. If I went o/b she would have her hands full. I have been giving her basic lessons over the last few years but this year she decided to enroll in some more intensive classes b/c when we are on the boat she has to devote too much attention to the kids.
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Old 02-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sausagebarn View Post
One thing to consider is your wifes ability to handle the boat in your absence. I have been sailing with my wife and 3 kids (all under the age of 7) for a while when it dawned on me that my wife had never really learned to sail. If I went o/b she would have her hands full. I have been giving her basic lessons over the last few years but this year she decided to enroll in some more intensive classes b/c when we are on the boat she has to devote too much attention to the kids.
I don't intend for this to be a wise crack....

Don't fall off. If it were a 1,000-foot cliff, would you allow yourself to fall off? No. Mid-ocean? No. Wear a harness, to set the example, and don't fall off.

Also, sailing kids MUST learn that their may be times when they need to do EXACTLY as told without question. This voice must be reserved only for safety matters and NEVER wasted on misbehavior, no matter how severe. The two must be separated. At 4 years my daughter would ignore me when I said "clean your room", but if I said "harness and on-deck now" in the middle of a thunderstorm she would do it every time, because she knew it was safety, not something optional.

Much of the cruising I have done was with my daughter and me; no fall back option, but neither would I have a fall back option sailing alone. You have to stay focused and move deliberately.
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Old 02-24-2011
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All of our kids started sailing way before they were 4.

On deck up until 5 or so they have to wear a PFD and be in a harness. We also make sure that they are watched by an adult that's NOT the helmsman.

Saw a "keep it under 5 kts" comment - we definitely do NOT do that-

Lee rail awash and flying, the little ones get used to that pretty quick.

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Old 02-24-2011
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Sail with a 4 year old?!?

Make them work for it! Here's our son at age 3...



FWIW, my parents had me on a pearson ariel at age 1 month while racing for the St. Francis Yacht Club. They just put me in a hammock in the cabin and I swung all over the place, but didnt fall down. For our son, we always have him in a life jacket and he is always clipped to jacklines when he wanders past the cockpit.
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Old 02-24-2011
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It is important to get them to work early.


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Old 02-26-2011
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I started taking my daughter out on San Francisco Bay in my Cal 27 when she was 5. She and her friends loved the cabin and V-berth. We tried to make sure conditions were light since it can get rough out there.
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