I was curious if there are any sailing families with young children
aboard in the Chicago area that would be willing to give us pointers on safety
We are a couple that has been taking sailing classes
for one season on Lake Michigan. We are planning on continuing those lessons into at least a second and probably third year but eventually (perhaps as early as next year) I would like to buy a boat and do some family
sailing time on Lake Michigan. We are looking in the 32-36 foot range, maybe a cat if budget
allows, but that's not set in stone. The plan is to do daysails at first, then once comfortable with the handling of that specific boat, moving on to weekends and perhaps longer trips doing a lake crossing and then along the Michigan shoreline and points north. Eventually, perhaps years from now, I'd love to be able to spend a month or two each summer cruising the Great Lakes
as work allows.
Here's the special consideration: we have a 4-year old daughter. My wife is basically not comfortable with the idea of our daughter aboard a vessel of any size, and she cannot see when she is going to be comfortable with the idea. And here is our biggest disagreement. I tend to think it would be fun to bring her along, starting in small measured steps of course, and setting out for longer trips only when we are all comfortable and ready. Whether that takes a few months or a few years is fine with me. As an introduction
to the concept
, I'm even interested in chartering a captained vessel for a few days so we wouldn't have to worry so much about where the boat is going 100% of the time while we pay attention to what the little one is doing.
I have been doing a lot of reading on how to make boats a safer environment
for children, including (but not limited to) life vests, tethers, setting up strict rules, and providing constant supervision. My wife wants more than just reading about it and actually to talk to someone that's been there and done that. So, anyone nearby that might be willing to meet up sometime and show us how it's done? We'd love to meet someone with experience going over the various pitfalls, cautions, rewards, and so on of bringing children of that age aboard. Any help would be greatly appreciated...