Boating With Kids: 7 Tips on How To Stay Safe and Have Fun

25 Aug 23

A lot of parents prevent their kids from going on boating adventures with them because they have this preconceived notion that going to the sea with kids is dangerous and difficult. But what they don’t know is that this isn’t the case at all! Spending the weekend or holidays with family on a boat is an ideal getaway that lets everyone share valuable memories of spending time with each other.

If you’re planning to go cruising on your Stacer Wildrider, your Crossfire or your Outlaw with your little ones, there are a few things you need to be aware of:

First, children get easily bored so they need to be entertained constantly to keep them occupied. Furthermore, children are curious creatures and love to explore the family boat. Expect them to be running around, jumping up and down, chasing each other, and playing with various marine supplies and equipment. Since kids tend to get reckless, you need to implement some safety rules and guidelines for your kids to follow while you’re aboard the boat.

Here are some things you can do to ensure that your family boating trip is a safe and enjoyable one:

Be aware of your limits

Know firsthand what you can handle during a boating trip. For example, if you’re a seasoned boater and have enough experience cruising with lots of people onboard, it might be easy for you to organise this trip with children onboard. However, if you’re not too confident you can handle planning the trip all by yourself, don’t be afraid to turn to a more experienced boater and ask them to help you prepare for the trip.

Know where you’re heading to

It’s also imperative to have ample knowledge of your trip’s destination. We suggest you go to an area that you’re familiar with so you’ll know how to get there right away. It’s not a good time to explore new places with children on board as they get skittish. Exploring new places means navigating and circling around strange and new areas that may take some time for you to find. Save that kind of trip if you’re boating alone or with adults only on board.

Prepare for emergencies

Don’t forget to plan what to do when the weather takes a turn while you’re in the middle of a trip. Make sure you have a list of emergency numbers to contact when an emergency strikes. Prepare the necessary safety items to keep everyone onboard safe. Make sure your motor is inspected by one of our qualified technicians to make sure it’s operating in its best condition. You don’t want to go on a trip when your engine dies down in the middle of the sea. If you’re in the Coffs Harbour area, give us a call or fill out this form to book a service. We service all types of engines and we can give you advice and an estimate for the job.

Pack raincoats or parkas just in case it rains. Make sure you have enough for everyone to wear so they can stay dry and warm while you are waiting for the rain to pass. You can purchase raincoats here

Another important boating gear you need to bring on your boat at all times is a life vest. Provide life vests for your children. It doesn’t matter if your kid can or cannot swim, the idea of having life vests is for you to be sure they’re safe if the emergency occurs. While onboard, let your children wear it at all times.

Orient your kids about your boat rules before climbing onboard

Talk to your kids about the rules while being onboard your boat. It’s important to set your rules and stick to them so the children will know what they are allowed and aren’t allowed to do. Discuss all the rules they need to follow while they are on board and the consequences that might happen if they disregard them. For example, set a rule that running is not allowed to prevent slipping and falling which will result in breaking bones, bumping foreheads and bottoms, or spraining ankles.

Pack some snacks

Packing snacks for children on a day boating trip is essential to provide nutrition and sustain their energy levels as they engage in outdoor activities. Snacks ensure they stick to their eating routine, even if there are delays. Additionally, having diverse snack options caters to their preferences and helps manage hunger in areas with limited food access. Snacks serve as a distraction, a means of entertainment, and can be valuable in emergencies. They can aid with motion sickness and encourage social interaction among children. Compact, portable, and easy to manage, snacks contribute to the overall convenience and enjoyment of the boating experience.

Don’t forget to bring water, sunscreen and medicines

Always pack at least 2 litres of water for each person on the boat. Fishing, swimming, and exploring beaches and waterways are activities that can dehydrate you and your loved ones quickly. And if for any reason, the boat breaks down, it could be hours until Marine Rescue tows you back in! They are usually busy, especially on the weekends! We suggest you book your boat in for a service to prevent this situation.

A child’s skin is much more sensitive compared to adults so they tend to burn faster when they are exposed to the hot sun. Plus, kids are notorious for playing under the extreme heat of the sun for hours until they get tired. Sunburns are uncomfortable and you don’t want your kids feeling crabby and sick while they are suffering. Make sure to apply sunscreen with a high SPF factor (30 and above) and apply it on your kids’ skin every two hours. Make sure to apply it to areas where it will get a lot of exposure from the sun.

Aside from that, don’t forget to bring medicine for illnesses such as seasickness, headaches, flu, and stomach aches. You know your kids and you know what tends to trouble them so always bring medicine that will treat their illness.

We recommend installing a Bimini on your boat or considering a boat with a small cabin, like the Stacer Sea Runner, which is perfect for families. The cabin makes a great play area: a comfortable spot where they won’t be exposed to the sun or rain. They will have enough space for colouring, drawing pictures, playing, watching cartoons, napping, or eating their snacks.

Engage them in fun activities

Involve your kids in activities where their little brains get stimulated. They can help you do some chores that they can easily do, like tidying up lines. If there are no chores to be done, play games with them (spot the whale!). You can also explain to them the different parts of the boat, and the different functions of each piece of equipment and tools. Talk to them about the scenery before them, and any topic to keep their interest, such as fish or marine birds and mammals.

Keeping these things in mind will make your trip with children as pleasurable as it can be. Kids tend to be klutzy at times but it’s all part of their charm. When you implement the following tips mentioned above, you’ll be assured that the entire family will have a splendid time on the water!

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