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10 Tips for Sailing with Kids

10 Tips for Sailing with Kids

You might be a seasoned sailor, have sailed through all kinds of seas, made port all around the globe… if you’ve never had small kids aboard, then you’re in for a whole new level of sailing. It’s like this with everything in life. Children spend our most basic routines, make us question everything and force us into double and triple checking everything because, you know, just in case. When it comes to sailing, this is amplified tenfold. What happens if you don’t take the necessary precautions? What happens if you fail to instruct them on the most elementary procedures? What happens if they get bored? These and more are all questions which need to be asked before you head out on your sailing holiday. They not only avoid mishaps or accidents, they also ensure everyone on board has a good time. The aim of every sailing holiday.

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Let’s take a look at some sailing tips handed over by parents who sail with their children and who know what it’s like to be stuck out at sea with very young, demanding kids.

Talk to your children

Parents have found that the best way to win their kids over when they might not want to adhere to your instructions, is to talk to them rationally. Explain to them what the safety features are for and why it is imperative for them to obey their instructions. You can always tell them you’ll reward them with ice-cream later. That usually does the trick.

Yacht choosing

Try to choose a yacht that is ideal for a whole family. A catamaran would be ideal as it offers shade as well, so you can protect your children from the harmful rays. Don’t forget to pack a lot of sun cream, hats and sunglasses with you!

Safety Netting

Safety nets around the boat give you a measure of peace of mind should one of your little ones lose their balance.


Although yacht charters might provide kids’ lifejackets, they will most certainly not be the right fit for your children, This could cause them to get irritated and insist (rather vehemently) to take them off. Buy them from home when you would have tried them ahead of the sailing trip.

The Boat

Make sure the kids know what each area of the boat is called. Not only will this make instructing easier, but it will also get them interested in it!

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Lines, sheets and any loose clutter

Make sure everything is nice and tidy so as to avoid tripping. Or, if you’re so inclined, you could…

Teach them

Why not turn this into a lesson and teach them how to put away things on a boat? This could also turn into a simple knotting lesson!

The Route

Why not involve your kids in the decision process, or if the itinerary is set, ask them for suggestions for next time? Show them the route you’re going to take on a map. Older kids will definitely buy into this. They’ll be feeling like pirates in no time.

Cloud spot or star-gaze

During the day, point out different clouds and their names and properties. Get them to draw pictures of them. At night, get a small telescope with you and spend the late hours gazing and naming stars. It’s better than sheep counting, promise.

Make them feel included

Whether it’s helping to steer, tying knots our route mapping, try to involve your kids as much as possible. There is nothing worse than spending hours on a boat with clear instructions to not touch anything and preferably not to move. Get them to spot buoys and teach them what they mean, take coloring books and snorkeling gear.

These sailing tips give a very broad idea of what to look out for when you’re at sea with kids, but you should not forget to pack up anything you would normally take for a holiday. But we think that with all the fun and adventure to be had, you can rest assured that the kids will doze straight off as night falls. Then you can get to enjoy a nice, quiet glass of wine. Cheers!

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