Although sailing trips usually aim to induce a euphoric torpor among adults, the windjammer Isaac H. Evans, out of Rockland, Maine, now offers three-day trips geared to the kinetics of kids. As the historic 20-passenger, 105-foot schooner navigates the island-specked waters of Penobscot Bay, Captain Ed Glaser puts kids to work furling mains, coiling lines, and practicing other nautical techniques and terminology (minus the singing, which kids find dorky). Glaser also introduces them to the local seals, porpoises, eagles, osprey, and the rare whale, and takes them ashore to investigate tide pools. Kids can also learn to row and sail small boats. All trips include an island lobster bake, but the trip to book is the July 10 departure, which coincides with Rockland Schooner Days: Historic ships will pass in the daylight, and fireworks will boom at night. All cabins (which, though snug, have a window that actually opens and a sink) are doubles, and Glaser will pair up spare kids if necessary. Ages: Eight and up. Family trip dates: July 10, 21, 28, and August 11. Cost: $390 per person. Phone: 800-648-4544.
As an alternative, sign on with the Edna, a 22-passenger, 80-foot staysail schooner that makes seven-day trips out of Boston and Newport under the auspices of the Boston Nautical Heritage Group. Education is the watchword here, and kids will find themselves navigating, steering, climbing the rigging, and standing watch. Ages: Ten and up. Trip dates: Weekly Sunday to Saturday cruises throughout July and August. Cost: $895 per adult; $695 for kids 16 and under. Phone: 617-344-1749.