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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Kids/Sailing/Safety
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Thread: Kids/Sailing/Safety Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-15-2007 12:28 AM
NauticalFishwife John, thank you for your encouragement and information. This is the first time I will have presented this seminar and it is geared for Kids. However, each child will be with an adult. And I've learned if you can teach a child they in turn teach an adult. I only have an hour-and a lot of information to present.So I'll hit the basics and send them home with a good handout. I really like the idea of presenting a seminar for parents. Maybe next year! I plan on covering basic safety, basic knots and VHF basics. I will limit the group to 12-15 Kids.I believe I present the seminar 4 times. I like the idea of starting small, especially for the first year. Keep the information and ideas coming and thank you.
12-14-2007 05:59 PM
JohnRPollard NauticalFishwife,

This is an important topic, kudos for taking it on. It's not clear to me though whether your inteneded audience is kids or parents. If you are going to be instructing children in the safety basics, CD covered those pretty well. There are chapters more that you'd want to include if the seminar is for parents.

I just have a few additional comments:

1) Tethers --which have been recommended by some -- are a good idea in some circumstances. However, just like on land, they can pose a serious strangulation hazard for very young children (infants/toddlers).

2) PFDs -- Like Cruising Dad, we found the Mustang Li'l Legends to be the best design for comfort/safety. Personally, I would not use an inflatable PFD for youngsters. Too many working parts and the risk of malfunction. Failsafe closed cell foam is preferable.

3) When to wear PFDs? Most parents realize that the kids need them when on the boat. But some forget that the dock can be even more dangerous. Teach the kids to put them on when they arrive at the marina -- and keep them on at all times unless they're safe below in the cabin. Also, don't forget to wear the PFDs when out in the dinghy. These are good general rules, especially for non-swimmers. As kids get older and more responsible, parents can modify the rules based on the situation and swimming ability.

4) Safe Place: Several others responded about the importance of a secure/safe place kids can go when parents are busy managing the boat or conditions are becoming challenging. Jotun even suggested a porta-crib. Our boat is fitted with an extra-tall, athwartship lee-cloth at the aft end of the v-berth, which closes it off entirely. This worked well for us when our kids were tots.

Here's my gang playing on the bowsprit a few years back (Mustang didn't have the infant/toddler size PFD back then, but now they do)...

Then:


More recently:
12-14-2007 01:10 PM
Cruisingdad
Quote:
Originally Posted by NauticalFishwife View Post
Sasha, Thanks for including the picture and especially one that has Miles in his life jacket. With the art teacher background I am, needless to say an advocate of hands on learning. I've also learned that if you can teach children, they in turn become great teachers to their parents. I'm very appreciative of all the suggestions given here. CD's entry was quite insightful. Several years ago I met a family from South Africa who had been cruising with their kids since birth. They were then 8 and 11. The children were mature, kind, compasionate, confident yet were still "kids".
Boats are a great arena for teaching life!
Bringing up lifejackets, I find it interesting that most parents (like myself... I am a big advoacte) all use Mustangs. Crotch strap is an absolute. And yes... we have tested those.

- CD

PS Chase, my oldest, was on board at 5 days old...

12-14-2007 12:30 PM
NauticalFishwife Sasha, Thanks for including the picture and especially one that has Miles in his life jacket. With the art teacher background I am, needless to say an advocate of hands on learning. I've also learned that if you can teach children, they in turn become great teachers to their parents. I'm very appreciative of all the suggestions given here. CD's entry was quite insightful. Several years ago I met a family from South Africa who had been cruising with their kids since birth. They were then 8 and 11. The children were mature, kind, compasionate, confident yet were still "kids".
Boats are a great arena for teaching life!
12-14-2007 12:15 AM
Sasha_V

It really is never too early to teach them to get involved and be taken seriously and on their merits (More you put in, more respect you earn...Age is not a factor....Up to some points).

We were standing by and supervising as my just turned 2 years old son did the pilotage on this 80year old classic fishing motor-sailor out of a tight creek mooring and into the bay.

His ear-to-ear grin when he cleared the end of the peir and we applauded him was brilliant! (He is standing on the fishing seat in order to reach the tiller, by the way, so for him it is a sweep-steer).

he already knows the compass points (not all 32 of them, but four is a start) and can recognise the different cardinal marks and name them (whihc is more then can be said for many "adult" boaters).

For him it is total fun, but fun he takes seriously.

Incidentaly, about an hour after this pic was taken, Miles caught his first fish...which was about an inch longer then he is tall.
(The only mini-tantrum of the day was that he got some help to bring the fish in and was not allowed to use the knife to dispatch it).

Sasha
12-13-2007 08:15 PM
NauticalFishwife This really is not a commercial proposition. If that were the case, I would have used my business email address. Fishwife is a fish mongers wife. Hearty souls I believe. There is a personal story why I chose that name. It came from some dear sailing salts and it was an act of endearment! I DO appreciate the input and please keep it coming. If we can instill safety in our children maybe it will stay with them. And if we can prevent even one death...it's so worth it. I am thinking of the recent deaths on the Great Lakes and a sailor who did not clip on. Bless them and the families they left.
12-13-2007 08:08 PM
NauticalFishwife WOW... I expected some response but this is incredible. We began sailing when our sons were 2 and 4 - they are now 30 and 32. Sailing has been a love for us and continues to be a family activity. LOTS of great information, keep it coming. I am a retired art teacher that started the business NauticalFishwife. I've given seminars to hundreds on Organization of boats, but the Kids-Safety at Sea is a new one. There is a need for it, and I'm very appreciative of your support. Thank you!
12-13-2007 10:36 AM
tigerregis You all know that this is a commercial proposition, even if pursuing higher apparent ends. She has had a booth at Annapolis for at least 5 years. Look up "fishwife", it is an old British term of non- endearment.
12-13-2007 10:23 AM
sailortjk1 We started sailing with both of our girls at eighteen months.
At eighteen months theres not a lot they can do. Put a small pdf on them and they sit on your lap for hours on end.

As they get a little older the fun begins. At two - three years old they don't want to sit still for more than five minutes unless they are sleeping. It than becomes a real challenge to keep them entertained and busy. Little tiny fingers are into everything, including winch drums and travelers. You have to be on your toes or they can and will get hurt, there are many new things to discover on a sail boat and they will find them.

At five or so, they start to entertain themselves. I had girls, so of course we had plenty of dolls, books, and etc on board. (If I remember there were these toys called tiny pockets that kept them entertained for hours)

A little later, I started giving them chores to do on board. They were very comfortable at an early age. My older daughter at the age of five would start by helping with the mainsail cover as soon as we stepped abord.

Later, I would call her over and simply hand her the tiller. She very rarley complained. She had watched me do it so she knew (Sort of) what to do.

As they grew, I lost my hair. Sailing along, heeled over, taking waves.....Samantha was famous for going forward and sitting on the rail. What is wrong with a nice comffy cockpit, I would ask her.

It became second nature to them. They still sail with us (now 15 & 18). Samantha enjoys it more than Missy.

Give them stuff to do, at an early age its usually their toys etc.
When they are old enough, give them stuff to do as it pertains to running the boat. They have to be busy, or they will drive you nuts.
12-13-2007 09:47 AM
Jotun Let's see....

We love using a pack and play (play pen) in the salon for the kids. It is great as a sea berth for our smallest during nap time and even better as a kid prison for those short times when we can't be distracted, like when we're docking.

Also, safety netting on the life lines. Invariably, kids will want to look over the side of the boat. The net might stop them from going over...or the toys they are playing with.

Someone here once recommended a bucket of water and a few bath toys in the cockpit and I heartily agree. My kids love playing like that on a hot summer day.

Also, it's worthwhile checking to see what the minimum requirements are for young children in PFDs. The type and styles vary by state somewhat. I believe last year or the year before, Maryland made it law that children had to have the style PFD that had the neck ring until the age of 4.

And one more thing, a portable, battery powered DVD player. My kids love setting up a fort in the V berth and watching a kid movie, which in turn gives mom and dad some welcome down time.
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