Children want to be there when it comes out on the water. Fun and safety are not mutually exclusive.
Children and boats are made for each other, especially if you don’t neglect the fun and simple safety rules. This is absolutely not a contradiction in terms, as long as the communication is right and the young passengers are involved in the dialogue before the lines are released. Because everyone has to know what’s going on. Let the children have their say, too, because they shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. You will be amazed how quickly they learn. So we turned the tables and asked what tips children would give adults in order to make their experience on board as entertaining and interesting as possible, without forgetting the basic rules of safety. Have fun!
1) We want comfortable life jackets: Those chunky orange things are zero fun.
2) Explain the rules of the game to us before we cast off: We have to stand with both feet on deck, we shouldn’t lean over the railing.
3) We need to be reminded of sun protection: hat, cap, sunscreen and drink water regularly!
4) Warn us about hatch covers that are closed: They can crush little fingers and toes and are a frequent risk of injury.
5) Let us children join in when we are on the road: We want to steer, trim a sheet, or at the end wash the deck with a brush and hose.
6) Bring something against seasickness that is also suitable for children: nausea on board is the greatest spoiler of fun. We could chew vitamin C or ginger tablets, drink ginger ale, smell peppermint, wear acupressure bracelets, and scan the horizon for other boats.
7) Pack us dry clothes to change: when children get wet, they feel the cold faster and more strongly than adults.
8) Show us how to notify the coast guard via VHF radio: Even if we do not have a radio certificate, such an emergency call could bring rescue in the worst case.
9) Explain navigation instruments such as compass, nautical chart and GPS to us: If you want to become good, practice early. And once I’ve got my boating license, I’m sure I can borrow your ship, right father?
10) Bring vinegar: If we’re allowed to swim in the ocean or let ourselves be dragged behind a motorboat on a board or an inflatable banana, jellyfish stings are as much fun spoilers as seasickness.