Join Date: Dec 2015
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Re: What is a good age to go cruising with kids?
Oh, wow, we have discussed this at length in another thread, but that wasn't a question about a charter, but long term cruising. I, as a parent who has raised a couple, that it depends on a number of factors:
1. How old are the kids?
2. Are they out of diapers?
3. Are they old enough to be walking steadily?
4. What are their personalities? Do they like outdoor adventures?
5. What will the sailing be like, nice weather or will rough seas be likely?
6. If they are teens, can you include enough side trips that will interest them?
7. Will they tolerate being away from, and out of contact with, friends and electronics?
8. Sons or daughters? Will they tolerate being away from a full service bathroom?
When I took my wife (a newbie who is not sure about sailing) I picked a place and time when the weather and sailing conditions were likely to be idyllic. I had to do some things to make the berth more comfortable. We scheduled two stops at marinas during the week to provide for nice showers and toilets. We scheduled one stop at an island community with shops at an artist community. We ended the trip with a two day stay in a nice hotel for showers and a nice bed before flying home.
Sailing is my fantasy and I'm an old camper and backpacker so I like roughing it. I had to make sure that the experience fit the needs of my wife, as well as mine. My wife is loving and supportive and feels committed to trying to like things that I like. My kids don't feel as strong an expectation to like what Dad likes. I have not yet taken them on one of my charter trips. My kids grew up in the land locked midwest and have not yet been bitten by any small boat sailing bug. I wanted to get in a trip with their mom first, and get confident of my sailing ability first. My son likes going on adventures with me and would find it thrilling to sail in strong winds and stout seas. My wife and daughter would not enjoy that as much.
Now I feel that I'm ready to find a fun charter trip for them but I will be sure to build some things into the trip that I know will increase the chances of them wanting to do it again.