Is sailing with children safe?
Many parents dream of getting away from the daily stress and relaxing in warm countries. Often there is a concern in their minds as to whether taking their child with them on a yacht is the right move. Will we provide the right conditions and safety for the child? Will the child enjoy this form of holiday?
It all depends on the age, disposition and temperament of our child. Theoretically, even toddlers can sail. On luxury seagoing yachts, conditions are much better than, for example, on small inland boats, so when it comes to hygiene, there will certainly be no problem. An infant is not a big problem, the whole cruise can sleep safely below deck. The problem arises with children who start crawling and walking. However, there is a very simple way to deal with this. It is compulsory for children to wear lifejackets, which are adapted to their height and weight. At the crew’s request, the charter company will equip the boat with a safety net and a life line to protect the child from falling overboard. Such amenities allow the child to move freely on board without much restriction, and parents to reduce the stress of worrying about their child drowning.
If our child is very energetic and does not always listen to our instructions, it is important to consider whether he or she will listen to the skipper’s commands. It is very common for children who are not in their nature to obey their parents’ orders to listen to the skipper’s orders because he has authority with them and they want to learn as much as possible from him. In this case, the children willingly obey the rules of sailing.
What if my child has a seasickness?
If this is the case, it is likely to experience discomfort on the boat as well. The administration of popular motion sickness medication to suppress nausea may prove salutary here. If your child starts to feel unwell, keep him or her occupied with something to distract him or her. It is important that the toddler is then on the deck and not underneath the deck, as it is then easier to control the vagus. Wrist patches and tourniquets, which work on the principle of acupressure, can also be helpful. It is also worth remembering that the vagus usually only goes “crazy” at the beginning of a voyage. If your child feels nauseous on the first day, do not despair! On the second or third day, he or she will probably get used to the swaying and the discomfort will pass.
Won’t the children be bored during a full-day swim?
NO! Despite appearances, toddlers love working on a yacht – washing the deck, learning knots and shanties. They are also keen to soak up knowledge of clouds, navigation, charts and all the equipment on the yacht. If the wind permits, they can even try to steer on their own (with proper assistance and coordination, of course). It is very important to establish all responsibilities, prohibitions and orders before the cruise, e.g. no standing on the ropes. Of course, the itinerary for a cruise with children is planned differently to one with only adults. It is then planned so that the sailing itself does not exceed four hours. This is not much, but when you add in stops, swimming and games, it makes for an exciting day. The choice of stopping places is also different. Fortunately for the little ones, more and more marinas are being adapted to accommodate the youngest sailors – Italian, French, Greek and Turkish marinas have playgrounds, swimming pools and courts.
A child on a yacht? WHY NOT!
We do not know a child who would not like to sail, so do not let this idea stop you!
It all depends on your attitude, the standard of the boat and a meticulously planned trip in advance. If you decide to take your child on board with you, you can be sure that in a few years or so, he or she will thank you for it, because sailing sucks in everyone who gets a taste of it at least once 🙂