Originally Posted by PDA1
... My wife and I have 5 children. The problem we face is getting a boat big enough so that we'll all fit comfortably. It seems that the 50 foot range is probably what we'll get... Our intentions are to cruise
the East coast
and possibly into the Caribbean
for the next several years... One big issue is- "are you REALLY sure you want to do this?"
We only had 2 kids, 12 & 15, when we took off in 2001, but we've had as many as 9 on board for extended periods. The kids each have their own sections of our website (unedited by us). Amanda
now love cruising, but it took a good year before they really engaged the lifestyle
, so don't expect your kids to jump into it right away. We also published pages like Cruising With Teens
& Family Cruising
under our Cruising Info section
that you might find interesting.
I will say that the cruising life usually produces GREAT kids, & I don't just mean our own, as we see it over & over. But it's a good idea to get your teens (at least) their own space, if at all possible. Teens need privacy, which is a rare commodity on a boat. We've known a couple of cruising families that have had to swallow the anchor
because their kids revolted. When the kids are happy, the whole boat's happy. So we do what we can to cruise with other kid-boats.
Cruising kids are given more responsibilities, & they generally rise to that, becoming more responsible themselves. Amanda was standing a full night watch, responsible for the whole boat & the lives of her favorite people, when she was only 13. I was only a loud shout away, but she
had to make the call.
Kids are also curious about what they're missing, like school
life. So ours attended school when we came home to visit friends & family. They learned that cruising adults are more accepting of kids than many teachers. We treat kids more as adults, & the kids learn to relate to adults as adults.
Some of our kid's friends got back to their homes in time to return to school, & they universally wrote that school on the boat was MUCH better than on land, for lots of reasons.