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Old 06-05-2017, 06:36 PM   #1
bobkatfly
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Default Baby on board?

Like to get comments on bringing an infant (4 months) on board. I don't think it's illegal but I saw that the Coast Guard recommends minimum of 18 lbs. My sweetie is just about 16 lbs. We have a psd for her and it fits well. We would obviously stay close to slip with short slow trips. My main concern would be not having her in a safety seat like in a car. She would be in someone's arms the whole time rather than a dedicated seat. Maybe I'm over thinking this but wanted to get other's comments/experiences.

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Old 06-05-2017, 07:26 PM   #2
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Our granddaughter was born in May 12 yrs ago, and was on our boat during the late summer. One of the parents held her while we were at cruising speed, with her infant PFD on. If she got a little cranky, we'd slow down to a putt cruise speed, lay her down on the seat by the engine cover (I/O) and she would go out like a light. We figured it was the vibration from the engine. Keep her in the shade, drive defensively, and let "sweetie" enjoy boating from the start.
PS. A car seat would be more like an anchor. 😉

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Old 06-05-2017, 07:28 PM   #3
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We've taken kiddos from 3 months out. I think it's common sense stuff: slower, non-choppy areas the captain is familiar with. Life preserver, shelter from the sun, secure placement, and gooo!

In my experience, one of the best places kiddos sleep!

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Old 06-06-2017, 07:33 AM   #4
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as thinkxingu says ----

Add in all the "common sense" factors and you will be amazed how fast they go off to sleep ! The ability to screen from the sun is upmost .. and sometimes you can accomplish that by a simple (light weight) blanket or towel.

As you say, don't over think it -- just be a responsible parent


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Old 06-06-2017, 03:57 PM   #5
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Default Baby on Board

36 years ago my son's pediatrician said we had to wait until our son was 2 months old before taking him to the camp...he wasn't comfortable...he knew nothing about babies on boats..we waited...second son was at the camp at a month old..both my boys have been on boats since then...other than the life jacket , is it really any different than a car? Your gut tells you when to, and when not to...they learned from a very young age what's acceptable on a boat and what's not. The younger one was driving a 16ft Boston Whaler at 2 years old...he was always the more adventurous one, as a small child
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Old 06-06-2017, 04:22 PM   #6
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Default Teach your kid to do this...

Of course CPS may disapprove and take your kid away, put him in a foster home in Laconia. Ahhh, the innocence of youth...What danger?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=146l5fJnuAY
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:08 PM   #7
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Default Worst "likely" case

Ending up in the water is the real issue. Whether a child "crawls/toddles" off the pontoon or the boat takes on water you need an adult to prevent the wandering over the side and to be able to support the child in the water on a collision/sinking. PFD for the kid & the supporting adult(s) all the time because you are no good for the child if you are drowning. Also not mentioned is water temp. Hypothermia could be a problem in minutes for a baby even in the middle of summer.
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Old 06-06-2017, 06:34 PM   #8
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Great points everyone. Thanks. I'd actually like her to stay awake for the experience so we'd keep her in mothers arms. The other thing is because we're in a protected bay we'd stay close to our slip and just tool around in the bay so no dealing with rough water. I think I should have worded my original post differentially though. I'm really wondering if there are any legal limits on age. Based on my boater training course, I don't think so but wanted to put it out there in case anyone has experience otherwise.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:56 PM   #9
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I think the only legal question is that 12 and under wear a PFD in a boat. If your baby is too small for a PFD, wait a couple days. They grow faster than you think. Island residents have been transporting babies in boats for at least the last 100 years. More (kids) are lost in pools than in boating mishaps. It is a lot easier to fall into a pool (off a dock) than it is to fall out of a boat. Nevertheless, you can't let down your guard around water in any context.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:45 AM   #10
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Make sure they are wearing an infant PFD at all times near the water. It should fit them properly so they cannot slip out of it. If it is too big, the child is to small to be on a boat.

Also, DO NOT strap them in a car seat. Some will act as an anchor, others will turn their head face down in the water.

Keep a close eye on them at all times.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:09 AM   #11
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Bright colors. If an accident were to happen, bright colors are much easier to spot on the water making it much easier to locate your child. My youngest daughter has been in the water since she was 2 and we always bought the brightest colored pfd we could find in her size.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:05 AM   #12
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The question asked & answered is "Is it Legal" to have an infant in the boat-- (Answer - Yes)

bobkatfly - one tricky part, although I honestly do not think Marine Patrol would be this picky for an "infant in arms"-- there are a LOT of infant/youth life jackets available at Walmart, BJ's, et al ........... most of them are "pool" preservers ........ you want something that is "Coast Guard Approved" and it will be clearly marked as such.

Again, I honestly do not think Marine Patrol would get that picky as the infant is literally in the arms of an adult -- none the less, as they get older - same thing applies -- look for those that are APPROVED FLOATATION.


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Old 06-07-2017, 11:19 AM   #13
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DO IT!

Biggest thing I worried about on a smaller boat was their head bobbing around at speed. Ive seen adults get hurt hitting waves wrong. So, on the smaller boats, we take it easy. At least until their sitting up pretty stable.

We have a 31' in Boston and we are able to bring the car seat aboard for them to stay in. Then mainly worry that their out of the sun and well ventilated from fumes etc.

My 1st son was born nov so we had him out the next June. My 2nd son was March this year, and he will be out this summer. Hopefully, this weekend!
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:24 PM   #14
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I've seen people hang those Jumpy swings from there Bimini. Can't speak to the safety of it, But I would love to have one for me, I'd sleep like a baby.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:17 PM   #15
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We'll give it a try this weekend. Her pfd is approved type II with the heads up pad and of course it's pink. As I mentioned we'll be in a protected bay so there won't be too much of a wave issue.
Thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkatfly View Post
We'll give it a try this weekend. Her pfd is approved type II with the heads up pad and of course it's pink. As I mentioned we'll be in a protected bay so there won't be too much of a wave issue.
Thanks again for all the advice.
I think you have received some great advice above!

I commend you for asking the question as that says to me you care and are a responsible person.

I wish you nothing but the best and safest of boating times on the lake with your young family! Make some great memories and remember take plenty of pics! That's what it's all about!

Have fun!

Dan
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:33 PM   #17
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Brought my 4.5 month old (12 lb) kid out for his first boat ride a couple weeks ago. Went to Wally World and bought a Coast Guard approved life jacket and it fit and I was able to lift him up by the jacket without him sliding out. Went all around the Broads, around Sleeper and Rattle Snake, then back to MP Headquarters, back to my camp. It was a SouthEast wind with some white caps. No issues. He loved it.
PS, good luck keeping the kid awake in the boat. Every kid I take in the boat falls asleep, especially under 5-6 years old. The infants within minutes.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persistence View Post
DO IT!

Biggest thing I worried about on a smaller boat was their head bobbing around at speed. Ive seen adults get hurt hitting waves wrong. So, on the smaller boats, we take it easy. At least until their sitting up pretty stable.

We have a 31' in Boston and we are able to bring the car seat aboard for them to stay in. Then mainly worry that their out of the sun and well ventilated from fumes etc.

My 1st son was born nov so we had him out the next June. My 2nd son was March this year, and he will be out this summer. Hopefully, this weekend!
I hope you don't buckle the car seat. On the small chance the PFD is needed, it may not be able to hold both the baby and the added weight
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:08 AM   #19
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My granddaughter was born in March and starting in May she was in the boat with me all the time. She started out in a carriage bed with of course a life jacket. I was alone with her a lot (not for a long time-just to go across the bay) and it worked perfectly. Of course use common sense as mentioned. Our latest just had her first boat ride last week, she is older, 6 months, but sat in her mother's lap and went right to sleep.
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:04 PM   #20
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Ha ha! Dan, I just realized your comment about my young family and a few other replies we're assuming it's my daughter. Then I reread my post and noticed I didn't mention it's my granddaughter. Maybe I should have left it that way and just posted my age for the resulting virility status in the group. Either way all the great comments still apply.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I hope you don't buckle the car seat. On the small chance the PFD is needed, it may not be able to hold both the baby and the added weight
hi, no we don't. And the carriage or chair falling off the dock is a fear. We keep it down low in the helm area where the sides are chest level so he's really not near the water. It's a good point though, and I'll say I probably more worry about walking down the dock with him making sure i don't trip, etc .

With the 2yo we got some good advice to put the pfd on him when we get out of the car and let him walk down to the boat with it on. He'll even keep it on once we're back on land. which is ok by me
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:31 PM   #22
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Well our oldest was two weeks late comming out and we had vacation planned at the lake. So out to the island he went at ten days old. Actually it was much easier than the following year when he was mobile.
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:57 PM   #23
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Took her out yesterday on Winter Harbor. So much for staying in a protected bay. It was great and she loved it. Stayed awake till we got back to the dock.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:15 AM   #24
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thats a nice little life jacket, where did you get it?
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:45 PM   #25
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Quote:
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thats a nice little life jacket, where did you get it?
My daughter actually found it at Walmart. She originally went to Babies are us but they didn't have anything. She said it was the last one. I checked it out and it's CG approved type ll with the heads up pad and it fits her good but as you know it won't fit next year.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:15 AM   #26
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My daughter has been on the lake since 6mo, old. we had her car seat in front of the port seat and slid up to protect her from the sun. She was not strapped in but always in her PFD. She to this day loves the lake and business owners tell her they knew her before she was a thought.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:25 PM   #27
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We took our daughter out last year. She was only 6 months old then. We pretty much held her in our lap the whole time. This was mainly on the ocean, it was a bit rougher, but she was fine, slept most of the time. The engine noise lulled her right to sleep. The only complaint was that she did not like the life jacket...oh well!

She now 20 months old. We just had her out for the first ride this weekend. She did great. She was actually learning to stand up and hold herself up with the movement of the boat (she's not even 2 and already has SEA LEGS!). She wanted to sit with me while I drove and she held the wheel, pushed the horn button a few times... She loved looking over the side watching the water whiz by! Only complaint this time? She was ALL OVER THE PLACE...she wanted to sit with Mommy, sit with me, sit by herself, go down and play in the cuddy, sit on the floor. In general, it was a great day on the water. She did not mind the lifejacket at all.

My advice...get your child a doll/stuffy that they will like, and that their lifejacket will fit (we have a giant Mikey Mouse) and put the jacket on the item for a while before you take them on the boat. It seems that my daughter got all excited when we took off the jacket from Mikey and put it on her :-)
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