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Thoughts on boating with a toddler-gctid371745

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    Thoughts on boating with a toddler-gctid371745

    Hi Folks,

    I've got a newly turned two year old daughter who's going to be spending a lot of time with us on the boat this summer. She's already fully aware that when the boat is moving, away from the dock that she has her life jacket on above deck 100% of the time. Currently she's wearing a Mustang Lil' Legends Child Vest. It's a nice vest with a crotch strap, neck support to keep her up, and big strap that we could hoist her up with.

    I'm starting to seriously think about tethering her as well. It's occurred to me that all she needs to do is lean on the aft plastic/canvas and off a few snaps come and out tumbles my kid. A very unsettling thought. I think I can use a standard sailing tether to attach to her current jacket while we're underway or at hook. At the dock I'm still thinking I'd like her in a harness, maybe like this one: http://www.burkemarine.com.au/product.php?prod_id=61 We're lucky up here in the PNW, especially on the sound, that it doesn't get super hot. I would not want to have a little one in 100+ degree still, humid weather and be fighting to wear a big bulky jacket.

    How is everyone else managing young ones on board?

    #2
    Absolutely go with the harness and tether. I started my daughter out on sailboats when she was two months old. As soon as she was able to manuever out of the car seat it was into the life jacket, harness and tether.

    Now my daughter has a newborn daughter of her own and she'll be starting her boating life soon aboard our 3685. I'm shopping for her first life jacket as we speak...

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      #3
      Have you thought about swiming lessons for your toddler, I have seen on TV where they can swim, even under water.
      Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

      Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
      Twin 350 GM power
      Located in Seward, AK
      Retired marine surveyor

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        #4
        Teach your child to swim asap. Its not a cure all but it my very well save her if she does fall in.

        I have been boating alot with babies. Little kids have a tendency to stay away from the side but it doesn't mean things can't happen. Constant supervion is the key. Never let them out of your site. She will grow to really like boating be sure to include her in the many boating activities.

        I've raised 5 children on boats from infant on up. My fifth is 1 1/2. He goes on the dinghy and loves it. None of my babies ever came close to falling in. On the other hand my at the time teenagers have fallen in various times but their lack of attention is their problem. I've had some pretty good laughs.
        1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
        twin 454's
        MV Mar-Y-Sol
        1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
        Twin chevy 350's inboard
        Ben- Jamin
        spokane Washington

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          #5
          My daughter was 2 last year when we got our 3055, it was nerve wracking at times. She is very curious and quickly figured out how to open the transom door. Granted she has a life jacket on, but we are working on teaching her to swim. Its constant vigilance on your part, you will have your hands full. But I cant really imagine boating without her, we only make a couple trips a year without her kinda gets boring

          This year she is 3, I am looking for a way to lock the transom door...She feels she can open it at her leisure and I am not even going to start playing that game.

          1 thing that will make things a big easier, especially for nap time...tv + dvd player

          Comment


            #6
            We had our twins on board at 6 weeks. They've been in lifevests ever since and still wear them and they'll be 10 this year. I don't think the tether is necessary, because they should always be seated either alongside of you or down below where you know they can't escape. Having them roam around in the cockpit while underway in my opinion is not safe. Tethering them sounds more dangerous and it could be a hanging apparatus potentially.

            Comment


              #7
              Our little one has been playing with the transom door, and is met with a loud bellowing father whenever she does. Not something she's used to. Something other than that barel lock will be installed shortly enough.

              For us the iPad is our best docking tool around, otherwise the wee one wouldn't stand for it

              Comment


                #8
                Any child untill a certain age, on the back deck is required to were a life vest, I assume there are some baby exceptions.
                Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                Twin 350 GM power
                Located in Seward, AK
                Retired marine surveyor

                Comment


                  #9
                  boatworkfl wrote:
                  Any child untill a certain age, on the back deck is required to were a life vest, I assume there are some baby exceptions.
                  In Washington state I don't think there are exceptions only that if the boat is over 22ft I think. As for me there are no exceptions if the child is out of the cabin they have a life jacket on until they are 14 even on my 32ft. Same rule as was on my 3988.

                  Now that rule also applies to adults that can't swim either that ride on my boat.

                  My kids never had a teather but as was said they are with us at all times. Exceptions would be down below. Sleeping or watching a movie or such.
                  1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                  twin 454's
                  MV Mar-Y-Sol
                  1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                  Twin chevy 350's inboard
                  Ben- Jamin
                  spokane Washington

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have boated with 2 toddlers now. We never tethered them. They understood, from the time they were mobile that you sit while the boat is moving and ask before getting down from the seat even after we stop to anchor. They do not go onto the swim platform without getting permission first. Never been up on the bow.
                    Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
                    1998 3055 Ciera
                    (yes, a 1998)
                    Previous boat: 1993 3055
                    Dream boat: 70' Azimut or Astondoa 72
                    Sea Doo XP
                    Sea Doo GTI SE
                    Life is short. Boats are cool.
                    The family that plays together stays together.
                    Vice Commodore: Bellevue Yacht Club

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What a deliciously cute thought, a little kid in a pfd,,,,,,,and goofy kid sunglasses

                      Swimming lessons: a must! And constant vigilance.

                      Please be exceedingly careful with your most precious cargo

                      And have FUN!

                      Sarah

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                        #12


                        The ones in the yellow PFDs are mine. The blonde is the one above next to the chips.


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                          #13
                          My son started boating with us at 6 months old, was out with me through thick and thin. They learn quickly, and will soon enjoy boating as much as you do. My son took his love of boating to the next level last year when he joined the USGG.

                          Then:



                          Now:


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                            #14
                            We started at 6 weeks...The life jacket was an odd fit then


                            Comment


                              #15
                              I started as a wee one on boats, the boy who is 4.5 went out for his first trip at 1month, the girl now 2 was I think 3months (late winter b-day). The boy is starting to be given some freedom to roam docks with dip net without either mom or dad within a couple of feet. The girl still gets kept basically at arms reach. Both kids have been in swimming lessons since really early on.

                              Our rule was and is if they are outside of the cabin they have the life jacket (boat coat to them) only exception to that is if they are in a chair on the back deck eating a meal then we are more lax about the PFD. Before they were mobile we rarely put the kids in PFD unless we were in the dink.

                              We have never teathered them - and I can see more bad things coming of that than good on a powerboat or at docks. Sailing because of limited manuverability of boat to get back to a COB (child overboard) then I think a teather and related downsides are the lesser of two evils. The last boat I ran almost exclusively from lower station and with everyone inside no need for PFD's while underway. Now I run the current boat from the upper station most of the time and if any of the little ones are up there they are in a PFD.
                              1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
                              1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
                              Nobody gets out alive.

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