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Old 04-08-2012, 14:25   #1
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Bareboating the BVI's with children

Just completed 12 days bareboat charter aboard 38' cat out of Tortola with four and seven year old grand daughters,their parents, us grandparents + nanny (college swimmer and lifeguard experience).

Advice for taking (smaller) kids on boats:

1. Kid's own agenda trumps that of adults, so be flexible
2. Kid's safety paramount, so practice your "child overboard" drill early on
and make sure all aboard can calmly do their job in a crisis situation.
3. Kids do better than adults when living in tight quarters, just keep them
fed and see that they sleep OK.
4. Kids cherish the proximity to family and the small scale of the boat
5. Life jackets mandatory when on deck and boat underway
6. Water safety competent nanny well worth the extra expense.
7. Sun protection mandatory (Australian style beachwear is good)
8. Shore night or two mid trip good for adults who need break from boat
9. Shore night on day of arrival and also night before flying back home is
good idea to allow boat check out, provisioning, boat return, customs
clearing, etc. without stressing family. You also can rid yourself of sand.

Bottom line: If your kids (and you) can survive a child overboard, and you are boat competent to retrieve the child, then by all means enjoy the family experience of sailing together. Otherwise defer until they are swim competent teens and can be trusted to behave safely while underway.
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Old 04-08-2012, 14:31   #2
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Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
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Re: Bareboating the BVI's with children

I've run a lot of charters for families with kids. Many parents express concerns before the charter about having their kids aboard, but I find that kids do great aboard a boat -- often better behaved than they are ashore.
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Old 19-02-2013, 07:08   #3
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Re: Bareboating the BVI's with children

Originally Posted by JakeofSig View Post
The key word
Sailing With Kids Blog
Three mini-pirates scour the Caribbean Seas with stops for ice cream and legos
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