Advice from boat owners with toddlers

Planning on a boat purchase in the next 2-3 months. I have a 2.5 year old at home who is almost as excited as me to get a new boat. Wondering if anyone has experience boating with a child and can recommend a quality comfortable pfd for kids this age.

I might be putting the cart before the horse since I don’t have the boat yet, but I know once we do pull the trigger I won’t want to delay the maiden voyage searching for a PFD comfortable enough for my son not to fuss about it. Thanks in advance.

I bought all 3 kids (1.5/3/5) the lifejackets from Costco… they are great. We have tried many different types but the only thing I will say is make sure its neoprene…they are the most comfortable for kids.

Stay away from the neoprene ones. My kids (5 & 10) hate them. Hot & heavy.

[navy]Sportsman Masters 207 Yamaha F150[/navy]

Took the grandkids to Bass pro shop. Had them try them on.Then had them where them around the store for about 30 minutes while we wandered. After about 10 minutes oldest granddaughter started whining about hers. Went and got another one and she was fine.

I am fragile. Not like a flower. But like a bomb.

22 life’s a day

Learn them to swim but not like my pap.He’d take us out to the jetties with old man Westendorf and they would throw us in.haha Girls too,no one ever drowned.

My dad tried that with me. Didn’t work sink like a rock. They tried & tried. Even sent me to YMCA. Instructor said I was a brick. I was almost 8 years old before I learned swim. We were at the lake one weekend. Met some other kids that helped me out. Something finally clicked.They had me swimming like a fish in no time.
I was never afraid of the water. my mom said that’s what worried her so much about me being a brick.

I am fragile. Not like a flower. But like a bomb.

22 life’s a day

As mentioned, get the correct life jacket.

Also, make sure to keep the child in a safe place on the boat while underway.



Toddlers hate most of them…the best one we have found for the up to 30 lbs with the head rest was made by Speedo, they didn’t seem to mind that one much at all.

Check this one out.

If they can’t swim well. Make sure they get the ones with the straps that cross between their legs. Also, has a handle on the back. Makes it easy to snatch em up if they fall out the boat. You won’t even have to set your rod down. Also, plan on having some shade for the younger ones and plenty of snacks. A big umbrella in a rod holder works good too. Make sure you have some cushions or beach towels for naps. Let them bring one or two favorite toy. Small of course, and these tips should allow more fishing time.

Most importantly, train them as soon as they get out the vehicle life jackets go on, and stay on the entire time. No matter what. My kids used to pout about that, but safety first. If they’re so miserable being in a life jacket. We can go home and cut grass or do some laundry.

Good luck and tight lines.

My daughter has been on the water her whole life. Same with most of her friends. Life jacket on at the ramp until return. She wore it at the beach too until she got older. We haven’t had any issues because life jacket was established early and always. We stressed the danger of water and boats and importance of following instructions. As mentioned comfort is important and the handle behind the neck is incredibly helpful. Its nice to be able to snatch them up in a hurry. Remember that you’ll be learning while they are learning. Take it easy. I’v found the kids like to cover up by the end of the day. We have huge towels they can wrap up in and basically hide from the sun. Hydration, shade and snacks are obviously important. The quicker they learn the rules the more fun it is for everybody.

Karma is 360 degrees

“If fishing were easy it would be called your mom”