Five survival tips for your first family offshore experience

I developed these tips as part of an article for Boating New Zealand after our first offshore passage with the children, they were published as a sidebar.

  1. Develop your expertise.  Attend training courses, read books, talk to those who have done it before.
  2. Test yourself and your boat, with the family beforehand.  This gives everyone confidence if conditions deteriorate and ensures familiarity with the onboard environment.
  3. Plan food for easy snacking.  You won’t want to prepare a meal at 2am when you are on watch, but you may want to snack on a muesli bar.  If a child moans that they are hungry and you’ve just thrown up you can direct them to the self-help snack box.
  4. Don’t worry too much about the kids.  Have safe places for them to sleep and play.  Pack low supervision activities. If necessary use seasickness medication.
  5. Savour the good moments.  Keep a strong positive vision of arrival at your destination in mind.  See yourself sipping that Pina Colada in paradise.


Note:  First published in Boating New Zealand, November 2007.  The full article “What’s not in the brochure” is also posted on this siteClick here for “What’s not in the brochure”.

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