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post #11 of 22 Old 12-12-2007
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Cd, that's a great summary, not only for kids, but for adults too.
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-12-2007
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Cd, that's a great summary, not only for kids, but for adults too.
Thank you Max-on.

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post #13 of 22 Old 12-13-2007
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Let's see....

We love using a pack and play (play pen) in the salon for the kids. It is great as a sea berth for our smallest during nap time and even better as a kid prison for those short times when we can't be distracted, like when we're docking.

Also, safety netting on the life lines. Invariably, kids will want to look over the side of the boat. The net might stop them from going over...or the toys they are playing with.

Someone here once recommended a bucket of water and a few bath toys in the cockpit and I heartily agree. My kids love playing like that on a hot summer day.

Also, it's worthwhile checking to see what the minimum requirements are for young children in PFDs. The type and styles vary by state somewhat. I believe last year or the year before, Maryland made it law that children had to have the style PFD that had the neck ring until the age of 4.

And one more thing, a portable, battery powered DVD player. My kids love setting up a fort in the V berth and watching a kid movie, which in turn gives mom and dad some welcome down time.
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-13-2007
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We started sailing with both of our girls at eighteen months.
At eighteen months theres not a lot they can do. Put a small pdf on them and they sit on your lap for hours on end.

As they get a little older the fun begins. At two - three years old they don't want to sit still for more than five minutes unless they are sleeping. It than becomes a real challenge to keep them entertained and busy. Little tiny fingers are into everything, including winch drums and travelers. You have to be on your toes or they can and will get hurt, there are many new things to discover on a sail boat and they will find them.

At five or so, they start to entertain themselves. I had girls, so of course we had plenty of dolls, books, and etc on board. (If I remember there were these toys called tiny pockets that kept them entertained for hours)

A little later, I started giving them chores to do on board. They were very comfortable at an early age. My older daughter at the age of five would start by helping with the mainsail cover as soon as we stepped abord.

Later, I would call her over and simply hand her the tiller. She very rarley complained. She had watched me do it so she knew (Sort of) what to do.

As they grew, I lost my hair. Sailing along, heeled over, taking waves.....Samantha was famous for going forward and sitting on the rail. What is wrong with a nice comffy cockpit, I would ask her.

It became second nature to them. They still sail with us (now 15 & 18). Samantha enjoys it more than Missy.

Give them stuff to do, at an early age its usually their toys etc.
When they are old enough, give them stuff to do as it pertains to running the boat. They have to be busy, or they will drive you nuts.

Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White

Last edited by sailortjk1; 12-13-2007 at 09:26 AM.
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-13-2007
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You all know that this is a commercial proposition, even if pursuing higher apparent ends. She has had a booth at Annapolis for at least 5 years. Look up "fishwife", it is an old British term of non- endearment.
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-13-2007 Thread Starter
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WOW... I expected some response but this is incredible. We began sailing when our sons were 2 and 4 - they are now 30 and 32. Sailing has been a love for us and continues to be a family activity. LOTS of great information, keep it coming. I am a retired art teacher that started the business NauticalFishwife. I've given seminars to hundreds on Organization of boats, but the Kids-Safety at Sea is a new one. There is a need for it, and I'm very appreciative of your support. Thank you!
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-13-2007 Thread Starter
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This really is not a commercial proposition. If that were the case, I would have used my business email address. Fishwife is a fish mongers wife. Hearty souls I believe. There is a personal story why I chose that name. It came from some dear sailing salts and it was an act of endearment! I DO appreciate the input and please keep it coming. If we can instill safety in our children maybe it will stay with them. And if we can prevent even one death...it's so worth it. I am thinking of the recent deaths on the Great Lakes and a sailor who did not clip on. Bless them and the families they left.
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-13-2007
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It really is never too early to teach them to get involved and be taken seriously and on their merits (More you put in, more respect you earn...Age is not a factor....Up to some points).

We were standing by and supervising as my just turned 2 years old son did the pilotage on this 80year old classic fishing motor-sailor out of a tight creek mooring and into the bay.

His ear-to-ear grin when he cleared the end of the peir and we applauded him was brilliant! (He is standing on the fishing seat in order to reach the tiller, by the way, so for him it is a sweep-steer).

he already knows the compass points (not all 32 of them, but four is a start) and can recognise the different cardinal marks and name them (whihc is more then can be said for many "adult" boaters).

For him it is total fun, but fun he takes seriously.

Incidentaly, about an hour after this pic was taken, Miles caught his first fish...which was about an inch longer then he is tall.
(The only mini-tantrum of the day was that he got some help to bring the fish in and was not allowed to use the knife to dispatch it).

Sasha
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-14-2007 Thread Starter
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Sasha, Thanks for including the picture and especially one that has Miles in his life jacket. With the art teacher background I am, needless to say an advocate of hands on learning. I've also learned that if you can teach children, they in turn become great teachers to their parents. I'm very appreciative of all the suggestions given here. CD's entry was quite insightful. Several years ago I met a family from South Africa who had been cruising with their kids since birth. They were then 8 and 11. The children were mature, kind, compasionate, confident yet were still "kids".
Boats are a great arena for teaching life!
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-14-2007
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Originally Posted by NauticalFishwife View Post
Sasha, Thanks for including the picture and especially one that has Miles in his life jacket. With the art teacher background I am, needless to say an advocate of hands on learning. I've also learned that if you can teach children, they in turn become great teachers to their parents. I'm very appreciative of all the suggestions given here. CD's entry was quite insightful. Several years ago I met a family from South Africa who had been cruising with their kids since birth. They were then 8 and 11. The children were mature, kind, compasionate, confident yet were still "kids".
Boats are a great arena for teaching life!
Bringing up lifejackets, I find it interesting that most parents (like myself... I am a big advoacte) all use Mustangs. Crotch strap is an absolute. And yes... we have tested those.

- CD

PS Chase, my oldest, was on board at 5 days old...


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