(from somewhere in the pacific) in the Successful Paths for Cruising Couples” thread:
can't buy time and happiness
In my experience I've noticed a distinct pattern regarding unhappy spouses and unhappy kids.
(note: if it annoys you when people get REALLY offtopic in their posts you probably want to skip this one)
It's easy to want to make your crew as relatively comfortable as possible (or as much as you can afford). The simple fact of the matter is that a studio apartment with all the amenities of land living will be vastly more luxurious in the end than even a 56' Oyster
I think captains need to be forthright with their crews about what they're getting themselves into -- which is a challange in most situations because the crew probably knows about as much about blue-water sailing as the captain
in the beginning.
I think many cases of unhappiness of crew can be attributed to coddling. As this keeps happening the crew is never allowed to fully acclimate and accept their situation -- in the end they are living and sailing on a yacht and no matter what they're never going to have it the same way as they did on land. Considering that many cruisers have been very successful at some career, leading to all the trimmings (nice car, big house etc) the situation is only compounded.
This really applies to the situation of kids onboard, especially teenagers. We spent almost all our time across the south pacific
with the 'kid boat' set (we always just wound up in the same place at same time) so I was able to do a little research
everyday -- after all we've thought a lot about having a kid onboard since we started out so this was our oppurtunity to see everything in action.
Kids need to get the point early on the cruising life that they're now living on a boat and that you as the parent are calling the shots and have their best interests in mind. There are good things and bad things in this situation (more good than bad) and they need to make the best of it. We've seen so many American and Canadian yachts which try to make up for shortcomings and keep the kids from complaing (or worse, crying 'child-abuse' to their relatives -- did I metion how f*cking crazy teenagers are?) by adding more and more gear
like PlayStations, laptops and playstations.
It was always obvious which boats had kids that had made ti into the 'groove' of the cruising life -- the kids were always either in the water
or onshore causing trouble (as kids should be doing) somewhere. Kids are a total sponge for new experiences and can really thrive with the right approach.
The other thing to just instill in your crew's life as much as possible is that cruising is by no means an easy life -- but it is a good life.
issue #47 (March/April) of "Good Old Boat"
magazine has an interesting article, "GROWING UP AFLOAT" by Theresa Fort
, wherein a long-time voyager examines the effects of cruising on kids.