5 tips for having a stress-free sailing experience with kids

By Kanika from SamBoat - February 17, 2022

Sailing with children can help you bond and create unforgettable experiences with them, as long as the right safety measures are taken! Below you will find the ultimate tips for stress-free sailing with kids.

Before setting sail

Tip 1: Choose the right destination 

Before setting sail, plan the route and the destinations well. Some may not be safe to sail with children, either because of sea currents or strong winds. Choosing the ideal destination for you and your kids is the first step! If you don’t know which locations to choose, we have a guide with 10 dream destinations to sail safely with your family. 

Tip 2: Talk to your kids before the journey

It is important to calmly explain l what a boat trip is all about. You know your children and their personality better than anyone, and you know what rules to set in advance to ensure they are aware of what they can and cannot do onboard the boat. It will help you to avoid possible safety issues.

Some basic rules:

  • Life jackets and harnesses must be worn. 
  • Keep your hands away from the winches.
  • One hand for the boat and one hand for yourself.
  • Children must give notice if they are going to go on deck alone.
  • No running on the deck

Safety onboard

Tip 3: Safety comes first

It seems obvious, but it bears repeating, always make sure your children are wearing life jackets and if possible the harnesses too. You never know what situations may arise, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Remember to take a first aid kit with you, including any medicines required by the children, e.g. to avoid sickness or a slight cold. Last but not least, bring sunscreen! Children love activities in broad daylight, and the sun can cause short and long term damage. Make sure you apply them a good amount before they start their activities. 

Get your children involved in sailing

Tip 4: Make your child part of the crew

Children can feel left out when we don’t involve them in activities. We may think that they are not capable of performing important tasks, but you will be surprised at the capacity that children have to learn. Include them in the tasks performed whilst sailing, it will make them feel important and part of the crew. You can teach them how to identify where the wind is coming from and how it affects the boat. An important skill to learn is the use of the VHF radio, show your child how to communicate and how to react in case something important happens onboard the boat.

Entertainment onboard

Tip 5: Don’t forget that kids love to have fun 

You may think that having fun on boats can be limited because it is such a compact and “unsafe” space. But that is not the case! Before setting sail, tell your children to bring their favourite toys. Make sure that they are boat-friendly. Once on the boat, assign a play area to be free and safe. Don’t forget about the activities that you can do outside the boat. Kids love outdoor activities and if you are at sea swimming is the best.

Extra tip: Have fun!

Sailing as a family helps to create stronger bonds. Enjoy your kids while sailing. Teach them that sailing is an incredible activity! But rules need to be followed for it to be safe. Now you have some tips stress-free sailing with kids!

Having babies on board is another story! Make sure you have all you need for a stress-free sailing with your baby

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