Safety Tips for Sailing Vacations – Chartering with Babies

Marwa Grimes

Your husband wants to charter this year in the Caribbean, your children are dreaming of jumping in the water but you are scrared to bring the baby. Don’t be when chartering a catamaran!

First think safety:

1. Life Jacket:

Foam floation collar and heavy duty grab strap
Through-the-leg adjustable safety strap for security
Brightly colored nylon
Fully encircling webbing belt adjusts for a snug fit and a collar lace
USCG Approved Type II, or CE certified and conforms to European standard EN395 3M reflex stripes and a whistle

2. Life Jacket rules:

Agree on these rules and apply them.
Always put the life jacket on before you go in the dinghy, even if the water is calm
Exchange baby from hands over the boat or the dinghy. Never above the water
Play ground is inside the cockpit and it is forbidden to go outside without an adult and without life jacket

3. What do you need to bring?

Your own first aid kit
Small plastic containers, plastic spoon…baby’s usual tools you won’t find on the boat Baby sun-screen and after sun cream
Sun-proof swimming suit, hats (bring a few in case it flies away), sunglasses
Small swimming pool to fit in the cockpit on the shade or a plastic bath (may be able to buy it locally)
Pack and Play for the naps and if you need to leave the baby to help to manoever the boat you know the baby will be safe there

4. What to do?

You will have to schedule for a stop at the veach everyday. 4pm is the best time for this little fragile skin to get out
What about a walk on the island in the morning to discorver the palm trees, chicken, goats and everything you don’t see at home
Short sail time, usually they fall asleep a short while after you take off

5. Where does baby sleep?

To ensure your baby’s safety, baby needs to sleep on the floor, on a pile of towels, comforter or cushion. . If it’s just your family choose a 3 cabin catamaran and you will have ample room to create a very nice bed for your little one
On the Pack and Play if you have one

6. My advice:

Invite the grandparents!!

7. Why easier on a catamaran?

Big cockpit equals perfect playground
All the lockers are locked inside and outside
Doesn’t tilt which is perfect for the nap
Can have the pack and play in the cockpit
You can relax in the shade as the baby plays next to you
Easy to always have an eye on the baby
Can do a two family charter, roomy enough and babies can play together and more hands and eyes to look after them

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