Are you planning on taking your kids out on a sailing trip in the future? I bet they'll absolutely love it and you'll have endless amounts of fun, but there are still some important things you need to be aware of.
A boat and a child don't always go well together because being out at sea is dangerous, so we're going to discuss a few safety tips you should understand before you go out on the water.
Make Sure Their Safety Gear Fits Them Properly
Your children should wear safety gear when on the yacht, but it won't count for anything if it doesn't fit them properly. You can't just throw an adult life jacket on them and hope for the best.
They will feel uncomfortable and it will stop them from enjoying the experience, plus if the worst were to happen and they fell overboard the jacket might not help protect their life.
Take them with you when you're buying them any safety gear and make sure it fits them properly.
Don't Leave Them On Their Own
I think this goes without saying, but there are still some times when you might accidentally leave them on their own for a few seconds without even thinking about it.
Bryan McDonald, Wikimedia Commons
Kids are curious and it only takes a few seconds for them to look over the side of the boat and fall into the sea.
When they're on the deck someone should always be close to them and you need to keep your eyes on them too, but this is only to prevent a worst case scenario and there is a slim chance of them going for an unexpected swim.
Go On Smaller Trips First
If your kids have never been out at sea before you can't take them away for a few days on a yacht. Can you imagine how tough the trip would be if you suddenly found out they didn't react well to the ocean?
A much better idea is to take them on smaller trips on a small boat for around an hour in length. Build up the time they spend at sea and when you do decide to take a longer trip they'll be able to handle it much better.
You Must Master The Sea First
I think this one is the most important of them all and it's something you'll need to be honest with yourself about.
Bill Blevins, Wikimedia Commons
If something were to go wrong while you were stuck on a boat in the ocean would you know how to look after yourself? If you can't even look after yourself how are you going to look after your kids? This is the reasons why professional skippers from Miramo Club recommend taking a experienced skipper with you on board, at least the first few times before you learn basic things and get some experience. Taking a sailing class can be helpful too.
You can try all you want to save them from harm and you will because it's your duty as a parent, but it will all end in tears unless you can handle yourself in any situation.
Enjoy Your Yacht Trip
We've only looked at the dark side of sailing with kids because it's a subject we can't ignore, but on the positive side it will be one of the greatest times of your life. Sailing also has a lot of benefits, especially for kids.
Swotai, Wikimedia Commons
Kids feel alive when they're out at sea and I'm sure you'll give them memories that will last a lifetime. Once you get back from your first trip I'm sure they'll be pestering you to go away on another one. It might turn into a regular thing you can enjoy as a family and it will help to bring everyone closer together.
Remember to make sure you have plenty of activities planned for them and they'll never have a chance to get bored. You might also be able to let them help you with little jobs around the yacht if they're old enough.
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