What is the best age for children?

Teenagers really enjoy sailing holidays. There's plenty they can join in as crew but there's still plenty of time to relax on deck with a book or i-pod. Teach them a few useful knots at the start of the holiday and delegate specific tasks so they know what their role is, eg when mooring up who's doing anchor, fenders, stern mooring lines? Get them involved in chart plotting, helming and setting the sails. Even a washing up rota seems more fun onboard a yacht! Take a friend along or join a flotilla if they want company.

Younger children love being onboard a yacht. Under 12s aren't much help as crew but they really enjoy all the activity of sailing along, going ashore in the dinghy and falling asleep in a cabin. Do take a life-jacket for under 8s - as well as wearing it on the yacht, they'll need it swimming off the yacht and in the dinghy.

Toddlers are the most difficult crew members. If possible invite another person, couple or family along so there is at least one adult who can be in charge of young children with no other crew jobs to distract them, especially coming in and out of harbour. Child netting can be fitted as an optional extra and will be attached along the side rails, but it does not fully enclose the deck area so cannot be considered an enclosed playpen.

Lifejackets are provided on all charter yachts. Check you have child / junior jackets before you leave the marina. Young children should wear a lifejacket at all times above deck and in the dinghy (especially at night!). For children under 8, we recommend taking their own lifejacket that you know fits and that he/she likes wearing.

"A very enjoyable and relaxing fortnight’s charter in the Abacos. A beautiful and tranquil archipelago of sand-fringed islands. Sailing was in the Sea of Abaco, a large lagoon, often with only 2m below our keels, so we were very glad that we had chosen a catamaran! We were very lucky in chartering Odin, a new Lagoon 42 Luxe. She was spacious and really well equipped, with several very useful mod cons such as air-con and a water-maker. A lovely catamaran! There were several picturesque and well sheltered harbours with a couple of restaurants, though we spent most nights in anchorages, often on our own. We only ate out 3 times, but those meals were good. The conch is the local speciality! On several of the Cays, golf buggies replaced cars and we had lots of offers of lifts from friendly residents. There were some good snorkelling spots and we had several close encounters with delightful turtles! All in all, a really good holiday! Thank you, Nautilus!"
Bahamas 2018 - V.M.

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