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Old 05-06-2017, 01:34 AM   #1
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Toddlers onboard

I have a friend with a 15 month old. I think with the proper life jacket and supervision it's fine to have the baby on the boat (44' Beneteau Swift Trawler) within the confines of SF Bay. However, my wife doesn't like the idea.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:44 AM   #2
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When my kids were that age I had a 16 foot skiff that I used to take them out in all the time....they loved that boat !!! (Obviously the child has to be supervised at all times....like being at the beach or a pool)
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:45 AM   #3
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The child is only as safe as the supervising adult how much do you trust the parents ?
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:57 AM   #4
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Our kids have been on board since infancy. I guess that was OK since the youngest is now 35 and the oldest is 48. They grew up boating and they loved it.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:33 AM   #5
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Is it possible not tho bring the wife with you ?
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:10 AM   #6
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At 15 months, aren't they usually within arms reach, or is their parent expected to line handle, etc?
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:18 AM   #7
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My daughter has been boating with us since she was one--she wears a life jacket and is supervised. My parents exposed me to boating at a very young age as well. Now, I wouldn't take them out in dangerous rough seas or foul weather--but this is "common" sense. Best to get children exposed at an early age! I can understand concerns in a small skiff or dinghy but a 44' boat?
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmarr View Post
At 15 months, aren't they usually within arms reach, or is their parent expected to line handle, etc?


Arms reach. Parents not expected to handle lines, etc.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:02 AM   #9
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To me a real sad symptom of the times the question even gets asked.

The guardian(s) of the child has the responsibility, their instincts, their call, IMO no one else should even have the nerve to make a comment.

We travelled all around the world mostly in third world conditions, pregnancy, midwife-birthed six hours' drive from the nearest clinic, kids got up and made the campfire then breakfast at 3&4.

If something happens, that's part of life too, trying to eliminate all the risks takes all the life out of life.

OK rant over 8-)
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:08 AM   #10
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Our grand daughter was on the boat the first time when she was 3 weeks old.
Ashe has and still does spend lots of time aboard with us. She's 15 now and can run the dink, knows how to tie lines, etc.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post

We travelled all around the world mostly in third world conditions, pregnancy, midwife-birthed six hours' drive from the nearest clinic, kids got up and made the campfire then breakfast at 3&4.

If something happens, that's part of life too, trying to eliminate all the risks takes all the life out of life.

OK rant over 8-)


Not sure what it has to do with the issue of having a toddler on board but I understand your point and think it has some merit. OTOH, my wife would likely have died in childbirth, along with my daughter, if she had been away from 1st world medical care. There was no indication of any problem before the birth. Sure, maybe it would be better for our race if unsuccessful breeders are weeded out before they can procreate. However, I am happy my wife and daughter are still around.

It certainly can be safe to have a toddler on board. More importantly, being on a boat is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. If your wife or the toddler's parents are not comfortable with the situation, then there isn't going to be much enjoyment. An 18 month old won't really know the difference. The only reason to take the child along at this point is to allow the parents the chance to be on the boat. Consider leaving your wife and the toddler behind and go out on the boat with the parents if the parents want to go.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:33 PM   #12
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My kids were brought up on my boats from birth and did very well under the watchful eye of my wife. When she had to handle lines we closed and locked the cabin door so they couldn't get out.


Now, with grand kids around the pool and on the boats it's the same thing. Life jackets on around the pool until they can swim two lengths. On the boat they're required to have PFD's on until age 12, so no question there. One benefit to having grand kids around the pool and boats is having their parents there to keep an eye on them, relieving us of that full time job.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:35 PM   #13
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In this case neither my wife nor I are experienced boaters. My family had boats during my childhood, while this is really my wife's first experience boating. So this is a case of her and my instincts being different.

But instincts is are only that, and in fact sometimes instincts can lead one astray while experiences are far more valuable a tool for making good decisions.

That said, there is quite a bit of experience on this forum. And in matters of safety, I find it hugely valuable to tap the knowledge and experience of this community, which is why I posted. Not sure why it would cause someone to go on a rant.

In any case, thanks everyone for chiming in. Very helpful.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:57 PM   #14
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Commercial fishing, there were many families on boats with children from babies on up. Old people, like me, can remember a time when many lived on the water without any of the mandated safeguards of today. At 7, I was allowed to use a row boat, alone on the river. At 9 I got an outboard. The boat was a babysitter. At 15 I nearly drowned, I didn't tell my parents, but anything that doesn't kill you... Both my parents were born on farms in 1901 & 1908 and had a view different from today. I carry that view.
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Old 05-06-2017, 03:10 PM   #15
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I feel compelled to add my few cents.

When I went through pool certification courses a few years ago, one statement has dug its way into my head:

"Most children drown in a pool with BOTH parents watching."

It seems one parent thinks the other is watching...and of course that is what the other parent is thinking also. So, the parents MUST keep an eye on the children and not expect those other adults in the boat to do their job.

My dad took us four children on his 15' runabout in Lake Mead and the Colorado River when I was just a small child. We knew our place. We knew what to do and not to do. BOTH parents kept an eye on use.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:29 PM   #16
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My 2-almost-3 years child was borned in our boat and normally sail and travel with us.
The most logical precaution is keep he busy and under constant supervision.
Below 3 years child does not have the capability to hold their head up, I do not suggest any floating device for a child under 3. Naturally, their keep head down on the water and can drought even with a flotation device.
Adult supervision and keep they busy then everybody can have a relaxing cruising.
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:34 PM   #17
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Our daughter was 5 months when we felt that she fit the Sterns Infant vest well enough to cruise on our Carver in Chesapeake Bay. The first year was a piece of cake compared to the following year when she was much more mobile and vocal! She would scream bloody murder coming into the marina to dock.
She also had a tether when on the FB so there was no way to reach the aft edge.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
To me a real sad symptom of the times the question even gets asked.

The guardian(s) of the child has the responsibility, their instincts, their call, IMO no one else should even have the nerve to make a comment.
No offense, but I have to disagree. The Captain is always responsible. I have often had guests onboard with young children. Some parents don't think it's necessary for their kids to wear PFDs, but on my boat it's my call. I'm more experienced about boats than the parents (usually), and thus better able to assess the risk. When a passenger boards my boat, they have to accept my rules, even if they think I'm being overly cautious.

Just my $.02.

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Old 05-06-2017, 08:15 PM   #19
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I completely agree, sounded like captain was OK, obviously his/her rules always, no question.

Was talking about a third party second-guessing when the parent(s) and captain were already in agreement.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:24 PM   #20
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I completely agree, sounded like captain was OK, obviously his/her rules always, no question.

Was talking about a third party second-guessing when the parent(s) and captain were already in agreement.
The OP does raise an interesting "chain of command" issue. It seems that the Captain and the Admiral don't agree. The Captain may be the final authority on his boat, but disregarding the Admiral's views might have serious repercussions when they get back to headquarters.
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