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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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Old 03-08-2011
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What are your kids doing when cruising?

I'm thinking to bring my 5/8 girls in my first 2 weeks charter and hence am a little nervous. I obviously don't want them to miss the fun but in the same time I don't want them in jeopardy or to spoil their (and my) vacation.

I read a lot about kids having fun on the boat, but didn't find any specifics. What are your kids doing? Besides the obvious fun (dolphins) and the boring stuff (playing in the cabin) how do you keep them close to where the action is? How do they cope with seasickness (compared to a car' ss).
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Old 03-08-2011
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Giving them interesting jobs do would probably help with both boredom and the seasickness. Keeping the passages short and giving them and the admiral plenty of shore leave is also often recommended.

Where are you going, and what sort of boat?
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I'm going to the Cyclades, probably with a 47 Hanse. Good tip on the passage, I plan to keep it below 3 hours daily, we have a 2 weeks trip.
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I'm more than a little jealous.... I'm sure they'll all have a blast. It's hard to be in a bad mood in a place like that

Another thing that occurred to me that I would have fun doing, and would have loved to do as a kid, is geocaching. Apparently it's fairly active in that part of the world as well. I just googled "geocaching in the cyclades" and got a bunch of hits. Just find some caches that are at your daily destinations or along your passages; your 8yo can probably even help with the navigation. Having something mysterious to look forward to can make the time fly by a lot faster.
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Old 03-08-2011
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I think it helps tremendously if your kids are not hooked on handheld video games and DVD players. If you can keep those off the boat and concentrate on the boat handling, the sealife, the view as well as the various 'at anchor' pastimes at the end of those short hops they should have a blast. If they enjoy books that's good for the slow/quiet times.

Beachcombing, swimming in warm water, dinghying around, exploring new towns and cultures should be plenty to keep them amused and interested.

Sounds like a great trip! and 2 whole weeks!!
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Quote:
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I think it helps tremendously if your kids are not hooked on handheld video games and DVD players. If you can keep those off the boat and concentrate on the boat handling, the sealife, the view as well as the various 'at anchor' pastimes at the end of those short hops they should have a blast. If they enjoy books that's good for the slow/quiet times.

Beachcombing, swimming in warm water, dinghying around, exploring new towns and cultures should be plenty to keep them amused and interested.

Sounds like a great trip! and 2 whole weeks!!
I took my daughter on longer trips when she was 8 and smaller (some on my blog, below). Though I agree with the above...
* Do take DVDs. They are a familiar thing, from home, and can be good when some reassurance is needed. Kids need some familiar. But NOT all the time.
* A 5-year old is NOT going to be interested in boat handling. It's a grown-up thing and they sense that. Maybe the 8-year old, but don't bet on it. It's not fun until they can really drive, perhaps about 12 (which is when they let them be safety patrols in school--there's a reason).
* Every kid loves the beach. They don't really get long passages, beyond a few hours. So do lots of beaches.
* Make sure they have their own "space."
* Remember to be a kid and play with them. If it's going to be all grown-up time (or if they see it that way) there's trouble coming.
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* Remember to be a kid and play with them. If it's going to be all grown-up time (or if they see it that way) there's trouble coming.
Probably good for the grown-ups, too
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Old 03-09-2011
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I try to keep DVDs away, but probably an Ipad would be good as a safety measure. Geocaching is definitely worth trying, that would be interesting for grownups too! Good tips, thanks.
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I try to keep DVDs away, but probably an Ipad would be good as a safety measure. Geocaching is definitely worth trying, that would be interesting for grownups too! Good tips, thanks.
I should clarify. We did not take the DVD player as a "safety measure"; it was actually used to share a family-time movie after a tiring day of sailing a small boat.

During the day my daughter read, did crafts, joined me sailing, and played/explored shore side. We would fish before dinner, often cook the catch, and only then would the DVD player come out, when everyone was exuasted and something familiar was comforting.
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I grew up on a sailboat

And on passages at that age I would help sail the boat, fish, play games in the cabin with my sister, sleep, read, annoy my parents with the proverbial "are we there yet", and my favorite

hanging from the bow sprit trying to touch the backs of dolphins playing at the bow.
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