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Boating with a 2 year old...

Old 07-13-2011, 03:59 PM
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What's the worst case?

Is a 100lb woman going to be able to hold onto a 25lb kid if you run smack into a wall at speed? No

Would it be better for the kid to get thrown from the boat with a life jacket then be strapped in if you turned it over? Probably

Is either of those circumstances likely to happen? I wouldn't think so.

Granted my opinion is one of a bachelor without kids, but it seems like you're over thinking this just a bit.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:07 PM
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At two weeks old my wife grabbed my son, we jumped in my father's 27 wellcraft and went to town. When we were parked he sat in a bouncy - when we were under way she held him in her arms.

The next weekend we spent almost the entire weekend on the CIG - he never fussed at all, and slept like a clam when the engines were running.

We haven't gone fast yet in the CIG because we don't have any ear phones yet, but as soon as we get them we will either place him in the car seat in the cockpit, or just let his mom hold him. He isn't going anywhere - if I thought the risk of ejecting people from the boat was that great I wouldn't own one (or at least I wouldn't let other people go out on it).

I think the obvious and most important thing would be to just not drive like an ass.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:10 PM
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My 2 year old son stole mommys seat and usually sits in her bolster and she stands behind him and holds on.....if it gets froggy he goes below or they sit down in the back... never have felt unsafe
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:21 PM
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Don't strap the kiddo in - last year, a blowboater's kid drowned here, despite having a lifevest on, when he was unable to detach the lanyard he was wearing - so he would be Ok if he fell out. Boat drug him down. Even if the boat doesn't sink but lands upside down you will have no time to free the kid before they drown.

Buy a good infant vest, or if the 2 yo is too large for that, a good offshore vest. Both provide impact protection and keep them haed up in rough water. Have the GF hold her or have her sit up. Mine has been boating like this since he was 3 mos.

Take it eaiser if it makes you (or her) feel better, and get a sitter when you need to get your speed fix.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:24 PM
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Hahahaha........your an idiot! Hahahaha. No, but seriously, Im afraid if you strap a child that young in, he/she may be jarred alot over every little bump! You kinda need that "weightless" effect just so you dont feel EVERYTHING......just my 2 cents
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:52 PM
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I also have a 2 year old and he had been boating since he was 6 months old....

Usually I hold on to him while underway and 9 times out of 10 he falls asleep!

Yes, it can be tough to hold on to him with his life jacket on but I have found sitting in the back helps with the bumps keeping a grip....

Also I made sure my kid knows how to swim, he was taking swim classes since he was 6 months old. I found it gives him respect for the water....
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:53 PM
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I'm in the same situation....planning to take my 3 month old daughter on the boat for the first time this weekend. I don't really have a plan yet, and I'm a bit concerned, but I'm sure we'll figure it out.
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Rookie17 View Post

The long term GF isn't a big girl though and wondering about her ability to hold the kid if anything ugly happens. Thoughts on the kid being strapped in, good or bad?

I guess thats the biggest question in all of this...

Keep it coming guys, really appreciate the opinions.
Here's my thoughts....

If something bad enough happens that she can't hang on to him all of you are probably screwed so it really doesn't matter.

The main thing you have control over is speed under given water conditions. You and I both know you won't be going any faster than you need to in order to keep him safe. That's all that matters.

I wouldn't care for the car seat myself, but that's just me.

Both of my girls were on the water at just a few weeks old and haven't missed a beat since. I've never sold a boat or any toy due to having a child. I've never missed a weekend of boating due to having a young child either. On the other hand, as they get older all of the sports can definitely put a damper on some of our weekends.

Just keep a good life vest on him and drive safely. I agree with the other comments about over thinking the scenario.

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Old 07-13-2011, 07:57 PM
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I don't have kids....but I can tell you when my wife and I do they will be in the boat in weeks, the wife agrees!! (Only if it is boating season....well, i may go sit the kid in the boat anyway while in storage while dad cleans on it!!) Put the kid in their transportable car seat, sit him/her between the captain/co-captain chair and hold onto them while just cruising at a comfy speed. I would not recommend to strap them in. My dad had me out at a few weeks and never turned back. Good luck. It is good you have thought about it in detail too.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:21 PM
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Our son has been boating with us since he was about a year old. The thought of strapping him in never crossed my mind.
Mom always sat in the back with him either in her lap or with him sitting between her and the side of the boat.

One thing that made it easier for her was that in those early years, he always had life jackets that had handles on the back so it was easy for her to hang on to him let let him move with the boat a little as well.

Now that he is 7, she has lost her front bolster seat to him which is fine since she likes to stand and she will stand behind him and hang on to his jacket at the shoulder.

Never liked the down in the cabin theory as you can get bounced around to easy. Although I did think about putting velcro on his jacket and ceiling of the cabin and see if the first good bump would get him to stick!

What it really comes down to is this though. You have a wife/GF and your child in the boat with you and even though you may get the itch to hammer down when one of your buddies goes flying by, you need to remember who is with you and that you as a parent would stop at nothing to protect them and make sure they have fun and go home safe with you!

It can be hard at times but as they get older, you get to play a little harder with them as well.

Our son gets a little scared every now and then when it starts getting snotty out on the water and he reminds me from time to time that I promised him I would never let anything happen to him so we back it down a little and make sure he wants to go back out the next time.
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