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Old 26-04-2013, 16:26   #1
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Moving to a Life Aboard

I need input please, So here we go, we're planning on buying a larger boat and moving to the big blue. I'm a little nervous and super exited. we have 2 small children and will be homeschooling. so in preparation i'm looking to you guys to help me prep. what kind of stuff do I need that I prolly don't already have... what stuff do you consider important what are valued items? besides the lap top. any certain dishes, life vests... EVERYTHING just throw it all at me. better to have a hundred posts to read trough than to miss something important I have a feeling i'm going to be on here a lot
thanks everyone
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Old 26-04-2013, 16:54   #2
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Re: moving to a life aboard

Where will you be living aboard?
Tropics? Alaska?
Anchoring? Dock?
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Old 26-04-2013, 16:58   #3
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Re: moving to a life aboard

Prolly Atlantic, Caribbean, with a few long vacations to places we've never been.
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Old 26-04-2013, 17:06   #4
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Re: moving to a life aboard

Great lifejackets for the kids! Depending on how small they are, I found I needed to modify existing jackets to make them fit tighter. I had a sailmaker build onto the jacket a safety harness so that I could just clip in the kids, even in the dinghy. Keep in mind that the most dangerous times are usually when you are relaxed around the marina or at anchor, because you aren't vigilant then. When my kids were little the only dangerous things that happened were when my son fell off a wharf as we were going to the dinghies, and when my daughter fell off a dock in front of the ice cream store. Both kids were around 3 when those things happened. But, being water kids they both popped right up and go ahold of something and weren't any worse for it. Moral of the story, is they should be playing in and getting used to the water and swimming as early as possible. We let them go out in small rowing dinghies as soon as they wanted to, even on their own, but within observation distance. Better they know how to handle things.
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Old 26-04-2013, 17:09   #5
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Re: moving to a life aboard

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Originally Posted by water babe View Post
I need input please, So here we go, we're planning on buying a larger boat and moving to the big blue. I'm a little nervous and super exited. we have 2 small children and will be homeschooling. so in preparation i'm looking to you guys to help me prep. what kind of stuff do I need that I prolly don't already have... what stuff do you consider important what are valued items? besides the lap top. any certain dishes, life vests... EVERYTHING just throw it all at me. better to have a hundred posts to read trough than to miss something important I have a feeling i'm going to be on here a lot
thanks everyone

Put netting ALL AROUND the boat. You'll have at least one opening gate, but you can net that too. Just make a frame of the right size from PVC pipe and attach the netting to that. You can actually hinge that gate with stout zip ties, and swing it out of the way when you need the gate to be open. Even when your children are very comfortable and secure onboard, they will still have friends. Your friends will have friends. Keep the kiddies onboard.

Make sure you have a ladder that can be EASILY deployed from the water -- by your children. Then practice it.

Also practice fire drills. A fire on a boat is a fire in a very small space. Your kids need to know how to open the ports and hatches and get themselves out from wherever they are.

Teach your children how to swim, and how to feel VERY safe in the water.

INSIST that they get on and off your boat and your dinghy calmly. No wild jumping from dock to pier. You don't need a child with a broken arm or leg in some small port town on an island you're not familiar with.

Start networking now with parents who home school. Once you're at sea, you'll have less opportunity to do that. Parents who have already homeschooled will have a LOT of tips for you.
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Old 26-04-2013, 18:09   #6
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Re: moving to a life aboard

Oh my gosh these are great! Keep'em comin'
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Old 26-04-2013, 18:15   #7
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

You "prolly" want to rethink homeschooling your children!
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Old 26-04-2013, 18:26   #8
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

Better home schooling than what they'll pick up in public school! Besides if you are on the move, you can take the classroom with you. My oldest is a high school science teacher in Canada and is a big fan of home schooling... says something about government run education systems! Phil
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Old 26-04-2013, 20:08   #9
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

"prolly" sorry ^_^ do as i say not as i do. call it vernacular
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Old 26-04-2013, 20:16   #10
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

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You "prolly" want to rethink homeschooling your children!

Ohh CaptForce, I'm a retired teacher. I taught in public schools. I believe in a strong public school system and the great service it provides for the entire community.

At the same time, I have seem home schooling done most excellently. You'd be surprised how outstanding it can be. The parents have to know their children. They have to have personalities that mesh well enough to do it.

It wouldn't have worked in our family, but it works very well in many families. And on a sailboat, traveling around - the possibilities are endless. This is one public school teacher who will not discourage this family from homeschooling if that is what they want.
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Old 26-04-2013, 20:18   #11
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

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Better home schooling than what they'll pick up in public school! Besides if you are on the move, you can take the classroom with you. My oldest is a high school science teacher in Canada and is a big fan of home schooling... says something about government run education systems! Phil
Well I'm going to disagree with that too (grin). The schools I taught in, and the schools my children attended, were mostly outstanding. but I have *also* seen homeschooling done well. I really don't recommend home schooling to escape public education. Do it for the benefits it brings. That's the only reason to do it IMO.
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Old 26-04-2013, 20:40   #12
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

Oh i think public schools can do great things, especially for children who are less fortunate! My children are so advanced already I can't see stopping it now. I'm so proud. It is such a beautiful thing to be able to teach your children.
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Old 27-04-2013, 05:32   #13
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

Water Babe, please excuse my quip! I'm probably too old to adapt to new internet slang. I'm sure home schooling can be successful, especially with online opportunities to follow a good program.

We raised our two children aboard from newborns to adults with much of that time at a marina while we were employed and frequent cruises to the Keys and the Bahamas. The caution that is most obvious is related to falling in the water, but here are a couple others that we noticed. I don't know how young your childre are, but infants and toddlers are at risk on a boat with those same dangers that are of concern with the construction of cribs and playpens. Be very careful with the use of nets and lines as barriers. They can result in choking or hanging on a rocking boat if the web spaces and attachments are not carefully planned. Also, before the children are old enough to manage the running rigging, make sure that they remain in safe areas of the cockpit and deck. A loop of a sheet can wrap around a child while flailing about before a sail fills and then become a taut snare. The same is true for lines spinning on winches and swinging booms. Running rigging can be a big risk.
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Old 27-04-2013, 05:40   #14
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

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Water Babe, please excuse my quip! I'm probably too old to adapt to new internet slang. I'm sure home schooling can be successful, especially with online opportunities to follow a good program.

We raised our two children aboard from newborns to adults with much of that time at a marina while we were employed and frequent cruises to the Keys and the Bahamas. The caution that is most obvious is related to falling in the water, but here are a couple others that we noticed. I don't know how young your childre are, but infants and toddlers are at risk on a boat with those same dangers that are of concern with the construction of cribs and playpens. Be very careful with the use of nets and lines as barriers. They can result in choking or hanging on a rocking boat if the web spaces and attachments are not carefully planned. Also, before the children are old enough to manage the running rigging, make sure that they remain in safe areas of the cockpit and deck. A loop of a sheet can wrap around a child while flailing about before a sail fills and then become a taut snare. The same is true for lines spinning on winches and swinging booms. Running rigging can be a big risk.

Yes. As to the netting, with small children I wouldn't even look at a boat that didn't have a perforated toe rail. I first put my netting on with zip ties, and then went back with cord and lashed it down very securely. I am counting on that netting keeping ME on the boat. I have a minor coordination problem I was born with that affects my legs, so when it gets rough, I go to my knees, and want to make sure I stay IN the lifelines. Double ditto for children!

With the toe rail, I can lash that netting down really tight, no gaps.

On the PVC pipe, you can drill holes as often as you want to hold the netting on. Then when I'm leaving on a sail, I swing those gates across, and lash them to the toe rail with easily cut zip ties for a short trip, but if I were going to be out to sea for a day or more, I would also tie IT down. You also have to lash it to the section of lifeline that goes across.

I put a cross section of PVC in the middle because my gates are long (on both sides) -- about 8 ft.

This will not keep small dogs or cats on the boat because there are places that can't be netted, such as the tip of the bow where your anchor is. Might work with dogs, but cats will jump over the netting or off the roller furler in a heartbeat.

If you're pushing or pulling the boat at the dock, the natural instinct for people not familiar with the boat is to push or pull on the PVC. If you tell them not to ... they get annoyed. That's just what happens. Nevertheless, it isn't their job to wreck your hard work!
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Old 27-04-2013, 06:11   #15
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Re: Moving to a Life Aboard

I'm not against the use of netting, but I never put any netting on my boats. My children remained in the cockpit when the deck was rolling or like any adult on board, they were with life vests and teathered harnesses on the high side (windward side) when going forward. We do have double lifelines and added low line at the stanchion bases, but no toe rail at all. I don't miss the toe rail, as I'm not typically on the leeward side. I had one occasion to rescue my daughter when she fell in when boarding the boat at the dock. She was two and with her mother on the day before my son was born. Nancie was not prepared to jump in for my daughter and I was called up from below. The outcome was good as my daughter had not hit the boat or dock while falling and she remained calm while I had her out in a brief moment. We did gybe and turn back to retrieve my son in the Bahamas when he was about ten. We were playing in a protected lagoon with a light breeze and smooth water and he was already a good swimmer. We picked him up with a "Jim Bouy" retrieval system,- lfie harness on a long floating line. This event would never have occurred in rough seas, because we would have been practicing a different protocol, ...vests, harnesses, teathers, etc. After our children were adults and gone, we did lose our dog without notice and sailed back on our course to look for him. Fortunately, he had been seen and picked up by another boat. We often teather the dog too, now. I had some suggest that we could put up netting for the dog, but, as we didn't net for our children, I can't see doing it for our dog. I think our dog is wiser now too, as he's been cruising with us for eleven years! Once again, 'not against netting, 'just not our choice.
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