My family and I have recently returned from a trip to Australia to see our relatives who live over there. Whilst on our trip we flew to a place called Hamilton Island on the Barrier Reef for a few days and took the opportunity to hire a small dinghy.
It was the first time my brother’s young son had ever been on a boat. He’s only just turned 1 years old, so it was a great introduction for him and my brother on safe boating with kids.
We opted to take a dinghy with the outboard motor manual control rather than the more expensive option of taking a dinghy with a steering wheel control.
It cost around $140 Australian dollars for the afternoon, which equates to around just over a hundred US dollars.
Before we set off, as the captain I was given a full safety briefing by the dinghy hire team.
We were given strict guidance on the boundaries we could take our small outboard motor dinghy to, the kids were given well-fitting life jackets, and we were also given the opportunity to take fishing equipment if we wanted.
We turned down the chance to fish, as instead wanted to purely use the opportunity to introduce the youngest member of my brother’s family to the water.
Our time was spent taking it easy at low speeds around the Plum Pudding Reef, taking in the views, and then anchoring up at a beach for an hour for a picnic.
Total time on the water was around 3 hours.
But is taking a one year old on a boat in Hamilton Island safe?
Most definitely I would say yes, but as long as you take care to keep away from the wakes coming off some of the larger boats in the area.
In fact, during our time on the water we only experienced three large boats, one catamaran, a speed boat, and a large yacht. We gave them all a wide berth of around 200 metres and were absolutely fine.
The wakes won’t tip the dinghy, but it can list quite a bit which for non-boating people can be a worry, even though you should be completely fine.
The team who run the dinghy hire company were very professional, and even if you’ve never been in a boat before, it is very easy as long as you don’t stray from the areas given to you on a map in the boat.
It’s an experience none of us will ever forget, and if you happen to be on Hamilton Island in Australia don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity.
If you would like to find out more please visit the Hamilton Island website with has full details on the hire experience and options available.
Handy Hint: If you are planning no taking your baby on a boat, please take a look at some essential baby boating accessories for safety and fun that will make things so much easier.