Cruising with children


Boats are great, safe adventures for children of all ages. Follow safety advice from the boatyard and kit non-swimmers and young children with properly fitted lifejackets (available free from the hire company). A family with very young children might want a cruising area with no locks (like the Broads), very few locks (such as the Ashby/Coventry Canal) or where lockkeepers operate them for you (Thames, Trent, Severn).Older children are valuable crew – and often better helms than their parents – just supervise them when steering or working locks.Look for a boat with single berths away from the living area, so children can go to bed early – and access the toilet without disturbing others. Teenage children may need the privacy of their own space so look for boats with self-contained cabins.Shower baths are very useful for bathing young children while radiator heating gives somewhere to dry the inevitable washing!Don’t plan to do too much – allow plenty of time to visit things ashore and take plenty of things to do in the evening – don’t rely on TV reception!

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