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Old 06-06-2009, 12:49   #1
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Things for Kids to Do Daysailing?

My children are less than enthusiastic about going out on the sailboat.
As a disclaimer, I will say, I have never forced them to come sailing and they have only been out beyond the harbor with me twice. Also I am very relaxed about sailing and do not fuss or shout or get panicked at anyone, including the kids.
This past time we went out there was barely any wind, we passed over whole smacks of beautiful jellyfish, some of magnificent size, we saw sea lions leaping and barking. My daughter seemed pleased as punch to man the tiller but looked annoyed at me offering her oppurtunity to do more. My son would participate in nothing I offered to him, but as he broke his arm falling off a tree while we were camping last month, I was happy that he was not clambering around on deck. We had peanut butter crackers and soda for a treat.
Near sunset the children fell asleep in the cockpit on either side of the main hatch on the way back in (so cute!) I thought it was a pretty successful sail and that they would be enthusiastic to go again.
How wrong I was.
My daughter claimed it was a pleasant but incredibly boring experience. My son said he was glad there was hardly any wind or he would've been really scared, instead of "just a little scared and a whole lot bored".
Aside from laying in the V-berth doing homework or reading...does anyone know of something interesting for kids to do on daytrips? I would like something different than the run of the mill board games, word games, etc that we play at home and at restaraunts while waiting for food. Something more sail oriented.

Maybe I should get a microscope so we can look at myodocopids and the like? Is there a way to catch and release fish that does not require a hook and will not foul an outboard with netting?
I will be brainstorming as well, and adding to this post if I think of soemthing.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:57   #2
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Invite their friends, and you will see how things change.........i2f
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Old 06-06-2009, 14:26   #3
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Let them captain & crew the boat (I don't know how old they are) incl. navigation. Anchor & swim/snorkel, kayak, windsurfing. If that doesn't wake 'm up try dinghy sailing instruction or accept they are bound for the landlubber life.

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Old 06-06-2009, 14:50   #4
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I don't think there will be much swimming & snorkeling in Half Moon Bay. That water is fridgid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!........i2f
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Old 06-06-2009, 15:06   #5
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I think bringing the kids friends out (maybe with another parent to keep them corralled) would be cool. Light air days so it's not to much. Some of there favorite food might be good, seems like the right food always makes things better.

By the way, my son was kind of bored with sailing when he was young & now that he's in college he was dissappointed we weren't going to sail to Hawaii this year.
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Old 06-06-2009, 16:45   #6
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The beach, man, the beach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy View Post
I think bringing the kids friends out (maybe with another parent to keep them corralled) would be cool. Light air days so it's not to much. Some of there favorite food might be good, seems like the right food always makes things better.

By the way, my son was kind of bored with sailing when he was young & now that he's in college he was disappointed we weren't going to sail to Hawaii this year.
My daughter always loved the stuff at waters edge, at every age.

We keep a salt water tank at home with things we find, all year. Try a minnow trap left a the dock, baited with bread or meat.

Tow them in an inflatable tube or small boat. You may think that is dull - they won't. (you'll need the inflatable to get to the beach, anyway.) I once towed my daughter for 25 miles while sailing. She didn't want to come back on board!

Wet suits. Cheap, compared to not going sailing.


Just remember being a kid. Adults were BORING. Little things were cool. Homework and peanut butter crackers are not "cool" - try HO-HOs, catching fish to keep, and exploring tidal pools. I think you are out of touch with your inner kid. Read the blogs of sailors that have kids... like mine. I started with my daughter before she could walk, I never pushed it, and she has gone on 4 2-week cruises with me on a Stiletto 27 catamaran, between ages 8-12. I keep it fun... which makes it fun for me to.
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Old 06-06-2009, 16:53   #7
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Same story here in San Diego

I seem to have the same issues with My 3 kids(10-boy,8-boy,5-girl) when we go down to the boat on Harbor Island. They seem to like to sleep on the boat and mess around on the dock but they really dont look forward to going on the water unless we go fishing. Then they are mildly ok. But as soon as I raise the sails and the boat starts to lean a little - They dont dig it too much.

So we are going to Catalina island in July to Two harbors (for the Catalina boats rendevous) and My Kids are petrified. They want to stay home with the In laws(are you kidding me). So I have aleviated this by telling them we will sail to Dana Pt , then Sail to Catalina the next day. We will see what happens - My wife is still debating whether to take them or not.
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Old 06-06-2009, 17:11   #8
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Enjoy yourself...

I'd suggest that you find a baby sitter that the kids don't like, and then sit down with them and discuss available options, like you go sailing and they get baby sat. Kids hate to see adults having fun. Drives them crazy.

Make sure they see you buying their favourite snaks first.

Do go when it's warm with light winds.

One of the most scary memories from my childhood is of going night fishing in a small put-put and having it break down in the middle of Fairfax Harbour (Circa 1958).

Didn't put me off boats.

Chris (No kids, but been a high school teacher).
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Old 06-06-2009, 17:29   #9
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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
I'd suggest that you find a baby sitter that the kids don't like, and then sit down with them and discuss available options, like you go sailing and they get baby sat. Kids hate to see adults having fun. Drives them crazy.

Make sure they see you buying their favourite snaks first.

Do go when it's warm with light winds.

One of the most scary memories from my childhood is of going night fishing in a small put-put and having it break down in the middle of Fairfax Harbour (Circa 1958).

Didn't put me off boats.

Chris (No kids, but been a high school teacher).
Let them drive (within limits).
Find some wildlife.
Walk the beach.

She's having fun, no doubts, and has good stories to tell her friends.

(Pictures are from "Circumnavigating the Delmarva Peninsula - A Guide for the Shoal Draft Sailor")
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Old 06-06-2009, 17:58   #10
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I travel a bit and it makes me see my children differently (8 & 13). They are all about doing - not watching or even "being there". Imagine you could only do something for 30 minute increments. It's about seeing things from their angle.

I sail for the Zen of it. I can be as busy or still as I choose to be. Let them be the same. If they want to adjust the jib 10,000 times in 15 minutes - why not? Sure teach them good technique - but do it in 1 minute increments. Short of being unsafe let them do what they can and then some.

They will figure out that 10 degrees is a lot in a light wind - and telling them is boring (and not the way kids - or even most adults - learn). Sailing is a participation activity. Imagine someone describing their entire voyage to you, from stocking up to pushing off, to the 15th time they adjusted the main to get that extra quarter knot out of it. That's the way most kids see being on a sailboat.

As for the fear factor, that is something you do need to understand. Fear is a good thing - it stops us from jumping off cliffs, or grabbing hot items on a stove or heading to Hawaii because it is only a couple inches on the map (Bob Bitchin story). What is he afraid of? Falling overboard? Does he know what to do if it happens? Breaking up? We may laugh but my nephew was sure that was happening the first time the boat left 90 degrees. (Obviously - we were going down) Something that literally never occurred to me to explain in advance.

Finally, I have found that any activity I plan should be cut by 25 to 50 percent in duration. My willingness to "hang in there" far exceeds what the expectations are of the kids.
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Old 06-06-2009, 22:33   #11
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"Let them invite friends" is the best advice so far.

Their social needs will be met, they can entertain themselves w/ each other while you're doing the "boring" stuff, and each of your kids automatically becomes an expert in the eyes of his friend: much more likely they will suddenly want to show off their nautical knowledge/skills.

Win/win.
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Old 06-06-2009, 22:39   #12
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Great way to get them to WANT to learn!

"each of your kids automatically becomes an expert in the eyes of his friend: much more likely they will suddenly want to show off their nautical knowledge/skills."

Good point. Great for self-esteem.

My daughter actually wrote 2 magazine articles she got published, which swelled her head. Unfortunately, one was about a funny, bone-head goof involving her father. Kids like that too.
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Old 06-06-2009, 22:45   #13
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Best advice I ever got was to give them jobs. As they accomplish the jobs they get better jobs. The friend thing is important too. Now my kids like to jump off the boat first and handle the dock lines. Makes me nervous. Oh yeah what about a bosuns chair or climbing harnes and swinging from the halyards. My kids will spend hours doing that they are currently 11/12 started on this boat three years ago.
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Old 06-06-2009, 23:14   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennymar View Post
My children are less than enthusiastic about going out on the sailboat.
As a disclaimer, I will say, I have never forced them to come sailing and they have only been out beyond the harbor with me twice. Also I am very relaxed about sailing and do not fuss or shout or get panicked at anyone, including the kids.
This past time we went out there was barely any wind, we passed over whole smacks of beautiful jellyfish, some of magnificent size, we saw sea lions leaping and barking. My daughter seemed pleased as punch to man the tiller but looked annoyed at me offering her oppurtunity to do more. My son would participate in nothing I offered to him, but as he broke his arm falling off a tree while we were camping last month, I was happy that he was not clambering around on deck. We had peanut butter crackers and soda for a treat.
Near sunset the children fell asleep in the cockpit on either side of the main hatch on the way back in (so cute!) I thought it was a pretty successful sail and that they would be enthusiastic to go again.
How wrong I was.
My daughter claimed it was a pleasant but incredibly boring experience. My son said he was glad there was hardly any wind or he would've been really scared, instead of "just a little scared and a whole lot bored".
Aside from laying in the V-berth doing homework or reading...does anyone know of something interesting for kids to do on daytrips? I would like something different than the run of the mill board games, word games, etc that we play at home and at restaraunts while waiting for food. Something more sail oriented.

Maybe I should get a microscope so we can look at myodocopids and the like? Is there a way to catch and release fish that does not require a hook and will not foul an outboard with netting?
I will be brainstorming as well, and adding to this post if I think of soemthing.
Hey i am 15 i love to take my girlfriend sailing : P jus dont let them go down below ALONE.
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Old 07-06-2009, 18:10   #15
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Invite their friends is great advice, but be careful which friends. The friends have to flexible and have a bit of a sense of adventure.

Given a choice, you want to bring friends who love nature and like to explore. Bring the friend who looks under rocks in the garden because there might be cool bugs. Bring the friend who likes to spend time in the woods. Bring the little engineer who asks questions about how things work.

The friend who's on the swim team but doesn't swim in lakes or oceans because the water isn't treated won't be much fun. The friend who is happiest reading for hours on end is easy to have aboard, but won't keep your kid occupied unless they read insatiably too. The friend who gets carsick might not enjoy being on a boat. The vegetarian might not enjoy fishing, even catch and release. The kid who says, "I'm bored" will be bored. (My retort: "Only the boring get bored." Let them think about that. ;-)

It's great for the kids to have friends aboard, and the right friend can make all the difference.
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