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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice. I am engaged to a sailor and he has a 1968 26ft Grampian and we plan on living the cruisers life as soon as we feel sure this is the right boat for us. We live on the Gulf of MS and it''s fine for day sails but we want to cut the dock lines and live out the dream.

Question is: I have a daughter who has never sailed yet and was wondering, is fourteen too late of an age to begin sailing and cutting the dock lines?

For myself, I can''t wait! BUT am concerned with my daugheter who has never gone. With winter breaking her first time out sailing will be in two weeks! I haven''t forced this issue of sailing but will wait and see her expressions myself.

ANY advice is greatly welcomed....

WildPony
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Wild Pony,

I have limited experience with long cruises, but I would wait to see how your teen does on day trips and weekend cruises before cutting the dock lines. If your teen takes to the good life, great! If it''s a chore to get her on the boat, you may have to wait until she is independent of you for your dream to come true. My two hate it, so there were a few years when we couldn''t even go to visit the boat. When they could be left on their own for a day or weekend, we had more freedom, but we won''t be able to cut our dock lines for quite awhile! Good luck!
Jane
 

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My two teenagers (boy & girl) were introduced to charter sailboating at 13 & 15, the girl was bored silly. the boy less so, but bored also. At that age they want to be with their buddies. My daughter loved our dinghy because she interacted with the boat and the sailing, but on a larger boat with winches, it was brutally boring for her. that was my experience, I respected her feelings and left her ashore after that and she was grateful. Parent/child relationships are very different than partner relationships and need to be handled as different: based on my experiences with both, preserve what you have with your daughter above all else.
 

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hi. i dont think it is to late to take her out. i think you should take her out for a bit and see how she likes it. if she does great! if not, i guess you should wait a while. i myself i will admit i am 15 and i love anything to do with boats, and as my mom is not fond of them, i only go out with my dad and cousins in the summer. i just started boating about 2 years ago, so i dont think starting at 14 is to late
sailin-girl
 

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One thing that sometimes helps the first experience is to bring one of your teenager''s friends along. It keeps sailing from being an uncool parent thing that they are being forced to do.

Jeff
 

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Hey, although I am not married and have no idea on how to handle parent-child relationship, I think Jeff''s suggestion is worth considering. With companion from the same age group for your daughter, her first time sail may turn out to be a fun and enjoyable one since there is someone of ''same frequency'' to experience together.
 

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Both of my children were born and raised on board, so by the time they hit 14 they were really ready for the land locked life and tired of moving about and having to say goodbye to friends. They were both avid readers and at that age, my son would fish and my daughter would throw the fish back in. If you can find a family to buddy boat with and have radio contact it is better. 26 feet is very small for a teenager. Our last and smallest boat was 44 feet and I learned that any boat was too small.

All that said, we have friends whose children at that age were so envious of mine and wanted only to take a long voyage. So I agree with the others, take some short weekend sails and see how it goes and how your daughter likes it. Taking a friend along helps. My kids had each other and I can''t imagine how much work it would have been with only one whom I would have to entertain. They interacted with each other and today as they prepare for college they are extremely close.

seame
 

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I would throw into the mix an assessment of overall life priorities, too. I recently heard from a friend who said he had sold his boat: "The kids weren''t keen on going out; they went along grudgingly. The number of summer weekends left for us to spend together before they head off to college and their own lives is really quite few when you stop and think of it, and I can always buy another boat and cruise all I want when that bittersweet day comes." This is someone whose sanity and perspective I respect.
 

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My daughter at thirteen was awfully bored with sailing, she complained at her every opertunity, now eight years later she tells me that was the best time she had and she missed it. I guess it's just the age thing, maybe?! I'm a guy, I don't understand it myself.
 

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No, I think that fourteen might work out well..it really depends on how you present sailing to her. Long-term cruising can be a very eye-opening experience, but not all teens are going to agree with it. If she is a mall rat, that believes in IM'ing and needing to have a cell phone to keep in touch with all of her friends...then you might have some problems. If she's relatively independent, and not status driven...then she might find it challenging and worth doing.
 

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Wild Pony...As much as I love the cruising life, I think the time to take kids sailing on a liveaboard cruise is when they are young. Taking a teenager out of high school is forcing them to adopt YOUR crazy life (like mine<g>) at a time where friends/peers and socialization is very important to them. It also pretty much insures that their education will suffer as most parents cannot properly provide an adequate schooling particularly in math and the sciences. This will also affect SAT's and college entrance.
I know the above is generalized and your situation may be different. They will hate you for the next 4-6 years whether or not you go sailing.<g> So...it is really about being a parent and holding off on your own dreams for a few years to give yur kids a chance at becoming sucessful in thier own lives.
I'm sure I'll get some flack for this but it is what we did with our 3 kids...and I quit work the day the last one graduated from high school. Now they love to come visit us in exotic places and enjoy the boat with us. I feel good 'cause each of them was able to follow their own path as we are following ours.
 

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Uhm, Cam, Wild Pony's daughter is now 20, based on the 2001 date of her post. Isn't it your job to chastise people for replying to old threads? Sounds like good general advice, though:)
 

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We'll give you a pass on this one cam, since two other people replied before you did. <G>
 

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umm, got to weigh in here...

we are the proud caretakers, jailers, parents, "frustrated adults" of a 13 year old girl.

short answer, no flippin way on gods green earth do I want that walking ER visit anywhere near the boat.

Ours may be atypical, but, words coming out of an adults mouths, any adult, are summarily ignored and dismissed as worthless babble.

Without a mall in site, severe withdrawl symptoms manifest themselves as brooding, pouting & whining.

Without an IPod stuffed in the ears, again, withdrawl systems include the above with the additional "hrrrumph" and crossed arm disorder.

If the cell phone is out of range, or the battery dies, or there have been no text messages or calls within the last 8 minutes, severe anxiety manifests itself, leading to panic attacks, depression, severe self-esteem issues, various and sundry "end of the world" scenarios, hissy fits and a general malaise that I refer to as "put on your big girl panties and deal with it" issues.

Dear God, don't have the Captain or the Admiral "suggest" that a small task needs to be completed, say, grabbing a soda out ot the icebox... this will assuredly raise all sorts of concerns that we hate her, that the world hates her, that every one in the universe is sure that she is overworked, underpaid, and unloved. Part two of the dicussion will consist of no less than 4 extremely important reasons, all verified by God Himself as to why the task cannot be reasonably completed in a timely fashion, if completed at all.

Needless to say, I'm liking the looks of the boat more and more this year.
 

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Way too funny Paul, and yes I can relate.
I gots two of 'em.

Funny thing is, the 16 year old loves it and the 14 year old just barley survives.

I have to tell a couple of stories.

We took the older daughter on a two week cruise from Detroit to Chicago. She was happy if we had cell phone coverage. Every night when we pulled into either an anchorage or a port, the first thing she would do was check her phone for dots. If we had dots, all was good.

She was glad to be in places like Mackinaw but hated the remote locations like Beaver Island. At the end of the cruise she was glad she went.

Last year was the first time my younger daughter went on a cruise.
She survived, but could not wait to get home.

I know it an old thread, I guess some threads never die...........
 

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In my experience, get 'em wet young and after the throes of puberty have passed (what age is that again?) they'll come back to you.

Just a note to Cardiac's post: The girl kid HAD to move out to attend college ten miles away due to the intolerable living conditions at home. For this I pay four hundred dollars a month. Three months and the wind is backing strong to the north. Her current boyfriend is living at home and bemoaning same. She advised him to shut-up and deal with it. "Everything costs money", was the phrase that stuck in my mind. Six months on and I've gone from a retrograde dolt with a control fixation (the latter I confess to) to something approaching the wise old man of the sea. I am prefering to eat my dish of revenge cold and finding the piquancy of it delicious. Receiving weekly updates on the room-mate wars is keeping my bowl full. The latest, and perhaps most fun, relates to her anticipated rage of coming in and finding the room-mate and room-mate's boyfriend "doing it" on HER couch. This has been pre-announced as the last straw. For me, it's just another reason to keep on living!
 

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On the topic of teens and sailing I think that it's worth mentioning Sail Training. ASTA is a good resource for all sorts of sailtraining organizations who basically operate like a summer camp for 14-18 year olds but on sailing ships. What is cool about these programs for kids is that they are thrown together with a bunch of other kids and over the course of a couple of weeks they learn to sail a ship. Most of the programs are essentially run by kids, with some adults around to make sure everything is safe. If there is any chance that a kid will like sailing, that will be nutured here and allowed to grow. They will also learn seamanship skills that will likely outstrip those of their cruiser parents in short order! Many people who go through these programs become lifelong sailors.
 

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I pray every day that my stepson of 12 1/2 turns to sailing. I don't think there is a better hobby to keep them out of trouble.
pigslo
 

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One of my friends used to get very upset that his daughter used to call him a .... By 18-19 or so she emerged as a real sweetie. Hope it lasts. At this point I am watching my 18 month old granddaughter - she is very bright but it reminds me just how much there is to learn. All a step at a time. Lucky her grandfather dinna know it all yet so we have some empathy.
 
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