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Boat trip: guide to enjoying these moments with your children

Written on : 20 September 2017
Enjoying your family vacation on a boat

Enjoying your family vacation on a boat

Depending on where you want to go, a boat trip, or even a cruise, can be a very interesting option. For a relaxing and adventure filled holiday, a boat ride is always a wonderful moment that will mark the minds of all. You will sail with your family, with your children. This moment will be an unforgettable memory! But family sailing requires anticipation, preparation and precautions.

Sailing on a sailboat, for a day or a weekend, is a time when time slows down, when the earthly world seems to move away, without noise, without agitation. On a sailboat, time does not have the same meaning, it seems so much to stop that it gives you the impression, when you return to the mainland, to be gone for weeks.

These moments are even more intense when they are shared as a family. You are passionate about the sea, sailboats and always wanted to introduce your passion to your spouse, your children. In order that this first voyage, and all the others, should proceed, precautions must be taken. For security, of course, but also to allow everyone to make the most of this journey.

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1. Security

1. Security

The briefing

The boat, and even more the sailboat, is a place of pleasure but also of danger. The whole crew must be aware of this. A brief on the equipment, the storage of the boat and what not to do during a navigation is essential. On a sailboat, the crew must be aware of the efforts exerted by the wind and the sea, the winches, the boom, the intercepts. Before boarding, think about sunscreen, bezel, caps and... jackets. It's colder at sea. The important thing is information, and the transmission of information. Parents should enquire from professionals they rent from. A pedagogical work will be necessary for children and adolescents. This will help to build confidence and involve them.

In navigation

The children running the most danger are the smallest. From 3 years old, they start to take insurance, want to go everywhere and this is where the accident can happen. For this reason, the lifejacket must be systematic for ALL the crew. The big ones show the example.

The waistcoat should be worn all the time, even in port, on the boat or pontoons, or vigilance may be lacking.

During the manoeuvres, for their safety, and that of the boat, the children must stay in the cabin of the boat. In addition to preserving them from an accident, this will avoid stress, cries and the risk of missing a manoeuvre. You must adapt your navigation to your family. This implies that the boat should be stowed (no tools or risk of falling equipment) but also that you will not be able to do anything you want (to leave the asymmetrical spinnaker, to do close tight,...).

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2. Savour the suspended time

2. Savour the suspended time

The other precaution is to anticipate boredom. As we have seen, time on a sailboat is no longer the same. For children, staying on a small space of life, without running and without the right to touch anything, can be burdensome and a source of boredom. If you want navigation to be a time of shared pleasure, you must anticipate activities and adapt your programme.

Plan for a specific programme. Go on an island, have fun racing, avoid sailing more than 5 hours in a row, and plan regular stops... As part of a multi-day cruise, with longer sailing, children will be able to run, play at the beach, meet other children. The younger children sleep easily at sea. The sound of the waves and the movement of the boat lull them. When they arrive at an age where the nap is no longer as regular. It is advisable to leave them a place of freedom. The deck of the boat being a place that is forbidden, it is advisable to reserve them a space inside the boat. This can be a cabin, ideally, reserved for them. They can create their world, unpack toys and books without prohibitions.

Saving the freedom and relaxation offered by navigation is not always obvious to children, especially the first time. Apart from seasickness, the absence of usual landmarks may be destabilising. So remember to recreate a reassuring space, while initiating them little by little to the pleasure of navigation.

And why not introduce them to the art of savouring seas and oceans through water sports? Some destinations, such as Essaouira in Morocco, are particularly suitable, even from your boat.

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