Sailing can be a great sport for all the family. Even quite young children can be useful members of the crew, learning how to tie on fenders, helping with the anchor, and steering the yacht.
Every year we teach a number of families to sail. This post has some nice photographs of the van Pappeldam family, who sailed with us this Easter. Their multilingual children were a delight to have on board.
If you are thinking of bringing your children on a ‘learn to sail’ holiday here is some information for you:
The RYA have an excellent book for young sailors – Go Cruising! It is accompanied by an activity book with things to colour in, stickers, crosswords and other activities to keep young crew entertained. We provide a copy free to all families who sail with us.
The minimum age for doing an RYA Competent Crew course is about 13, although we havc had a few keen dinghy sailors who have managed to pass at a younger age.
Children from about 10 years old can get an RYA Start Yachting certificate if they have been useful members of the crew.
Children who have done some dinghy sailing often get more out of the sailing tuition than those who are completely new to sailing.
Younger children can be awarded our own ‘Sailing Dolphins’ certificates.
If you have young childern on board we suggest that you consider taking six days rather than five days to do your course; this allows more time for swimming /snorkeling / playing on the beach, and you can make shorter trips each day but complete the same number of miles as in a 5-day course.
Children are fine on board a Competent Crew course which has a relaxed pace, but if the adults are doing a Day Skipper course it requires rather more planning, RYA Day Skipper is quite demanding and, although we still build in time for swim stops, you must remember that this is primarily a sailing course and secondly a family holiday
If you are going to sail with teenagers you need to explain that sailing is an environmentally friendly sport. Yachts do not have electricity at all times and the amount of water on board is limited. Most people enjoy the challenge of holidaying in an environmentally friendly way and find they can live without TV, hairdryers, unlimited hot water, and other things they normally regards as essentials .