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Boating holiday with a toddler - would we be mad?

(14 Posts)
Claud43a Mon 22-Jun-09 13:23:45

We're thinking about a short break in the UK on a narrowboat or river cruiser. We have a nearly-3-year-old and a 4 month old. We've had good breaks on the Norfolk Broads before we had children but I don't know if I'm being over optimistic to think it might work out okay now. Has anyone else tried boating with young children? I can see that it might go so horribly wrong ...

Iklboo Mon 22-Jun-09 13:29:20

I think you need 1000 eyes but you do get life jacket son the boats and the doors & windows have locks.
One problem could be when mooring up - one person needs to steer and one needs to leap off boat and help pull it it/moor (tie) it up. If only you and your other half were going it would mean no-one would be with the little ones while you were mooring

Rubyrubyrubyinthegame Mon 22-Jun-09 13:30:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShowOfHands Mon 22-Jun-09 13:34:31

DH's grandmother has a boat (permanently moored on the Broads) and we've taken dd since birth. We have taught her what she can and cannot do and she is very good. Obviously we watch her like a hawk too but she does not try to go anywhere she shouldn't. Your 3yr old is old enough to understand and learn boat safety.

The boats are lockable and in some you can isolate areas so that they cannot get on deck at all unless you allow it which you would need when mooring up.

Claud43a Mon 22-Jun-09 14:14:44

Thanks very much everyone. I hadn't thought about mooring and we have been used to trips with more than 2 adults (although we are thinking of just the two of us and kids this time).

I think dd would find it all so exciting and she's been asking to go on a boat for a while now (but probably just because of something she's seen on CBeebies!)

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 22-Jun-09 14:18:45

My dcs are very disapproving about John on Rosie and Jim wandering around with his lifejacket undone. grin
Yes you do have to be vigilant, but 3 is old enough to have some sense of danger and as long as you are strict when necessary it should be fine. We went when dd was 2 and a bit and ds was 9 months; we had an extra adult which helped, but it was not really that difficult.
Does your dd stay strapped into a buggy/booster seat? If you have some way of restraining her when neither of you is available to supervise, that can help with mooring etc.

Claud43a Mon 22-Jun-09 14:30:12

We have a booster seat for meals out which she's a bit grown up for but is still usable, so that might work pretty well. Hmmm - lots to think about ...

JackBauer Mon 22-Jun-09 14:38:32

IL's have a boat and DH, his siblings and all the grandkids go off and on. Anyone under 10 has lifejacket at all times unless the doors are locked and when they are in open sea they were roped to the boat if on deck as well!

It is perfectly doable as long as your 3yr old is ok with following orders. I am happy with DD1 behaving on teh boat but we cannot trust DD2 not to try things so she cannot be left alone at any timehmm

morningsun Mon 22-Jun-09 14:46:00

would definitely not do it myself.what if you overslept and your dd got up before you?

newgirl Mon 22-Jun-09 14:46:53

id be more concerned about boredom when boating - my 3 year old wouldnt really sit and watch the world go by so would be pottering about a lot so it would depend how much space you would have etc? id plan to have days out on shore so plenty of space to run around and use the boat as a base and for short runs

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 22-Jun-09 14:48:40

Narrowboats on canals are good because you go at walking pace and there is generally a towpath alongside so you can walk bits, which makes it more fun.

TheShipsCat Mon 22-Jun-09 14:55:10

I live on a boat with dd1 (3) and dd2 (1). You have to be careful, obviously, but it's fine. You'll have a fab time, and so will they.

Badgermoose Mon 22-Jun-09 19:00:29

DD was 13 months the first time we went sailing with her, but went with loads of family. Went again when dd was 3 1/2 and ds 7 months but with just the 2 of us.
They need to be surgically glued to their life-jackets and you need to have thought through the logistics of mooring with only 2 of you (we found this the trickiest bit, generally tried to plan it so DS was asleep and dd bribed with promise of illicit sugary things once we were finished and seemed to work fine) but otherwise 'twas fantastic, have in fact just booked next sailing holiday just todaygrin

Claud43a Mon 22-Jun-09 20:51:19

And again, thanks everyone. It sounds as if we could make it work, particularly if we're somewhere we can be ashore a lot. It's something I definitely want to do when they're older, it's just a question of how soon we can start grin

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