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Boating with kids: tips for the summer holidays

Boating with kids

Whether you’re familiar with boating or completely new to it, boating with kids can become stressful at times. So, if you’re off on the water with children over the next couple of months, our tips will ensure you enjoy a restful holiday where you can create memories of quality time together.

Adjust your kids to the idea of boating

Before setting off on your holiday, it’s a good idea to take your kids on board the boat where possible. This will help get them used to the experience and feel safe and comfortable. If they’re worried, put on their life jacket and try sitting with them on the boat while it’s stationary. Once they’re happy with the idea, it’s important to go through some basics of boat safety. These include:

  • Always wearing their life jacket
  • Sitting down when the boat is moving
  • Telling them about parts of the boat to stay away from or be careful of, e.g. the fuel tank

Watch the weather

  • It’s easy to forget about the sun where you’re out having fun on a boat. Remember that with the breeze and the reflection of the sun off the water, it can sometimes be warmer than you think. Therefore, it’s important to bring the following with you to make sure no one burns:
  • Kids sun hats – ideally, these should be water resistant and provide both neck and head cover. 
  • Sunglasses – ones that are polarized for water reflection are best.
  • Sun shade/umbrella – if you’re boating with a baby or toddler, this will be useful to give them some extra cover where they can sleep or rest. 

Stock up on snacks

Kids always seem to get more hungry out on the water, so pack lots of extra food and drink just in case. Plenty of water is also a must when boating with kids, especially if the weather is going to be hot. To help with this, we also recommend packing:

  • A large cooler to keep food and drink chilled
  • Reusable plastic containers
  • Wet wipes for cleaning up spillages and messy hands/faces
  • Ice packs
  • Water bottles

Plan for fun-filled days

There are tons of activities you can do on the water, no matter where you’re going or what type of boat you’ll be using. These could include swimming, paddle-boarding, kayaking, pedal boating, surfing, canoeing and row boating. Whatever age your children are, there will be something for them to get involved with. To help keep them entertained (and dry afterwards), trying packing the following:

  • Inflatable water toys (if you’re going out on the sea) and/or inflatable boats
  • Water activity toys
  • Fishing poles and tackle
  • Games and activities for rainy days
  • Towels

Be safe

While it’s great to introduce your kids to new experiences and have lots of fun, it’s important to remember safety too. To do this, explain some ground rules to your kids before heading out on the water, and have a plan in place in case of an accident or emergency. This might mean packing a tent in case you have to spend the night ashore, or taking protective equipment to prevent damage to your phone in and around the water. 

With these tips in mind, you can stay safe while having an amazing time with your kids and making memories for you all to cherish in years to come.

For more advice from Promarine Finance, take a look at our Boat Buyer’s Guide