I hate to say it, but running across other kid boats organically rarely happens. I didn’t know this before we started. Three months into our cruising adventure and we hadn’t run across A SINGLE kid boat. I’m thankful that my girls have each other for companionship, but I know they missed playing with OTHER kids, so…how do you find them?
How do you find kid boats?
There are a few strategic things you can do to find other kid boats. One of the first things kids do when anchoring somewhere is check for other kid boats in the anchorage. Is netting on their lifelines? This usually means there are kids onboard…or dogs, and my kid crew loves both = win-win. Are there any flags flying from the spreaders? Good chance it’s a kid boat. The other thing to look for are ‘water toys’ on deck: kayaks, surfboards, etc.. This doesn’t guarantee there are kids, but at least you know the people are fun! Sometimes you’ll be lucky and catch kid crews playing on deck, swinging on halyards, or jumping from the bow, but this is a treasured anomaly. Don’t be shy! Dingy over and say hi!
You can also find kid boats online.
The easiest thing to do is go to the Kids4Sail Facebook group and participate in their roll call. It happens at the beginning of every month. Erika, our friendly admin., posts general locations across the globe, and we, cruising kid boats, leave a comment with our vessel’s name and the age & gender of our kids. Is this safe? Yes. It’s a closed Facebook group, so everyone on Facebook can’t see what you’re sharing in there. Once you post, you’ll find kid boats in your area seeking meet ups, and voila…happy kids!
Once you find a like-hearted crew, follow them on Facebook, their blog, or on Farkwar so you can keep in touch and, hopefully, plan a future meet-up soon.
Where the kid boats are.
After not running across any kid boats during our first three months, we decided to purposely seek out kid boat places. If you’re an U.S. East Coast/Bahamas cruiser, you can almost bet money there’ll be kid boats at these places…
- Newport, Rhode Island (summer)
- Annapolis, Maryland (summer, especially around boat show time)
- St. Augustine, Florida
- Lake Worth @ Palm Beach, Florida (late fall/early winter – waiting to cross to Bahamas)
- around Dinner Key & No Name Harbor @ Miami, Florida (late fall/early winter – waiting to cross to Bahamas)
- Marathon, Florida
- Georgetown, Bahamas (winter)
Don’t forget about the local kids!
There’s also something to be said about meeting local kids. When sightseeing, playing at the beach or the park, your kids will likely meet local kids and have a ball. This is a great experience too! Don’t pass it up!
Still not finding any kid boats?
Still haven’t come across many kid boats? Know that you’re not alone. Sometimes you go to all the right places, do all the right socialy things, but for whatever reason, you miss the kid boat fleet. Don’t fret! Friends are just a phone call, or social media post, away. For example, have you joined the Boatschooled Facebook group? There is a virtual book club for kids that ‘meets’ every month to chat about boat life & books! ‘Meeting’ other boat kids like this will help yours see that they are not alone. There are other kids doing this ‘living on boats’ thing all over the world!
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Would love to add more resources here…but honestly, haven’t found ANY! Very sad.
If you’ve written about finding kid boats, I’d love to add your post to this article.
Please send me the link: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!