There are many ways in which you can go boating with children, from hiring a Go Boat and sailing down Regents Canal to trying out a boating holiday for the first time. Although these boating experiences will be quite different, they still have one main thing in common, they all involve being on deep water which does, of course, come with some potential risks. So, here are 5 top tips that will help you be prepare to go boating with children and ensure everyone enjoys it as much as possible. Don’t forget to get the right boat insurance www.insuremy.co.uk/boat-insurance too.
Water Safety Talk
It doesn’t matter whether you are boating on a pond or sailing across the Atlantic a water safety talk is of paramount importance and although your instructor or rental company will no doubt give you all a safety briefing when you arrive it is still advised that you talk to your children in advance as they will most likely be too excited or nervous to listen once the boat is in front of them. This safety talk does not need to be long, in fact keeping it simple and straight forward will be easier for children to recall should they need to. The Canal River Trust have some great resources to help you talk about water safety with children if you are unsure what to cover.
Life Jackets are a must
Making sure that prior to your trip your child understands that whilst boating they will need to wear a life jacket at all times is important. This will not only reduce any last-minute resistance but it also means you can ensure that they are dressed appropriately so a life jacket can easily be worn over their clothing. Also, make sure that you are happy with the life jacket fit, even if it is being fitted by someone else if you or your child do not think it looks or feels right be sure to ask.
Have a fully charged phone in a water proof case
It is unlikely that an emergency will happen when boating with children, especially if you are only doing a day trip on a narrow boat or a one hour rental but it is always better to have the security of knowing that should an emergency arise, boating related or not, that you can ring for help. This may just be as simple as ringing the boating company and letting them now your boat is stuck in some reeds or that it has ran out of petrol, whatever the reason knowing you can sound the alarm if needed will help put your mind at rest.
Pack the suncream
Even if you are boating with children in England in winter still pack some SPF 50. The suns rays reflect off the water and you are more likely to burn than you would be on dry land. Add to this that you usually have more of a breeze when out at sea and you may find that you and your children don’t even realise how hot it is until later that day when you are sore. You don’t want to ruin the memories of a precious trip with sunburn for days.
Assign jobs to everyone
Boating with children can be great fun but it can also be a little bit stressful if you have a few children all in one confined space for a number of hours, or even days. One way to keep the peace is to assign everyone a job so that no one gets bored or jealous of what the other children are doing. These roles can be swapped around so everyone gets to experience certain tasks but by giving them other things to do too will keep them occupied and the bickering at bay. Some roles to consider can be steering the boat, map reading, looking out for certain landmarks or even being the time keeper.
If you keep all of these top tips in mind you are sure to find a new love for boating with children and will soon be including it as an activity on all of your holidays, if not making the boat trip a holiday in itself.