When you throw little ones on to a boat, a parents’ awareness level immediately goes up. Not only do kids already walk like drunken sailors when they are on flat ground, but then put them in an environment that is constantly moving and you start seeing every part of a sailboat as a potential hazard. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With a few simple modifications most sailboats can be “kid-proofed”. They can even become kid-friendly environments!
Not all boat modifications have to revolve around safety either. We made some adjustments to our boat just so that I could relax a little more knowing my sea-monkeys could get around without my assistance. I love my kids. But I don’t want to be following them around, helping them with all their short-legged issues.
Parents need a little freedom too, so go ahead and modify the heck out of your boat. Even if it becomes less “boat like”. If it means you will enjoy your cruising life more, do it.
Buying Necesse at a pretty bare-boned state meant we could do whatever our hearts desired to her. And being that when we first moved on to her we had one infant and I was hugely pregnant with baby number two, our boat was built up to be the best play park ever for our girls. It doesn’t have to be a hard endeavour. Just decide what it is that may give you a little peace of mind and make it happen.
The initial hard work will pay off real quick.
Boat Mods for Kid Boats
-Most family boats can be spotted from afar because their entire lifeline-to-toerail is covered in netting. It’s a smart idea. If your kids are going to be running around on deck, it’s just one less way that they could slip out and sink to the depths of the sea. They also serve as a great way from losing a ton of toys overboard. It’s like the entire boat becomes a goalie net…for kids and toys.
We never did it. I had full intentions on installing it. We even had all the netting aboard! But the process of putting it up seemed like a bit of a headache, and as time wore on our girls got bigger and didn’t need it anymore. I missed my window!
-For us, it all started with a bunkbed. We loved co-sleeping with our girls. I did anyways. Eben felt he didn’t have as much bed real estate as he would’ve liked. Co-sleeping worked for us. That was until my prego belly got too big, and we knew there was no way we would even consider co-sleeping with two babies! Boat beds are only so big. So we decided to transition Arias. Before sending her off to the front vberth of the boat, which seems like miles away from your parents when you are 2, we built her a bunk in our aft.
No we are not completely crazy attached parents who won’t let our kid out of our sight. We had good reasoning. At the time we had our cousin Noah living with us, and as much as he loves Arias, bunking with a two-year old that just got kicked out of her co-sleeping parents’ bed, may not be the most fun bachelor experience. That and we have a lot of guests roll through here, so an extra kid bed was not a bad idea.
Eben and his cousin Noah put their carpentry skills to work and built the bed to run perpendicular to ours. Basically she would sleep raised up over our feet, and we would use the under section as extra storage.
Extra storage and an extra bed!! Bunk bed for the win!
Although neither of our girls use the bunk bed now, it was still a great modification since it now serves as extra storage space, and a perfect spot to set the laptop on for our almost nightly movie watching. Also when guests come over we often squish one of the girls back up into that space!