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Old 08-11-2019, 08:53 PM   #1
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City: Boynton Beach, FL
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How to get young kids involved?

Our son is 2 now and we've been trying to get him involved in helping plan trips and other little things that can get him more involved. We look at pictures of anchorages and stops along the way and he helps choose potential spots. We have also been trying to get him using the Navionics app (in a VERY basic way), showing him how to scroll around on the map and how he can make it "follow us".
What do other families to do get young kids involved in trip planning and boating?

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Old 08-11-2019, 09:32 PM   #2
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City: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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We have two boys, now 11 and 9, adopted last year. I only mention that because they had zero - and I mean zero - water and boating experience before we got them. Couldn't swim one stroke, would sink to the bottom like a rock. So we did swim classes, summer sailing camp, trips to the City pools. We spend every possible weekend on the boat with them, including overnights. Happily they swim and dive like fish now, never seasick. I have them run the dingy (9 foot Zodiac with a 4hp Yamaha). They help on the boat, although they have very little endurance for drudge work like scrubbing decks or cleaning. My 11 year old is skinny and he's very handy for engine work that I can see but not reach. I talked him through changing a fuel filter in a tight spot between the hull and engine last year. Nicholas helped me set a new snap on the canvas today. Lubed zippers. Powerwashed the carpets. Taught them the whole routine about boat toilets and they picked it up very easily. I explain the electrical panel to them as I go through it for opening and Ieaving the boat each weekend, although it'll be a while before they understand the whole panel. In other words, we involve them in every possible water and boat activity including maintenance. In our experience so far, you involve kids in boats and water life and I'll bet it's a rare kid who won't take to it and love it. Kids are incredibly adaptable.

Photo of Matthew at the tiller of a Hobie, his second day under sail of any kind.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-11-2019, 09:33 PM   #3
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At 2 he's too young to be actively involved with trip planning. I doubt their little brains can make the connection between the picture that's in front of him and a future trip.

I have two grandsons locally, one now 8 and the other 6. The 8 year old could drive my boat when he was 5. The 6 year old has not shown any interest in being on the boat so we don't push it.

Here's as "involved" as 3 of my grands got when they were 3-5 years old. We had a little fishing pole and they held the lure about 6" under water waiting for a fish to come up to it. Their attention span was about 15 minutes then it was on to another activity.

I'd suggest you not push him at his tender young age.
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:44 PM   #4
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This is what I did with now-grown grandson when he was a tot--"Wanna go see if we can find some whales?" With his mom, it was "We're going to Catalina, yeah!" The first generation of offspring just grew up spending weekends/vacations aboard, whether or not we left the dock. Letting them bring a friend produced great enthusiasm. Bedtime at anchor always involved either ghost stories (one granddaughter was particularly scary in her tales) or listening to mysteries on BBC Radio. Make-your-own-English muffin pizzas generated spirited participation. We didn't actually TRY for any particular results with any of the generations of kids except to produce loving memories to last lifetimes. The eldest of all those children is now in her late 50's & I'm pretty sure if you'd ask her about her early boating experiences, it would bring a smile to her face--especially since the first boat was named after her.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:57 PM   #5
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When my kids were of tender age, our favorite boating activity was visiting small islands and rock outcropping to search for “pirate treasure”, which was loose change and toys, even food items that I seeded in fairly obvious places for them to find.
This encouraged poring over the charts to look for likely locations, and planning and steering the routes to and from them.
The kids are now grown and have kids of their own, and I’m delighted to hear the grandkids relating tales of “pirate treasures” that they’ve found with their dad.
You can lead a horse to water,
But you can't make him ski...
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:58 PM   #6
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Show him the magazines!

I want this boat granddad!

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