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Family Boating is a fun way to connect with each other, enjoy nature, and learn new skills.

Whether your boat is a dinghy, small sailboat, powerboat, or a large cruising vessel, boating and learning together is a great family activity.

Learn more about boating at <a href="" rel="nofollow">Gulf Islands Cruising School</a>

We are located in Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island. The Canadian Gulf Islands offer fine cruising grounds with islands, coves, and harbors to explore.

Material Connection Disclosure: Gulf Islands Cruising School Ltd. may have an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the providers of goods and services mentioned on this site and may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone.

By studying the charts of your cruising area, children can learn chart symbols, the changing depth of the water, and the meaning of contour lines.

Next choose the ports to visit. Involve the children by asking them to research the facilities and activities offered at each port. It will be important to know if the port can accommodate your vessel. Also note if the choice of port offers fuel and water, pump out station, a store for supplies, showers, and a laundromat.

When selecting ports, take into consideration activity preferences such as swimming, hiking, beach combing, fishing, shopping.

Once on board and underway, the planning and research comes to life for the children. They can identify islands and ports they have studied and anticipate arriving at the planned destinations.

Involving children in planning your boating vacation will be a family learning experience.

One secret to enjoying time boating is to provide alternate activities for the children. Bringing books, board games, and card games on board will occupy the young crew.

You can use the time on a boat for teaching about nature - plants, animals, birds, and the water. Another idea is to teach the phonetic alphabet which is needed when using a VHF radio. Note only certified operators can use the radio unless there is an emergency.

Giving each person a job on board will teach responsibility and assist Mom. There will be a captain, a first mate, a cabin boy/girl, a galley cook to name a few jobs. A booklet outlining the duties for each job can be referred to when needed.

Galley duties may be setting the table, washing dishes, emptying the trash, and helping prepare meals. I have found it is helpful to prepare lunch before leaving the dock or anchorage in the morning. If you enjoy sandwiches, involve the children in making them, wrap, and put in the icebox/fridge for lunch.

Choose destinations where Moms can take a break such as spending a day at a spa, hiking, or a place to read and relax.

<h2 id="module_id10039246_title">Boating with Children</h2>
<h3 id="module_id10039246_subtitle">Safety</h3>
</hgroup>Safety is number one when boating. Wearing a PFD (personal flotation device) at all times is the most important rule.

Children need to be taught about the equipment required on board a boat and the reason it is there. Studying a boating guide together will give the crew valuable information on boating safety. Let the children know about distress signals, eg. flares, foghorn, and why they are used.

Boating with your children is a great learning opportunity for the whole family.

Menu Planning, shopping, and meal preparation are part of the activities involved when boating with your family. The whole family could help decide on the types of meals to be served. Perhaps there are meals the young crew could help prepare with supervision.

Teaching the children boating knots and their uses is another way to involve the young crew.

A few of the basic boating knots are:

* bowline
* sheet bend
* figure 8
* bowline on a bight
* cleat hitch
* rolling hitch

Visit <a href="" rel="nofollow">Grog's Boating Knots</a> to learn the use of knots and how to tie them.

You can give each person a piece of line and follow along on the animated instructions.


Bruce Stott
Bruce Stott
President/Chief Instructor
Nautical Experience

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