Taking your kids on board a luxury bareboat or crewed charter can certainly be a rewarding and memorable experience. They learn new skills, discover another beautiful part of the country, jump off the back of the boat into azure waters, climb hills to spectacular views and discover marine life like they've never seen before.
A memorable experience could turn out to be one all for the wrong reasons if the children aren't prepared for what life is like living on a boat and what to expect. With a little forward thinking and preparation before your charter, you can help ensure it's an enjoyable experience not only for them but for the parents as well.
Prepare them for life on a boat
Start using boating terminology when speaking to them, and around them, about the holiday. Get them use to words such as 'port', 'starboard', 'tender' 'galley' so that when you are on board the boat it'll become 2nd nature to them and understand various aspects and parts of a boat and understand what you are talking about.
Get them involved
If they're not already seasoned sailors, get them use to being out on the water. Take them to a local sailing club and see if you can get them on board for a twilight sail, or if you have a friend with a small tender with an outboard, take them cruising on local waterways. This will help them feel comfortable once on the charter.
A thorough briefing on the area and any hazards, as well as onboard safety, is provided before you depart the marina on your first day. It is important to run those details over with the rest of the crew including the children so that everyone is aware and can help keep an eye on each other.
Drinks and snacks
Be sure to take plenty of snacks and drinks on board. Being out in the sun and wind, swimming, snorkelling and sailing, works up quite an appetite for both adults and kids. Think muesli bars, fruit, crackers and dips and plenty of water. Have them fill up their water bottles and keep them handy at all times.
There will be times when cruising, swimming and snorkelling have come to an end for the day and you may find them looking for things to do before or after dinner. Pack some travelling board games, books and playing cards so they can entertain themselves and give the adults some peace and quiet.
Island Resort Activities
Getting them off the boat and on to dry land helps break the charter up a little and gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs. There are many island resorts in the Whitsundays that you can berth at or pull up a mooring, and head ashore and take part in the many activities (most a free) the resort offers.
At the end of the day, you want everyone to enjoy their charter holiday and there's nothing worse than having bored children or don't understand the hazards of being on a boat. Educate them before the charter which will make it so much easier once you step on board.