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Old 11-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #13
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City: Lottsburg, Va
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Amazing Grace
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 52 Sedan
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 242
RE: Life Jackets for Kids

I would echo all of the comments about the wisdom of requiring a child to wear a COMFORTABLE life jacket on deck or on the dock. If they are forced to wear a straight jacket, they will not enjoy the experience. All our kids (3) grew up on boats, our son was last in line but started younger, less than a year. Once he started walking, we put him in a harness with a 6 ft tether. I would tie him to a hand hold at the helm and he had the run of the cockpit, until he reached the end of his rope (sometimes shortly after my wife and I had reached the end of ours!). The length of the tether kept him well within the confines of the boat, I did not want to troll with him as bait (considered it when he was 16 but that is another story). When he went below, I would untie him and he could roam the cabin, only one exit and that was at the helm. Still we kept an eye on him. This was when we had a 25 Grady with a cuddy cabin so the space was more confined than a trawler. My wife and I still turn green when we remember a trip from Solomons to Deltaville in seas that forced us to proced at trawler speed, Will was below playing with his trucks on the dinette, happy as a clam. Just watching him down there with the vehicles rolling 1st one way and then the other was enough to send one to the rail. Probably one reason he is a yacht broker today.Bill Noftsinger
Amazing Grace
MTOA #3568
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