Cruising With Kids


Cruising With Kids

A place to discuss the good and the bad of cruising and living aboard with kids

Members: 37
Latest Activity: Nov 29, 2013

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Comment by C Noftsker on October 8, 2012 at 2:32pm

I'm not sure how much activity this website has, but we are on board a 43 ft Slokum in Banderas Bay. Our 6 yr old son is attending school here in Mexico for about another month. Then we'll start sailing South to South America. We will homeschool during our time underway.  Any other boat kids in the area, feel free to write to us and check out our blog - 

Comment by Marco Garcia on October 14, 2009 at 4:05am
Congratulations John!, it sounds like you have prepared your kids well. My 9 and 7 yo are excited about taking watches and steering the boat, and hopefully will get to do it next week (boat should be back on the water then). They took sailing lessons with the Optimist youth sailing program of the government this year, on their own initiative, so at least they seem to be motivated.
Comment by John Marston on October 13, 2009 at 8:24pm
Strong finish this season with my 10 and 12 year old girls. I told them that they had to draw on everything that they'd learned in "all their years at sea" and sail from Deer Harbor to Friday Harbor, WA - I would be on board just to watch.

"Whaaaat?? We can't - "
"You've done everything, at one point or another," I said reassuringly. "Now you just have to put it all together in the right order."

The oldest was surprised how quickly the outboard pull started. They untied and shoved the boat away then motored into the wind. They raised the sails, killed the motor, and were quickly making their first tacks in about 10-15kt wind. Pretty soon it was obvious that they were in control. So much so they ordered me down below to make lunch, clean the galley and take a nap, which I did. Love the role reversal!

A few hours later, they were fighting strong tides and decided to lower the sails and fire up the motor to get into the guest dock at our destination, which all went smoothly. They even tied it up to the surprise of all the onlookers.

We celebrated with some great Mexican food at Dos Diablos. You wouldn't believe the smoked pepperocinis. Nice!

School is well underway now. The first weekend they had free, guess what they wanted to do? I think I've got my crew picked out for the next few years.
Comment by Scott Kelloway on October 13, 2009 at 7:29pm
I've been sailing for 25 years. I avidly into raceing for the for the first 20 years. then as my children started growing in number and age I decided to get a cruising boat. As it turns out I've never enjoyed sailing more! The three kids have varied opinions on the sailing. My oldest is OK with it now that we have a slightly bigger boat (33' pearson) and he has some private space of his own. My 10 yo son would live on board if we let him. and my daughter varies in opinion from having fun, to endless complaints.... She is a very social young lady and all would be great if there were just some other kids her age around..I wish you folks were closer, you sound great. I'm really glad to hear from folks like you and congratulations on the boat. Just take it slow it is all a learning curve, but in time you'll get more confortable and venture out further. Maby we'll find ourselves down your way sometime. Please drop us a line if you ever find yourselves up this way! Scott
Comment by Aquamarine on October 13, 2009 at 7:16pm
Hi Scott. My husband and I have 2 kids, a daughter almost 10 and a son almost 8. We just started sailing this year and are located on the New Jersey Shore. Our boat went in the water in July so we had a short season this year, but we plan to do some cruising next year. We are still gaining experience so we hope to at least get to NY Harbor and Block Island. Another point of interest is the Chesapeake Bay. How long have you been sailing?
Comment by Scott Kelloway on October 13, 2009 at 2:55pm
I cruise the North Shore of New England out of Salem Mass. with my wife and 3 kids. 2 boys 13 and 10, and a daughter 9. We are looking for other cruising families to plan some cruises with next year. We plan to visit the cape, and possibly Main, and well as our weekend trips to Boston Harbor, and North shore. Please contact me if you know of other families with children as it is always more fun for the kids if they have friends to play with. And lets face it, if the kids are happy, the parents are happy! SK
Comment by Marco Garcia on April 29, 2009 at 2:15am
Hi all,

Regarding the kids education

Our 4 kids are all one or two years apart from each other (9 to 4). We have settled for the calvert curriculum, although we don't plan to be extremely strict on it and will expand with other material as necessary. It seems that if we are careful, we'll be able to pass the material from the older to the younger ones, which would obviously save us some money. We have also checked the non-schooling approach, but it seems a little too loose and random to me. I think it helps to have some solid (even if not necessarily good) material to measure the progress of the kids. Any one care to comment about the non-schooling approach? It has its appeals...
Comment by Marco Garcia on March 30, 2009 at 7:31am
Hi All, introducing myself to the cruising with kids group:

We are currently in the Seychelles. I have a land (if you can call it that here) job as a marine biologist, but we are moving to full-time cruising in march next year. We have been island-hoping around Seychelles for the past 5 years, so our boat (a 46' kurt reinke design in steel) has been kept fairly spartan in terms of amenities. I’m now in the process of refitting the boat for long-term cruising. This, among other things, involves adding refrigeration (engine-driven and electrical compressors), a water maker (designed by myself with ideas from several sources), diving compressor, and rebuilding the interior of the forward cabin, so the kids would have proper bunks. The list of things to do was long and keeps getting longer :-).

We have 4 kids aged 9,7,6 and 4 (the girl). We are taking the kids out of school after this term is finished (july), so they get started in the home-schooling process and likely will be partially living-aboard in just a few more months. We plan to be fulltime live-aboard before the end of the year, with progressively longer stays in the outer islands and shorter stays in our home town. We are trying to make the change as progressive as possible, so the kids don’t get too much of a shock.

The kids seem to be very excited about the idea of going cruising, exploring new cultures and places, and they already have a list of places that we must visit. We’ll start cruising Chagos, Maldives and SE Asia, but after that we’ll see. I approach this as an experiment, we’ll need to see how the kids adapt to this life style and how we, the parents, will adapt to having them on us 24/7, and the responsibility of home-schooling them. My wife and I used to live-aboard on our boat in the San Diego area longtime ago, but then we didn’t have kids screaming, running and fighting all around :-).
Comment by Shannon Oakes on September 30, 2008 at 9:19pm
Our family (Shannon, Ben, Samantha & Tabitha) is sailing on Cayuga Lake, NY. We just bought a Hunter 28 this year and are new to sailing. We have aspirations to keep learning and eventually venture out of the Finger Lakes and someday take an extended trip on board! I am interested in hearing how other families do this, especially since it was a challenging year with a 1 year old that HATES her lifejacket and is just crawling. I am in amazement that some families are out traveling the world!
Comment by Dan Callinan on August 11, 2008 at 4:36pm
My wife and two kids, boy (4) and girl (7), are in the planning stages of a two year family sailing sabatical beginning in 2010. Very interested in hearing from families who have cruised with kids or who are in the planning process themselves. We have a huge amount of respect for anyone who has ventured by sailboat to foreign lands with their children and hope to gain from their experiences and knowledge. Will keep the group posted of our developments.

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