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Calling any sailors out there

(17 Posts)
seeker Thu 25-Sep-08 11:59:58

We're going on a sailing holiday at half term that offers RYA courses as part of the deal. Does anybody know whether a very capable nearly 8 year old could manage the "Competent Crew" course?

browntrout Thu 25-Sep-08 12:14:45

TBH I'm not sure. There is a lot of winching which requires a bit of strength and jumping on and off boat when coming in. Also you will need to understand the concept of angles etc for tacking and jibing. Has your DC got experience of sailing or is s/he just caable in an every day sense of the word? There is a night sail as well. It would be worth emailing the RYA to ask.

mablemurple Thu 25-Sep-08 12:18:12

For competent crew you need to be able to steer the boat to a course - could be a problem if rough weather - raise and lower the sails - can be physically demanding and again, difficult if rough weather. Has your dd/ds been sailing before? Is he/she used to the boat heeling over? You have to be confident moving about the boat forwards and aft, setting the sails for a particular course, tacking, tying a few particular sorts of knots, and other things which I can't remember off the top of my head!
TBH, if there had been children on my CC course I would have been a bit narked - the RYA offer children's courses which may be more suitable.
Probably best to discuss it with the course provider, though!

seeker Thu 25-Sep-08 12:20:05

Gosh, is there a night sail for competent crew? Maybe I'd better check the syllabus! It's about 50 years since I did it!

He can handle a kayak, and he's been sailing a bit but only in dinghys - I meant that's he's very level headed and physically capable generally.

This will be in a "big boat"(Janneau 32)

seeker Thu 25-Sep-08 12:21:16

I wouldn't inflict him on a "proper" course - this is just us and a skipper on a boat in the Mediterranean.

Kathyis6incheshigh Thu 25-Sep-08 12:23:38

I think strength and size would be the main issues. I sailed as a kid and we were pretty comfortable with the jumping on and off and moving around in different weather. Intellectually none of it is particularly difficult and plenty of kids do knots, understanding how sails work etc, as part of dinghy sailing. However a yacht will be set up for adults. It may partly depend on the boat - a whizzy new yacht with nice winches would be easier than an old gaffer. In either case the child may not be able to see well enough to steer! Also it would be a bit weird to have an 8 year old as part of an adult class.
Def check it out with the course provider.

mablemurple Thu 25-Sep-08 12:27:47

There is a big difference between a bit of dinghy sailing and the sort of sailing required for CC, imo. My dd (only just 8) loves kayaking, but is utterly terrified when our boat (27 foot Westerley) heels over, so much so that we cannot go sailing with her any more as she hates it so much. She does want to do some dinghy sailing, though, so there is hope. There is an Introduction to Sailing course which may be more suitable for your ds on a big boat, as there is no pressure to do anything he doesn't want to do, but he will still get a certificate at the end of it!

QS Thu 25-Sep-08 12:31:04

Sorry, can I just ask, at what age did they start kayaking? We are living in kayaking paradise, and dh is keen to take up the sport. Our kids are 6 and 3. We were thinking of getting 2 double kayaks, so we could go with one child each. sorry for highjack, just wanted to pick your brains

seeker Thu 25-Sep-08 12:34:55

Thank you, mablemurplw - that's dsounds more like it. I thought "competent Crew" was the easiest one they did.

As I said, it's not a course as such - it's just us and the skipper on the boat. Wish there was a certificate in sitting in the cockpit with a glass of wine!

mablemurple Thu 25-Sep-08 12:36:03

DD started at 7 - she is only just big enough to handle a kayak herself now, but she would have been ok in a double. Double is a good idea anyway, in case they get tired. I'm not sure I would have taken her at 3 though!
Whereabouts do you live? I like the idea of kayaking paradise!

seeker Thu 25-Sep-08 12:37:35

Ds went in a double when he was 3 - and was fine. It was warm though. But there were crocodiles!

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 25-Sep-08 12:42:40

From my experience this summer, my 11-year-old managed competent crew, but not my 8-yr-old. We did a week's sailing course with just us and the instructor and then a week on flotilla. DD2 (8) was very keen and learned a lot, but wasn't physically strong enough for the winching in and out of sails and this was a non-tidal course in the flat calm Ionian. She got a lot out of it though and was the fender knot champ by a long way.

seeker Thu 25-Sep-08 12:46:18

Thank you LadyGencora - that's exactly what I needed to know - I have a 12 year old as well and I was pretty sure she'd mannage it - you've confirmed my concerns about the 8 year old.

Next time there's a baby name thread, I'm going to suggest Glencora. Bet somebody uses it!

QS Thu 25-Sep-08 12:47:42

I live here - something for next "summer"! grin Thanks

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 25-Sep-08 13:31:52

And whyever not, Seeker? It is much more attractive than a lot of the names parents choose in these degenerate times. Lady Chardonnay Palliser, anyone?
Where are you sailing, btw? I envy you, I would love to do another sailing holiday.

seeker Thu 25-Sep-08 14:08:24

Gibraltar-Spain-Morocco-Gibraltar. Can't wait!

mablemurple Thu 25-Sep-08 18:10:19

QS how fabulous!

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