J80 with small kids?

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Postby Guest » Sat Jun 08, 2002 10:24 pm

Anyone care to share their experiences with small kids sailing and or cruising on the J80?
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Postby Guest » Mon Jun 10, 2002 11:02 am

For several years we have been sailing our j-80 (Panic-A-Tack) in NH with small kids on board. They seem unconcerned about rough conditions and their low center of gravity gives them extra stability. We presently race with a 1st grader down below (watching VCR tapes battery powered) and my 6th and 8th grader as part of the topside crew. Finishing first is not a high priority nor usually realistic, but we have fun and take a lot of ribbing for our crew from the older set on the other boats.
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Postby Guest » Mon Jun 10, 2002 11:15 am

My two kids (now 4 and 6) have been sailing on my 80 since I bought it two years ago. I find it very easy to sail shorthanded (unless it is very windy) and the cockpit is comfortable and spacious. Not a bad kid boat for daysailing (much better than my old J-24).

Chris Morlan
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Postby Guest » Mon Jun 10, 2002 11:02 pm

Hi Jim,

At first we didn't think the J/80 would work for our kids aged 7 and 17 months, but we did the following to make it safe for Ethan, our toddler (the 7 year old is fine with the boat, even driving in light winds):

- Harness and tether (plus PFD) to two padeyes installed forward where Ethan is protected by the dodger. This keeps him in one spot, out of trouble, but also gives him some limited mobility.

- Custom cockpit cushions by Kinder that fill the cockpit sole from the companionway to the traveler. These are great on light wind, sunny days and make lounging under the dodger a pleasure for everyone.

- We also have jack lines which could be used (along with harness and tether) for the 7 year old in a blow, but we haven't been out with the kids in anything over 15 knots yet.

Chip
#257 "Gizmo"
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