Sailing with the children

Planning your sailing holiday with children?

The catamaran is the best solution for the first sailing experience with kids.


Is sailing safe for children?

Are catamarans safe for kids?


First of all, the catamaran is more stable than a sailboat, it has more space and it is easier to walk on it, inside and outside.

However, sailing with children can be a fantastic exciting, and challenging experience at the same time.

This is a great opportunity for children to learn something about sailing, to explore other countries and see remarkable nature. It is really a fantastic feeling to see dolphins, to swim in the open sea, catch a fish on your own or just to go snorkeling in the crystal clear sea. This is a lifetime experience for the kids.


Kids snorkeling



But, children get easily bored and you have to entertain them often. You should consider taking plenty of things to get them busy – things like books, cards, social games and even the tech gadgets (Kindle, tablet) can be a good thing but try to avoid them if possible. Some catamarans have already social games (karaoke & disco ball set) onboard or have water toys and equipment like snorkeling equipment, fishing gear, floating mats, wakeboard, water skis, water tube, etc.


Croatia catamaran water toys



Children are curious by the nature so before they go exploring the boat by themselves, show them and explain the important things and where everything is on the boat. Teach them about the safety rules when you get on the board. Teach them not to go on the foredeck while sailing, and if the weather conditions go bad, children must go down below deck. Everyone must strictly follow the safety rules.

A few safety rules:

  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Keep hands clear of winches
  • Take care getting in/out of a dinghy
  • Do not jump into the sea while the engines are on


Even dough the catamarans are the most suitable for families with children, still if going sailing the first time bring with you seasickness pills.

When sailing in the summer season, children should wear a T-shirt while in the sun and wear sunscreen all the time. Make sure they drink enough water, avoid sweet juices if possible. It is easy to dehydrate when you are exposed to the sun all day.

If you have younger children, you should consider installing a safety net. It serves to prevent any equipment, toys, or children from falling overboard. However, the best safety measure is parental control. Just keep in mind that the skipper/captain and hostess are not in charge of babysitting. If you need a safety net ask for it while in process of making a reservation. For installing it please ask for the help from charter staff.


Sunreef yacht



Try to teach the kids something about sailing, show them instruments, involve them in setting the sails up, teach them about the winds or tiding knots, because they will feel important.

Make sailing routes short and try to stop at interesting places for swimming or just resting for a while. Do not fight the weather. If the day is not a good day for taking a sailing trip, do not sail off, stay in harbour, explore the town or island.

Sometimes it is hard to get the kids to sleep on time. There are so many things to do and the excitement is high but try to stick with their sleeping schedule especially with the small children because no one wants a cranky kid on a boat.  

If you are renting a catamaran bareboat without the professional crew (cook and hostess) be sure to take their favorite food and snacks to keep them full between the meals. This is a great opportunity to taste the new local food but be careful if the children are allergic to certain food (like seafood).


If you want to make a reservation, please check our base for chartering a catamaran in Croatia.