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  1. #41
    Both my son & daughter were boating by 8 mos... I installed a seat belt under the middle of the back seat, so you could put it away when the car seat wasn't in the boat, and both kids really enjoyed sitting there looking around.... I also had a storage compartment between the two front seats that I put another seat belt in so I could put the kids on the floor in thier car seats.... They would fall asleep immediatley & we could get them out of the sun.... Mommy liked having them there because she could keep a hand on them.... We never went very fast or in real rough stuff if possible.... but we were a boating family & it was great! Don't let kids inhibit your hobbies... they really are very adaptable & fun to have around.... just be a careful & the whole family can still go boating..... My 10 yr old is a great help now launching & docking.... he has no fear from being around boats all his young life....

  2. #42
    Registered freckles's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Bill272's Formula 336
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Lake St. Clair, Michigan
    LakeRacer - Those aren't just lucky kids, they are future boaters.

    Hopefully all our kids will be future boaters. We have to get them started and make it fun for them so they'll stick with it. Heck, we look at our kids as our future designated drivers!

    We got our kids started young (see Bill272's post). It was tough for me (the mom) because the caretaking fell on me while the driving the boat part fell on him. It helped to take along an extra adult to handle the lines and fenders (my old job). If the kids are going to be swimming, use the swim diapers. The regular ones take on too much water and end up weighing more than the kid. Keep them hydrated and out of the sun if they're too young for sunscreen. You can't have too many hats, bandanas or kid-sized sunglasses on the boat.

    Now our kids are 5.5 and 8. They swim (with PFD's), fly a kite off the back of the boat, play in the sand, look for "treasure", throw a frisbee or football and generally goof around. The really good "get them tired out" activity is where they jump off the swim platform, climb up the ladder and jump off again. They can do that 20, 30 times in a row.

    Enjoy and take lots of pictures. You won't regret it.


  3. #43
    Registered SUPERSTITIOUS's Avatar
    My Boats:
    2006-SUPERBOAT 30-Y2K 525/ITS
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Danbury, CT
    My son @ 1 enjoying the H2o

  4. #44
    Registered Airpacker's Avatar
    My Boats:
    little cat...BIG MOTOR
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Aurora Ontario


    Sharkey,our daughter has been boating since she was a week old.We preconditioned her to the sound while she was still on the inside(my wife would stand behind the boat with it running ) At 3 yrs old she graduated form the lap riding position to a custom seat I had built for her in my eliminator.Its in between the front buckets and has 12 inches of graduated density foam in layers so it acts as a really comfy soft booster seat.I had two chicken straps sewn into it so she can hang on and now all she does is ***** about no wake zones An inexpensive pair of shooting ear cups is a great way to protect their hearing as well.Tell your wife not to worry,the kids will be just fine on board.

  5. #45
    Registered GregP's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1989 Scorpion 32 CC
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Annapolis MD
    Our daughter took her first ride (on the then Donzi) at about 6 months sitting on my wife's lap. Keep it easy, plenty of shade. As she got a little older she often just slept on the cockpit cover curled up on the floor.

    She is now 7, and we often go out just the two of us. Have been doing it since she was 4. The Donzi was easy when she was younger as it had a twin drive/pax bolster. Had to lay off a year when I got the Formula as she was too small to stand up and see in the pax bolster. Has been doing fine last year and this as I have a milk crate on that side for her to stand on. She's real good at wearing her life jacket (and reminding me to wear mine, especially when were out alone) and hanging on to the grab bar.

    Her standard comment is "when will we get to the go fast area" as we're idling down our channel. I do keep it to mid cruise with her on board, but it's nice to go for a short hop together, often only a half hour or so to get some fresh air and keep the dino juice supply fresh.


  6. #46


    This is an awesome thread, I loved boating as a kid and love it as an adult......errr ok a taller older kid! My pal Charley had his son out at Havasu for a Dec. run 2 years ago when when his son was just a couple monthes. They even had a 12 volt bottle warmer that plugged into the boat! I saw Charley and his wife and son Bryce blow by me at Havasu a couple weekes ago with the little one on momma's lap ( I meant Bryce, that wasn't a short joke directed at Charley even if he can't defend himself cause he's at the river now). I know they were going fast cause I thought I was haulin ass when they passed me. I just took my 2 nephews out on my boat for the first time over Memorial Day weekend. One 9 and one 5 year old. The 5 year old seemed a little nervous right up until we got up on plane with him in the bow with my wife, I'll never forget the grin on that kids face!!! Last 2 thing, after seeing all the great pictures of peoples kids, kinda makes me wish we had some, and 2nd don't forget your parents, my dad is 69 and hasn't owned a boat in 20 years but man I love to watch the look on his face when he get's behind the wheel and throttles up.


  7. #47
    OSO Content Provider Commercial Member SHARKEY-IMAGES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001

    Thumbs up

    These are great stories! Keep 'em coming!

    For those of you with car seats on the boats, do you have any pics you can post?

    Digital Photography & Video one BYTE at a time !

  8. #48
    SHARKEY - I'll look for some pics of my son in the car seat.... I think I have some & you will especially appreciate them because the boat was a 1990 Checkmate 229.... Same color scheme as your 28! I've got alot of great memories of my kids in that boat.... you'll see.... boating can be more fun with a smiling little person on board.....

  9. #49
    Registered nautigirl's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1995 237 PQ Stryker
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    We had my boy out in the boat at 1 month old. We took him up to Hardy Dam for HotBoat weekend. He had a little life jacket on with the big puffy thing behind the head. I personally am a little leary about putting them in car seats and strapping it to the boat. If something would happen (God forbid), are you gonna be able to get him out of the car seat quick enough - especially if you've been thrown out of the boat?? My little guy loves the boat!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #50
    NAUTIGIRL - You bring up an obvious problem... one my wife expressed concern about also... "what if" & the baby is strapped to the boat.... well in our case we never went faster then about 30mph... there was no fooling around with the baby on board... no water sports .... just a little low speed cruising.... and alot of sitting & enjoying the lake....that in mind I didn't see any greater chance of an unexpected emergency that would prevent me from unbuckling the seat then a car accident.... Also, the car seat supports the childs neck much better then holding the baby with a too large life jacket.... be cautious & use good judgement & the kids will be safe....

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