Boating With Children Recreational family boating is a great way to spend time with your children. There are many tasks that can be assigned to youngsters to teach responsibility and being out in nature provides endless lessons for the young boater. Nonetheless, if youngsters are going to be joining you, ...
Boating With Children
Recreational family boating is a great way to spend time with your children. There are many
tasks that can be assigned to youngsters to teach responsibility and being out in nature
provides endless lessons for the young boater. Nonetheless, if youngsters are going to be
joining you, there are a few features to at least consider when purchasing family boats.
You will probably want to have a boat with a cuddy cabin – space below where children can rest
and/or get out of the sun. These can be good places for them to play also when they get bored
as children almost always inevitably do.
A child’s life jacket is very important and differs from the adult model in a few ways. When
buying a life jacket for your child, get a good one with a collar that turns a child face up in the
water. It must have strong waist and crotch straps, a handle on the collar, and preferably be a
bright yellow or orange color for good visibility. Attach a plastic safety whistle to the lifejacket
and teach the child how to use the whistle, and practice using it.
Because the life jacket can mean the difference between rescue and tragedy, you really need to
pay special attention to getting one that will fit your child correctly and keep them safe. Here are
some considerations you must address when picking out a life vest for your child.
Check with your state to find out what the mandatory age is for life vests. Some states say that
children 6 and under must wear a life vest all the time while others have different age limitations.
Even if the child you have on board your boat is older than your state’s mandatory age, it’s still a
good idea to have ALL children on the boat wear a life vest all the time.
Believe it or not, the type of water you are on can make a difference in which life vest you
choose for a child. Type II vests are made for lakes, bays, and oceans. PWC vests are more
for shallow water conditions.
Infants (up to 30 pounds) should have a life vest with a hinged collar, a strong grab loop, and a
sturdy plastic zipper and belt around the waist.
How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience
For children from 5-10 years old weighing 50-90 pounds, you can choose a smaller version of
the adult Type II vest depending on their size. Just be sure it fits well and even test it out to be
sure the vest will do its job in case of an emergency.
Pack a cooler with lots of fluids like water and juices (such as apple or grape), baby bottles and
sippy cups. Being out in the sun for extended periods of time, children and adults get
dehydrated quickly. Stay away from sodas, because they contain sodium and can make you
more dehydrated. Pack snacks that are not too salty or too sweet.
Even if you don’t have infants, take a diaper bag or a backpack with extra changes of clothes,
and make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Bring plastic bags to keep wet things
away from dry things.
Depending on how much time you will spend on the water, your child may need a nap. Bring a
small blanket or some towels and a small pillow and prepare a cozy place for them like in a
cuddy cabin or a makeshift tent.
How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience
Boating Etiquette For Guests
As a guest, there are a lot of things you can do that can not only bring about some good
feelings, but also go a long way toward making things easier for the host or hostess. These are
little things that can really mean a lot in the long run!
Offer to chip in some money for fuel. Gas can get expensive for a boat and the owner of the
boat is already responsible for the everyday costs associated with boat ownership. Offer to pay
for gas and your friend will appreciate you for it!
Think about bringing along food. If you’re on a day outing, a simple picnic lunch will suffice. For
overnight trips, you may take care of all dinners and let the host have lunch. Either way,
bringing along food is a great goodwill gesture.
Help out whenever and wherever you can. But be sure to ask first. Show some interest in what
the skipper is doing and have him or her instruct you on proper procedures.
During docking, be still. It seems like every time a boat gets close to the dock, you see people
gathering up their belongings, moving about and getting ready to debark. This can be
distracting to the skipper, so just sit tight until the boat is moored.
Have the skipper of the boat let you know about safety procedures, if you don’t know them
already, and point out where safety equipment is located. If anything should happen to the pilot,
it’s a good idea for at least one guest to know how to summon for help.