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  #141  
Old 07-12-2012
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by WDS123 View Post
My impression of the under 30 crowd is that they are very very social.

Sailing would have to appeal to their social side - new friends and comrades; not the solitude of a night watch.
No doubt on what your saying, they are very social but being social has little to do with being adventurous, the twenty and early thirties people I interact with daily are not what I would call adventure seekers, there are exceptions to this of course, but by and large most fall into the car and mall life style.
Being social for this age group seems is more about being dependent on others opinions and acceptance than being independent / adventurous. It takes an adventurous soul to want to sail.
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  #142  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I agree with Chris. At the risk of sounding like a middle-aged curmudgeon, I think video games do have something to do with it. They have a dangerously low "threshold to entry" and the counterproductive nature of being reset without consequence. Sailing takes effort, at least some effort, a skill set and the consequences of "getting it wrong" can be quite real. Too much trouble for the video game generation.
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  #143  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

My father just got into sailing because I introduced him into it (he is in his 50's). He always wanted a sailboat, but walking by the marina and looking at all the boats, he had always imagined that it was only a rich man's sport. The impression of inaccessibility is what kept him from sailing all these years. Now he is a regular sailing obsessive just like most of us here
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  #144  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
My father just got into sailing because I introduced him into it (he is in his 50's). He always wanted a sailboat, but walking by the marina and looking at all the boats, he had always imagined that it was only a rich man's sport. The impression of inaccessibility is what kept him from sailing all these years. Now he is a regular sailing obsessive just like most of us here
Agreed. There is that. But again, I think the barrier to entry is also there. I have talked to so many power boaters who think learning the names and uses of "all those ropes" would be too much for them (get real!). For them, it's easier to just jump in and turn the key.
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  #145  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I never would have gotten into sailing if not for the Boy Scouts. No one in my family sailed, and sunfish at summer camp were my introduction to sailing. If not for that, I am not sure I ever would have gotten the bug, years later, to start sailing dinghies and ultimately (when i finally could *barely* afford it) a real keel boat. I would not have known where to start.

Around Manhattan, there are several programs taking inner city kids (like I was) out sailing on Colgate 26's and j-24's. We need more programs like this, and like scouting, that introduce city kids especially (not just disadvantaged city kids, white flight reversed years ago don't forget) to the blast that sailing really is.
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  #146  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

My two knuckleheads were intrigued when they heard "think of a sailboat as an airplane on it's side".

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  #147  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I always tip the pedi-cab guys really well- summer in Key West is a brutal time to be schlepping tourists around.

On to lack of young cruisers- If they have a new boat, it's expensive and very difficult to finance for someone without a lot of credit history- I just spent 6 weeks getting a $100k loan for a new Hunter 36 underwritten for a 23 year old with perfect credit. If they get an older boat like mine (a 1969 Whitby 45), every nut, bolt, electronic gear and rigging costs a bloody fortune and requires some skills to maintain.

No easy answers, but I just take whatever chance I can to expose kids to sailing who haven't been around it....


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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

...

Last edited by puddinlegs; 07-12-2012 at 04:41 PM.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Your opinion of those who posted here doesn't change the fact that...
-fewer people under 30 have their driver's license, the first step on the road to adventure and independence, than 30 years ago.
-fewer people under 30 are leaving home to live independently than 30 years ago. You can't blame the economy- young people were travelling the country in droves during the Depression, for example.
-interest in sailing is lower than it was 30 years ago. Fleets are smaller, sailors older.

Slag those of us here who are over 40 all you want, facts is facts. The gen Ys you meet may be "focused and motivated and working hard"... but maybe that's beacause , by your own admission you "work and sailed" with them. They have already drunk the kool-aid- Think your sample might be just as biased as you feel the opinions posted here are?



What does hearten me, being the over- 40, non- Huffington post reading, listening conversationalist that I am, is the flurry of teen circumnavigation that we haven't seen before...ever. I hope that over the next decade this translates into more interest, plants seeds that will grow the next generation of adventurers.

Sorry that you feel I've singled you out. But if I have, oh well. We might be in a unique situation in Seattle where there are a number of younger folks buying older boats, fixing them up, and racing/sailing the hell out of them. Yes, my sample is biased to two locations that I know pretty well, Seattle and a whole bunch of young designers (industrial, architecture, communication) in Japan. No, the kids in Japan aren't sailing, but they're working damn hard doing interesting things and just getting by.

This is not a simple nor one dimensional problem of 'computer games' and spoiled youth. Yeah, young people travelled all over during the depressing.... to simply survive. Very bad analogy. A lot of younger folks don't drive because families can barely afford gas for getting to work yet along jr. taking a date to the prom or going to the submarine races. As for having already 'drank the kool-aid', we'll have at least two 20 somethings on the boat tonight who didn't grow up sailing, but just think boats are cool. One is a university student living on a 25' boat, the other someone who just likes the people she's been exposed to on our boat and others she sails with.

I'd also hope that a lot of the older crowd here remember the age group that's risking life and limb every day and coming home to very diminished economic prospects. We're in the middle of a world wide structural political and economic shift because of radical changes in how we communicate that hasn't been seen since the likes of the invention of the printing press, Martin Luther, and the reformation. If anyone including current presidents and potential contenders really think they know where all this is going and what the end result will be in the US, they're kidding themselves. That young people are sailing at all is an accomplishment. So am I biased? Yes. I am because I've also taught them.
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Last edited by puddinlegs; 07-12-2012 at 04:46 PM.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

The main differences in kids now and then have been created solely by our generation. They are a reflection of our culture. We have done a pretty lousy job on the whole by lowering the academic bar, by sending good jobs for youth overseas, by propagating perma-war, the consumer society, and by convincing our youth that the best path in life is to avoid self-sufficiency by using one's hands in favor of becoming banksters or participating in making money through litigation. The baby boom generation has NOTHING to brag about, turning the idealism of the 60s into the culture of money and greed of today. Comparing kids then and now is NOT comparing apples and apples. Having retired from teaching marvelous 13 year-olds in a frustratingly broken p.s. system, I feel our generation has really let these kids down.
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