sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Boating Safety with Kids

Boating Safety with Kids

'Boating is a priviledge with children, and should be safe and fun.'    YachtShare
Every parent's concern when boating is the safety of their child at sea.

When we at YachtShare are approached by potential clients with children, we have a lot to discuss to allay their fears and to ensure the client has enough practical knowledge to assume command with children on-board.

Boating is an exciting and fun family leisure option and by educating away some of the risks, parents can relax and the whole family will gain more from the experience.

Toddlers and Babies

Babies on boats are easy… they don’t move, so strap them into their car seat and bring them along for the ride... you’ll often find that the motion of the boat will induce them into a nice peaceful sleep. Lifejackets for infants are readily available, and these can also be hired from Coastguard, together with specially designed baby life capsules.

Toddlers are the biggest challenge on a boat as they’re not of an age to accept instructions and just want to move and explore all day. This is where a safety harness with tether becomes very useful. Controlled freedom is what it’s all about, so clip them to a secure point near the helm via the tether and they can wander in a 2.5mtr radius to their hearts content.

Keep all small children away from the companion way… yep they love to climb/ stand on stairs, but this surely is one of the most dangerous areas on the boat in a seaway. Even sitting near the open companionway could cause a child to be bounced backwards down the open gap, and is an area that should be closely monitored.

Lifejackets

Lifejackets should be worn by children on board a boat at all times ... no excuses. The reasoning is that children are far more susceptible to being bounced off a boat during an errant wave, have lesser appreciation of hazards on the boat such as booms, stairs, moving ropes and lines and often less sure footing.

Lifejackets should be worn on board by children at all times. -  YachtShare?nid=41895  
The lifejacket must be of a proper fit and buoyancy rating for the weight of the child and the specifications printed on the jacket should be carefully checked by the adult.

There are different types of ‘lifejacket’, ranging from lifevests and buoyancy aids to full lifejackets. Ideally the full lifejacket is the one to choose as this has a neck support to hold the child’s head above the water.

Inflatable Lifejackets are great options as they are very comfortable particularly for the smaller child and will not irritate them hence they will be less reluctant to wear them.

Go for the automatic inflation model so that the rip cord does not have to be pulled upon immersion.

Lifejacket Practice

25 Second Lifejackets

Run a 25 second lifejacket drill. When the skipper yells ‘Lifejackets’ everyone on board should appear on deck with their lifejacket on and a designated crew member also carries the grab bag of safety gear. Practise this with the family until it’s completed within 25 seconds … no longer.

Does it float?

Your children need to experience jumping into the water with their lifejacket on. As well as being a great advance check of the suitability of the jacket, it is essential that the children have confidence in the flotation of their jacket to reduce the possibility of panic in an emergency… find that nice warm bay and jump off the stern fully kitted up … get them used to swimming around in the jacket so that they learn the effect of the extra buoyancy on their body.

Show your children how to hold the jacket by pulling down gently on the collar while they jump. A fun but valuable practice is to jump in fully clothed with the jacket … your children will not necessarily be in their togs in an emergency and different clothing can affect their flotation.

These practices can be a fun game for children, making them better prepared in an emergency and give parents confidence in the effectiveness of safety measures.

Family as Crew

Engage your family as much as possible in the operation of the boat. More experience and knowledge does lead to less danger. Kids should be shown and encouraged to start/stop the engine, use the manual winches, switch items on the electrical panel on an off, operate the anchor control and trim the sails.

No Go Areas

Every boat should have no go areas… the bow on a motor launch during movement, the area forward of the cockpit on a yacht. Certainly with my own children we have a policy on the yacht of no child forward of the cockpit unless specifically allowed by the skipper.

Make sure children get plenty of play-practice and water confidence with their life-jacket. -  YachtShare?nid=41895  
This saves the risk of head/boom collisions and ensures easy monitoring of the family from the helm.

We also have a policy of not asking the children to perform any tasks forward of the cockpit whilst underway. Consider your no-go areas and enforce them strictly.

Running on the pier

One of the more dangerous areas of boating is the pier… children just love running up and down and exploring. ‘Walk’ is a word they don’t always hear … Ok… but wear your lifejacket on the pier.

The pier is lined with many hazards such as cleats, ropes, hoses and joints.

If a child trips or falls from the pier, there are so many boats in the marina, it’s hard to locate a drifting child and also very easy for them to drift underneath the pier or get jammed between boats.

Climbing out is almost impossible on their own unless they climb via a boarding ladder of a moored boat.

Every Boatie’s stress point

Berthing the boat back into the marina successfully is the biggest stress point for most boaties. Have a firm rule that all children are sitting safely down below and quiet. The skipper cannot afford any distractions at this time and children squishing fingers between boat and pole is not a pretty sight or sound.

Oops who forgot the oars!

Children just love the inflatables and dinghies, and the outboard engine is a huge attraction for the boys. Ensure you teach safe practices and firstly... can they row and are the oars permanently in the inflatable? Insist on life jackets being worn. Monitor the weather and currents. Little arms rowing have a hard time getting back to safety against a strong wind or current. Set boundaries, eg only between the boat and the beach.

One of the bigger danger areas, especially for older children using the outboard, is the danger to swimmers. Ensure your children keep well away from any swimmers, both off the beach and off other boats. Teach them to keep a good look out and to keep their speed down, and to adhere to set boundaries. And, as always, supervision is essential. Little ones can join in the fun too and gain huge satisfaction at mastering rowing, but ensure they are well supervised and remember they can enjoy some measure of independence at the end of a rope.

Who knows how to get home?

Boating with only your child and yourself on board is a significant risk should you the skipper become incapacitated or fall over board. Make sure your child has rudimentary skills in VHF radio usage, with Coastguard and emergency channel knowledge, electrical switchboard functions, chartplotter position reading and engine start/stop.

Boating is a privilege with children. The quiet family time, the appreciation of nature, the skills and knowledge learned are all invaluable. As with everything there are risks involved, but with sensible safety measures, boating is family life as it should be … safe, fun and most of all … together.

Have a safe and happy family boating season this summer from the team at YachtShare NZ




by Laurie Lowther - YachtShare NZ Ltd

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=41895

10:05 AM Sun 17 Feb 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Yachting News

Related News Stories:

05 Jan 2013  The yacht club with no water.
11 Jun 2012  Yacht Club of Monaco-'New clubhouse new horizons,' says Prince Albert
11 Apr 2012  Yacht Club celebrates fifty years
25 Jan 2012  European Yachts of the Year: Beneteau, Oyster, Pogo and Esse
28 Jun 2011  What, actually, is a superyacht? Australia ponders
04 Jun 2009  OBE for Sailing Team Manager Stephen Park
03 Jun 2009  Leaders of world’s premier yacht clubs 'in the same boat'
01 Jun 2009  UK boat builders feel the stress
30 May 2009  Sailing Clubs named as Olympic Pre-Games Training Camp venues
29 May 2009  Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to visit WPNSA
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World





Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,




Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,








Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,
























Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,


























2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes   
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins   
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016   
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing   
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes   
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3   
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions   
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff   
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Images: Race day five   
Herreshoff Classic Regatta 2014 - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Youth Olympics - Gold to Argentinean and Chinese Techno 293 racers   
Youth Olympics Games Nanjing - Double Youth Olympic Gold for Singapore   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 - Two Handers celebrate   
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Brazilian dance party   
IFDS Disabled Sailing Worlds Day 5 - USA fighting for Rio 2016 Berths   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT