Taking children on a sailing holiday can be a fantastic experience. A sailing trip can be a great opportunity for kids to learn something about the life on the sea, nature and possibly other countries. However, having children aboard can be as tricky as it is fulfilling.
Children get easily bored and need to be entertained so you need to take plenty of things that make your kid busy. Also bear in mind that children are curious and they would probably want to explore the boat. However, they can also get reckless so you need to implement some safety features for your kid to safely explore the yacht.
We have prepared for you some pieces of advice if you are thinking about taking your child sailing.
First you need to set clear safety rules that you have to discuss with the children before the trip and reinforce them once you are aboard. As children get easily bored, make sailing distances short. You could also try to "chop up" your route by stopping on a beach to run around and play.
Do not forget to bring plenty of toys. Also bring snorkeling equipment (unless your boat already has it) and remember that that dinghy is not only for decoration; you could take your children to the shore with it or organize a fishing excursion. Introduce your children with their "floating home" for the week. Show them how to use the head properly, how to move around the boat, warn them about the boom, show them where the handgrips and handrails are.
If your kids are up to it (and we see no reason for them not to be), teach them something about sailing. Show them the charts and instruments, explain what type of sails there are, teach them about wind, make them participate in anchoring... This all will make them feel involved and most likely start the "sailing fire" in them.
Expose them to their surroundings - throw some biology and geography lessons in sailing. They will learn new things while enjoying themselves.
When it comes to safety, physical safety is the main priority with children aboard. One of the most important tips is the installation of a safety net. Safety rules must be strictly followed, especially when younger children are involved. All children must wear a life jacket when on deck, no child goes on the fore deck when sailing, and if the weather gets really too rough, children must go down below. For extra safety, a harness is also a good idea. However, beside all these safety measures, the best one is parent supervision.
Of course, all this does not mean you should tie your children down not allowing them to move a muscle. Let them be kids. Let them move around the boat freely and let them have fun but never forgetting their safety. So can children sail? The answer is a big yes but only if all the safety measures are satisfied.
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