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Old 13-01-2018, 05:16   #16
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Re: Introducing the family to sailing using a charter?

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Originally Posted by raizyr View Post
I have had a dream of cruising for many years, and owned a Hunter 28.5 on a freshwater lake for a couple years. My wife and I have talked about buying a cruising boat in retirement, however she's never been sailing before.

I've talked about doing a week long liveaboard sailing course, but we also have two kids, 6 and 8 years old, that I would like to introduce to it as well. I suspect that having them onboard, even if a school allowed it, would hamper the learning.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a family sailing charter that can serve as an introduction for them? Or suggestions for some other method I haven't thought of?
I have run charters like this on an FP 44 cat. ASA 101 for mom and dad, ASA 103 for dad; and from 1-3 children 4-9. The children get antsy---- until Capt Bill worked with them to throw the life jacket off the stern for MOB drills. Nothing is more fun for a kid than watching mom and dad hustle through a MOB drill.

As others have said the issue is keeping your 6&8 year old entertained. It is very hard to teach (and you to learn) in an ASA class when kids--- act like kids and ask questions (seek attention). Keep in mind this is their vacation too. You can bring along an au pair, but now space becomes an issue.

To make classes and cruising work you will likely need a 4 cabin catamaran. One for mom and dad, one for kids, one for au pair and one for captain (some will sleep in the salon).

Float plan must include shore excursions for the children. While you or I would be happy sailing for a few days, the children will need some stimulus off the boat. At least every other day, the kids need to get off the boat and have something to do that THEY want.


Perhaps a better idea is to come to FL and do 3 days in Disney; then either day charter or do a 2-3 day charter in St. Petersburg, without any lessons.

Feel free to PM me or contact me through my website
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Old 13-01-2018, 09:36   #17
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Re: Introducing the family to sailing using a charter?

My vote is for a 7 day bareboat charter in the BVIs. Or, even hire a Captain. The easy sailing and short distances will be a plus for the non-sailors. I think you'll get a taste of what's to come. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 14-01-2018, 14:36   #18
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Re: Introducing the family to sailing using a charter?

All of the suggestions are very helpful thank you! It gives me a lot to think about, and plenty to discuss with my wife

The allure of Caribbean waters and easy sailing in the BVIs might set the best possible stage for the rest of the family enjoying it, but the easier access to Florida (we’ll be in Atlanta for 2 years starting this summer) is tempting too.

Decisions, decisions..

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Old 29-01-2018, 09:56   #19
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Re: Introducing the family to sailing using a charter?

Some good suggestions but I'm going to suggest that you and your wife plan the sailing vacation without kids the first time. You're looking ahead to retirement, and that's whether the two of you enjoy time on the water together. Lot different than a family vacation.

Other posters have indicated how important it is to entertain children while on board, especially younger ones. Mom is always going to be concerned about kid's enjoyment and safety no matter who is on board to assist imho. Her enjoyment ( and yours) will be largely dependent on the kid's enjoyment.

I'd take her on a captained charter and see whether the two of you like it before I'd bring the kids along. Might be two very different experiences.

And if she does enjoy the first trip, you've got a great platform for taking the kids next time. You'll both know what to expect and can figure out how to integrate the kids before you leave with them. Might be more enjoyable all round.
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Old 29-01-2018, 11:14   #20
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Re: Introducing the family to sailing using a charter?

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Originally Posted by desodave View Post
Some good suggestions but I'm going to suggest that you and your wife plan the sailing vacation without kids the first time. You're looking ahead to retirement, and that's whether the two of you enjoy time on the water together. Lot different than a family vacation.

Other posters have indicated how important it is to entertain children while on board, especially younger ones. Mom is always going to be concerned about kid's enjoyment and safety no matter who is on board to assist imho. Her enjoyment ( and yours) will be largely dependent on the kid's enjoyment.

I'd take her on a captained charter and see whether the two of you like it before I'd bring the kids along. Might be two very different experiences.

And if she does enjoy the first trip, you've got a great platform for taking the kids next time. You'll both know what to expect and can figure out how to integrate the kids before you leave with them. Might be more enjoyable all round.
My (now ex) wife's favorite was when I would take the kids out in the dinghy exploring without her (not enough room in the little avon). That was when she got to really enjoy being on the boat with no distractions at all. Safe at anchor with no kids.

Yes, sailing as a couple is very nice. And although sailing with kids is challenging, it is also very rewarding. Its a family adventure you will never forget.
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