FAMILY BOATING HOLIDAYS
Keeping the clan happy on the water can be trickier than you think, so set the course for one of these destinations and the whole family will be in for a treat
It’s all about fun on the water for the family with Peter Cumberlidge this month. From Dartmouth to Bénodet, there is something for everyone
Anyone with a cruising boat and a growing family has a tricky balancing act when planning summer holidays, especially when teens start developing their own ideas about how they like spending time. Skippers with a yen to range further afield each season usually learn that this isn’t always the best way to keep everyone on board fully engaged. Indeed, the most successful family boating holidays seem to involve minimal distance covered but plenty of variety in the activities on offer each day.
With this in mind I have chosen three of my favourite cruising destinations where you can base a boat safely, enjoy great local cruising whenever you fancy and – crucially – have a wide choice of diversions on tap for all ages and tastes. They are Dartmouth in the West Country, Jersey in the Channel Islands and Bénodet in south Brittany. Ideally, deliver your boat to the chosen base well before your planned holiday. Then, when you escape to the boat again your enjoyment starts from day one, without any delays or frustrations caused by inclement passagemaking weather. For the logistics, Dartmouth is easy to reach by road, Jersey by air, and Bénodet is 4½ hours drive from Cherbourg ferry terminal, three hours from St Malo and only 1¾ hours from Roscoff. Far from being an inconvenience or chore, I find that delivery trips to and from cruising areas provide plenty of interest and satisfaction for those who like longer passages, without having to involve family members who don’t. Everyone wins, which is really the whole object of the exercise.