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Old 02-05-2016, 14:31   #16
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

Out of 3 MOBs with our three kids (one each!) two were off the dock, so you need to protect them even in this flat, static environment!
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Old 02-05-2016, 16:52   #17
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

Hi, I agree with all the advice and learnt more ideas too. This may be a wild one: What about having a dog onboard trained to bark whenever kids or strangers appear topside after dark? I love dogs but never had one due to space constraints. But now am thinking of having one as i bought a 38 foot catamaran. Hopefully it will not be seasick, or let's to jump into the sea!
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Old 02-05-2016, 18:08   #18
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

At Lakeside YC in Cleveland many years ago, several children were lost to drowning within feet of safety or adults who could not see or hear them. New rule - all children under 14 must wear a PFD on the dock or boat within the marina. No exceptions. End of deaths. The rule now applies to any youngster on our boat on deck anytime. My wife & I also wear auto inflate types all of the time. Harnesses also required to be on you for ready use. Not paranoid, just realistic.
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Old 02-05-2016, 18:27   #19
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

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Originally Posted by virgincruiser View Post
hi,

I'm not sure if this is the right forum but I am looking for some practical advice.

I have just got my day skipper licence (ICC) and we are chartering for the first time this summer.

We are a family of 6. Kids aged 12, 10, 7 and 5.

I am concerned about a few things where I am struggling to find good resource.

My two primary concerns are as follows:

1) early in the morning when everyone is asleep, or indeed during the night, how do I ensure that none of my kids wander up on deck? I understand that briefing them in the first instance is critical but are there any particular tricks, systems to ensure that I am alerted if one of the children tries to go up on deck while myself and my wife are asleep. Of particular concern are my 5 (particularly inquisitive) and 7 year olds.

2) somewhat paranoid I know but if we are on a pontoon or pier by night, how best to manage the security of the boat particularly in relation to someone wandering on board, one always being conscious of the security And safety of ones children.

I do hope someone has advice!!!

Many thanks.
The rule number one for my kids was, whenever they arent in the cabin, the life jackets go on.
They knew that before climbing the companion way stairs they must put them on.

Oddly, by the time they were 12-14 they could out swim me. But its a do as I say, not as I do, world when one is a parent.
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Old 02-05-2016, 18:41   #20
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

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The rule number one for my kids was, whenever they arent in the cabin, the life jackets go on.
They knew that before climbing the companion way stairs they must put them on.

Oddly, by the time they were 12-14 they could out swim me. But its a do as I say, not as I do, world when one is a parent.
Being a strong swimmer has nothing to do with survival falling off a boat at sea or landing on a rock at the marina. There is nothing like loosing a loved one to the sea that will ruin boating forever. BTW, could you get back on your boat from the water sans boarding ladder? I could not bob high enough to reach the splash rail. My brother & I were riding an old (no positive floatation) skiff some years ago that capsized in flat water, sunk and took the PFDs we were sitting on to the bottom. 1.5 miles to shore but fortunately, another boater saw us thrashing and came to investigate. If you are not wearing it - it does no good.
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Old 02-05-2016, 20:19   #21
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

I have been sailing with my kids (5&8) for over a year now.

Fully agree that kids have a self-preservation instinct that is not worse if better than adult's. Do not limit their freedom on the boat just guide them. Definitely do a MOB drill with each kid (starting from the eldest). Falling overboard is but one of the dangers in boating (harness is best but only if the sea conditions require it).

Other things to watch out for: the boom when gybing, loose jib sheets when the kids are at the mast and you are tacking, engine/fuel/propeller areas (if you ask the five year old to check the engine for leaking fluids, she would just stick her hand in there , anchor chain, cleats, blocks and lines under tension, and so on. It is all common sense stuff to adults but young kids need to be taught these things. Do not assume they will figure it out.
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Old 03-05-2016, 00:34   #22
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

Its only a weeks charter so just wear them out. We have just spent the last three days on our yacht with a 9 and 5 year old and each morning they were still in bed when we woke. Plenty of kayaking, swimming and beach combing seemed to do the trick. We are pretty slack parents and they only wear life jackets when kayaking.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:35   #23
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

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Being a strong swimmer has nothing to do with survival falling off a boat at sea or landing on a rock at the marina. There is nothing like loosing a loved one to the sea that will ruin boating forever. BTW, could you get back on your boat from the water sans boarding ladder? I could not bob high enough to reach the splash rail. My brother & I were riding an old (no positive floatation) skiff some years ago that capsized in flat water, sunk and took the PFDs we were sitting on to the bottom. 1.5 miles to shore but fortunately, another boater saw us thrashing and came to investigate. If you are not wearing it - it does no good.
Are you suggesting that you wear your lifejacket every minute you are on deck. I doubt there are many circumnavigaters who do that.
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:17   #24
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

For security, it's a simple matter to mount a barrel bolt type latch to the main hatch's underside. Plus, they also make ones which are childproof.
And such latches can be attached in various ways, including a couple, which, if it's not your boat, leave little evidence of it having been there, after you return the boat.
That, or simply brace a piece of timber or similar, between the lip which hangs down from the aft most edge of the hatch, & the molding which is the forward edge of the companionway.

As to the kids, the alarm idea is okay (the one in your other thread on this topic). And they also make stuffed toy animals which have built in motion sensors. Which when tripped, the animal makes a sound, or says something.
Too, you can teach them that the stuffed dinosaur is the "guard", & make it into a bit of a fun "game". For if you can get them to think that serious matters are also play, then they'll likely be much more likely to cooperate.
Also, lifting out teak companionway boards isn’t exactly a silent task. And for small kids, it’s not exactly an easy one either.

And you could even create some kind of rewards system for various things/behaviors. Be creative. Especially as, if they see & Feel, that you're playing along too, by the same rules, it becomes a lot easier. Kind of like it's sometimes much easier to get them to lay down & go to sleep if they're with or near you, & you're doing the same (albeit, doing the same with one ear open).
Too, were it me, I'd avoid any yelling at them for most things of this nature. But rather, ask them how they'd feel if you were to go topside & fall into the ocean & never come back. Then tell them that that's why they have to ask if they can go outside, & also, after a certain hour, you do the same with them. So that it's a "level playing field". IE: the rules are the same for everyone, regardless of age.

But also, given kids inquisitive nature, you could teach them that they can go into the cockpit any time that they like, as long as they ask you. And while you may have to get them to wait a minute, so that you can put down what you're doing, they'll get comfortable asking (usually).
Thus, after a bit of that, some of the draw of doing things which "they're not supposed to" may fade.

And you can always have some nights which are Family, camp in the cockpit nights. While others are stay below ones. Thus, they'll know that in a day, or on days X & Y, they'll get to spend plenty of time under the stars.
You can also put the idea into their heads of how nice it is to fall asleep listening to the rain on the deck, just a few feed above their heads. Or to make forts out of their bunks to sleep in.

Basically using a bit off psychology, & fun in general, to get them to behave safely. And, knock on wood, it should work, as there were never any such issues with my brother & I. And we started sailing from the age of 3, onwards.
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:22   #25
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

Pick up a cheap window/door alarm from Home Depot. They're about $5 each and can easily be removed when the charter is complete.

Something like this.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:08   #26
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

All,

Thank you so much for all your replies - very much appreciated. For those of you with parenting advice and the importance of teaching your children that rules are rules, thank you and I agree with all of that but what I was looking for were "fail safes" in the event that someone disobeys - I am by no means a parenting expert but my experience says that regardless of how much you drill in the rules, values, virtues etc....... there is always a chance that one will disobey and or ignore - this is what I am trying to cater for. I think that it is prudent to budget that this will happen - prepare for the worst and hope for the best being my mantra!!

Some amazing advice in here - pros and cons to everything of course. I don't like the idea of locking the hatch by night in case there is a collision, fire or some other form of emergency.

As mentioned my big concerns are while my wife and I are asleep. All my kids can swim (and swim well) but we all know that no one can swim while unconscious and that a kid can easily become disoriented while in the water, especially if it is in the dark. Equally, one breath at the wrong moment and the lungs are filled with water and that's curtains I am afraid regardless of how well they can swim - not even a life jacket can prevent that so prevention being better than cure is the name of the game here!!

I like the motion sensor at the companion way idea and I have already purchased a portable door alarm. I had not thought of it but leaving the vertical section of the hatch on is a great idea - my 5 and 7 year olds would not be able to get over that - simple but great idea (why could I not think of that!!). I also really appreciate the advice in relation to the harness while underway - I think that is a great idea for the smallies - it can also be fun - i know the boy would love the idea of clipping on and off with his two clips - what an adventure. Agreed that PFD's while underway and while on deck are critical for all the kids. They are all used to dinghy sailing so have good comfortable ones for this purpose.

Thanks again all for your advice - very much appreciated!!
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Old 28-05-2016, 11:09   #27
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

Wow, great stories!
What a blessed Man you were to enjoy this life adventure with your family. I hear people say lucky and that has something to do with it but lets be real, you make it happen. Lets not discount what it takes to make things happen. I would have loved to have experienced it with my children. The fact is that I didn't have time to sail until my children were in college I did teach them the importance of adventure. Thanks for sharing the pictures, made me smile.



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Old 29-05-2016, 14:25   #28
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

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Wow, great stories!
What a blessed Man you were to enjoy this life adventure with your family. I hear people say lucky and that has something to do with it but lets be real, you make it happen. Lets not discount what it takes to make things happen. I would have loved to have experienced it with my children. The fact is that I didn't have time to sail until my children were in college I did teach them the importance of adventure. Thanks for sharing the pictures, made me smile.



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Unfortunately we instilled perhaps too much adventure into the children. Now they are flung all over the planet with little chance of them ever coming back to America.
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Old 30-05-2016, 18:38   #29
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

I could see how that could happen. You must be careful what you teach them. Life is a adventure meant to be lived.


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Old 17-06-2016, 19:08   #30
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Re: Practical advice sought - kids safety and security

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Contrary to popular belief, kids don't want to drown. Grant it, some kids are clumsier than others. Having raised my four kids and literally hundreds of other people's kids on board and on the waterfront, I have found it especially helpful to toss them in the drink the minute they pisss me off. Get out of hand, splash!

This action:

Leaves no marks for child protective services to come after me,
Teaches the children to swim and scream bloody murder at the same time
Reminds the kids that going in the bay is not much fun in high latitudes.
Reminds the little darlings that not misbehaving around the grumpy guy is a must.

We never had an issue with any kids inadvertently going by the board. They learned the "one hand for the ship" rule, early on.

Rather than trying to devise a method for containing them below, work on teaching them the essentials of staying on board and or getting back aboard when and if they accidentally do go in.
Completely agree..too many kids these days are micro-managed to the point they can't take a pee without asking. I had my 5 and 9 year olds on board for two years...of course you have to keep an eye on them but kids take to sailing a lot easier than adults. I sat drinking a beer in the shade most times while my 5 year old ran the boat. Actually it got to the point where he was giving me orders, "tighten up that line", "what's that floating up ahead", "bring me a glass of milk." It was fun time; for sure take your kids sailing.
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