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Old 06-04-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
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Cruising with preteen

We'll be taking our 2nd trip on our new boat, Ohana, this weekend. This time we will have 2 of our children with us. One is grown and the other, our youngest, is a preteen. The older one will be happy to be there, the younger, maybe not so much. She is already asking about being pulled behind in the dingy. And swimming off the boat. And will there be wi-fi. And, and, and. Have any of you done this? What about a tube? Is this practical for a trawler? She is truly addicted to her IPOD so this trip will be good for her! No wireless connection.
Ideas?
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #2
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As the father of a just-turned-fourteen-year-old, the only thing I can do is commiserate and say "Good Luck".
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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Well, arenít you the big Meany! No wifi!

When we take our grandchildren we have what ever they want. Phone mail, Wifi, TV, DVD, game boys, X box to entertain them, if not they will drive us crazy. I usually like to leave the dock about 6 in the morning while the little darlings as sleeping like little angles and arrive by noon! By the time they get up, have breakfast, get dressed and watch/play some games/DVD whatever we should be there so they can run some energy off.


Many time we have towed the 19 ft run about and we have let them ride in the run about. We take the run about to tube/scurf, fish, crab what ever to keep them occupied, and I always put the dink in the water for them to mess with also. Yes, we let them swim/jump off the boat. Might want to buy her a Ĺ suits which will sort of keeps her warm and buoyant as the water and wind can be quite chilly.

Better yet find some preteens her age to hang with. We alway let the kids bring ther friends the more the better and less work for us!

Being a grand/great grand parent is so great!
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:55 PM   #4
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My 13 year old is fine onboard the boat; when she comes over (shared custody post divorce) we have all the amenities available, but spend just as much time on the water playing (dinghy, kayaks, swimming, etc) and breaking out board games, projects, and talking. She's the same way at her mom's home.

There's a time and place for the electronics. I'm also quick to check a bad teen attitude and remind her that I'm the parent and she lives in my world- not the other way around.

Enjoy the time- it goes fast.....
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:15 PM   #5
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Wow, I'm just trying to scratch my boat together for our 8 year old. I never even thought that he may not like it. Good luck and I believe there is something about the sea that will even keep a preteen busy.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:32 AM   #6
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Good luck! Never dealt with children on-board except for day trips, by choice!

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Old 06-05-2013, 02:35 AM   #7
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I let mine man the helm, help choose the route, navigate, choose the anchorage and set the anchor. Swimming and fishing takes care of the rest. 17 and 12 years old and not bored yet???

Doesn't seem to be much problem on our end to this point. I suspect that the kids getting bored have far less participation in the "nuts and bolts" of boating. We purchased the boat as a family and we use it as one too without ever giving it much thought. Perhaps the suggestion of bringing a friend along is a good one but perhaps try involving her more in the operation of the boat. Start with piloting and navigation by chart as that seems to create the most excitement with our boys. Once they feel they've "mastered" that chore they start wanting to do the anchoring etc.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:53 AM   #8
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Bring a couple of books , it may be the first time she is exposed to them .
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:59 AM   #9
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Patsy - It can be challenging keeping them entertained on a long cruise. My teens also love their electronic gadgets, and our boat isn't internet connected, but they soon learn to live without them.

Make them part of the crew with their assigned tasks to keep them involved. My kids are in charge of setting/retrieving the fenders, operating the remote controlled lock, handing dock lines, and assisting with the sails. I involve them when planning the course and get them to assist me work out various functions on our new plotter. They soon realize that these are all important duties and take there tasks very seriously. When I go for a cruise without them, they ask how the others handled their duties, and are very pumped up when they hear that the others didn't handle it as well as them.

On our first trip, our kids also asked about being towed behind in a tube, and I organized to bring one along, although they were kept busy enough that they never bothered with it.
I think its just that they want their own space; but with a 42 footer, they should be ok.
As your two have a fair age spread, a friend for the young one may be a good idea as suggested- especially on the first trip, when they will decide if the boat is a fun thing or booorrring.

Best of luck with it.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:34 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the good advice!
It'll be good for her not to have her IPOD connected to the net all the time. I'm sure it'll be playing music most of the time which really is ok, 80% of the time, the other 20%... we'll just say isn't my kind of music.
Swampu: I'm sure an 8 year old will love it. At 8, any of ours would have been happy to be there.
Phil Fish: What is scurf? Bringing friends will be a good idea in a year or so. As of now, we're still learning about our boat, ourselves! Watching us dock is quite comical I'm sure. Crabbing is an excellent idea, she likes that! Fishing will be a learning experience for all of us. We don't have any equipment. Thanks for all the encouragement. It is a very good idea to leave early as well.
CPseudonym: We'll definitely try to get her and the older one interested in the boat operations. We plan to anchor out for the first time this trip.
FF: Books... We love books, 4 of our 5 children love books, but of course 1 out of 5 doesn't. She's very athletic but not in the least interested in books which is pretty much impossible for me to understand. She does like to draw though...
Food, need to have plenty of snacks as well. She burns through calories like no one I know.
Again, thanks to all. If anyone else has a good idea let me know. I really want her to like boating, of course. Can't wait to be on the water.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:07 AM   #11
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I really want her to like boating, of course
My grandson is hard to coral but gets really serious when helming the boat.
Here's three pics of him (R to L)...one at 6 years old, one at 8 and one at 10.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #12
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We had all four of our grand kids last week end . The boat broke down both days and had to get towed only about a mile both days.I seem to take worse than anyone . Finally got problem solved and was ready to go out again. Our 4 year old grandson said he had been on Pop's boat two times and it broke both times,was it going to break again? OUCH !!!! We all had a good laugh and had a great time !
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:59 AM   #13
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Patsy,

I know what you speak of. I'm a dad of two (15 and 18). When younger, boating was exciting for them but not so much anymore since they became teenagers. They do put up with it though as they know that it is important to mom and dad. We try to make it fun for them by allowing each to bring a friend, which helps a lot. I know that they don't mind being with us as they enjoy themselves on our other non-boating vacations. I think boating has gotten old for them as they have been doing it almost all their lives. My son enjoys basketball and my daughter volleyball, so we play them at an island that we go to. I guess what I'm saying is try to do things that they enjoy when out boating. Another bribe that is successful for us is serving their favorite food.

My son is leaving for college soon and I have a feeling he will be itching to go boating when he comes home for vacations.

A family that boats together stays together.

My 2 cents.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #14
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Hey Patsy, how many days will you be gone on this trip? How many hours of cruising per day? When we take our boat out on weekends we spend a lot of time in the water behind the boat and watch movies at night. You might consider how far you intend to go on this trip so you don't cruise all day each day. Sounds like she is asking a lot of questions because she doent know what to expect. My guess is you will find variations of the things said here that your child will like. My advice would be to let the kids have as much fun as possible and maybe bring friends so they love boating and look forward to it. Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #15
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Well first comes tubing which is hanging on, but the fun is the tube across the wake unless the water is bumpy. Then they learn to boogie board which sort of looks like a small surf/wake board that they kneel on while hang on to the tow rope, and they can go across the wake, like skiing. The next is scurfing which is sort of like a snow board that they stand up on as its slower and easier than water skiing, and then of course water skiing. Tubing is more for a two or more together, boogey boarding and scurfing is individual, but you can tow two. The first time it might be better if big brother and sister go together. You can spend a small fortune of water toys.

I don't have them help much as i have the course already set in the electronic charge and the boat on auto pilot most of the time so all I have to do is monitor. Our fenders are the big 12" x 34" and weigh about 15 lbs which are to big for them, plus we have a rule that they must stay inside the confines of the boat, Portuguese bridge, interior of boat and stern deck. They are not allowed on the roof and the front deck. We leave a set of fenders and lines left on the dock, and have a set on the boat.

Children have more fun catching pier perch and shrimp than boring fishing as they can see them. Plus there are usually other children. The only time we fish is when the salmon are running so itís a 90+% chance we will caught something. We have a caught and release/give away policy.

Anyway keep them busy!
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:45 AM   #16
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We have cruised with four grandkids aboard many times for up to a week. The operative word here is cruise. That is different from a delivery trip. We have been off the grid for up to a week with them. Anchoring and hanging out on mooring balls while they would take the dinghy to explore. They did not have cell phones are computers, but did have their I-Pods. We keep cards board games, and give them as much freedom as we deem safely possible. They are not preteens now. They all have very busy schedules, but still like to go along with us as long as all four go. They love it.

The best thing to occupy a preteen on the boat is another preteen. Maybe have them invite a friend along.

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Old 06-05-2013, 01:16 PM   #17
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I think CP has it right. Get them involved. I am lucky in that my 14 year-pld daughter is a boat nut. She still has her iPod and uses it a lot. But she has learned to run the boat, she is learning navigation, she even knows how to do the pre-trip engine check! She, at this point anyway, is fascinated by it all. She does often bring a friend and I think she enjoys kind of explaining everything to her friends.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:13 AM   #18
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I appreciate all the good ideas. I hadn't thought about board games. She used to love Apples to Apples until she became hooked on the IPOD. I'll talk to her about it today. We head for the boat tomorrow afternoon.
We are moving the boat so it's not just a fun cruising weekend. We moved Ohana from Ft. Pierce to Brunswick on the first trip. Had some long days but it was just me and hubby. This time we're just going to Hilton Head so maybe 5 or 6 hours each day. We'll start early, as someone suggested, so there is time to play when we stop. It'll be good.
First day we'll go outside on the ocean, 2nd maybe ICW or ocean. Just to be clear, it is ok to pull a tube behind a trawler in the ICW? Or would the dingy be better? No more questions, I promise. This is all very new to us.
Thanks again.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:27 AM   #19
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Just to be clear, it is ok to pull a tube behind a trawler in the ICW? Or would the dingy be better? No more questions, I promise. This is all very new to us.
Thanks again.
To pull dinghy is ok, but with kid in it you will need to be cautious about passing other boats. Kid will get bored after 30 minutes and burnt probably. But it could be risky if some big sportfish passes you with a 4 foot wake. So I'd only do this only in wide calm waters, not narrow ICW canals. We bought stand up boards for our teens - and us! Just trying them first time this weekend. Kids love the water and love jumping off the boat.

Enjoy
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:54 AM   #20
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We have been off the grid for up to a week with them. Anchoring and hanging out on mooring balls while they would take the dinghy to explore. ......... They are not preteens now. They all have very busy schedules, but still like to go along with us as long as all four go. .



As usual....great advice!
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