You know the saying – “some things are worth living for”. This is definitely true for sailing. That feeling of freedom as the shades of blue change in front of you, and the wind ruffles your hair on the way to a hitherto undiscovered bay – could definitely be one of them. Some probably know very well what we’re talking about, about all the advantages and excitement that sailing brings, but some have yet to step on a boat for the first time and experience sailing in the Whitsundays.
Sailing in the Whitsundays has a number of advantages that sailors know very well, and you, as a family, will only get to know them. These are primarily freedom of movement and mobility – breakfast on one beach, lunch on another, dinner under the starry sky, and the possibility to explore one of nature’s very wonders – the Great Barrier Reef.
There’s not much dividing you from experiencing all this. You can also consider to hire a yacht Whitsundays, which you can find on this site, and pack the whole family for the adventure. As for how to choose a sailboat ideal for your family sailing, here are some tips.
Choosing a Sailboat for Whitsundays Sailing
It seems like something complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. We are talking about one of the hottest sailing destinations in Australia. The is a large number of vessels registered for whatever you need. This means that the choice of a sailboat is wide and you need to know to a certain extent what you are looking for, and then it is almost certain that you will find it. Here are some of our suggestions you should consider
- You don’t necessarily need the latest sailboat; it can be older (from seven to ten years), but it should have good predispositions for sailing, for example, a full batten mainsail (a rolled sail is easier to close and open and less work can be done with it) and a genoa foresail.
- General condition of the vessel, i.e. when and how it was maintained and serviced.
- The size of the water tank, the number of storage spaces on board, and the equipment of the ship, because if you are drawn to the sailing spirit, you will want to spend as little time as possible on the mooring.
But there’s a lot more to consider when you’re taking the kids along. Safety is one of the issues every parent is concerned most about, which is why we have prepared a couple of tips to make sure your family adventure goes without unpleasant surprises.
Number One – The Vessel Should Be Well Supplied With Food
There can be no mistake. You know what your children are eating, but the ship demands less perishable food. Milk in smaller packages, your favorite candy, snacks, dry biscuits, water (not juices), this is something you have to pull out of your sleeve all the time. Enough fruits are mandatory. Overall, think about bringing food packed in such a way that it doesn’t spoil easily, to avoid stomach issues.
Number Two – Protection From the Sun
Your children will be baking in the sun at 12 o’clock in high temperatures if you do not protect them. This can cause headaches and sunstroke and burns, especially for children who do not live at sea. Modern sailboats, especially catamarans, have biminis, awnings, and sun protection. Even in the shade, the reflection is high.
It would be ideal not to be exposed directly to the sun from 11:00 to 15:00. This can be avoided by getting them up earlier in the morning, exhausting them with a bath, and around 11:00 a.m. sending them to rest in the cabin or lounge, prepare lunch with them in the cabin or in the shade. Set this as a rule. You will see that they will accept.
Number Three – Safety Vests
Even if they know how to swim, insist they wear a safety vest most of the time. Charter boats are all equipped with safety wests. Before coming on board, let the renting company know your children’s weight to ensure the right size for them. It is good to have your own child safety wests, and you can get them in one of the nautical stores.
Number Four – Your Children Must Know Who the Captain Is
The captain or parent is someone who will take on the role of the commands “Now put on your west”, “Now you can bathe”, “now you need to eat this”..” put on a hat”, etc. This is a demanding role, but you will notice that if you set the rules on the boat, the children will accept them without resistance… They will even enjoy it… Discipline on the boat will help you to keep everything running smoothly. Warn them of possible mistakes and show them how to enter the dinghy, what to pay attention to when crossing the footbridge…
Now, these four safety tips are the basics ones you should stick to. Here is a checklist of a couple of more to have in mind:
- Check the vessels’ pharmacy before you take off
- Take with you a mosquito repellent cream that chases away those nasty insects
- There might be some nausea. Let them rest on your lap, don’t let them fall asleep as this can cause vomiting. They are not allowed to drink juices, salty snacks are good. Refresh their forehead or neck with a cool compress
- Due to the high exposure to the sun, don’t forget that they have to drink a lot during the day
- We have already mentioned sun cream, a hat, and a thin long-sleeved T-shirt must be on board
- avoid the sun from 11:15 a.m. because of possible burns
- Get them those rubber summer shoes so they don’t slip off the boat
Do you have all this covered? Then you’re ready to set out on a family adventure of a lifetime!
First time sailing? What to bring and what to expect (yachting.com)