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Boating with a toddler.

Old 07-04-2018, 08:01 AM
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Default Boating with a toddler.

Curious who regularly takes their infants or toddlers with them while boating.

My issue has been not actually driving on the boat, but the 15 minutes it takes me to trailer in and out of the water. I have a 2 year old. I obv can’t put him on the boat. I could leave him in his car seat until i get the boat off. However I’m literally petrified of the truck just rolling into the water as I’m pulling the boat off.

Any revonmendations? Or am I crazy.
Old 07-04-2018, 08:09 AM
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Is it possible to take another adult/older (responsible) kid with you to help on days you take him boating? I have been taking my now five year old on the boat with me since he was a baby but I always had someone to watch him while I launched the boat.

I know thats a really obvious solution and its not meant to sound like I'm being a dick.
Old 07-04-2018, 08:18 AM
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The only other way then posted above that I can think of is and it's a pita to take him out of his seat with you after you get the boat in the water do what you need to to launch then put him back in the truck when you move it . Other then that chocks under the wheels with parking brake.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:38 AM
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There was a time i use to take my 8 month old out for fishing trips. I would drop the two older kids off for school. Then my wife and I would go fishing with her strapped to a carseat that i secured to my flip flop ice chest. We would fish till 1 then head in and pick up the kids from school. Mind u we were only fishing in the bays.
Old 07-04-2018, 08:39 AM
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Have you looked into wetslipping or rack storing your boat?

then you could just ditch the trailer and just show up and go

my 3 kids have been boating since they were about a year or so old but I always wetslip.

i used a trailer 25 years ago but never again except for winter storage
Old 07-04-2018, 08:54 AM
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Searock baby seat. We have one and it’s great, as long as you have a t top or similar. I’ve never had to launch just me and the boy but I imagine you could put him in the seat and launch the boat and know he was not all over the place. Amazon has them for 140.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:58 AM
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Thank you for the reply’s. Yeah I used to keep the boat dry docked. It was 6x what it costs me to trailer. I’m going to look into that boat toddler seat.
Old 07-04-2018, 09:06 AM
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Get some HD tire chocks, and chock 2 tires on the truck in addition to setting the park brake.

I regularly take take out my 2 year old (as in barely 2) and 9 1/2 month old at the same time. Having everything imaginable pre-loaded in the boat is key. Also a bean bag has been the best thing ever. 2 year old will sleep for hours riding on it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:43 AM
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My daughter has been on our boat since she was about 1. Until she was about 3, I always had another adult on board. It's really challenging to do it all if you're by yourself with a small toddler. Actually it can be tough managing a toddler even when you're not trying to drive a boat. Up until a certain age, they either need to be fenced off in a child-proof area, or have a handler.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:58 AM
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It's tough. I bought a boat, used it for a year, had a kid and it's been sitting for almost 2 years with maybe 15 hrs a year put on it. Maybe another year and it will be easier....scratch that got another kid on the way.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ole_blue View Post
It's tough. I bought a boat, used it for a year, had a kid and it's been sitting for almost 2 years with maybe 15 hrs a year put on it. Maybe another year and it will be easier....scratch that got another kid on the way.
take the older more energetic kid out on the boat to give the wife a break. I regularly take mine out so that the wife can take a nap.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:53 AM
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Honestly, seems like a bit young if you are solo. Piece of cake with another adult.
Old 07-04-2018, 12:00 PM
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I take my 4 kids out all the time age 3 - 10. The 10 year old is very helpful and she can put my 3 yr old son in check real quick if I'm busy doing somethig else. But I dont trailer... With my gang I really have to be able to walk down the dock, untie, and go. Trailering with a lot of kids is just too many additional steps. I could pull it off fine but we wouldn't get out on the water nearly as much. I put some bottom paint on, found a good laid back marina that's $80/mth for wet slips and we are good to go.
Old 07-04-2018, 07:33 PM
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Both my younger kids have been on our boat since they were only a couple of weeks old, but never without another adult on board.

My boy is nearly three, but my “rules” for when he can come with me by himself are that he has to be able to (1) listen to and follow my instructions at all
times, and (2) hold on by himself if we hit waves/rough weather.
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:41 AM
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Similar to others above, kid #1, wife and I went out all the time. Kid #2 came along - boat sat for 12months before I sold it.

fast forward now kids are 4 and 6, bought a new boat. Can do everything now and they stand on jetty holding hands.

whilst we planned and could do it safely, it was the comfort level that got us.

both can swim 100 feet. Have lifejackets on.

cheers Adam
Old 07-05-2018, 05:03 AM
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You could you use a Bjorne or harness to keep him on you while you drop boat and park trailer. I use to do stuff like that all the time as I have twins.

Last edited by washedupoffroader; 07-05-2018 at 05:09 AM.
Old 07-05-2018, 05:09 AM
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You guys whose kids sleep on the boat, I'm jealous. Mine have too much fun too sleep. Despite shade contraptions, a sea rock, a couple bean bags, and all the other crap. They'll (1 and 3) do 6-7 hour boat days having ball, usually no naps.

I have my wife with me, her job is kids, my job is boat, though of course we help each other as needed.

Your situation wouldn't bother me OP, just chock a wheel and set the brake. And choose an off time at the ramp.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:21 AM
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Difficult without another adult, I have a toddler that loves the boat but now have 14 week old twins so it's hard to get out because we are out numbered.
Old 07-05-2018, 06:39 AM
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It is difficult even with the boat behind your house on a lift and a fence to keep them in the yard while you go on and off the boat loading it for the day...It just is what it is. At the ramp exploring new lakes up north they are little shadows, where I go they go if I'm the only parent boating that day launching the boat. Windows down, doors unlocked, kids unbuckled (sitting down) if they are in the suburban anywhere near the ramp.
Old 07-05-2018, 06:47 AM
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I used to fire up the genny, get the a/c cranked early in the am, then set the kids up with a movie in the cabin and favorite gatorade so when they got on the boat they were happily contained until we anchored at the beach/sandbar. They were 5 and under then. Nothin' like taking the 328 out single handed w/ a 2 and 4 yr old while the wife stayed home with the newborn, then anchoring getting all setup in quiet. But now, the 3 girls (~5,8,10) are all about boating in the little lake boat and learning to captain it and what everything does and how it works.

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