Join Date: Jul 2000
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??
I'll Argus that Boats have Become bigger and more complex.
The 20 something's of yore might have sailed a Lido 14 with other young couples. When they were in their 30s, they bought a "cruising" boat - perhaps a Schock 25 ftr. Just enough to weekend. By the time they were in their 50s, they had made the big plunge and moved up to a huge boat - a Santana 30.
These days, a 30 ftr is sold as a 'tiny' boat.
Totally agree with that. If you look at any Sail Mag. it appears that 'starter' boats are 40ft. and costing a minor fortune.
The same plunge in youth participation happened in skiing. A full 'outfit' would cost well over $2000 for top quality stuff. And then, SnoBoarding arrived, was 1/5 -1/10th the price for the equipment and the dying 'snowsports' industry made a dramatic comeback ... until the price of a lift ticket met the resurgent enthusiasm and the snowsports industry is going through another decline simply because its too damn expensive for 'young-uns' to afford.
So who makes a reasonably priced modest entry level sailboat? ... virtually no one, simply because the ROI for the manufacturers is too slim. Even a 14ft. rowing dink far exceeds the cost of my first reasonably equipped '30 footer' of 40 years ago.