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Sailing with Children

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Showing 1-17 of 17 posts in this discussion
Posted on Oct 30, 2010 12:07:24 AM PDT
I've lived over 50 years aboard. My daughter was a third generation live-aboard when she headed off to Brandeis. I'm looking forward to teaching my new grandchild to sail.

A small boat on a big ocean is the perfect place to raise a kid. I've had the joys of growing up aboard and the joys of raising a child aboard.

Boats and kids are a perfect match. Red Sea Run: Two Sailors in a Sea of TroubleChasing The Horizon: The Life And Times Of A Modern Sea Gypsy

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2010 7:06:02 PM PDT
Arirang: The Bamboo Connection
I assume you have already left on your voyage - but just in case...

My spouse and I sold everything we had in the world and departed with three teenage sons from Ft. Lauderdale to Venezuela in the late 80's. I used our experience as background for about 250 pages of Arirang: The Bamboo Connection. Though it has been fictionalized for interest, it is quite factual in many ways.

The best thing I did was not in preparation but after a year of desperation I took the Womansail class in Sarasota. It freed me to have the strength of men and the wisdom they lacked because they choose brute strength and loud voices over "no one shouts" (Womansail t-shirt) and double winches on a bosun's chair up 65 feet to the top of the mast. There may be a similar class for children; they are wonderful sailors, swimmers and divers. Their smaller stature makes boats wonderful for them, but their bravura makes them equally dangerous. The Coast Guard Auxiliary sailing classes are great for families and will teach them many useful skills - knots is a critical skill. There are many such small things that even at a young age benefit everyone. Take them to sea museums (Key West has a great one) and science museums that clarify weather. Weather is a great skill for the young; they become very adept at following the electronic equipment (their generation is electronic). Help them learn about conservation: how little water can you manage a shower with (sunshower as example); survival skills and medicin. We had a full chest of narcotics, saline solution with IV hookups for under the skin (not veins). They'll love the gorey books that show what CAN happen on a sailboat and how to provide first aid. Take a first aid course as a family.

Practice small space cooking - a pressure cooker was a great propane saver. I took a cookie book that had a recipe for anything I had on the boat from beans to rice to peanut butter to produce an edible cookie. A microwave cookbook is another good one, assuming you'll have a small microwave.

Encourage the children to come up with conservation ideas - a rain catcher on a bimini for drinkable water (rain water from the sky at sea is the purest to drink other than from a reverse osmosis water maker).

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 7:02:39 AM PST
Tory Salvia says:
Sailing with children can be both challenging and highly rewarding. Circumnavigators, Dave and Jaja Martin actually created their family while sailing around the world. Their three children make up a big part of their PBS documentary, Ice Blink. See a preview at http://www.thesailingchannel.tv/iceblink

World renowned cruisers, Lin and Larry Pardey have put over 200,000 miles under their keel. They don't have children but during many of their voyages they observed how children attracted each other and so their families also met. While cruising in Brazil, the Pardey's invited their two teenage nephews to join them. Sailing with the two teens led the Pardey's to new relationships with several Brazilian families. They included this delightful experience in their latest documentary, Cruising Has No Limits. Check out extended excerpts online at http://www.thesaiilngchannel.tv/chnl

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2009 9:28:46 PM PDT
Get a good cruising guide to the keys. Know the interests of the kids. Are any non-swimmers? Are your lifelines netted to secure the four year old? Are you on your own boats or chartered vessels? Kids will entertain themselves in a good anchorage, but have a few all-ages games on board. Will they suffer from TV/ video game withdrawal? If so, plan some educational stuff- books on sea creatures, birds, etc. Have them compete to see who sights the most different kinds of birds. Keep a list. The world is fascinating to kids if adults will just open that door. Have fun.Voices on the Wind

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2009 11:30:58 PM PDT
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Last edited by the author on Apr 5, 2009 4:41:35 PM PDT
I sailed within Tonga with a number of people some years ago. It rained the whole time. Thank goodness I had my watercolors there, spare brushes and paint and lots of paper. They all painted, even the ones who said the couldn't. We sang a lot, too. I wrote a novel, too, called Broad Reach, but no kids in that one! Wendy Bartlett

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2009 4:39:59 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2009 11:48:04 AM PDT
P. Rink says:
Howdy. We took our kids to the Caribbean for a year in 2001-2002. While we were planning the trip, the kids couldn't get a feel for what the conditions would be, so when we got back we wrote a book and made a video about the trip. The book is on Amazon: Mermaid - Our Family in Paradise. The video is on our website at www.caribmermaid.com.

Have a great trip.


Initial post: Mar 23, 2009 6:34:43 AM PDT
Lady Skipper says:
We are two families planning our 1st long voyage sail (10 days in the florida keys). Between us we are four adults and five children ages 11,10,8,7 & 4. The two men on board are experienced sailors. Women and children are very new to sailing. Can you give me some advice or refer me to resources to help plan the most practical parts of our sail: safety, meals, activities ect. Thanks!
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Sailing forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  17
Initial post:  Mar 23, 2009
Latest post:  Oct 30, 2010

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