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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.

Thread: Live Aboard, how do you keep the kids from drowning? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-21-2007 10:09 PM
gilsurf I am interested in reflections from people who live aborad with kids on a mooring, using a dink to and fro, in the tropics, etc. We are about to move aboard with 2 kids (2 and 5) in St. Thomas, VI.

01-17-2007 10:21 PM
gilsurf Just a quick note on a great netting deal:
Lifeline netting:
WM $2.50 - $3.60 per foot depending on length
SeaMar: $0.64 per foot at any length
And SeaMar says the new WM stuff is garbage.. no longer knotted, breaks down in the sun, etc. When I asked SeaMar why it is so much less than WM, he said that they could not mark it up any more and feel good. Thus, they are already making a solid profit at 64 cents a foot!

12-26-2006 03:22 PM
CaptainForce Our children, now 27 & 30, lived aboard from newborn to eighteen mostly in Florida waters. During those years before they were strong swimmers they did wear life jackets on deck, docks and near the water. We also selected a marina that had large areas for play well away from the water. Nothing was more important than; as others have said, to have them develop a comfort and skill in dealing safely with the water. As it turns out the greatest risk in our children's survival on board occured when a loop of main sheet fell around my three year old son's neck during a gybe. Fortunately I was there to hold him up and absorb most of the strain of the sheet as he was lifted off the deck. From then on our children were not allowed aft of the mainsheet winches while sailing, but how can you forsee all risks? Three years ago an adult woman was found drowned in one of the northeast florida marinas. It was determined that she had struck her head when falling while attempting to board her vessel. Life is at risk at all ages in all environments. I think the best we can do is to manage risks and knowledge. All those stupid t-shirt slogans from a few years ago that said "NO FEAR" should have read "KNOW FEAR". In your case, that additional risk of the cold water is outside my experience. 'take care and joy! Stewart & Nancie onboard Aythya,-
12-14-2006 10:33 AM
gilsurf Set some groundrules and follow them. teach your kids respect for the water and above all teach them to swim. Somethings we have seen:

Lifeline netting
On a cat: rule: if you are out of the cockpit, there must be an adult on deck, even at the dock.
In the dink, lifejackets on
Let them fall/jump in supervised so they know what to do and how it feels. Yes, even the 2 year old!
12-11-2006 12:56 AM
geoatk Sorry, spelling errors! Typing fast in the dark.

12-11-2006 12:55 AM
geoatk my kids have been sailing with me since they were one month old. I had a rule that when ever they got out of the car, the life jacket when on. It was normal for them to have it on. We also use a teather that attached to the life jacket while they were on deck. We didn't live on a boat but spent a lot of time on the water. My children never comlained about the life jacket in fact they preferred to have them on. My wife now has two kids and hers would complain if we tried that. Set the rules early and the kids will not know any different.

12-09-2006 03:37 PM
JodyKS I wouldn't thow away the dream of full time live aboard... I'd just wait until the kids are a little older... I am an old mom... and putting the kids 1st is the right thing .... it only takes a second for a child to slip away... you might not even notice it... and no do overs!

Probably not what you wanted to hear... but that's my thoughts... you'll have tomorrow!
12-06-2006 05:23 PM
Big dogs on board

I have a 60 lb. mutt, and I'm in the middle of teaching her how to use the tolet at home, so she can use the head when we're out on vacation next summer... She's not used to it, so its taking a little time...

12-02-2006 03:31 AM
sailormomma Hi,

I thought I'd put my opinions in. We liveaboard with our 2 kids, ages 4 and 5 1/2. They've been raised aboard since birth. As soon as they started walking they started wearing their life jackets. They knew they couldn't go outside without them. In fact when my daughter was a little younger (around 2), we would be outside while she was taking a nap and we'd find her at the bottom of the companionway, crying because she couldn't get her "floatie" on. You have to be strict about it and it will be second nature for them. Now I have to remind the kids to take them off.

My son fell in for the first time this summer while he was fishing. They both were more worried about the fishing net more than they were about him. My kids have respect for the water. They know it's not safe. I feel a child who lives across from a pond or visits friends or family with a pool has a much higher risk of drowning. They don't know the consequences. I could never give up this dream. It's so amazing watching the kids grow up in this lifestyle.

Oh yeah, another thing. Make sure you have a couple extra life jackets for playdates. Friends need to follow the rules, as well.

If you ever have any additional questions, please feel free to PM or email me.

Take care,
S/V Ghost
11-12-2006 11:24 PM
robertk445 K-1 Don't get you feelings hurt. We all have our fears. I am a private pilot and take my wife and three kids ages 3,7,10 flying regularly. I always consider "what ifs" when flying. True fact... the two lane road that we drive everyday from my home in Georgia takes a life every 5 months on average. Water is less forgiving no doubt to a small child. My 7 yr son came within inches of walking in front of a car in Key West this summer. 3yo daughter walked under horse to pet. There is always danger.
But one can not live in fear. The world is waiting to be seen! Good Luck!
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