THIS is a great topic! IS it feasable for 4 kids? - 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 10-27-2011
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THIS is a great topic! IS it feasable for 4 kids?

I am new to sailing but I have been in and around boats my whole life.

Being the oldest in the family (first with younger kids in teh family) I have never really seen many people with smaller kids on boats. (fishing boats yes but not sail)

I am looking to get into sailing, (as I have always wanted to) I have been looking at the 31-41 ft range. (only because I have 4 kids)

I'd like to spend summer vacations out on the boat. 3-4 days, maybe a week trip.

I have a 14, 12, 6, 4 yr old.

Is this feasable? Has anyone had success with younger kids on longer sail trips?

Do you have any wisdom to share?lol

I am a nervious parent as it is and very saftey cautious, so sometimes I think I am asking for trouble putting them on a boat. But I really want to share that experiance with my kids if possible.
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Old 10-27-2011
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Sure it can be done. The 4 and 6 year old definitely need a properly fitted pfd they will wear all the time. Probably the 12 year old too, and everyone else is a good idea.

If you are new to sailing, your biggest worry is going to be man overboard recovery. If you practice good safety, there is no reason that anyone should fall in, particularly from a boat that size. However, should they fall in, you want to be very practiced at getting back for them. It requires practice.

Go enjoy. Great gift to the kids.
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Old 10-27-2011
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Is this feasable? Has anyone had success with younger kids on longer sail trips?
There are plenty of families cruising full time, not just for a week or two. Entirely possible. The Discovery Channel followed a family with two teens who grew up on their boat sailing around the world. The oldest ended up with a golf scholarship to college.

I asked a family I met once (sold their house and sailed the Pacific, now in New Zealand) how on earth you end up playing enough golf to get a scholarship and was told that lots of families sail in a flotilla so that the kids can socialize and there are golf courses along the Southern CA, Mexico coasts that cater to boaters.

Who knew?

I listen to the podcasts of this family from the UK.
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But I really want to share that experiance with my kids if possible.
You might want to consider chartering a few times with the family, first. I've said this on here before but when we bought our larger boat I was excited that there would be room for my teenaged niece and nephew. Turned out their schedules didn't include Aunt Donna and her boat.

As each one reached age 18, my dock neighbor's kids one by one refused to step foot on the boat again and he had bought a brand new 36 footer just for that purpose. Now he's working on the grand kids.

Don't be disappointed if the older kids aren't as into being "stuck" on a boat away from their friends and social/sports activities.
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Well, my kids are much younger than yours, 2 at 5.5 years old and 2 at 2.5 years old (yes, two sets of twins).

I'm thinking of just getting a small trailerable like a Catalina 22 or 25 on a local lake to just learn to sail, then as they grow, I'll worry about getting a bigger boat, depending on if they like sailing or not.

I'd say, don't break the bank first just to try to fit everybody on board....kids are not cheap even without a boat.
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Well, my kids are much younger than yours, 2 at 5.5 years old and 2 at 2.5 years old (yes, two sets of twins).

...kids are not cheap even without a boat.
But you apparently fell prey to a BOGO sale... twice.
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Yes, well, that is very true, in every sense of what you said.

We are thankful for them.
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Old 02-12-2012
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Being new to U S Federal Waters,I did not realize the law requires children under the age of 13 must wear PFD while underway......Dale
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Being new to U S Federal Waters,I did not realize the law requires children under the age of 13 must wear PFD while underway......Dale
Those rules are state by state and vary slightly. 13 is the typical range. Any age on a jet ski.

My marina requires them for kids below that age on the dock, although, I've never seen it enforced. Probably a liability thing.
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No; It is a federal law not state! I just found this out myself....Dale
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