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  • Top tips for sailing with your dog

    sailing dogs boat

    There’s nothing better than getting away from it all, the wind in your hair and only the open water ahead. However, there’s only one thing better than sailing, and that’s sailing with your four legged friend.

    But, while there is lots of fun to be had, there are also some really serious considerations to be made about taking a dog on board.  We’ve compiled a guide to ensure a super safe trip:

     

    • Getting on and off

    First things first, when it comes to getting your dog on and off board, the best way to do so is for him/her to be carried in some capacity or to use a ramp.

    Your dog’s natural instinct will be to jump on or off board, but it can be difficult for a dog to gauge this correctly and accidents can happen as the boat moves, or he/she gets confused by the fence.

     

    • Don't forget the essentials

    You will also need to bring fresh drinking water, waste bags and paper towels (unless your dog is trained to use a litter tray).

    Extra towels are always handy especially if you moor up for a swim or paddle. There’s nothing quite as lingering as the smell of wet dog, so you’ll want to ensure your pooch is as dry as possible so he/she doesn’t use your interior furnishings as a towel instead.

    It’s also a good idea to bring a couple of mats or bits of carpet to both protect the boat from your dog’s claws, but more importantly this will also stop him/her from slipping around and sliding overboard.

    dog sailing boat

     

    Lifesaving equiptment

    Should the worst happen and your dog does fall overboard, you’ll not only want him/her to float but also to be easily visible, it’s therefore important to invest in a dog life vest. As well as providing lifesaving services it will also help keep your dog warm from the sea or river breeze.

    Planning on fishing? It pays to be extra careful here, make sure you keep any bait you are planning on using stored carefully away in either plastic Tupperware or specialised bait storage. At best your hungry pup might gobble it all up, at worst they could end up deciding pre-hooked bait or lures are delicious dog food, ripping their throats or causing them to choke.

     

    • Enjoy the trip together :) 

    Finally, after all that hard work at being a good dog, make sure you have some treats on hand to reward him/her and enjoy the adventure together.

  • 10 Top Tips for Boating with Kids

    Sharing the joys of boats with your children is an incredible thing to do, but of course there are many stresses that come with it. So we thought we'd find out some expert tips to help underake this big task, and who more suited for the role than Mumsnet Devon co-editor and boating blogger Gina Caro!?

     

    boating sailing children kids

     

    "Boating with children can be a real a mixture of heaven and hell all rolled into one! Having learnt though experience as the years have gone on here are a few of my top tips with you which may help to make the whole experience more pleasurable.

     

    • Plan, Plan and Plan some more!

    We have found this to be crucial when boating with young ones. The more you can pre plan your journeys the easier the journey will be. Think about how long each voyage is and where you can stop along the way for a break.

     

    • Explain the Rules

    This one is really important! Make sure everyone understands the rules that they must abide by whilst on the water. No running, no jumping, no touching ropes etc.

     

    • Pack entertainment

    This is a must when you have children on board as they have very short attention spans. The last thing you want is a major meltdown halfway along your journey with nowhere to escape. We always keep a selection of board games on the boat for such situations.

     

    boating sailing kids children

     

    • Pack medicines

    Always make sure that you have an up to date first aid kit and some children’s pain relief medication. There’s nothing worse than having a child with something wrong on the water and you don’t have the equipment to help them.

     

    • Pack Snacks

    Make sure that you pack a few nibbles to have along the way. We personally have a stash of biscuits that we call ‘mooring biscuits’ which the kiddies are allowed to eat when the adults are at the crucial point of mooring and don’t want any distractions.

     

    • Get them involved

    Kids are naturally curious; if you get them involved in what you are doing they will enjoy the journey that much more. Show them how to tie different knots or what the different controls do.

     

    • Stop to Fish

    If you can, invest in some fishing rods so you can break up the longer journeys with a spot of fishing. We cook up whatever we catch that evening for supper.

     

    • Give them job titles

    We each have a role on our boat, there’s The Captain, The First Mate, The Cabin Boy and The Lookout. Explain to the child what their role entails and you’ll find they will take great pride in it.

     

    • Avoid bad weather

    You may be an all-weather sailor but I can guarantee that your children won’t be. Children get very grumpy when they are too wet or too cold. It’s best to stick to fair or sunny days if you want an enjoyable journey. You also don’t want to scare them with rough seas otherwise they might not want to go again. Remember to pack lots of extra clothes also just in case the weather turns.

     

    • Make it fun!

    The ultimate goal of any boating parent is to get the kids into boating which isn’t going to happen if you spend the whole time shouting at them. Boating with kids can be very stressful but it’s also very rewarding."

     

    For more insight on Gina's boating adventures with her children, visit her blog here!

     

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