Sailing with Kids – Important Safety Tips for Parents

Sailing has always been a part of all boater’s lives. Whether they’re single, in a happy relationship, or have their own kids, they still make time to sail.

This article is for parent boaters who want to include their kids in their boating activities. We’ll discuss the important safety tips and what are the rules that you should follow when sailing with your kids.


A kid wearing a life vest

Introducing your kids to sailing activities is a great step for their intellectual and cognitive development. These activities will give them opportunities to discover new things and experience sensory information that can help them with their long-term development.

Another advantage of sailing is that you can build a stronger bond with your kids and get to know them more. By letting them get involved with these activities, your kids can develop social and motor skills.


Safety Tip #1 – Give Safety Lessons Before Sailing

A mother giving safety lesson to her daughter

Before hopping on your boat and start your sailing venture, make sure that your kids are fully aware of the safety guideline they need to follow.

Inform them about the off-limit places and set some rules such as:

  • Don’t-touch levers and any gear
  • Do not run while the boat is in motion
  • Do not sit on the side rails, swim platforms, and foredecks.

Also, don’t forget to explain the safety protocol in case of an emergency. Show them how to properly wear a life vest, how to contact someone, and who to call.

Safety Tip #2 – Gear Your Kids for Sailing Safety

Two kids wearing life jackets

In 2017, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) reported a total of 658 deaths as a result of recreational boating accidents (84.5% of the drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket).

The USCG estimates that over 80% of boating fatality victims could have been alive if they wore a life jacket. That’s how important life jackets are.

Make sure that everyone, especially your kids, are properly geared before getting on board. This includes perfectly fit life vests, comfortable clothes or wet suits, non-slip footwear, hats, and sunglasses.

You can also let them choose their own gear to assure that they’re comfortable. Also, don’t forget to apply sunscreens to protect their skin from the sun.

Safety Tip #3 – Eat a meal ahead of time

Mother and d son preparing food

Make sure that everyone eats before your boat trip so you’ll have enough energy for the trip.

Though it’s given that you’ll be packing some meals and drinks for your sailing trip, it’s better if you pack extra food and water.

Since some kids are picky eaters, you can ask them what meal they prefer. You can also pack some healthy snacks for your kids so they can have more energy to enjoy your sailing activity. Also, don’t forget to keep them hydrated.

Safety Tip #4 – Select A Watcher

Father guiding his daughter to sail

Assign an adult as an official watcher who will keep his eyes on the kids all the time. As much as possible, your goal is to make your kids happy and let them explore the sea. You don’t want to spend your boating trip by saying no to all of their requests.

Let your kids do water activities like water skiing, snorkeling, wakeboarding, and swimming as long as they wear their life vest and are supervised by their adult watchers. 


Sailing is a great activity, especially if you want to bond with your family.

But don’t forget to strike a balance between having fun and following safety protocols to keep everyone out of harm’s way. Do you have any safety tips to share? Comment below.

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