Sailing is a family activity that everyone can enjoy. Parents take their children to the water and later on these children will become parents themselves. Generations take their boats to the ocean and enjoy the freedom. Young couples that share this interest in common usually own a small boat and sail regularly. Once the crew starts to grow, the must find a way to introduce their children to one of their passions.
Parents don’t have to sacrifice this hobby because it is not safe for the children. On the contrary, sailing can help the families bond. Once parents welcome their first child they switch their sport car for a minivan. When it comes to boats, it is not necessary to replace it.
Prepare The Boat
Boats are more dangerous for children, especially toddlers. They could fell off the boat easily so it’s better to prepare the boat for the kid’s arrival. Life jackets are mandatory by law but average life jackets will not be enough. The kid will need a life jacket especially made for them. These life jackets are not hard to find, a quick search on any retailer will give multiple results.
Secure the lifelines. It may be the last thing to keep the children safe if the boat makes a sudden move.Prepare a nylon safety netting. It needs to be tight enough so the children bounce off from it and don’t get tangled.
Bigger boats include a berth, take advantage of it and prepare a playroom for the children. Provide them with toys and other entertainment options.
Prepare The Kids
Sailing on a boat is not like riding a car, this is not a day to day activity. Children that never experience it before may need some preparation. If the kids are old enough, the first step is to explain what will happen. Take time and discuss with them why you like sailing and why you think they would like it too.
Take them to the boat before sailing. Ask them to help cleaning the boat and other small tasks. The kids will feel part of the experience. This is a family experience and it must revolve about the children’s needs. If they get tired after a short period of time, it’d be better to return to the shore.
Entertain The Kids
Younger kids may not understand exactly what sailing means. Their attention span is shorter and will get restless easily. If the boat has a berth, prepare a play room where the kids can stay. Include toys, movies and games so they can last longer on the boat. On boats without a berth it may be better to cut the trip short.
Drinks and snacks are mandatory for these trips. Pack some of their favorites and ask their opinions on the matter. Pack more food than usual but nothing too heavy, the kids could get seasick and this will put them on a bad mood.
With the proper planning, a sailing trip can be the start of something wonderful. If at first the kid has a hard time on the boat, go back home and try some months later.