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Old 10-24-2008, 06:41 AM   #1
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Default Baby On Board

I will have my one year old grand daughter (plus her parents) on board over Christmas for 2 weeks, and have harness, right size PFD and lifeline netting all organised.

What I'm not too sure about is what to do about her sleeping arrangements. We will be anchored in (hopefully) quiet anchorages every evening - and not doing too much during the day, but it is the first time I've had a very young child on board for any length of time - so grateful for any advice.

She is mobile (crawling), and I've been searching the internet for possible sleeping solutions - one I came up with is the KinderKot which looks easy to transport and looks as though it will keep her contained on a bunk or on the cabin or saloon floor. Has anyone got any experience with the Kinderkot - or anything else which I might use?

I'm looking forward to spending the time with them, but a little nervous too!

Cheers

Mike
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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Has anyone got any experience with the Kinderkot - or anything else which I might use?

I'm looking forward to spending the time with them, but a little nervous too!

Cheers

Mike
Mike always nervous times having little ones. It is amazing our little they can move yet when you look for them they are simply gone.

We have not had any of our grandkids on our yacht (difficult as it has not arrived yet) and we did not have kids let alone grandkids when we had our yachts and fishing boats, but a few years ago we bought a small motorhome and spent 6 months in it touring the USA. We had our grandkids (ages 1 and 2 at that time) visit us and travel with us for a bit.

We used an older version of a Graco folding crib that worked out really well. The kids can stand in it yet it has soft sides and a soft bottom, fits into a carrybag that is included and folds up to about 10" x 10" x 3ft tall. It takes all of a minute to fold yet once opened it locked open and there was no way for it to collapse on the kid. It worked perfectly, washable, secure and enough room in it for them to move and play if necessary, plus we never had an instance where either child managed to climb out once they were in it.

When I get home tonight I will get the actual model and part # of the unit we used, still have it.

9c01ams5.jpg
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
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At one year old the little girl is most likely walking, though not very well. But by Christmas she could be starting to run.

Make sure that you secure the boat when you all go to sleep at night so that the child cannot go on deck, because she will if she can. Children, particularly toddlers, seem to have a fascination for stairs and prefer to climb them than do just about anything else! You do not want the child on deck unsupervised.

Another strict rule that is in your best interest: when there is water, the life jacket must be on. That means even when walking on a dock, regardless if in parent's arms, walking, in a stroller, whatever. Children understand rules, and a charter fishing crewman made that an unbreakable rule - lifejacket ON, or in the car in the parking lot. No boat, no dock, no, no, no. A great rule that I want to emphasize over, and over again.

Enjoy. As my sister-in-law and I say, "we like them that size!"
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:33 PM   #4
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Enjoy. As my sister-in-law and I say, "we like them that size!"
Ben, the owner of a Rawson 30, recently posted this YouTube of his toddler onboard the boat.

Ben, his wife, and baby live and sail in Alaska, btw.
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:31 PM   #5
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Another strict rule that is in your best interest: when there is water, the life jacket must be on. That means even when walking on a dock, regardless if in parent's arms, walking, in a stroller, whatever. Children understand rules, and a charter fishing crewman made that an unbreakable rule - lifejacket ON, or in the car in the parking lot. No boat, no dock, no, no, no. A great rule that I want to emphasize over, and over again.
We already have that rule, as we have to get to our house by boat - her very first present from us was a lifejacket - and part of her Christmas present will be one too! But the river trip is only 20 minutes - This is 2 weeks.

Thanks to all

Mike
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Old 11-02-2008, 04:42 PM   #6
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

Our son - Stuart - has been a full-time liveaboard sailor ever since he was 53 hours old. He's five years of age now... and he's never fallen off the dock or from the boat - ever.

In addition to what has already been suggested above... one item which added greatly to the overall safety for him, as he was advancing from crawling to walking (and climbing), was the addition of a custom "plug" which I made for the main ladder. I simply placed a half inch piece of plywood behind the ladder and traced the shape of the opening inside the first and second steps. Then I cut the plug out from the wood and, viola, we had a small piece of plywood which we could easily use to plug the ladder - which prevented him from climbing out into the cockpit. Our's held itself snugly in place with no hardware or anything at all. Depending on your ladder - you may need to add a finger hole (with a hole saw) to pull the plug out... but in our case we could simply remove it by pushing it with our fingers from behind.

Too Easy.

As for sleeping arrangements - Stuart has always been comfortable sleeping wherever he nodded-off. We used to prop some pillows around him to help shore him snugly in place but he'd always seem to have kicked them onto the cabin sole before we woke up. He rolled out of the Vberth a few times and we used to keep a fluffy sheep skin mat there to soften the blow.

He fell the full height from the companionway to the saloon a couple times as he was growing up but thankfully he was born with a hard hed and got over crying quickly.

Kids learn fast from their bumps and bruises. I'm sure your grandchild will do just fine and will some day become a seaworthy sailor thanks to your thoughtful guidance.

Enjoy every moment and take lots of photos - they grow-up so fast.

To Life!

Kirk
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:07 PM   #7
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In addition to what has already been suggested above... one item which added greatly to the overall safety for him, as he was advancing from crawling to walking (and climbing), was the addition of a custom "plug" which I made for the main ladder. I simply placed a half inch piece of plywood behind the ladder and traced the shape of the opening inside the first and second steps. Then I cut the plug out from the wood and, viola, we had a small piece of plywood which we could easily use to plug the ladder - which prevented him from climbing out into the cockpit. Our's held itself snugly in place with no hardware or anything at all. Depending on your ladder - you may need to add a finger hole (with a hole saw) to pull the plug out... but in our case we could simply remove it by pushing it with our fingers from behind.
Hi Kirk

We are contemplating buying a sailboat and living aboard for a few years with an almost 5 year old and a 15 year old. Where were you living aboard with your children and how much sailing did you do? were you traveling or mostly docked and stationed?

I have lived aboard a 41' Morgan Ketch for 3+ years in the past in Florida, the Bahamas out islands and the Caribbean, when it was just 2 people and met folks with kids living aboard even smaller boats than ours but am wondering now if it is really doable. I guess everything is what you make of it.

I love the ladder idea, it would be great to see a picture or a drawing because I am having a hard time seeing it from the description.

Look forward to hearing your advice and comments!

Stephanie Vaughan

Houston, TX
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