THIS is a great topic! IS it feasable for 4 kids? - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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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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Old 02-12-2012
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Children are very interested in doing things with friends, less so with younger siblings. At some point, after the initial novelty wears off, you might be farther ahead to send a couple of them off on land with some friends, while you take the others and *their* friends sailing. This works well if you are friends with a family who have some similarly-aged kids. My guess is that the 14 year-old whines moderately about the 12 year-old, and the 12 year-old whines a little about the 6 year-old, and the 6 year-old whines endlessly about the toddler.

My six year-old son didn't care much for being on deck, but he loved loved loved being below and playing with the dishes in the galley. It was like a kid's kitchen. And keeping him below made his mother and grandmothers less frantic, though I think it was probably *less* safe in fact. Head injuries are forever.
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Old 02-12-2012
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Originally Posted by Lake Superior Sailor View Post
No; It is a federal law not state! I just found this out myself....Dale
Found out where?
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Old 02-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Superior Sailor View Post
No; It is a federal law not state! I just found this out myself....Dale
In the US the states set their own laws concerning the age for mandatory PFD use with the exception of inflatable PFDs which are authorized for use on people over 16 YO. Requirements for the life jackets themselves as well as what size boat needs them (and what type) are mandated by the CG. But age is determined by the states.

USCG life jacket information.
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Old 02-12-2012
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I got it out of Wi. Boating Laws Hand Book--under Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
"Federal law reqires children under the age of 13 to wear a USCG-approved PFD while underway in an open vessel on federally controlled waters."------Dale
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From the Coast Guard website:

Child Lifejacket Requirements

Some states require that children wear lifejackets
  • applies to children of specific ages
  • applies to certain sizes of boats
  • applies to specific boating operations

Check with your state boating safety officials.

Child lifejacket approvals are based on the child's weight. Check the "User Weight" on the label, or the approval statement that will read something like "Approved for use on recreational boats and uninspected commercial vessels not carrying passengers for hire, by persons weighing __ lbs". They can be marked "less than 30", "30 to 50", "less than 50", or "50 to 90".

Lifejacket requirements for certain boating activities under state laws

The Coast Guard recommends and many states require wearing lifejackets:
  • For water skiing and other towed activities (use a lifejacket marked for water skiing).
  • While operating personal watercraft (PWC) (use a lifejacket marked for water skiing or PWC use).
  • During white water boating activities.
  • While sailboarding (under Federal law, sailboards are not "boats").

Check with your state boating safety officials.

Federal law does not require lifejackets on racing shells, rowing sculls, racing canoes, and racing kayaks; state laws vary. Check with your state boating safety officials.

If you are boating in an area under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, or a federal, state, or local park authority, other rules may apply.
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Old 02-12-2012
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This quote is out of 2011 Wi. hand book they just sent with registration , so is Wi. lieing about it being a federal law,or what!...Dale
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Trying to get back on topic...

Cruising with kids, whether full time of summer time, is a great idea (of course you're asking on a sailing forum....) but anyhow we had great success. Our son grew up on a series of boats with us and now, near 30 continues to race OPBs and is a boat owner himself. While we were proud to have had him sailing at 18 days old in May, he had his daughter out on their boat at 1 week old in December...

We were vigilant, and not once did any of the kids we had on board fall off. PFDs were mandatory on deck, they learned early on to keep one hand for themselves. It did help to bring friends, esp if your child is an only, and introducing non-sailing-families' kids to boating was always interesting (but not always successful..)

Still there's no reason to avoid sailing because you have kids. I find it sad to run into people (and it's not that rare) who say... "We used to sail but then we had kids and we couldn't go out anymore."

It may well be more difficult to introduce older children to sailing than having them grow up with it and not knowing any different, esp in this day and age of required 'connectedness' and 'gadgets'. That may well be your challenge.

Finding a boat that is affordable and will accommodate your extended family (and it is nice to have room to invite non sibling playmates) is going to be another challenge.. Many 35 - 40 footers are not really laid out to sleep more than 4 people on a regular basis. We had (with partners) a 40 ft "cruisified" ex-race boat that, counting all the pipe berths could sleep ten. We routinely spend a few weeks each summer with 4 adults and 4 kids (incl one friend) with success.

Best of luck and don't be discouraged!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Superior Sailor View Post
This quote is out of 2011 Wi. hand book they just sent with registration , so is Wi. lieing about it being a federal law,or what!...Dale
Lying, no. Misstating, yes. USCG requires a wearable pfd for each occupant, but doesn't require you wear it.
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Old 02-13-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Superior Sailor View Post
This quote is out of 2011 Wi. hand book they just sent with registration , so is Wi. lieing about it being a federal law,or what!...Dale
They specifically say (according to your quote) "Federally-controlled waters" so you'll have to find out where those exist within the state. Any Army Corps of Engineer lakes that you know of? In other bodies of water within the state, your state law will determine lifejacket usage.

Generally, the USCG does not trump state laws except in rare cases or where the states do not address a particular issue.
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Old 04-02-2012
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Re: THIS is a great topic! IS it feasable for 4 kids?

Sailing with 4 kids, is possible, I am a single parent raising 4 kids and yes it is possible, once they learn what is and whats not allowed and where and when, I wouldnt be without mine now. They often fight like cat and dog over something thats not worth arguing over but there kids and they love going for a sail, either for the day or the whole of the summer holidays. Mine all wear PFD's on deck, unless we are under way, is it bad for your nearves the first few times you leave the harbour, ofcourse but it does get better, and you always have an eye on them at all times but it does get a whole lot better. Take them and enjoy your time together.
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