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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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  #1  
Old 08-21-2012
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What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

THought this might be a fun post. I can put a lot of pics up, but took this one this morning. It was quite hysterical, really.

As crusiing kids, you are limited on what toys you can take and how many. Well, at least you are on our boat!! As a fat dog, you are limited to the same. Sometimes the two mesh, sometimes they dont.



In this particular case, Fatty was watching the kids play YuGhi Oh (spelling). She understands it about as much as I do. It was a quiet, peaceful morning on the boat with all parties enjoying each other. THen, not long after this pic was taken, Fatty realized that the kids were undoubtedly bored with the odorless toys and would prefer to pet her and play with her. TO the distress of all, she was incorrect. We were worried our youngest was going to make good on his threats of murder and decided to separate all three of our children. But in the end, Fatty got what she wanted (attention).

Just another day on the boat!!!

Brian

PS Others feel free to post their stories and pics here.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2012
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

She does appear to have that ready to pounce look about her!!!!

Great post Brian.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

Great picture!

I hate to admit it, but our go-to for our 3 year old boy has been the portable DVD player. I absolutely love to share with him the experience of sailing, but sometimes his attention span for it is about 5 whole minutes. Then it's, I want to swim, I want to go in the dinghy, I want to stand up here where you've told me 100 times not to stand.

There's nothing quite like a quiet 3 year-old safely sacked out below with a movie, while Mom and Dad enjoy the sun and breeze.

Funny thing is, we do very little TV at home, but his traditional games and toys probably wouldn't hold his attention on the boat. DVD seems to be all that will do it.
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Old 09-02-2012
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

We started sailing with our two boys when they were 6 months and 2 years old. They are now 12 and 14. Right now they are running propane from the stern to our stove (mid cng to propane conversion). Only minimal attitude increases as the day wears on. We're getting ready to head out cruising (34 days to departure) so it's all hand on deck.

But obviously that's not really how you entertain young kids or the activity of choice for a couple of teens. :-) Current favorites are Dungeons and Dragons (abreviated version with only a notebook and a few dice), legos, and of course actual sailing/skippering the family boat. And good books if it isn't too rough.

When we first started sailing we used to bring an extra person to hold the baby (it took two of us to sail back then). When we graduated from the club boats and bought our own boat (kids ages 2 and 4) we had designated "boat toys" that they played with endlessly. These toys were only on the boat. Mr. Potato was very popular, as were those magnadoodles (modern equivalent to an etcha sketch). In fact all these years later and now living aboard, the "boat bear" from our first boat had to be brought on board.

We never allowed electronic games and only movies as a family at night until we moved aboard full time. We would sing in the cockpit, and at bedtime we had special books that "lived" on our weekender boat. The kids had a few cannisters of non messy snacks they could raid at any time.

When they were little we started with short sails and gradually worked our way up to longer days aboard. We were always big on destination sailing. They have their favorite yacht clubs and we often joke that we do the Gelatto tour of the bay (san francisco). My advice to families of young children is get them involved in every aspect of boating, from picking what provisions you'll have for dinner to where you'll go for a weekend on the boat. Use the time on the boat as family time, not time for everyone to veg out in their own electronic world. Sing, play, explore.

When my oldest was little we used to hook a dummy line up to an unused winch and everytime we tacked we'd do the standard "helms to the lee" he'd pull it. He thought he was actually helping sail the boat. I should mention that he is now a serious racer sailing on a Farr 36 with an all adult crew and was shocked to learn a few weeks ago about the dummy line when he overheard me giving some advice to a mother with young children. Our first boat didn't have a steering wheel lock so we taught him to steer a straight course down the channel while we raised sails, fixed lunch etc (one of us was always with him in the cockpit). I have pictures of him at the helm at about age 5, completely at ease, leaning on the lifeline looking over the side of the boat with one hand on the wheel (his dad sits the same way).

When they got a little older (9 or so) we found mad libs very popular for light wind days. My younger more sedate kid will sit in the companionway and ask us for a "noun, verb, etc". I even found some slightly more adult ones (PG rated not extremely adult) that I've stashed for the trip down with the baja-haha.

Well I better go. I was supposed to be looking something up on the computer, but I think they've caught on to my unscheduled break.... ooops. I'll go appease them with chocolate and all will be forgiven.

Nicki
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

Quote:
Originally Posted by braveorstupid View Post
We started sailing with our two boys when they were 6 months and 2 years old. They are now 12 and 14. Right now they are running propane from the stern to our stove (mid cng to propane conversion). Only minimal attitude increases as the day wears on. We're getting ready to head out cruising (34 days to departure) so it's all hand on deck.

But obviously that's not really how you entertain young kids or the activity of choice for a couple of teens. :-) Current favorites are Dungeons and Dragons (abreviated version with only a notebook and a few dice), legos, and of course actual sailing/skippering the family boat. And good books if it isn't too rough.

When we first started sailing we used to bring an extra person to hold the baby (it took two of us to sail back then). When we graduated from the club boats and bought our own boat (kids ages 2 and 4) we had designated "boat toys" that they played with endlessly. These toys were only on the boat. Mr. Potato was very popular, as were those magnadoodles (modern equivalent to an etcha sketch). In fact all these years later and now living aboard, the "boat bear" from our first boat had to be brought on board.

We never allowed electronic games and only movies as a family at night until we moved aboard full time. We would sing in the cockpit, and at bedtime we had special books that "lived" on our weekender boat. The kids had a few cannisters of non messy snacks they could raid at any time.

When they were little we started with short sails and gradually worked our way up to longer days aboard. We were always big on destination sailing. They have their favorite yacht clubs and we often joke that we do the Gelatto tour of the bay (san francisco). My advice to families of young children is get them involved in every aspect of boating, from picking what provisions you'll have for dinner to where you'll go for a weekend on the boat. Use the time on the boat as family time, not time for everyone to veg out in their own electronic world. Sing, play, explore.

When my oldest was little we used to hook a dummy line up to an unused winch and everytime we tacked we'd do the standard "helms to the lee" he'd pull it. He thought he was actually helping sail the boat. I should mention that he is now a serious racer sailing on a Farr 36 with an all adult crew and was shocked to learn a few weeks ago about the dummy line when he overheard me giving some advice to a mother with young children. Our first boat didn't have a steering wheel lock so we taught him to steer a straight course down the channel while we raised sails, fixed lunch etc (one of us was always with him in the cockpit). I have pictures of him at the helm at about age 5, completely at ease, leaning on the lifeline looking over the side of the boat with one hand on the wheel (his dad sits the same way).

When they got a little older (9 or so) we found mad libs very popular for light wind days. My younger more sedate kid will sit in the companionway and ask us for a "noun, verb, etc". I even found some slightly more adult ones (PG rated not extremely adult) that I've stashed for the trip down with the baja-haha.

Well I better go. I was supposed to be looking something up on the computer, but I think they've caught on to my unscheduled break.... ooops. I'll go appease them with chocolate and all will be forgiven.

Nicki
Rubber Duckies
Great post Nicki. Wish we were on the other coast, I would try and catch up with you over there. Unfortunatley, we're in St Pete, Fl at the moment.

I agree with a lot of what you said. We do/have done the same. We did get the kids the electronics. THey are especially great for tenseful moments (storms). THe Nintendo DS's are super for that or to give them something to look forward to. We highly limit their exposure to it otherwise they become "glued-in". And if you think that's funny, you should see them when a TV is on! We do watch family movies together on the odd occasion, but zero television stuff. As such, when they see it, they are mesmerized.

We found fishing is an awesome passtime. See this recent catch:



Maybe not a keeper, but they have fun with it anyways. THat's all that matters. And when the hook doesn't come out easy (as often happens with cats), they call pops as they did above.

Brian
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg View Post
Great picture!

I hate to admit it, but our go-to for our 3 year old boy has been the portable DVD player. I absolutely love to share with him the experience of sailing, but sometimes his attention span for it is about 5 whole minutes. Then it's, I want to swim, I want to go in the dinghy, I want to stand up here where you've told me 100 times not to stand.

There's nothing quite like a quiet 3 year-old safely sacked out below with a movie, while Mom and Dad enjoy the sun and breeze.

Funny thing is, we do very little TV at home, but his traditional games and toys probably wouldn't hold his attention on the boat. DVD seems to be all that will do it.
As I said above, we also limit our kids time on the TV so they love it and get mesmerized too. And I am all for finding a way for the kids to be happy and mom and dad to have mom and dad time. We do it too. Keeps our relationship healthy and the truth is that the kids like seeing us spending time alone and just enjoying each other. Makes for a good role model for them one day in my opinion.

Brian
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
She does appear to have that ready to pounce look about her!!!!

Great post Brian.
THanks. Feel free to throw a few of your own in here.

Brian
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Old 12-24-2012
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

Hahahhaha what a great picture, awesome!
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

May I add, this my friend, is a stunning stunning dog!
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Old 01-24-2013
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Re: What Cruising Kids (and dogs) do...

While looking at a boat, my 5 year-old daughter climbed into every space and through every hatch. She declared it to be her "floating play house."

She's going to love cruising.

Once we hit the water, I will post some pics.
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