Our experience has convinced us that kids belong on board. It’s fun on a boat and if not, just give them a little help. When taking a holiday on a boat that suits their needs, you can all take home beautiful memories.
Warm sea and a short crossing
The first important thing is choosing a destination. Go to a place where the sea is already warm. Swimming is a part of sailing and nobody wants cold water. As for the route, choose shorter crossings - useful tips can be found on our Kid’s Fleet page.
Think of it like a car journey, so the length of time your kids can handle being on a boat is the same as in a car. Entertainment on board can extend this time, but it should not be more than about three or four hours. Alternate stops, beaches, towns and activities.
If you want to make a longer trip with the family, use the early morning, late evening (night) hours when the kids are asleep. Alternatively, you can consult with us on the route. Depending on the starting marina, we’ll be happy to recommend selected places.
Choose boats with a swim platform
If you still have small children (or want to have easy access to the water), when choosing a boat, focus on those with a fold-down swim platform. Closed it serves as a barrier and it opens low to the water’s surface meaning children won’t be afraid to jump in and they’ll enjoy getting their feet wet too.
Which age is the right one?
Yachting has no upper or lower age restrictions. With your baby, you’ll have no worries on the boat and the older kids will entertain themselves. Regardless of the age of the child, it works best when they have companions of a similar age - for example when two families are travelling together. The ideal crew composition is one adult per child which, of course, depends on the age of children.
A baby will feel good in baby car seat (egg). Here you can relax under the bimini top and secure the seat using bungees, which can handle surprisingly large tilts of the boat. Babies are used to swinging and therefore don’t suffer from seasickness.
Climbers and toddlers on board? We recommend using a safety net with children aged 1-2 years. This is netting placed on the rail around the perimeter of the entire boat serving as a barrier. For an additional charge, you can order it on a charter boat or just bring your own. Installation is not easy, but the safety of your children is worth it.
It is important to have a deep (travel) cot for them, which they cannot climb out of themselves. Position it and secure it so that it cannot overturn.
Two to three-year-olds are the most demanding crew members. They move around themselves, but they lack balance. In addition to the safety net, be sure to keep them close to you. It is especially important to have one adult per child and the sooner you get used to wearing life jackets, the better. Also, keep in mind that children from 2 years of age must be registered in the crew list as a regular crew member.
How to deal with seasickness
Children of three years and older can get sea sickness. Our experience is that if you don’t ask them how they are, they’ll be better off. Otherwise, they’ll feel that "something should be wrong", and in a moment it will be. It helps to keep them occupied with some activity they can do on board so that they won’t notice the sway of the boat. If seasickness does occur, put them in the shade, protect them from overheating or the cold and give them plenty of liquids.
Sailors aged 4 to 11 years will probably enjoy being at sea the most. Generally, they can swim, everything interests them and they love the experiences they can retell. Shared time on the boat will strengthen your relationships and they will experience you in unusual situations. When you enjoy yachting, at this age you can show it to them beautifully. They can learn to tie knots, work with ropes, run anchor and it really pays to have a paddleboard, an inflatable kayak and snorkeling gear.
Life jackets are a must. Charters normally have a selection and the size you need is determined by the weight of the child. If you sail (or plan to sail) more often at sea, it pays to invest in your own. It is important for the vest to fit well and be comfortable as it often has to be worn the whole day.
Teenagers. It's quite difficult with them anywhere. If they have already been on a boat, they know what to do and how, and can take care of themselves. They can now join you as fully-fledged crew members.