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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Minimum age for children on a 6-month cruise?
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Thread: Minimum age for children on a 6-month cruise? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-21-2009 07:12 PM
St Anna We cruised with our son who was 6 when we atarted and 11 at end. He didnt like the rule of lifejacket and harness when 'upstairs' and made the point that if he has to wear them, so should we. It was the best experience for him ( and us) and his maturity and current school marks reflect this now.
03-21-2009 05:43 PM
MSter
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
The earlier the better. My lady had a 4 year old, and we put a tether on her.....i2f

Yeah, I put a tether on my lady too...but it was prior to the baby!!!
03-20-2009 03:55 PM
bubb2
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWhite View Post
You are lucky that worked out, good reactions!! I heard of a toddler sinking like I rock on a previous post.

This little guy was dog paddling for all he was worth about a foot underwater!
03-20-2009 03:37 PM
GreatWhite I know we have done as many swim lessons as we can fit in. Swimming lessons are fun and for families that do a lot of boating it makes sense to me.
03-20-2009 03:35 PM
GreatWhite You are lucky that worked out, good reactions!! I heard of a toddler sinking like I rock on a previous post.
03-19-2009 11:54 PM
bubb2
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWhite View Post

Of course the kids are learning too, life jackets on docks and deck at ALL times, tethers when out at sea (we use jacklines all the way up and down the decks.) One hand for the boat - one hand for you. Going down the companion way facing the stairs. Etc Etc...

All the best and good luck!
I have had the misfortune to jump in the Hudson River after a 3 year old who fell off a boat with NO Life jacket on. I got hold of the kid and everything turned out fine.

I Can't agree MORE!
03-19-2009 10:39 PM
UrbanChicago Thanks for the comments. One thing we hadn't considered was a toddler never sitting still and always needing attention. I suppose we'll have to deal with it if the timing dictates.

We certainly plan to take the baby out on Lake Michigan this summer/fall and next year as well, so we will learn about safety and other requirements for dealing with a kid on board.
03-19-2009 01:54 PM
GreatWhite We have not full time cruised yet. We just finished 3 weeks on the boat with a 3 year old and a 5 year old. A truely awesome experience. Now looking back, in all the photos the kids look sooooo happy in every single photo. The passages were not really the part that was most enjoyed by the kids (although seeing a huge school of dolphins sure was an enjoyable experience!) But beaches, the dink and fishing where the things the kids loved.

I agree that kids can cruise at any age, if the parents feel comfortable. There are definitely unique challenges with each age that comes. (We have lake sailed with our kids since babies)

Personally I am waiting until our youngest is 5 years old so that he can remember our cruising, as we likely might only do it once. For us the trip is really about the kids after all... (although sailing was my dream to start with.)

We are spending the next couple of years planning, refitting, learning, practicing, taking shorter trips, lake sailing and getting the kids planning the trip too so they know it is THEIR trip as well.

Of course the kids are learning too, life jackets on docks and deck at ALL times, tethers when out at sea (we use jacklines all the way up and down the decks.) One hand for the boat - one hand for you. Going down the companion way facing the stairs. Etc Etc...

All the best and good luck!
03-19-2009 12:58 PM
Valiente I agree with pretty well everything said here. Our kid went to sea at five days old...well, went for a daysail, anyway...and is now seven and half and is going into his first White Sail/Optimists classes this summer. Our friends were amused to hear a three-year-old refer to "down below" and to push his stroller "hard to port, skipper!", but it's all second-nature to him now, as is his habit of donning a PFD automatically when coming on deck.

I also agree that the "danger zone" is 10 months or so to 2 1/2 years, because the kid won't have the ability to stay upright or to climb up the companionway easily, and, perhaps more importantly, won't have the mental or linguistic wherewithal to understand or obey instructions.

We actually erected a playpen in our V-berth during this time and stuck our son in that (it was a tight fit!) so that he'd be safe on passage, but we just did single-day runs on Lake Ontario.

So I would say you should either take your kid-to-be sailing from zero to nine months, or wait until he or she is three years and has plenty of co-ordination and at least a basic understanding of parental authority and some basic laws of physics (see Luis, Alex's tumble-prone son!).

Lastly, put a load of padeyes around the boat. My kid knew the meaning of "clipped on" before he ever heard of "Barney the dinosaur". A clipped-on kid can't slide off the boat in a broach, and in fact will learn to associate Mummy and Daddy's strained exertions with great humour. "Boom goes BOOM! Ha ahhahhahhhhahha! Helm's a-lee, Papa!"
03-19-2009 11:54 AM
Faster The answer to this question has more to do with the parents than the child.... Confident parents can manage their children in almost any situation. Obviously their safety is paramount, and children sailing from a very early age tend to do better than those dropped into it later on.

Many of us on this board have started their kids sailing at weeks old (or less!) and many of them have grown to be owners and sailors themselves.

I remember a cute story - a couple sailed the Pacific from North America to New Zealand, leaving with a 6 month old child. Over the course of the voyage the child learned to walk at sea..... upon the first subsequent landfall, when they went ashore the poor little guy fell over like a drunk on solid land!

You need to be certain that you won't stress with worry for the children to the point that you can't function. Confidence in yourselves, your boat, your kids, and your choices is what will make this all work.
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