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Book: Voyaging with Kids, A Guide to Family Life Afloat

Yvonne Harwood

Currently looking for a boat
May 5th, 2016

I saw the book ‘Voyaging with Kids‘ advertised in Practical Sailor and since I’ve heard several BCA members say they are planning to go offshore, but are waiting for the kids to grow up, leave school and be on their own, I thought I’d share the information.

When my ex-husband and I lived aboard our first boat in Australia, we met many families sailing with their offspring.  So impressed was I, by the self-sufficiency and assuredness of the children, that I told my then-husband that if we ever had children, that was the way they would be brought up — living, playing, growing up aboard a cruising boat.

Have you ever heard any adult, who was raised aboard a cruising boat say they regret it, or that they wish they’d had a normal shore life?  I haven’t.  Those children become adults who are well adjusted; share a love and passion for life; and have bonds with their families greater and stronger than shore-raised children.

Voyaging with Kids, a new book written by three veteran family cruisers, gives you the information to let you dream about setting sail. And it gives you the roadmap to turn that dream into a reality. From their own experience and from interviews with dozens of other voyaging parents, the authors discuss how to care for an infant aboard, handling the changing needs of children as they grow, boatschooling options, and the eventual transition back to shore life. The book gives you a balanced look at the realities of family life at sea:

  • Food:  From pre-voyage shopping to buying from local markets, the book gives you advice to satisfy everyone in your crew from the most adventurous gourmet to your conservative, picky eater.
  • Health:  With some planning and knowledge of first-aid and other medical basics, you’ll be surprised what you can do on your own to ensure your kids remain well. But be sure to take mosquito-borne diseases, food poisoning and sunburn seriously.
  • Schooling: The book offers detailed advice to help overcome homeschooling fears. You’ll get resources to examine to be sure your plans are in-line with federal and state regulations. You’ll explore the benefits of local education options. And, most importantly, ways to take advantage of the infinite lessons, languages, cultures available on the seas, in the ports, villages and towns you’ll encounter and the new friends your kids will make along the way.

Voyaging with Kids answers your questions, gives you advice and lets you learn how others have made this once-in-a-lifetime adventure a reality. Ways to childproof your boat. How to keep the peace among siblings. What to pack, and more importantly, what to leave ashore. What’s the best boat for your family and your cruising? And so much more. If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing off with your family for a few weeks, months or longer, take a look at this great book and get started!


  1. Jill A Baty says:

    This has already been well covered by Liza Copeland , who twice circumnavigated with children and who still lectures at BoatShows both here, in the US and in the UK. her now adult family are very definitely very well adjusted. I would say having known several families who went this rout that they never seem to go through the them and us attitude that ordinary children seem to go through in the teen age years. I am a founder member of Bluewater.

  2. Jennifer Handley says:

    Thanks, Yvonne, for writing the review. I was pleased to be “tapped” by Behan for information re our own experiences sailing with our girls (and other teenagers) aboard Camdeboo.

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