SailNet Community - View Single Post - Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?
View Single Post
post #27 of Old 03-25-2013
Ajax_MD's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Edgewater/Annapolis
Posts: 4,309
Thanks: 8
Thanked 125 Times in 113 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Send a message via Yahoo to Ajax_MD
Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

The title of this thread illustrates the difference in cultural views regarding the sport of sailing.

In Australia, NZ and many parts of Europe, sailing is a common activity among common folks. Nothing elite about it. In Australia, the word "yacht" is used to refer to nearly any pleasure craft, not simply boats larger than "X" meters, or sailboats or power boats.

In the United States, no matter how old, or crappy the sailboat, sailing is seen as something "wealthy" or "offbeat" people do. You're either a rich elitist, or you're some kind of Luddite.

The word "yacht" has a very negative connotation here in the US. It is commonly used to refer to large power or sailboats, typically equipped with a large cabin, and many amenities.

I barely have two coins to rub together, my boat is 40 years old, my sails are old and used, but when I mention sailing, my co-workers constantly rib me about making "big money".

Also, there seems to be some wierd connection between distance traveled on the water, and wealth. If I tell them that I sail a long distance, the pokes about my perceived wealth increase. I think this is because there is an unconscious mental calcuation between distance traveled and fuel costs, and that the boat must be very large and comfortable to travel so far.

I constantly have to explain that the cost to travel 3 miles or 85 miles is the same, because the wind is free.

A friend of mine recently commented "Sailing is illegal in the United States."

Alacrity, 1981 Tartan 33 #168
Ajax_MD is online now  
Quote Share with Facebook
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome