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Old 24-07-2013, 17:47   #1
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Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old


We are in the very early stages of preparing to cruise with our two daughters in three years. They will be 3 and 4 years old when we leave. Iím looking for any resources, advice, and experience from others who have sailed with children at this age.
Laura
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Old 04-08-2013, 17:16   #2
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

Boating time before cruising helps. Our 3 children have been boating since each was a few weeks old. In 2008, we began full time cruising (when they were 4, 6, and 9 yrs) and the transition was easy. Much depends in individual personalities and family dynamics; so again, spending time on the water before casting off can be insightful of how it’ll go later. We have much documented about cruising with kids, on our blog www.sv-totem.com . If you have specific questions, send a PM. Jamie
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Old 04-08-2013, 17:45   #3
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

Both our children were on board as newborns and cruising with us until they left as adults. I could do better at specific advice with specific questions, but I'll toss out a couple of things. 1) We became adept with assigning and communicating the responsibility as to which parent was "on duty" in regards to the observation and safety of the children. 2) We developed very specific rules as to when and where the children would wear life vests and what locations were out of bounds in regards to the dangers of running rigging. 3) We gave our children an "ownership" in the operation of our vessel,- at the helm, operating the systems, navigation, etc. in increments that were compatible with their age and skills. 4) Our children had their own space within our vessel that, by ages 7 & 9. were sectioned off as their own private cabins.
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Old 04-08-2013, 18:48   #4
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When you learn what works let us know! We are in our fourth month cruising with a three year old and it is not always easy.

You need plenty of patience and expect every thing to take twice as long. If possible, I take the boy off the boat for a walk or dinghy ride every morning and every afternoon.

We have a kids harness and tether from West Marine that the boy wears on deck, in the dink and on docks.

We also have an Android tablet loaded with a half a dozen movies at a time. Sometime we just need to close the hatch and ignore the boy when we attend to important things on deck.

Expect your kids to urgently need you whenever the boat urgently needs both hands on deck!!
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Old 04-08-2013, 19:25   #5
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

We have two girls, currently six months and three years, onboard. We've lived on our boat for maybe seven years now.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:12   #6
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

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Originally Posted by svTOTEM View Post
. We have much documented about cruising with kids, on our blog www.sv-totem.com . If you have specific questions, send a PM. Jamie
Hi Jamie,

Just wanted to say thanks for all the great information you and Behan provide. I've been following your adventures since you left Bali and really enjoy hear about it all.

Andy
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:43   #7
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

As our kids get older and we get further into our plan, especially after purchasing the boat, I know I will have more specific questions. But for now, it is comforting/encouraging to know that there are other families out there cruising with children, so it can work! I’ll be checking out all the websites over the coming months/years. And I’m sure asking lots of questions!
We currently have a Catalina 25 and we plan on getting the girls on that boat as much as possible in order to get them comfortable being on the water and start establishing boating rules.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:30   #8
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

It always seemed ironic to me that our son, around age 6, had a favorite pastime of tying a toy plastic boat on a string and dragging it behind our vessel
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:52   #9
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

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It always seemed ironic to me that our son, around age 6, had a favorite pastime of tying a toy plastic boat on a string and dragging it behind our vessel
mine have developed more expensive passtimes,and selective hearing
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Old 21-12-2013, 02:41   #10
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

Agree with all of the above advice...

Specifically big doses of patience, and realising things take longer. All our cruising friends would typically have been for a kayak, swim, snorkel, caught fish, cooked it/ate it and be reading a book in the time it would take us to get up do some laundry and get everyone and everything into the tender...

This is of course true of young kids on land as well, so i'm not sure that cruising makes it harder, perhaps it just is what it is?

You find your own pattern, good suggestions above about rules and boundaries and agree with sometimes needing to have them below and safe somewhere to tend to the boat.

A good sense of humour and remembering to breathe and smile helps, especially after your toddler has dismantled the wheelpilot DONT ASK.
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Old 21-12-2013, 04:49   #11
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Re: Cruising with 3 and 4 Year Old

We started full time cruising with our 2 at ages 2 and 4, they are now 5 and 8. You can see our blog www.homeschoolahoy.com
Could not think of a better way to spend time with our kids and expose them to an amazing lifestyle. Suits us very well anyway.
Good luck
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