You may question whether it is a good idea to bring children along on a yacht charter in Vancouver, and you would be right to give it some serious consideration for many reasons. There is safety to consider and the worry that being cooped up will cause boredom for the young ones resulting in stress for the adults. However, there are more reasons to take them along with you, as long as you plan and take necessary precautions. There are four key things to contemplate beforehand:
- Safety on board
Discussing the safety rules of a charter before the trip is a must. The children must be briefed as to where the safety equipment is (such as life jackets and other floatation aids), and how to use it. This may seem daunting, but actually, kids love to play pirate, and adore boats. They will really enjoy the learning experience as they will see it as an important part of their role on board. Children love to be given ownership over things, and feel a part of it all. Rule enforcement will be necessary, but you can do it in such a way that is fun, engaging, and not at all dictatorial. The main safety rules are:
- Always wear a life jacket when outside of the cockpit (for young ones it is best that they have their own special life jacket to ensure that it fits correctly)
- Never leave the boat without informing an adult
- Do not go to the front of the boat without telling an adult
- The skipper is the boss, and his word must always be followed
- You do not run on the boat, or play rough
- It is advised to always swim with a buddy
- Parents to take it in turns to be on safety watch – consider making a schedule
- DO NOT mention sharks – it will cause unnecessary fright
If travelling with toddlers or babies there are a few other things you need to take into consideration. A car carry seat will be of use to place the baby when you are busy getting the yacht ready. Baby slings may also be of use as this means your hands will be kept free for other tasks whilst your baby is still snug and safe. For toddlers, netting to enclose open space at the sides of a vessel can be provided, but you still need eyes in the back of your head.
2. Cruising planning
Planning the type of cruise, and the type of journey is always important but more so when you have young ones to consider. You may want to look at making the sailing distances short, incorporating more stopovers, and choosing a boat that is more suitable for little ones. Catamarans are great for kids as they offer lots of inside play space, and also they do not rock back and forward too much which can make children sickly. Instead of doing four hour trips maybe do two hour trips with stop offs on the beach to allow the little ones to stretch their legs on shore for a while.
Good provisioning is vital for a successful trip. Prepare medicine, snacks and beach and water toys for the children to make sure they have plenty to keep them amused. There are usually options to rent kayaks, paddle boards, or other water equipment that allows them a certain amount of freedom. Snorkelling equipment always provides a big win, and can keep children amused for hours, but it is important to ensure they know how to use it correctly before plunging into the sea. Depending on your destination you will also need to ensure you are prepared for the elements. Sunscreen, loose clothing, hats and shades are all necessary in the heat of the sun. Layers and Vaseline for those chapped lips are required for colder conditioners. Bottled water must also be in ample supply.
4. Living on board
Let children know the important on board positioning of things such as the toilet, the engine room, the safety equipment store, and the emergency communications equipment. A good little rule to remind children is that nothing should go down the loo unless you have eaten it first. Children will love the art and the science of sailing, include them when studying charts, using the instruments, and let them help with small tasks such as using the winch button for the anchor. This will help them feel connected to their environment, and respect it all the more, as well as enjoy it. You may also want to consider picking up some literature on the inhabitants of the water that will be surrounding you. Children love to learn about the wildlife in their environment and it’s a great way to spend time.
Finding the right charter boat for your family
If you decide to take the plunge and charter with children, selecting the right boat will be a crucial step towards a happy trip. Space is an important factor, as is a crew and a captain who have experience working with children, and moreover, enjoy it. Providers are very keen to ensure that families are well catered for, and will be more than happy to help you pick the right vessel.
Have a look at our yacht charter fleet and please contact us to discuss ideas for your next vacation.lso they do not rock back and forward too much which can make children sickly. Instead of doing four hour trips maybe do two hour trips with stop offs on the beach to allow the little ones to stretch their legs on shore for a while.