Summer holidays are the perfect occasion to spend some exceptional time with your loved ones and make life-lasting memories for your kids.
One of the best options for an unforgettable summer vacation with the whole family is enjoying the beautiful Croatian sea exploring Croatian bays and islands whil yacht chartering with your children.
But sailing holidays with toddlers, kids, or babies onboard needs some extra precautions and preparations. In this article you can find all our top tips for sailing with kids.
For more sailing tips read also our basic sailing tips and tricks, catamaran sailing tips and most common knots for sailing (with pictures).
If you are wondering why to take our advice on sailing with a baby or grown up children, let us explain that we are one of the leading Croatian yacht charter companies since 1995 and have seen and experienced it all about the topic in last 25 years.
Our yacht charter fleet consists of more than 70 exceptionally well maintained sailing boats for rent, motor yachts for charter and catamarans for rent. If you don’t know how to sail a boat, you can charter our boats with a skipper or/and yachts with the full crew, who will take you to your desired destination and you won’t have to worry about sailing the boat.
Why is Croatia your ideal destination for sailing with children?
Croatia has to offer more than 1000 islands and some national parks, including the most known ones: beautiful parks of Krka & Kornati that are just near our yacht charter base in marina Mandalina, Sibenik, where our ycht charter guests usually start their journey. Asaid of Croatia being a top yacht charter destination because of its natural beauty, you are always quite near the coast and the Adriatic sea is between the most friendly ones for sailing with toddlers on boat.
Now that you can picture the magic of yacht chartering Croatia with your loved ones, let's go through our tips for sailing with kids.
1. WHICH BOAT TO CHOOSE WHEN SAILING WITH KIDS?
Because of their spaciousness and stability, catamarans are ideal for sailing with younger kids and the best option when there are two families on board. This way you will all have a lot of space, required privacy when needed, and the kids will have company throughout the whole chartering period.
Every catamaran has two big nets in front so young children can safely play on them while on trip.
Be sure to take on board sun cream with a high factor because you do not have much shade on the bow, but there is a hard roof in the back of the catamaran so you are protected from the sun, heat or bad weather.
Catamarans are also great for cooking underway because of its stability and a big cockpit. It is also great for people with seasickness because of its two massive hulls that make it stable even in bad weather.
To make the long story short catamaran is the most kid friendly and the best multifamily sailing yacht.
Motor boats are great especially when sailing with an infant, baby or toddler on board, since you can change bays very quickly and you are underway for a short period of time.
You will get the best luxury from motor yachts with a fly bridge since you have an upper deck with a great view and a lower deck with climatization for times when it’s very hot.
Our biggest motorboats are equipped with soft carpets in the interior which are great for the little ones since they can lay on them and play.
Sailboat cruising with kids is optimal choice for sailing families that wants to make the trip with a bit more of adrenaline and teach children how to sail.
They will also enjoy the tilting of a sailing boat underway but you will need to keep a watch on them so they don’t wander off and fall overboard.
It is also important that younger kids and children wear life jackets at least in bad weather. When chartering our boats, you get equipped with them on every single boat.
For more detailed comparison of different boat types you can read also our Multihull catamarans vs monohull sailboats and How to choose the right yacht for your specific needs article.
ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT ON OUR BOATS WHEN SAILING WITH KIDS
With all boats, you can rent our SUP-s and different toys that would make your kids sailing holiday even more exciting. For maximum safety, we can also put additional safety nets on your boat, just be sure to request it when making your reservation.
2. HEALTH AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES
Packing your usual medical kit and all you could need for your kids is very important since you will be staying on a boat and it could take time to get ashore to a pharmacy.
If your children have any allergies or are on any medication, make sure that you have packed all the required medication, for the whole length of your holidays.
Few basic medications to include in your luggage: insect repellent, pain and fever relief, plasters that stick well in water and plenty of sun creme since you will need to apply it on a regular basis.
3. COOL CLOTHES
Like every child, yours probably has their own idea of what they want to wear and take with them on sailing holidays. The best practice for children sailing is to take light cotton clothes and a few pullovers since it can get colder in the evening or on rainy days. Also take more swimming costumes and sun hats so you can change them when they are wet. If you have an infant make sure you take the right baby sailing outfit.
4. ENGAGING ENTERTAINMENT
It is nice to take a break from all digital devices, but they can be useful for downtime while sailing with kids and children, early mornings, or getting in the shade for a while.
Playing a game or watching a movie on smart phone or laptop can also make the downtime a lot easier.
Of course, never forget to bring aboard some cards and board games that don’t take much space in the luggage. In our experience cards, board games and movies are the best sailing activities for kids.
Never forget to take diving masks and fins so you can swim or explore underwater with your children.
For additional fun, you can take also a smaller fishing rod and try to catch some fishes in the areas where that is allowed (In National parks it’s usually forbidden to fish).
Since the kids love to swim or play ashore in some bays try finding beautiful sandy beaches with the help of crew member or local people.
When underway children love to help with sailing plans and looking on the maps so they know where you are heading. You can also entertain them by asking them to keep a lookout for dolphins since they are a very common attraction in the Croatian seas. Dolphins love to swim near a sailboat especially when there isn't any other traffic nearby.
If you go often on family sailing your kids will probably be enthusiastic about learning to sail at an early age. You can show them pictures of interesting things you might see along the way such as wildlife, landmarks, islands,... teach them about the wind and weather so they will understand how it all works and other sailing activities suitable for their age.
5. SAILING WITH THE BABIES
In the past 25 years, we have had many guests with babies on board and their vacation was great. So yes, living on a boat with a baby is very possible.
The sway of a boat is very comforting for them but we would recommend you take a boat with a big master bedroom so you have more space to operate with.
With a toddler, an additional pair of hands is always welcome so don't forget to bring your close friends or someone close to the family with you to help you babysitting or docking a boat and throwing the ropes when you get in the marina, and you do not have a hired skipper on board.
When picking a boat for sailing with a toddler be sure to take one with a bigger bimini (shade cover) so you will have enough shade on the hottest days.
We also have some bigger boats with climatization in our fleet to make the rooms nice and cold. It is important that all of you, especially toddlers get a good sleep on the boat.
With a baby on board, you have to be even more cautious about the weather forecast and stay in the marina when a storm is coming. And never not forget about some additional baby sailing clothes.
6. CROATIAN RESTAURANTS ON ISLANDS
Sometimes cooking and eating, when children are aboard, can be quite challenging.
Croatian restaurants called also “konoba” offer fresh and delicious seafood, and regular food for those who are not excited about fishes, crabs,... usually for an affordable price.
The “konobas” are usually family-run restaurants with a strong emphasis on Italian and Mediterranean cuisine so you will always get also kid-friendly pasta, pizzas and similar.
Most restaurants get fresh seafood every day so the fish on the menu can vary depending on what the fishermen caught that day.
We also recommend to always have some baby food on board for the youngest one.
FINAL WORDS ABOUT SAILING WITH YOUR TODDLER / KID / CHILDREN!
Sailing with kids and toddlers has its pros and cons.
If you will set the rules and take safety precautions, you will mostly enjoy only pros.
Going sailing with small children will be a special experience for them and will open their eyes in many different ways since they will experience something out of ordinary, see a lot of different islands, swim in the best bays or open sea and visit few marinas in a short time period...
They can also learn a lot about sailing since you can teach them all the things about tides, wind and how the boat moves because of it.
Some kids enjoy learning the phonetic alphabet used in the distress calls through the VHF radio stations.
In summary sailing with kids and babies should be an awesome experience and a perfect holiday.
We have a lot of guests sailing with babies or grown up children, and the ones who sail with the family their whole life, from when they are still an infant till adultery, and always have a blast.
For any additional special requests or questions about sailing (with kids), get in touch with us by email or telephone, and we will do our best to help you and accommodate all your needs: PHONE: +385 (0) 91 333 0542 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org