Spending sailing holidays is itself a challenge, but the challenge is even greater if there are children on a yacht. Regardless of how difficult it may seem at first, a voyage with children gives you the unique opportunity to gain new experiences. You also learn and spend some quality time with your family. Planning your stay on the yacht ahead of time and paying attention to details is important for adults, as well as for children. Prior to the planned boarding, you need to present your children with how you plan to spend your vacation. Introduce them with the voyage plan and clearly set the rules for behaving on the yacht and repeat them during the voyage. Having children on the yacht is primarily the decision made by the parents and it requires their complete responsibility.
Safety first. Children must be shown the yacht upon boarding as it will be their temporary home during the upcoming period. They must be presented with the rules for behaving and shown how to use the common areas, especially the toilet. You must let them know how to move on the yacht in order to avoid falls and injuries. It would be good if the yacht had a safety net along the deck. Every child must have a life vest of appropriate size. They must try it on and wear during the voyage. Children must be on the bow during the voyage only accompanied by an adult. They should not be on the deck during rough weather. They must also be taught how to lower themselves into the sea with the help of a ladder. Adults should warn them not to swim near the stern and the propeller.
When the are children on a yacht, caution never hurts. Children are more sensitive to the changes in the environment than adults. They may suffer from minor health issues during the voyage so it is recommended to bring appropriate remedies. One of the most common ailments is seasickness where the child must be provided with rest and fresh air. You should have the appropriate medications in case of a sore throat, earache and high temperature. You should also keep in mind minor injuries and scratches, as well as bug and mosquito bites. You must pay special attention to eventual allergic reactions. In case of chronic illnesses, the child must have enough its regular medications, as well as medical documentation. Special attention must be paid to the protection from the sun and UV rays. Use waterproof lotions with high protection factors and ensure physical protection from the sun.
Clothes, food & drink
You should bring along a sufficient quantity of appropriate clothing and footwear for being on the yacht, in the sea and on the coast. Since children feel hungry more often that adults, and since spending time on the fresh sea air additional opens up the appetite, you need to ensure they have enough healthy, appropriate and regular meals. Since children on a yacht often forget to drink and ask for beverages only once they feel thirsty, which is the first level of dehydration, special care must be paid to consuming sufficient quantities of liquids.In order to keep children engaged and interested during the voyage, it is better to plan shorter distances between destinations (for example, instead of a 4 hour voyage, plan two 2-hour routes). At the same time, you should allow the children to swim, play and enjoy themselves in the sea.
Children on a yacht – in addition to adventure…
Parents are obligated to get information about the voyage and plan it ahead and adjust it to the needs of the children. The voyage adjustment will primarily depend on the age of the children. For babies you need to ensure areas for feeding, care and sleeping. You also must keep in mind the availability of baby food and hygienic necessities at the destinations you plan to visit. Small children are passengers that require constant adult supervision. Parents should bring along appropriate toys, colouring books and creative materials that will not take up a lot of space, such as drawing blocks, board games etc. Of course, children on a yacht should not just be observers but active voyage participants. Therefore, their interest for exploring the sea and its inhabitants, the climate and star gazing at night should be stimulated in advance.
Children of school age should be encouraged to write their own voyage diaries, take photos and learn about sailing. Introducing children to the basic sailing skills, vessel instruments and tools is also important. Their participation in unique sailing manoeuvres on the yacht will provide them with a sense of participation. It will surely spark their love for the sea and sailing. A positive attitude in regards to the presence of children on a yacht is of outmost importance, both by the parents and the children, as well as the yacht personnel. It is important to keep calm and avoid stress and frustration. Parents should agree and divide supervision of the children since this is all about the vacation. Finally, a yacht is a complex, rich and stimulating environment and a sure opportunity for an unforgettable family summer vacation.