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  #1  
Old 07-17-2002
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Getting children involved

We have two girls aged 8 and 11. We spend most weekends staying on board and most nights tied up at marina.

Our girls find ways to occupy themselves when tied up but often seem bored while sailing. Last weekend they enjoyed building card castles down below while we were in a race (not much wind)... they really enjoyed that.

I wish to have them participate more in the actual sailing and in the actual enjoyment of sailing. Any thoughts on good ways to make this a more fun experience for kids?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 07-17-2002
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aasault is on a distinguished road
Getting children involved

Hi Mike,

I have 3 daughters, and let each invite a friend when we go sailing. Usually we get a least one or two who can go. Their friends are a good buffer against boredom, as they are not used to sailing, and it''s quite an adventure for them, and my girls turn into tour guides!

Good Luck



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Old 07-22-2002
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Getting children involved

Thanks,

One girl was at camp this past weekend so the other brought a friend. The time she spent showing the highlights of the boating life to her friend made it all seem fun to both of them. Will do this again when there is room for sleeping for the extra girl.

Mike
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Old 07-22-2002
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Getting children involved

Hi Mike,

You also might "assign" them jobs that they are responsible for while underway. For example, coiling the docklines and putting them away. Start them with small things that they can handle. Praise them with lots of love and smiles and let them take the tiller or wheel to get a feel for "sailing the boat". I let my niece at the age of three take the tiller (light wind day) and she is now 7 and loves sailing with her Aunt. They might take more of an interest in sailing if they are made to feel a part of the crew.

Liz Fagel
s\v Fagel Attraction II
Pearson Commander
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Old 07-30-2002
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bporter is on a distinguished road
Getting children involved

This past weekend my son (age 5) drove the boat for about 15 minutes twice. Under power, flat water, no boats nearby. He''s still talking about it.

Yesterday he also helped put away the jib sheets, and make nice little coils of the docklines; he was very excited that he knew how to do it.

He told me he loved me as much as he loved the boat. *Sniff*
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Old 11-01-2002
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Getting children involved

Olivia was 5 this summer and she definitely was more into boating than in previous years. She really enjoyed coiling dock lines for us and everyone else on the dock....and amused herself coiling the unused sheet ends when underway. She took the helm for me while we were on a mother/daughter sail and I was anchoring in a tight cove...I called, "push it to the right, just a little!" type instructions from the bow and she did a great job. She was SO proud of herself and I''m sure next summer she''ll master steering and maybe even begin to learn about sail trim. (Interestingly I don''t think she ever would have had this experience if we weren''t so short-handed. We would not have risked it...but it turned out really well!) She also likes to keep an eye out for porpoises and seals when underway. However, the majority of her time is still spent in the V-berth with books, drawing, or tapes on a Walkman. She enjoys "fishing" at anchor.

When we take off next year on our cruise, she will have specific duties and responsibilities. have not figured out what they will be yet, but simple things that will help her feel a part of the whole thing.
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Old 02-20-2003
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fourknots is on a distinguished road
Getting children involved

There''s a great book called Fun Afloat by Theresa Fort that has lots of things for kids to do. Amazon, and I think West Marine sell it
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Old 04-15-2003
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harvh is on a distinguished road
Getting children involved

In the Northwest, Marinas come alive at night with children of similar ages to your. They carry plastic buckets with shrip nets, roving the docks under the lights looking for shrimp. This becomes a real social event and normally results in making many new friends.

On our boat, baking cookies and brownies is a big hit for everyone. Another favorite pass time is takin the dingy around the dock for some people watching. Your children are pretty close to the age that this would be a real adventure and give them some independance.

Last but not least is getting some tapes of old radio shows to listen to. They are always free of the stuff we want to get away from and offer cool entertainment. I suggest The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes..good stuff!
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Old 12-26-2003
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Getting children involved

One of my friends Father in Law has a Gozzard 31, which is a beautifull boat, and both he and I love crewing on it. However, putting an 8 year old at the helm, or expecting her to pull in any of the sheets, even with the winches, is rediculious, so her "sailing" is less than pleasurable. (Which is not to say she doesnt have fun on the boat while we''re sailing, just that the act of sailing isnt there)

Luckily, I am not in that financial leage, and have only a 19'' sloop, with decent winches, tiller stearing, and stout cruising sails that just plain arent going to rip. I''m looking forward to takeing them out and putting her at the helm, as well as having her crew. I''ll let you know how it goes.

If they do show an interest in the sailing though, dingy sailing may be a good fit for them. Then agian, as I''ve learned from sailing with Sabat and Laser kids, it can be an educational and ego crusing experience to have a waist high sailor tell you what your doing wrong, and how to get another 3 knots out of your boat.

--James
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