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

Thread: Your experiences with a baby and a boat Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-19-2011 09:34 PM
zedboy Now how did I miss this thread all summer?

We daysailed with our kids of 2, 4 and 6 all summer and had a total blast. Had tons of their friends on the boat for short sails and they mostly liked it (one 3-year-old wouldn't keep his pfd on, one 6 year old found the whole thing scary). All the kids were totally up for a long day at the beach and on and off the boat. Sails were not more than an hour or two punctuated with lunch and snacks.

Cabin time was a bust mostly, but our cabin is pretty unappealing. Anchoring out to swim is unlimited entertainment. The 4 and 6 year olds liked taking the helm (my 6 year old daughter knows far more about sailing than her mother, she's always on hand to grab the helm so I can go forward or trim sails). Driving is most fun when motoring when the kids can go any direction they want (with lots of lake room and no other boats around, and daddy keeping careful watch). All are still too scared to jump off either the boat or the pier but it'll come. The two year old loved watching the other boats go by and easily fell asleep in mommy's lap, we need to make a cozy nest for him in the cabin. Motoring or sailing, it puts him out quick
11-19-2011 06:43 PM
MylesK So helpful to hear everyone's comments. My wife, 5 week old daughter and I are moving onto our Lagoon 440 in a couple of months. It's currently down in Trinidad and we need to bring it up to NYC (where we live).

We're planning on heading down, sailing it as much as we can up around the windwards and leewards as far as we can and then having it sailed up the east coast somewhere around North Carolina where we'll bring it the rest of the way.

I'd love to do the whole route but I can't take that much time off of work.

Anyone have tips/thoughts/etc.?

Oh, and anyone interested in a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom absolutely beautiful apartment (just completely renovated the kitchen and bathroom)?
11-04-2011 06:29 PM
Cruisingdad Making your kids PROFICIENT swimmers is a must for cruising kids. But the truth is that they figure it out for themselves pretty quickly.

Sailing with young children is very easy. When hey are toddlers, it bcomes more difficult because they can climb the companionway steps (a boating parents nightmare). But I have always said that boats are pretty childproof by design and we really had zero issues wth kids of any age on board.

10-10-2011 10:53 PM
chall03 Couldn't agree more on the swimming lessons. We have had our daughter in a similar program here since she was 12 weeks old. Since cruising she has been in the water with us as much as possible. At 8 months she can now swim 4 metres from mum to dad no problem. We practice 'humpy dumpty' with her on the side of a pool and off the transom ladder as often as possible. She sits and we sing the song she falls in and we help her to swim back and grab the side of the pool/ladder.

Sorry Adam the blog is still umm a work in progress. We largely haven't had enough Internet access, when we have one sorted will post a link on here.
10-07-2011 06:30 AM
sprtn94 We've had our daughter out on the boat since she was 6 weeks old. Almost three now and we've learned a lot. By and far, the very best thing that we did was enroll her in ISR classes. Infant Swim Resources - teaches them how to roll over and float on their back for extended periods of time. Check out the videos on You Tube, pretty remarkable.
10-05-2011 01:57 PM
Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
We have just clocked 1200nm so far with our now 8 month old onboard.
Got a blog?
10-04-2011 09:10 PM
Faster Good to hear from you, chall.... and congrats on adapting so well to sailing with babies.

You'll reap the rewards (as will she) for a lifetime!
10-04-2011 09:02 PM
chall03 We have just clocked 1200nm so far with our now 8 month old onboard. As she is getting older it is getting more challenging but we still have no qualms about having her on the boat. You do need to work out a system for how you do things like hoist/drop sails....where do you put them, who is supervising.......the only thing my daughter hates is marinas.
10-03-2011 08:58 PM
MITBeta medevacmurphy:

My advice is to plan some VERY short trips -- less than 2 hours -- and bring snacks. It's been hard for me to keep my 4.5 and 2.5 year old girls interested for longer than that so far...
10-02-2011 01:55 AM
AdamLein Yeah, go for it. Our daughter, now 13 mo., has been on a few daysails with us since May I think. She loves it. She staggers around on the cockpit sole; up until recently she has not been able to climb up onto the cockpit benches. Her favorite things are: the buttons on the tiller pilot, and the gimbaling oil lantern.
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