Family Sailing Holidays
by an author called Nick

If you always dreamed of family sailing holidays before you had children and you think that your life will continue to be the same and you will be able to still do all the things you did before, just maybe not for a few years, or maybe with a little bit of an adjustment. 

This is a great attitude to have and by far the most positive.

However, you will come across a huge number of people who think that you are insane and spend the whole of your first pregnancy telling you that you have no idea what a shock you are in for. 

Well, there isn’t any need to listen to these people, stay positive, plan carefully and follow your dream

Is it Safe to Sail with Children?

So is it safe to take your children on a family sailing holiday from an early age? Firstly, it is important to remember that all children are different.

You will have heard this phrase a lot, but until you have a child, or sometimes not until you have a second will you realize how true this is.

When your child is very young and not even rolling over, then you can pretty much do and go anywhere you like. The only concern at this age is keeping them away from unnecessary illness and disease. 

This will not be a problem if you are considering a family sailing holiday. If considering sailing with young babies you will need very little. It is best to try and choose easy temperatures, not to hot and not too cold.

Also try to choose a destination where the sailing is on an easy breeze such as around the Greek islands, and calmer coastal waters rather than the ravages of more turbulent seas.

Babies on Family Sailing Holidays:

It is advisable to have a good baby carrier. For this you are probably better off with one of the fabric slings rather than a structured sling. The fabric slings stop your baby from overheating as they are all cotton, and they are also more comfortable, for adult and baby, if the baby sleeps in them.

If you are looking at going on a family sailing holiday with toddlers you are setting your self a much harder challenge.

Some toddlers are very cautious and careful, yet accidents can always happen. This is probably the most dangerous age to take sailing and probably not recommended for sailing where you are planning on staying on the boat.

At this age it is probably best to have accommodation on land and then to head out for the odd day trips. This means that if you all start to find it too stressful you can spend some days doing other things, and the holiday will not be ruined. If you commit yourself to staying on a yacht you are limiting your options. 

Once your child is school age then you will find that it is all different. They will tell you if they are scared or uncomfortable, it is great for kids to learn to sail too. They will be able to participate and they will understand danger much better.

It is still worth keeping a few other options up your sleeve as you may find that your child suddenly decides that they don’t want to be on the water all the time.

So don’t forget your dreams of family sailing holidays, just keep it realistic and prove all those doubters wrong. 

Some Extra Tips:

In addition to Nick’s views I would have to add just a few points from families I have met who have brought up children as cruising live aboard sailors or have done extensive sailing holidays with children.

  • Safety 1st no matter what age! There are very good life jackets and harnesses especially designed for children of any age and size never let them into the cockpit or the deck without protecting them, especially when sailing.
  • When very young give them their own space with lots of their favourite toys in a plastic box, make a safe area for them with lots of pillows in case of a tumble.
  • Teach them and let them participate; let them learn dinghy sailing as soon as they are old enough. And then teach them and let them participate when on a bigger boat.
  • If you are blue water sailing to land falls with a different culture this can be a fantastic learning experience for children of all ages. Do some homework with the children on the area before hand.
  • If it is a 3rd world or poorer area teach the children how to batter swapping pencils, school books and t-shirts and the like for fresh fruit and veggies. Or spices and carvings that they can sell back home at the markets for cruising pocket money.
  • When on family sailing holidays always make it fun whether on the water or exploring on land! And just like the video below shows what an amazing education it is for children.  Watch and see ...... and then if you've caught the bug calculate the cost!

Enjoy time on the water with your family and stay safe! 

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