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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > 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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  #31  
Old 05-11-2011
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Looks as if you have your 9 "Yes's" JF!

I think the younger you get them out, the better. It instills boat safety, respect for the water, and the joys of sailing right from the start. My 7 year old started sailing last year on our Merit 25 and he absolutely LOVES it! Be sure to give your little one a few pre sailing "jobs" to make him/her feel important.

Keep us posted.
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  #32  
Old 05-13-2011
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Yes, I took my kids boating when they were 4, at that age I had pretty much gotten them to follow direct orders when needed for safety. Always wear life vest when on deck. I would say it depends on the child, but by 4 especially if in preschool most children are quite capable of basic tasks and following instructions. And they had a great time, (usually didn't get sick unless Mom did).
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  #33  
Old 05-14-2011
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Although we werent cruising all of the time, my son has effectively grown up on 'boats''. So about 8 of the last 15 years.
When he was about 5, he would steer with his foot on the tiller (smaller boat than now) and could effectively read a chart - never left alone to do that, but he knew where we were from the beacons in a channel.

The rule was that he had to wear his PFD when úpstairs' so he quickly saw that I should also wear one (only fair!)

I think it was the best part of allowing him responsibility in a school of hard knocks - he is a better young man now for all of it. Now, he can manage sails/ navigate/ anchor etc better than me.

Only got sick twice that I remember. More likely from what he ate, not seasick!.

Anyway, I am grateful for the time I spent with my son on the boat when he was younger - and as for his perspective - he had no alternative! I do believe it was a good experience for him.

Now, at school, his friends have not been sailing/cruising, so he does not have that in common, but I dont that matters at all.
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  #34  
Old 02-05-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
I would say that SF bay plays a bit rougher than most areas that being said my kids went sailing on the J24 before they and after they could walk

I have always found the bigger issue to be how comfy the wife is with sailing as if she has fear the kids will have fear

To this day my now 23 and 26 year old children will NOT go on a race with my wife on board
THIS. I vividly remember offshore fishing with Mom and Dad in our small center console boat. I must have been in 2nd grade, and it was all fun and games until Mom began crying uncle. We were taking a beating from some solid chop, little boat, big ocean. I guess my rationale was that if Momma Bear was freaking out, then I should be freaking out too. One large temper tantrum later we were on our way back.

Didn't phase me though, same trip dad set me loose in Florida Bay in a nutshell pram he began building before I was born. Today I'm typing from the confines of the United States Merchant Marine academy, funny how these things get started.
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Old 02-06-2012
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4 yr old sailing

Last summer my four year old and I started sailing together. She was a trooper! I even had her picking up the mooring by the end of the summer - with a safety harness and lifejacket on of course.

She gets a little bored on longer sails- she loves to use the radio- She calls for the launch and for the pump-out boat- keeps on eye out for pirates and boats we can "race"- I have lines tied onto cleats that that she can use to help "trim the jib" and practice her knots - lots of pretending and she has a fun time.

This summer she'll be five and she'll be taking sailing lessons - we spent last summer watching the class from our mooring and she can't wait.

We're both learning as we go and we're having a ball.

amy
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Old 02-06-2012
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My 4-yr-old daughter loves to grind the winches. When I announce my intentions to tack my daughter will stop whatever game her and her brother are playing and get ready, winch handle in hand. When we tack, she starts grinding on the winch to set the jib.

Greg
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Old 02-07-2012
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That's a great idea - she will love that!
amy
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Old 02-08-2012
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I'll add a qualified "yes." For what it is worth, I don't start taking my grandkids out before 6 but I'd consider it with a 4 year old if I had more adult help. The first qualification is what is the kid like? ADHD? No? Is the kid impulsive? No? Then so far so good. Does the kid listen? Do they (mostly) obey? Yes, then I would take that 4 year old sailing so long as there were enough adults present so one has primary sailing duties and another has primary kid supervision duties, and the adults can help each other as required.

If the kid has never been sailing, start off in easy conditions and see how things go. I'd also bring along plenty of stuff to keep the kid entertained, especially for playing down below.
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  #39  
Old 02-09-2012
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My son is now 5, but he has been going out on the boats with us since he was born. We have rules and he knows that he isn't allowed off the shore without a lifejacket on (not even on the dock). But having been around water this long, he can already swim without a lifejacket, and loves to go tubing. He tried several times to go water skiing last season and almost got up a couple times.

If 5 is old enough to go water skiing and tubing at nearly full-speed... then 4 is definitely old enough to be on a sailboat. Just be careful.
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Old 02-10-2012
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Done that. Feed them lots of ginger snaps or candied ginger to keep the sea sickness down.
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