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NickPapagiorgio 06-27-2011 07:55 AM

First charter with one-year-old... tips and suggestions?
Hello everyone. My wife and I are going out on our first charter (2007 Catalina 350) on the Chesapeake Bay in early July. We are bringing our one-year-old, and another couple and their three-year-old. Our charter will be two nights.

My son is crawling like a champ, but he's not walking yet and I doubt he'll be walking before we leave. Anyway, I'm looking for some tips and suggestions to make the trip easier. We already have his infant PFD and have had him in the swimming pool a few times so he could get used to it.

My plan is to keep the sailing in between destinations as short as possible. For those familair with with Northern Bay, we're headed out of Harve de Grace, MD the first day, to Fairly Creek for the first night. Then the next day will be Fairly Creek to Georgetown, MD. Then the last day will be back to Harve de Grace.

I've already made slip reservations for both nights just to make it easier and so we can get the kids off the boat for a little. I may try anchoring for a little when we first arrive in Fairly Creek, but I'll have to see how the kids are holding up and how we are doing on time.

One of my concerns is sleeping arrangments. My son sleeps in a crib and moves around a lot, so we can't just have him sleep in one of the births unless we are able to somehow stop him from falling off the edge. I've heard of people using leecloths on the quarter birth, but I'm not sure how I would attach one.

Also, I've read about people lashing the car seat to either the settee or the cockpit while underway. Anyone have any pictures or explanations of how exactly to lash it? I dont' know what exactly I would lash it to.



shamrock6 07-09-2011 08:24 PM


I have a 10 month old and sail a Bristol 35.5 on the Chesapeake. We bought an extra pack n play to keep on the boat. It is very convenient as he can take a nap in there and sleeps pretty well, or we can put him in there with a few toys for a bit if we need some extra hands. Our cabin sole is pretty opened, so we have actually fit two pack nad plays down there at once. As far as a berth with a lee cloth, we have not tried that yet.

I highly recommend the Jim Bouy child safety harness. It is $29 and can fit an infant. It takes some time to get the size right, and you might want to cut the excess straps and then burn the ends. It comes with a tether and everything. The reason why we like this is because his PFD is very uncomfortable and he is not mobile at all. , He has that harness on any time he is above deck. Now that we have the harness, he wears the PFD going on and off the boat and in the dingy. Before we had the harness, he would only last 10 minutes or so before getting really fussy in the PFD.

Good Luck!

jerryRiggin 07-13-2011 12:34 AM

We took our son on a 3 month cruise through the bahamas on a 30 foot monohull when he was 6 months old. Honestly, I think people overall are just too concerned with children's safety. Don't get me wrong, it's important to keep the whole family safe, but kids are resilient and, just like adults, they learn best when allowed to make mistakes. Even a 6-month old figures out what works and what doesn't. Follow our fellow sailors' advice to an extent but also just let nature take its course.

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