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I've a Day skippers and few hundred miles. Want to do a bareboat charter in Croatia but am concerned about taking kids along on my first charter. should I rather just go with friends the first time?
 

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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.
 

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My oldest came aboard at a day or two and sailed from Hawaii to Tahiti at 3 months. She then spent the next 12 years circumnavigating and being dragged from boat to boat as daddy continued adventuring. Kids do well on boats, but there must be rules and the kids must obey them. # one for us was the child NEVER went on deck without holding an adult's hand.
I think in your case it is much more about the adults. Do you and your partner want to spend a goodly portion of your sailing trip tending to the kids (their needs, wants and comfort) or would it be a lot more fun and a lot less stress for you without them, this time?
 
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I have friends with kids that lived aboard cradle to college. My grandaughter could run (electric start) a 9.9 Merc safely at age 7.5. However, she had to ease into longer passages because her Mommy was prone to seasickness and her first trip, at age 1, was to Jost Van **** for Ivan's Eastereggatta. A little projectile vomiting in the vee set Mommy off as well. But the seas were angry that day, my friend, and Jost was dead to wind. She was fine going downhill to home a couple days later.
 

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My six year old (nearly seven) was day sailing with me at four and five years old, and can now work the side deck on our 26'er and throw docklines with the best of them.

I'd say that either kids that are pre-crawling, or old enough to understand which end is the pointy end of the boat and stay safe are the ends of the curve that work. With older kids, I'd worry about boredom more than I'd worry about hazards, but you have to know how careful and sensible yours are, and whether you'd trust them to listen and pay attention as needed.

We are, granted, on flatter water than you're going to find, but also in a smaller boat, though I'd say generically that having them come along to get a few miles under them in a test run would be wise.
 

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I've been (day)sailing** with my daughter since month 4. We held out until she could hold her head up. We also bring a carseat aboard. Any maneuvers that require all adults up-top: kid goes in the car seat in the cabin and enjoys some Pout Pout Fish. In general we've found she has no interest in crawling over the sides, only throwing toys into the water. One of our rules is she always wears a life jacket topsides, but can do whatever she wants below. It's hard because she really enjoys the experience below with mommy, but mommy really wants to get out of the dank cabin.

** I've done more overnights with my kid than before. I found giving her a lot of time out of the elements makes everyone happy. Having extra crew is always helpful, but not necessary. The car seat trick really helps manage the child in difficult situations.
 

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I have 3 grand children, the boat is 43.5ft sailing catamaran. The boat is stationed in Croatia.

When they came first time on board (2016) they were 1, 4, and 10 years. The youngest two came with their parents, The older one came also with his parents a an older step sister of 15 that time.
They all enjoyed the time on the boat, in the marina, out in the Adriatic See and their bays. Trips were always for 1 week to 10 day.

This year we did the same, and they all loved it. For the younger ones we created a freshwater swimming pool (inflatable) on the starboard bow It was enjoyed as well. But they like more swimming in the sea. The oldest one - who learned already to start and steer the tender with its 5HP engine - expressed at the end that next year he wants to learn how to sail. (Hoisting and trimming sails, etc.)

It is my intension (dream) to sail with 3 generation on board across the Atlantic ocean to the Caribbean islands in 2-3 years
 

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Depends more on the parents than the children...
 

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Any age! Just make sure they have a great life jacket! I have an 11-year-old and a 5-year-old and both have been on the water since they were babies. I learned very quickly that uncomfortable kids will result in an angry crying baby in the case of infants or kids being crabby or worse, taking off their life-jackets on their own.

My girls have been wearing their NIMBUS CHILDREN’S VEST ever since, we've owned all the sized: Infant, Child, and Youth. I've never heard a single complaint from any of the kids about the life-jacket being uncomfortable. We simply have a single no-nonsense rule that if you are not 'down below', then you MUST have a life-jacket on. Naturally, like wearing a helmet when cycling, the lesson sticks better if mom and dad follow the exact same rule. My wife felt much more comfortable having the kids 'clipped' in when the girls were toddlers, and naturally, if she feels safe and comfortable it will sorta help.

www(dot)salusmarine(dot)com or just Google 'salus lifejacket'.
 

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.... We simply have a single no-nonsense rule that if you are not 'down below', then you MUST have a life-jacket on....
In my experience and opinion this is the key for safety and comfort for children. Parents must be consequnet. Childeren get used to life vests and safety lines.

My youngest grand child (2 years this year) goes always "online" when he wants to leave the saloon. "online" means, he wears a harness and is hocked up to a safety line fixed at his back and attached to the cockpit roof. He can reach the exit of the cockpit but cannot get out. If he goes inside, he can reach the stair into the hulls but cannot get down.

The only point where grandpa needs to take care is the navigation table which he can reach...

Once he goes with an adult to the bow, he is hocked up again at the safety line fixed at the mast.
 

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depends on the type of boat, the duration and also depend on the kids.. some love it and age is not a problem... I waited until 5 years to take them fishing all day
 

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I agree with the previous posts. There is no real reason why you should not bring your kids with you. But it all depends. I have found that long stretches are not very popular. Keep it to short hops between the islands and don’t go out when the sea is too rough.

But if your plan is to go on long stretches spanning too many hours. I find that as soon as we sail longer than 4 hours per stretch they are really bored. If it’s their first expierance they try to keep the stretches shorter. Our kids are really used to sailing now so going longer stretches even over night is no problem now.

Keep things with you to keep them occupied such as pens and paper, puzzels etc. all dependent on their age of course. Bring some small snacks as well, good to bribe them when their mood is not the best.
 

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I feel the last 2 replies are very good and hit to important points.

Type of boat and duration - let me share my situation

Duration
We sail max 5-6 hrs per day and most always have a stop in between in bay. Kids can go swimming with parents/grandparents or we take them to the beach or shore for a walk.

Type of boat
As you can guess from my profile picture I have a 43.5ft catamaran.

On both sides of the fore-deck we have soft lying surfaces. Each lying surface is big enough for 2 adults to comfortable relax. I do even my daily fitness program on them.

Additionally we place on one of the lying surfaces an inflatable pool (about 1.2m diameter, 30cm high), filled with fresh water. Here both kids love to play. This is an idea of my son.

Kids also have their own books, drawing utensils, and toys and I remember that the older one once watch a video. She often just draws picture.

A bumpy ride we had only once for about 2-3 hours but that time with my elder grandson, 10 years that time, was on board not the two younger grandchildren. I don't recall how he took that ride as he was sitting in the saloon with his father and older sister (16).

I am curious what we be our experience this summer. My eldest, 12 this year, starts and shuts down the engines and checks cooling water flow already since he is 10, wants to work this summer with ropes and sails. So I guess I have to do a lot of tacks and jibes, and getting the 145m2 gennaker up and down. I will be busy....
 
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