Originally Posted by deckofficer
Olivergm, it sounds like you have given it a lot of thought. .
Edit: please see post after this as i missed the OPs new plan, but take this post for what it is, a concenred parent advising another parent...
I apologise in advance for the directness that is about to come....
I have to totally disagree with the above statement. The OP has most definitely not given it a lot of thought. What he has thought about is his needs in acquiring a boat, what he hasn't thought about or I can't see in this thread anyway, is how he is going to sail with two small children
The advice in this thread I also find generally itrresponsible with regards to his original question. I wonder which posters in this thread have actually done blue water
miles with toddlers besides myself? The only good advice I have seen is one I initially ridiculed, the advice from Barnie to hire crew.
My wife and I have done 12k miles with our two little ones including sailing fond cape of hope, crossing the southern Atlantic and sailing up the coast of brazil
. I however had well over 70k miles both professional and pleasure before I took my kids sailing.
I don't think you need that much experience to sail safely with you kids but you do need to take it slow.
I guess what is chaffing me is that the primary concern here seems to be how you will get to go on the arc
and not really the original question - is it crazy to do the arc with kids...
Let's talk some basic facts
1. In an emergency
situation it is extremely difficult to get small children
off a boat without hurting them, ask a SAR as I have
2. Small children tend to not survive very long in life rafts due to heat loss and exposure, in addition to the difficulties of getting them into them safely
3. Most deaths involving children happen while the boat is in a marina
4. Most non fatal injuries to children happen in coastal waters
5. Have you thought how you are going to secure your children should you and your wife need to both be on deck
6. How about in bad weather
? A lee berth is often not safe enough and the child may panic and try to climb out further injuring themselves
7. Seasickness? Small children dehydrate very very quickly and emergencies escalate in less than 24 hours
8. Have you spoken with a doctor about the basic medical
skills and medicines you should posses to enable you to care for your children?
9. Buddy boating
is not as safe as it sounds. What it primarily offers is radio
contact and advice from other cruisers while making passage
. You should disabuse yourself of the notion that in bad weather
should an emergency
arrive that another boat will be able to save you.
10. The ARC has been known to set sail in weather windows that while safe would be less optimal than I would choose
These are just the emergency and extreme events
I could write a novel on the day to day needs like how are you going to deal with nappies? How about watch schedules, entertain,ent? Harness and tethers? Food
Is it all doable? Of course. Is it doable by you? Of course. Is it doable in the manner you are talking about in the time frame you are talking about? Possibly, but I wouldn't do it and I would question the motivation of any parent who did.
My concern here is that you are being driven by your needs and are going to set yourself up with an unrealistic time schedule to prep yourself and you boat for what is vastly more important...
...your children's needs and safety
Couple small tips for safety
1. Each child needs a car seat. There need to be attachment points on the boat for those seats. Ideally there should be one set in the same area as the pilot berths, the other should be where you can see them from the cockpit
. This allows you in really bad weather to secure them and also allows you in situations where you both may need to be on deck
, like a sail change or anchoring
, you can strap them in and still see them. We rarely needed to do the latter but it is nice to have the option.
2. All the lifelines
should be netted. You should also have cables
with quick release pelican hooks across the stern with nets. Basically make the boat secure to prevent falling off.
3. You should install extra pad eyes in the bottom of the cockpit
that allow the children general freedom to roam there but keeps them from being able to go on deck
4. A secure place to hold the, to change nappies
5. Consider installing handholds at heights they can reach
Sorry for the bluntness, I just feel that the general "go now" consensus of this forum is not appropriate in this particular situation and you should really slow down and consider your motivations and skill sets...