A family day... what do sailors do? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

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Roaming a beach they swam to or you went by dinghy.
About 1/4 mi from our marina was a small beach with overhanging trees to the waterline and a small clay deposit. It was a big row for an 8 yr. old, but our daughter called it "The Secret Beach of Fun". She and her friends would sculpt things from the clay, and swim in the shallows. It was a mini-microsm of the Chesapeake Bay. She still recalls it fondly 10 years later.

A point that I forgot earlier.....starting at about 6 yrs, she became bored with passages and just staying on the boat, so we changed our cruising style and searched out marinas with pools.... I can still recite the distance (in hours) between each pool on the Chesapeake. So we didn't anchor out that much for a number of years, but watching our kid splash endlessly (still!) is a joy. We're just now starting to anchor our again. Sadly, our daughter doesn't join us as much anymore, but maybe she'll return in a few years. At this stage, friends are far more important. Such is the rhythm of life.
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post #12 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

Great Information.

I would like to add, the Home Port or Home Marina can add a lot or distract from the experience. Our marina is more of a yacht club atmosphere with Pool, Hot Tubs, Picnic Areas, and wonderfully Landscaped Grounds.
It is not uncommon to see Families with small children go out for a sail in the morning and be back to spend time pool side in the afternoon. Small children just don't seem to have the attention span to spend 6 - 8 hours on a boat no matter how much you entertain them, but place them poolside or on a beach in the sand and they are happy for hours.
Your location of where you dock/sail can make a difference in the big picture of things.
Make sure there is plenty around you to keep everybody happy, not only the children but also your wife.
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post #13 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

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... Sadly, our daughter doesn't joins us as much anymore, but maybe she'll return in a few years. At this stage, friends are far more important. Such is the rhythm of life.
To the OP: Try not to be disappointed if, when the grandkids start to develop social calendars (the 9 YO is almost there!), they decide that trips on the grandparents' boat doesn't fit in. My niece and nephew each took the boating safety course, I was all excited about the trips we'd take and we did go sailing a few times, they crewed on a sail club race. Then they couldn't squeeze me in for a few years until I became cool again.

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post #14 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

I've only been sailing Charleston Harbor for the last three years but there's lot's to do with the family. My children are grown and the grands are 4/1/and almost 1. Typical day is a sail up the Wando drop the hook and have a BBQ. The kids swim and play then back for more sailing. Teaching your children and grandchildren to sail will be something they will remember forever. My daughter's fondest memories are when she went out with my dad on the water. My 4 year old grand is in NV and every conversation leads to going on the boat. So it's not what you can do, it's what can't you do. When we retire we plan on heading to the Bahamas and south for extend periods, hopefully the grands will be our crew.
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post #15 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

First thing I do is hoist the Jolly Roger ,then hand out cheap pirate bandanas! I bring out the tatoos & rubbing alcohol ,and see where & who we can mark up!For emergencys I keep a supply of pirate bandaids. Clamp on earrings are good ,Extra compasses, binoculars, and parascope ( easy to make out of plastic down spout) Treasure hunts are always a winner, Drag out the charts/pirate maps. Got an eye patch?( not I Pad).A good pirate book with pictures tops it off. Don't forget to take pictures of the crew.......Dale
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post #16 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
To the OP: Try not to be disappointed if, when the grandkids start to develop social calendars (the 9 YO is almost there!), they decide that trips on the grandparents' boat doesn't fit in. My niece and nephew each took the boating safety course, I was all excited about the trips we'd take and we did go sailing a few times, they crewed on a sail club race. Then they couldn't squeeze me in for a few years until I became cool again.
Donnas right here. You arent as cool as their friends so bring them. Our club as a 2 week Sailfleet camp for kids from 6-17, and its a great experience for them. The memebrs in turn get out there and run it with them. It actually has created some future sailors.

Also where you keep your boat as Tim said is so very important if its your kids to give them time off the boat in a play environement. We have a pool and lots of play room at our club. For kids of any ange to be confined on a boat for 8 hours can be a bit much and they will also drive you crazy.

Its important to take tons of pictures also ( let them take some too) and after the season in the winter sit around as a family and look at them. It brings back memories and when you kids tell you what they remember it will give you a clue as to what they value about it. It is very enlightening as well as actually heartwarming to hear their rememberence of experiences 15 years ago.

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post #17 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

My son - then about 8 - recruited random kids from other boats to play hide-and-seek and I found kids in the chain locker, in the hanging locker, behind the sails in the quarter berth, and a few other places. I had no idea there were so many hiding places.

Kids + dinghy + dogs = fun.
Here is a hint - Do NOT overthink it with "are you bored are you scared are you sick OMFG we better go back". Self confidence - Here is what we are doing it is safe and fun goes a long way. Find a place the kids can get off the boat and explore. Looking for turtles, crabs, and interesting driftwood was always fun.
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post #18 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

I am so glad that I don't have to answer this question, or worry about this issue. I'm older, single, daughters are grown and living their own lives.

Don't like sailing? No problem, get off my boat and go do something you like to do, somewhere else.

(No, I'm not worried about accomodating any potential, future grandkids)

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post #19 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

Teenagers have their own priorities, but we've established a couple of routines that keeps them coming back.

First, we've allowed our kids to bring one friend on a week long cruise. You have to keep the sailing reasonably tame, but I've never seen a teenager not enjoy being out on Block Island, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket, with a Cuttyhunk stop over.

The other program was having my teenage daughter get to invite as many of her friends for a day focused on just them. It was a day sail to go swimming. I give them each a job, like grind that winch, when I tell you too. Or I put one at the helm and point at that house on the shore. We took pics of them all jumping off the side decks and posing before hitting the water. I got hundreds of pics. We blew up a half dozen tubes and tied them together, so they could just float together (and away from the adults!). Then BBQ back at the marina, smores and all !! Last round, we had 8 teenagers aboard and 2 adults! All the kids slept aboard that evening.

They beg to do it again!! It really feels good.
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post #20 of 44 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: A family day... what do sailors do?

We were fortunate enough to be running a two boat program.. when our teen was less keen on going cruising 3 weeks with the old farts, we let him take the smaller boat.. now he can invite 3 friends, and it's 'race on' every day. We kept most of the food to ensure they'd be with us at the end of the day...

... I gotta say we never flew our spinnaker so much as that summer!

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