Cruising around the San Juan Islands is as ideal as vacations can get. It’s a fun way to explore the archipelago, but most importantly, it presents you with the opportunity to learn about oceanography, history, and naval architecture. If you’re looking to introduce your kids to sailing, a great first step would be to take them on a yacht charter. Here are a few tips to let them discover their love for sailing.
Find an Experienced Crew
Chartering with first timers can be quite difficult even if you have some experience with sailing. Instead of going bare boat, look for a company that provides a fully crewed vessel. Having a seasoned skipper at the helm and a reliable, amiable crew on the deck will make your kids feel safer on the journey. The crew would also be more than willing to teach children a few useful things about operating the vessel.
Assign Small Roles to Kids
There are many useful skills one can pick up from sailing, but perhaps the most important is learning to work as a part of the team. Encourage your children to be more hands-on on the vessel by giving them small roles. They might enjoy looking through binoculars and calling out if they see nearby land. You can also make them junior navigators and help track the ship’s progress with their own smartphone’s maps and GPS. See the ropes and rigging at work on a sailboat is intriguing. Learning how to tie a few traditional knots is a skill they will use for a lifetime.
Choose Longer Voyages
One day isn’t nearly enough to get children fully invested on the idea of captaining their own ship someday, especially if shopping, sightseeing, watersports and other activities would be part of the itinerary. To make sure that you have enough time for all the activities you want to try, going on longer voyages would be the best option. Multiple day charters will also allow them to get their sea legs and maybe try spending the night aboard ship.
Make Sailing Fun
So long as they have fun on the trip, kids will stay engaged and willing to learn. If you really want to awaken their passion for sailing, make sure that the whole adventure is a positive experience for them. Pack their favorite food, set out to find whales or other ocean life, go swimming or just have fun hanging out on deck. Taking into consideration your children’s interests will make the vacation truly something to remember.
If you keep these tips in mind for your next charter adventure, you might just come home with future sailing enthusiast. Before you know it, sailing could become a yearly vacation tradition for your family.