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WildPony 03-26-2001 11:53 AM

First time teen
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice. I am engaged to a sailor and he has a 1968 26ft Grampian and we plan on living the cruisers life as soon as we feel sure this is the right boat for us. We live on the Gulf of MS and it''s fine for day sails but we want to cut the dock lines and live out the dream.

Question is: I have a daughter who has never sailed yet and was wondering, is fourteen too late of an age to begin sailing and cutting the dock lines?

For myself, I can''t wait! BUT am concerned with my daugheter who has never gone. With winter breaking her first time out sailing will be in two weeks! I haven''t forced this issue of sailing but will wait and see her expressions myself.

ANY advice is greatly welcomed....


jhorvat 03-28-2001 03:20 PM

First time teen
Wild Pony,

I have limited experience with long cruises, but I would wait to see how your teen does on day trips and weekend cruises before cutting the dock lines. If your teen takes to the good life, great! If it''s a chore to get her on the boat, you may have to wait until she is independent of you for your dream to come true. My two hate it, so there were a few years when we couldn''t even go to visit the boat. When they could be left on their own for a day or weekend, we had more freedom, but we won''t be able to cut our dock lines for quite awhile! Good luck!

maxcontax 07-30-2002 06:45 AM

First time teen
My two teenagers (boy & girl) were introduced to charter sailboating at 13 & 15, the girl was bored silly. the boy less so, but bored also. At that age they want to be with their buddies. My daughter loved our dinghy because she interacted with the boat and the sailing, but on a larger boat with winches, it was brutally boring for her. that was my experience, I respected her feelings and left her ashore after that and she was grateful. Parent/child relationships are very different than partner relationships and need to be handled as different: based on my experiences with both, preserve what you have with your daughter above all else.

sailin-girl 01-29-2004 03:54 PM

First time teen
hi. i dont think it is to late to take her out. i think you should take her out for a bit and see how she likes it. if she does great! if not, i guess you should wait a while. i myself i will admit i am 15 and i love anything to do with boats, and as my mom is not fond of them, i only go out with my dad and cousins in the summer. i just started boating about 2 years ago, so i dont think starting at 14 is to late

Jeff_H 01-30-2004 02:12 AM

First time teen
One thing that sometimes helps the first experience is to bring one of your teenager''s friends along. It keeps sailing from being an uncool parent thing that they are being forced to do.


MimiSan 02-06-2004 05:29 AM

First time teen
Hey, although I am not married and have no idea on how to handle parent-child relationship, I think Jeff''s suggestion is worth considering. With companion from the same age group for your daughter, her first time sail may turn out to be a fun and enjoyable one since there is someone of ''same frequency'' to experience together.

seame 02-23-2004 11:29 AM

First time teen
Both of my children were born and raised on board, so by the time they hit 14 they were really ready for the land locked life and tired of moving about and having to say goodbye to friends. They were both avid readers and at that age, my son would fish and my daughter would throw the fish back in. If you can find a family to buddy boat with and have radio contact it is better. 26 feet is very small for a teenager. Our last and smallest boat was 44 feet and I learned that any boat was too small.

All that said, we have friends whose children at that age were so envious of mine and wanted only to take a long voyage. So I agree with the others, take some short weekend sails and see how it goes and how your daughter likes it. Taking a friend along helps. My kids had each other and I can''t imagine how much work it would have been with only one whom I would have to entertain. They interacted with each other and today as they prepare for college they are extremely close.


ccboston 02-24-2004 03:47 PM

First time teen
I would throw into the mix an assessment of overall life priorities, too. I recently heard from a friend who said he had sold his boat: "The kids weren''t keen on going out; they went along grudgingly. The number of summer weekends left for us to spend together before they head off to college and their own lives is really quite few when you stop and think of it, and I can always buy another boat and cruise all I want when that bittersweet day comes." This is someone whose sanity and perspective I respect.

dorourke 02-10-2007 04:57 AM

My daughter at thirteen was awfully bored with sailing, she complained at her every opertunity, now eight years later she tells me that was the best time she had and she missed it. I guess it's just the age thing, maybe?! I'm a guy, I don't understand it myself.

sailingdog 02-10-2007 12:11 PM

No, I think that fourteen might work out really depends on how you present sailing to her. Long-term cruising can be a very eye-opening experience, but not all teens are going to agree with it. If she is a mall rat, that believes in IM'ing and needing to have a cell phone to keep in touch with all of her friends...then you might have some problems. If she's relatively independent, and not status driven...then she might find it challenging and worth doing.

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