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#495811 - 08/13/10 12:09 AM Family and boating  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,583
Pontchartrain Offline
Admiral
Pontchartrain  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,583
Covington, LA (near New Orlean...
Grew up boating with dad and brothers. It was all fishing (blah) and 4am starts (blah, blah). After marriage, have had two boats with wife (bowriders). Had first kid after we had the second one and took her out about 8 times from age 7 months through 14 months. Then, we got out when babay #2 was on the way.

Now we have 3: girl age 7, two boys ages 5 and 4. We think we wanna get back in. Aside from the selfish reason that I just want back in, would boating be an awesome thing for a young family? Are the kids of sufficient age? Any other thoughts? Looking at 19 to 22 foot bowriders or deck boats. Mostly river and a bit of lake boating (river dumps in to the lake).

All thoughts and experiences with young kids are welcomed and solicited! :-)


Boat's gone. I'm on an extended boat shopping trip.
Truck's been traded in for a Mini-van. The rugrats are taking over! Update: As of July 2010, might be thinking of getting back in! :-)
#495812 - 08/13/10 12:30 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: Pontchartrain]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,088
Silverbullet Offline
Admiral
Silverbullet  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,088
Boise, ID
When my wife was pregnant with the first mate I asked her if boating was something we wanted in our life. She said yep and I said I was buying a bigger boat. Now we have Baby Blue. We enjoy the time with family and the admiral has been on the boat since he was 9 months old.

All summer long he says, "pull boat"? When we leave the house he says, "bye boat".

When we started him on the boat, he would fall asleep quickly and sleep for a couple hours. Now he stays up while we are on the boat. He'll be three in about a month.

He likes to walk around on the boat and just hangs out. Doesn't get in the water much, but that is changing. I think next year he will be riding the tube with momma.

I don't unplug from work very often so the admiral likes the boating time.

The kids are plenty old enough. Take there favorite foods and easy stuff to eat. We take water, juice, a sandwich, crackers, etc and plenty of sun block.\


take the family out and they will be hooked.


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#495820 - 08/13/10 07:04 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: Silverbullet]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,400
tpenfield Offline
Admiral
tpenfield  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,400
Cape Cod, MA
As far as a boat with a growing family . . .

Go big or stay home. I would favor the higher end of your size range (22 ft) as you will want the additional room on board.


Regards, Ted

Formula 330SS

My Boat Web Sites
#495824 - 08/13/10 08:04 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,583
Pontchartrain Offline
Admiral
Pontchartrain  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,583
Covington, LA (near New Orlean...
Thanks y'all! Tpen, the Regal we tested (and also found another apparantly clean one) was listed as a 22', which was actually 20' of hull and 2.5 feet of bolt-on swim platform. Being a deck boat, it was so humongous in feel. We had 5 onboard during the test- 4 adults and a kid. It seemed like there was no one onboard at all. Definitely loved the layout and now am very much in favor of a deck boat. Cool thing is it could still fit in my garage (maybe), but has the feel of like a 23 or 24 foot bowrider. :-)


Boat's gone. I'm on an extended boat shopping trip.
Truck's been traded in for a Mini-van. The rugrats are taking over! Update: As of July 2010, might be thinking of getting back in! :-)
#495825 - 08/13/10 08:13 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: Pontchartrain]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,072
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,072
Chicago, IL
Think your kids ages will be perfect for introducing them into boating. My only recommendation would be to get the biggest bimini top possible. The more shade the happier they will be.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#495828 - 08/13/10 08:41 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: captkevin]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,140
Philr Offline
Admiral
Philr  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,140
Rock Island, IL
Ditto what Captkevin said, plus I think a big ESP really adds a lot of usefulness to any boat.


'08 Chaparral 246SSi VP5.7GXiDP

My wife says that I spend too much time talking to random people online. What do you guys think?
#495830 - 08/13/10 08:48 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: Philr]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,583
Pontchartrain Offline
Admiral
Pontchartrain  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,583
Covington, LA (near New Orlean...
One more question (and being this is a boating website, I suspect I know the answer :-) ): We first started thinking of getting an inground pool. Then we heard the prices. Then we saw our old boating photos.
We can get a nice used boat for about half the cost of the pool (~$20K vs ~40K). Plus, we have a private, neighborhood pull within walking distance from our home. Plus, a boat you can sell a year later if it doesn't pan out, but an inground poll you probably can't sell! :-)
Anything I am overlooking or is a boat the hands-down right choice here?
Also, we live about 15 minutes from the launch, tops.


Boat's gone. I'm on an extended boat shopping trip.
Truck's been traded in for a Mini-van. The rugrats are taking over! Update: As of July 2010, might be thinking of getting back in! :-)
#495834 - 08/13/10 09:14 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: Pontchartrain]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,692
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
Retired Boating Bum
Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,692
Pasco, WA
The only thing you can do go get rid of an inground pool is get a backhoe, buy loads and loads of dirt to fill it in, do a TON of landscape work, and end up where you were before you put the pool in.

Don't ask me how I know.

My kids were young 3, 12, 14 when I bought my first boat. The two youngest loved it, the oldest waa just OK with it. He had other sports he was involved in so he never really liked to spend days on the boat.

Ditto on Kevin's comment on the bimini. Especially in your neck of the woods. Time spent on the boat is quality time. No TV, leave the phones at home so no texting, just lots of conversation and enjoying each other's company. THAT is what boating is all about.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#495836 - 08/13/10 09:21 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,253
Wet Doggg Offline
Admiral
Wet Doggg  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,253
Rockford, Michigan
My kids are 3 1/2 and 15 month old twins. We have used a the boat a little this summer. Next summer we will use it a lot more. Your kids are perfect age. I agree on the bimini. I had one custom made and it covers our entire cockpit. It must be 12' - 14' long or so I am guessing.

Good luck. We thought about the pool as well. But here in Michigan it actually lowers your house's value even after you dump the $50k into it.


2007 Tige 22i - Current
2000 Sea Ray 410 Express - Sold
2003 Sea Ray 320 Sundancer - Sold
2000 Four Wins 230 Horizon - Sold
2003 Rinker 250 Fiesta Vee - Sold
1999 Four Winns 205 Sundowner - Sold
#495837 - 08/13/10 09:26 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: Wet Doggg]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,072
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,072
Chicago, IL
When i was a kid growing up both sets of grandparents owned boats & that is where I caught boating fever. My parents decided it would make more sense to put in a inground pool. You can use it every day & it doesn't need gas. My brother & I both owned boats & neither of us has ever had a pool. I'm on boat #5. Guess it is safe to say I'd pick boats over pools any day.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#495838 - 08/13/10 09:34 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: Wet Doggg]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,608
On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,608
PA and Smith Mountain Lake
We took our son our for the first time when he was 6 months old. We would have had him out earlier but he was born in November. He loves the boat, it is great family fun. Our son is not 2.5 yrs old, yes it can be stressful at times and not as relaxing as it would without him but he is part of our family. He likes to jump off the ESP and enjoys sitting in the tube. Speaking of tube he went tubing a few weeks ago at no wake speeds.

We have a 26' LOA which is 24' w/out the ESP. Our last boat was an 18' and that little guy took up more space than you could imagine.

One more thing to consider, our new boat has a head, he uses that thing all the time now that he is head trained. The first 2 years he was in a diaper so not having a head wasn't an issue. Just something to think about when trying to tell your 4 yr old to hold #2.

As far as a pool.... the boating season is longer than a pool season, pool is lots of maintenance, yes it is nice to be able to do moon light swims. I have a pool membership through my work and we enjoy saying thankyou to the lifeguard on our away out and not having to deal with the headaches (I had a pool growing up).

As WD says, a pool doesn't add any value to your house in PA either.


2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
2008 Honda Goldwing Trike
2006 Regal 2400
2004 Dodge Ram 2500
2003 Ford F-150
2002 Harley Davidson Roadking Classic


#495852 - 08/13/10 11:57 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 11,955
Frantically Relaxing Offline
Admiral
Frantically Relaxing  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 11,955
The ONLY problem you should encounter with kids while boating, is "I'm bored!". They're not old enough to enjoy the "nothing to do" aspect of boating like us old folk! Be sure to include watersports, swimming & stuff. For younger kids, bring something they like to play with, coloring books, etc. For older kids take along pocket games for them to play. Frisbee and a couple of badminton rackets supply something to do when you're on shore. One of my things as a kid was reading comic books, they were cheap enough I could get some new ones before every trip.

Doesn't matter what age kids are, take 'em boating. It's what they'll remember...
smile

#495886 - 08/13/10 09:01 PM Re: Family and boating [Re: Frantically Relaxing]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,400
tpenfield Offline
Admiral
tpenfield  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,400
Cape Cod, MA
FWIW . . . I started the family on a sailboat and then moved onto a powerboat. The sailboat was actually a more accommodating ride than the powerboat, but it took forever to get anywhere.

I'm thinking that I will get another sailboat someday, for those windy days when you just want to enjoy the ride, but don't care if you go anywhere.


Regards, Ted

Formula 330SS

My Boat Web Sites
#495910 - 08/14/10 09:24 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,050
Parrott_head Offline
Admiral of Vice
Parrott_head  Offline
Admiral of Vice
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,050
We had our S and D team in the boat as early as possible. Would encourage you to do the same.

We went with a deck boat with an ESP and Bimini top. Those two are essential in my book.

We would make boating a shared joy. The S and D team were given responsibilities appropriate to their age and abilities.

We would play the "What If?" game. I would ask them, "What if daddy fell out of the boat and it continued to run?" They would formulate an answer and I would review it. This got them to think about how to handle unforeseen events.

It was great that they could invite their playmates along as they grew older. It gave them a chance to shine in something they knew well that most kids don't get to do very often.

It was also used as a way of teaching basic mechanical skills.

When we would have family reunions I would tell the tribe, "When the boat is ready we hit the water!". They would organize themselves and get it all done.


Former owner of a 2002 Four Winns 234 FunShip
'16 F250 4x4 Oil Burner
"Hey, if I'm a Vice Admiral, which vice do I get to claim?"
#496161 - 08/16/10 10:04 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 908
rwidman Offline
Admiral
rwidman  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 908
North Charleston, SC
Originally Posted By: tpenfield
FWIW . . . I started the family on a sailboat ...........


I started my family in the back seat of a car! lol

But seriously, I have to say that young children should have full time supervision on a boat (and at the boat ramp). It's just too easy for them to put themselves in an unsafe situation. One adult needs to be able to devote full time attention to operating the boat so any additional adults should not have any more children to supervise than they are capable of handling.

#496165 - 08/16/10 10:37 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: rwidman]  
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,944
athiker Offline
Admiral
athiker  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,944
Lake Norman, NC
I have 3 kids...10, 8, 5 and we have been power boating since 2004 so I think your kids are old enough to enjoy boating. Echoing the bimini comments and going a step further I would keep in mind you live in the south and your kids will be bundled up in life jackets so regardless of the bimini they will be hot....faster than you will be no doubt. I would try to maximize the time they spend in the water per trip and minimize the overall excursion time. Or at least have that expectation going in so you aren't disappointed if the kids are "done" after a couple of hours and you were hoping to stay out all day.

While they will be mildly interested in watching you ski they will be more interested in what they are or are not doing! Not saying the kids need to run the show...just saying they will have their same short attention spans they have on land only will be more uncomfortable in the hot sun and in their life jackets. smile Like planning a vacation...less in more when planning activities. My kids like to ski a bit, have just lately really started to actually ask to go out tubing (10 & 8 not the 5) at home rather than when we are already on the boat, but are as happy as can be when we anchor and let the swim around. If we anchor near an island where they can swim in and mess in the sand...er mud...all the better. Friends to play with?...then we can anchor for hours and they are happy as clams.

One thing we do is tie our biscuit tube to a line and leave it out for the kids to play on and jump off. Maybe a year or so ahead for your kids ages...but mine have a blast (me too!) with "king of the mountain", etc. now. I just keep an eye that they aren't so close to the boat as to hit their heads falling into the side or swim platform.

If you have a number of people on board and are rotating through riders then take a few minutes and let the kids jump in for a bit while changing riders. It goes a long way in letting them cool off and keeping everybody happy. The little extra time is well worth it. This is where all that good playground parenting comes in handy...when you ask (tell) them to get back in the boat...they have to do it right then. If you have...uhmm...friends along...or maybe a relative...with a different parenting style and it takes 10 mins of pleading to get their kid back in the boat EVERY time...well lets just say theoretically...this system doesn't work so well.

Oh, and bring lots of various foods and drinks for the kids...hungry tummies are cranky tummies. Have fun!


2000 Cobalt 206 5.7L EFI Alpha 1
#496383 - 08/18/10 11:55 AM Re: Family and boating [Re: athiker]  
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 113
Ragtopman Offline
Captain
Ragtopman  Offline
Captain

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 113
Wallingford, CT & Squam Lake, ...
Get a cuddy cabin. I have 4 year old twins they have been boating since they were 6 weeks old. Yes Weeks. I thought about selling the boat but held out and it is the smartest move I made. I have a 24" Four Winns Sundowner with full canvas. Kids love it and we spend hours just sitting on the hook and crusing Long Island Sound. The cabin was great when they were younger and they took many naps on the boat this year being older they have napped less but still like getting in there for some down time. Canvas is a must as it will keep everyone cool.

Get quality life jackets for them as they will be less figity if the jacket fits well and is comfortable


What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?

99 Four Winns 245 Sundowner "Tropical Itch"

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