The Essential Guide for Sailing with Kids
While sailing with children can be a tough ask, it is very much possible to stay sane, have fun and enjoy a worry-free trip with the whole family even with a baby on board. How so you ask? Well, read on to find more.
1) Go for a boat that has ample playing room
Kids can become unruly little mini-pirates if they don’t find a way to release that unbridled energy they are never in short supply of, and chattering a large vessel with enough room to safely play in is often the solution to this. You could consider getting a catamaran, for instance, which affords plenty of room and has a level place to play even whilst in motion. Moreover, such a vessel provides plenty of shade to shield against sunburns.
2) Keep the sailing days short
The recipe for success with kids involves ensuring your sailing days don’t pan out too long whilst also setting aside a lot of time to explore, experience, play and relax ashore. This will not only get around the problem of seasickness, which a number of kids experience especially those on their maiden voyage but also ensures the children aren’t overly active on board.
3) Safety netting and life jackets are a must-have
The vessel you charter should have safety netting around it to guard against accidental slips and falls thereby ensuring your peace of mind when the kids are out playing on the deck unattended. Chattered boats normally come with their own set of life jackets but it would be more ideal to buy your own for the kids to ensure it’s an exact fit and doesn’t cause irritation.
4) Include them in the sailing
Nothing ticks off a kid more than authoritative orders from parents such as “You can’t do this” or “Don’t touch that” so always find something for them to do no matter how small so that they also feel included. Be it tying knots, route mapping, spotting buoys or helping with the steering, always try to include them as much as possible though don’t let them handle intricate tasks alone. Moreover, educate them on essential equipment such as snorkeling gear for example.
5) Keep the clutter away and ensure everything is neat and tidy
A boat can easily turn into a safety hazard if there is no order and clutter roams free so be sure to keep the sheets and lines away while scouring the floor every now and again to eliminate any slippery items. You can also get your kids to help out with maintaining tidiness and keeping things away by talking to them and explaining the need for safety. If that doesn’t work, a promise of ice-cream always seems to do the trick.
To ensure your sailing trip is without incident, it is also advisable to sail in groups of two or more families so that you always have an extra pair of eyes seeing what they’re up to. While children add a little bit to the sailing work, it’s always nice to spend time at sea in the midst of beautiful waters with the ones you love.