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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #21  
Old 07-24-2007
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Smile Sail training or marriage counseling?

Thanks to all for your replies. Our boat motors well and takes chop way better than our old one. Skipper and I always wear our PFD's when we sail and the 'no PFD required for the little one' when she's down below was only recently introduced by Skipper (I reluctantly when along with it). I do not feel that our boat cannot handle the conditions we sailed in nor do I feel that I cannot handle heel....really, I'm not one of those super 'chicken' wives! Our daughter was in her aft cabin which really keeps her quite contained and we did notify her of impending tacks. I just don't think she would be safe if she stepped out of her cabin at the 'wrong' moment -which is entirely possible with a five-year old. Sounds like it's time for a family meeting, huh? Oh, maybe we should have taken up bowling instead....
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  #22  
Old 07-24-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickm505 View Post
I think it's time to move on to a crusing catamaran. No heeling or rolling, no more disagreements.

(OK, I'm bad...but I couldn't resist)
And if there is a disagreement, not only are there two sides to the story, but two sides to the boat...
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  #23  
Old 07-24-2007
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Originally Posted by Driver View Post
Oh, maybe we should have taken up bowling instead....
How long is your boat?
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  #24  
Old 07-24-2007
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Hmm... it depends... if your child was down below and in a proper sea berth, then it would probably be far safer for her there. I do agree that there were some safety issues that needed to be raised, and that your captain needs to be flogged for not thinking so.

If the boat had accidentally gybed in conditions like that, it is very possible that anyone on-board could have been seriously injured. Proper handholds and keeping in habit of using one-hand for yourself goes a long way to keeping you safe, and I'd encourage you to teach your child that.

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Originally Posted by Driver View Post
Hello everyone,
I've been a Sailnet reader for awhile, but I rarely post. Would like some opinions since my 'skipper' is a big fan of web forums and not a a big fan of my suggestions. We sail a 39 ft boat that weighs around 14,000 pounds with our five-year old. We're pretty much 'bay sailors' who just cruise on the weekends. Our daughter has been sailing with us since infancy and feels comfortable on the boat - maybe a little too comfortable. We had a smaller vessel previously and she would stay in the cockpit with us while we were under sail. Now, on the 'big boat' she like to go down below by herself and spend time down there while we sail. I don't have a problem with that when conditions are light and when we are not heading upwind. Recently, we had a nice day sail in 17 -ish knot winds that were gusting just over 20 knots. At the point we turned around to head back (at my suggestion) I was at the helm and stated that the sails would need to come down or our smallest crew member would need to don her vest and immediately join us in the cockpit with some reefing to be done. We were in a 'narrow' body of water, 25 knot winds at this point, with frequent tacks necessary to head upwind and my skipper thought I was completely unreasonable to think there were any safety issues. Note that our boat is also a newer model where we have a virtual dance floor to go flying across with few handholds - especially at a height suitable for someone who is 43 inches tall. I have now been told I should get a motor boat or stay at the dock. Has anyone ever encountered similar issues and if so, how did you handle them?

Love to sail but.....
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  #25  
Old 07-24-2007
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Hello,

My wife and I have 3 kids - girls ages 13 and 9, and a son, who is 6. WE have been sailing for 5 years now, starting on a 22', then a 28', and now a 35'. When we are under way, if the kids are on deck they need to wear a PFD. If they are below they don't.

When the wind picks up and the boat heels, I will notify them before we change tacks (or gybe). My wife is great about heeling, and doesn't complain until we heel more than 20 degree. To be honest, I don't much like heeling more than 20 degrees either.

When the boat is heeling, the kids will sit on the high side if they are on deck, and on the lower settee (or cabin sole) if they are below. Moving around below can be difficult, and they have, on occassion, fallen down. Fortunately, they have not been hurt. Yes, they could probably be safer somewhere else, but you know what? They have also fallen off bicycles, skateboards, and scooters and gotten a few bumps and bruises doing that too.

Personally, I don't care if they stay on deck or go below in rough weather. When it's stessful for me (docking in difficult conditions, lower sail on a windy day, etc.) I ask them to stay in one place and to not speak to me for a while. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Good luck,
Barry
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  #26  
Old 07-24-2007
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When we were kids - up until about 8 or 9 years old - we always wore lifejackets. We were good swimmers but the water is very cold. We whined, begged and tried to take them off but every time we did, the boat turned around and my father tied up for the day. No arguing, no discussion - sailing was over.

On the rare occasions that I have children aboard, same rule applies. As far as the down below versus in the cockpit issue goes - if the wind is up I'd sooner have the child up where I could see them with a lifeline firmly attached.

That said - sailing is not a democratic exercise and when you leave the dock the skipper's word is law. SO - you need to decide that you and the offspring are going sailing in winds up to say 15 knots or 20 or whatever your comfort level is. Just do it nicely, don't argue, don't be aggressive about it. Just let the other half know that you think it's better to stay home if you're not enjoying yourself. Things will probably change...
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  #27  
Old 07-25-2007
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Rick-

I was going to go the multihull argument route about no-heeling, but decided not to since you had already played that card... It's true though... trimarans or cats... not much heel...no real danger of being tossed across the cabin in heavy weather, and a much lower tendency to broach.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #28  
Old 07-25-2007
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Hon, is that you?

Seriously, she would be safe below without a lifevest as long as she knew when the boat tacks she needs to be in a protected area.
Why not let her stay in the Vberth?
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  #29  
Old 07-25-2007
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I have a 5-year old daughter and we have the PFD above and no PFD below rule. When it comes to heeling aks her what her favorite thing about sailing is and she says the tipping over (heeling). I am very careful to call the tack before hand and during.
We have had no issues with this. As for rough weather i feel safer with her down below.
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  #30  
Old 07-25-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Proper handholds and keeping in habit of using one-hand for yourself goes a long way to keeping you safe, and I'd encourage you to teach your child that.
One hand for the boat is my kid's mantra. If you have the social-activity pleasant/sailing activity stupid typical 12 foot wide saloon, you might wish to retrofit brass uprights and hip level handholds below. When the kid is down there, get vinyl-covered, velcro-secured pool noodles or other rigid foam-type substance (pipe insulation works) and put it up to her head height around those handholds and uprights. If she takes a tumble, she'll slam into a cushioned pole instead of, say, the corner of the nav station or the edge of the companionway steps. You could even put drawer pulls on the steps themselves (they don't have to hold your weight, but hers). When guests are aboard, remove the cushioning and stow it under a berth, if you care about appearances. It's easy to cover the "leading edges" of cabin cabinetry with split foam tubing, and it's not like you'll be taking on a lot of weight.

In a couple of years, and a couple of avoided trips to the face-stitching clinic, your kid should have the experience, the strength and the co-ordination to avoid most falls and can simply follow your own broken-rib avoidance scheme.

My kid' (five going on six) has already done a header down the companionway, which is why I have given this a fair bit of thought. I am a big believer in swinging around the boat like an ape, figuring that standing upright with hands at one's sides is strictly a dockside maneuver.
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