Boating Techniques to Teach Your Kids

Leader 12.5 2020 Tomking 08782 Tom King

As summer approaches, many of us are eager to get out on the water with our families. These outings are much more delightful when the children are active participants rather than passengers. Here are numerous boating strategies to teach your kids.

1. Observing the weather

Before you go, assign your kids the duty of searching weather.gov, the National Weather Service website, for NOAA forecasts for your location. Kids of all ages may spot warning signals of impending bad weather while out on the lake. These include fluffy, vertical clouds that are rising, as well as dark, menacing clouds, particularly to the west or southwest.

2. Mapping routes

Tweens should have no trouble learning to enter waypoints on a touchscreen Chartplotter thanks to the map apps on every mobile phone. By the end of the summer, they’ll be plotting and reading complete routes like experts!

3. Knot tying

Your kids can learn to tie a bowline as soon as they can tie their shoes. Make it even more enjoyable by telling them the story of a rabbit emerging from its hole, circling a tree, then returning to its hole.

4. Identifying channel markers

While preschoolers might not be reading or writing yet, they can distinguish between a red triangle and a green square. They can also distinguish between green and red buoys. While you’re traveling, have them point out these navigation aids and explain what they signify.

5. Checking safety equipment

Put your kids in charge of making sure everyone’s life jackets are clean and securely buckled. Allow them to count the life jackets and passengers to ensure there are enough for everyone on board.

6. Boat handling

Even if tweens and early teenagers are not yet old enough to obtain a boating license, they may learn the fundamentals of steering. It’s especially important to train them in case you or another driver has an emergency.

7. Checking fluids

Kids of all ages can check the gas tank, oil levels, and other vehicle functions. They may also assist you to check and replace your engine’s oil by holding the funnel in place or simply unscrewing the container’s top.

8. Cleaning

We know what you’re thinking: kids despise cleaning their rooms, so how are we going to convince them to clean the boat?  Turn it into a game by having them make shapes with soap on the deck, for example. Alternatively, try out some tried-and-true incentives. The person who is the first to correctly prepare their side of the boat gets to pick the restaurant for lunch during an outing on the water. Offer to teach older children to drive, or let them bring a few friends the next time you go out.