The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising?? - Page 30 - SailNet Community
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post #291 of 909 Old 01-03-2013
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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 wanttosail View Post
I'm in my 20's and have not yet started sailing but want to badly. Two reasons I haven't started yet, I have lived in Colorado my whole life (enough said).

After graduating college I immediatly got a good job with my degree and I am still working there five years later. For the last year+ I have wanted to move to the coast and start sailing. What is really holding me back is the fact that I can't get myself to quit my good professional job, its the "American Dream" to be a professional and have a career and lots of money and a house etc. A lot of friends and family tell me I'm crazy that I'd quit my job to be a sailboat bum and follow whatever path the wind would take me.

In other words, some of us younger people with our careers out of college and the money to buy a boat and start sailing are to busy making more money and advancing their career, its time consuming. On the flip side a lot of my college buddies are still working college type low paying jobs and paying off their student debts therefor unable to buy a boat.
In other words, you don't want it bad enough. You want what you have now, more.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
That's why most cruisers are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #292 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Why are there so few young people cruising??

They're subsisting in their mother's basement (Daddy's been sent/gone away because he doesn't have a job any more...), playing with video games. Or they're hanging out at malls in groups that are sexting each other with vid-phones, but rarely looking directly at anyone else.

per multimud: "Most young folks are so intimidated by the massive financial obstacle that they lose grip of any desire of adventure."

Or as another prior poster said, working at two dead-end part-time McJobs trying to make payments on their useless college 'education'.

Actually, the HS diploma youngsters who have gone into some craft are often better off. They may be able to get a used boat in a few years, if a second baby doesn't appear.

Sailboat manufacturers have come and gone over the decades and I reckon more will disappear during the 2010s.
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post #293 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by Enigma0 View Post
They're subsisting in their mother's basement (Daddy's been sent/gone away because he doesn't have a job any more...), playing with video games. Or they're hanging out at malls in groups that are sexting each other with vid-phones, but rarely looking directly at anyone else.

per multimud: "Most young folks are so intimidated by the massive financial obstacle that they lose grip of any desire of adventure."

Or as another prior poster said, working at two dead-end part-time McJobs trying to make payments on their useless college 'education'.

Actually, the HS diploma youngsters who have gone into some craft are often better off. They may be able to get a used boat in a few years, if a second baby doesn't appear.

Sailboat manufacturers have come and gone over the decades and I reckon more will disappear during the 2010s.
Wow - holy cynics Batman. I think each of these responses is not only misguided, but ignorant and out of context. I am a young soon-to-be cruiser. My girlfriend and I are both giving up 6 figure careers to rebuild an old boat and take the plunge. We are lucky, but we still have to cover our student loans, etc.

The truth is, college is getting way too expensive, HS prepares you for **** and even though we have more college grads than ever in history, their degrees are costly and worth about as much as the paper they were printed on. Sailing is an expensive hobby. It's even more expensive to sustain long term as a cruiser without a retirement plan or a pension to pay the bills.

I have to say that I've found it rather troublesome how many "older" sailors poopoo the younger generation of sailors out there or even the idea of young cruisers. Many of the older cruisers on this forum put themselves in a higher class and practically discourage younger sailors with negative remarks and discouraging advice.

How often do you hear the old salts telling someone who wants to buy a boat and make a go of it - "you can't do that, you need 10 YEARS of sailing experience" or "you dont know what you're getting yourself into" or "you better reconsider..."

If people on this forum, ESPECIALLY THIS THREAD spent more time encouraging young sailors, volunteering time to teach, or shoot, even offering encouraging words of support, sailing would continue to grow.

"The ones who come before us will teach us the way forward"

Last edited by SailingChance; 01-04-2013 at 01:07 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #294 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Wow - holy cynics Batman. I think each of these responses is not only misguided, but ignorant and out of context. I am a young soon-to-be cruiser. My girlfriend and I are both giving up 6 figure careers to rebuild an old boat and take the plunge. We are lucky, but we still have to cover our student loans, etc.

The truth is, college is getting way too expensive, HS prepares you for **** and even though we have more college grads than ever in history, their degrees are costly and worth about as much as the paper they were printed on. Sailing is an expensive hobby. It's even more expensive to sustain long term as a cruiser without a retirement plan or a pension to pay the bills.

I have to say that I've found it rather troublesome how many "older" sailors poopoo the younger generation of sailors out there or even the idea of young cruisers. Many of the older cruisers on this forum put themselves in a higher class and practically discourage younger sailors with negative remarks and discouraging advice.

How often do you hear the old salts telling someone who wants to buy a boat and make a go of it - "you can't do that, you need 10 YEARS of sailing experience" or "you dont know what you're getting yourself into" or "you better reconsider..."

If people on this forum, ESPECIALLY THIS THREAD spent more time encouraging young sailors, volunteering time to teach, or shoot, even offering encouraging words of support, sailing would continue to grow.

"The ones who come before us will teach us the way forward"
You call my post cynical, but didn't adduce facts to counter it. In fact, you confirm the mistaken perception that it takes some years getting '6 figure' salaries in order to go cruising.

There are good technical and vocational tracks in some HS; the student and parents just need to take the initiative and spend a bit more in study time and money respectively.

A high school grad who first has spent a few years in some construction or reno trade, or even better, working in a boat-yard, can find a reasonably-priced deep-water vessel being reluctantly relinquished by an ailing 'old salt' (or his widow). And go cruising after getting getting current on how to sail a keel-boat. Or a cat.

The discouraging words are likely meant to encourage any would-be sailor to get instruction and experience before leaping off the coastal maps. Here be monster - waves.

And there are other hazards that haven't had some government nanny post convenient warning signs around them. Discouraging some wild enthusiasms may save some lives, and keep your name out of the media. Obits, or helicopter rescue stories.

The same cautions apply to mountain climbing... Know your equipment and capabilities before setting that first knuckle.
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post #295 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

For whatever value to this open question may I add that there might be a relationship between the increasing obesity of American youth and their hours spent on-line looking at computer screens, vs. the outdoor pursuits / activities like sailing?

How many hours are Americans spending per week on-line?
Subtract those hours from outdoor activities.

There you have it.
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post #296 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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For whatever value to this open question may I add that there might be a relationship between the increasing obesity of American youth and their hours spent on-line looking at computer screens, vs. the outdoor pursuits / activities like sailing?

How many hours are Americans spending per week on-line?
Subtract those hours from outdoor activities.

There you have it.
Thats just plain governmentspeak

I am a fat sailor


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post #297 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Thats just plain governmentspeak

I am a fat sailor
My point wasn't that obesity is a reason not to sail, (though fat sailors seem to be rare around here), my point is that the latest generations are spending a huge amount of their "free time" on-line, instead of any of the outdoor activities our generation(s) learned to enjoy from our youth.

The internet has had a huge impact on increasing waistlines and decreasing physical activities.

When we were kids, we went outside every day after school.
Todays kids aren't even allowed outside without adult supervision, from a fear of pedophiles. So, there is a lot more support for kids going on-line vs. outside.

And if you're not used to enjoying any outdoor activities, where was that initial exposure to sailing going to happen?
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post #298 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: Why are there so few young people cruising??

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My girlfriend and I are both giving up 6 figure careers to rebuild an old boat and take the plunge. We are lucky, but we still have to cover our student loans, etc.

The truth is, college is getting way too expensive, HS prepares you for **** and even though we have more college grads than ever in history, their degrees are costly and worth about as much as the paper they were printed on. Sailing is an expensive hobby. It's even more expensive to sustain long term as a cruiser without a retirement plan or a pension to pay the bills.

I have to say that I've found it rather troublesome how many "older" sailors poopoo the younger generation of sailors out there or even the idea of young cruisers. Many of the older cruisers on this forum put themselves in a higher class and practically discourage younger sailors with negative remarks and discouraging advice.

How often do you hear the old salts telling someone who wants to buy a boat and make a go of it - "you can't do that, you need 10 YEARS of sailing experience" or "you dont know what you're getting yourself into" or "you better reconsider..."

If people on this forum, ESPECIALLY THIS THREAD spent more time encouraging young sailors, volunteering time to teach, or shoot, even offering encouraging words of support, sailing would continue to grow.

"The ones who come before us will teach us the way forward"
Okay, in your opinion the reason that there aren't more young sailors cruising is:
1) High school doesn't teach you anything, college is so expensive, jobs don't pay sh1t and kids have college loans to pay off.



...So, isn't that an even GREATER incentive to go cruising instead of going to college? why go to school to go into debt to get a degree that won't get you a job that will pay off your debt? Go cruising, work light and cheap waiting tables or tending bar or scraping boats to cover your costs as you cruise the coast, then go back to school when the job market and the economy improves, or take some online classes one at a time as you can afford them. Or cruise a season, work a season, go to school a season, repeat. Or a combination. Yeah, it will then take 10 years to graduate instead of 3, but then you also graduate with no debt and you've had fun along the way.

2) Folks who are actually doing it aren't encouraging.


... Do you require a pat on the back and coaxing to do everything? We're talking sailing here, not eating your vegetables. If you want to do it, you do it. I am a big fan of the "go small, go now" approach, because you don't know what tomorrow brings. That's why I have a great deal of respect for jgbrown, chech, and other post-college/in college types here who buck the trend and just plain do it.

As far as the "you can't do that, you need 10 YEARS of sailing experience" or "you dont know what you're getting yourself into" or "you better reconsider..." cliches of caution that abound:
You're right, it can sometimes be a little over the top, but it's not demographic specific- it is experience specific- a novice in his/her 40s gets the same lines here as a novice in his/her 20s

I can't speak for other old salts here, but I invite every nearby, and some not so nearby, newbie to this site and the others I frequent who want to sail to come sail with us for a day or two.
Y'know who has taken me up on that offer? Folks in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

I hope you stick around. And if you want to get some time on the water, get in touch.
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It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #299 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

To answer the original question —

I'm only speaking for myself, but here is the reason I'm not cruising. I followed my parents expectations and went to a good college. I currently have over $100k in debt and have to work at least 50 hours a week to pay my bills. I can't afford to live on my own, let alone leave my career to sail the world. Luckily, I do have a great career that I enjoy and am able to sail the lakes here and go on occasional vacations while I work towards my (hopefully early) retirement plan of sailing the world.

Nothing useless about that....

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post #300 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

LemonHead,
It's good to have a plan.
It's even better not to have excuses.
Keep sailing the lakes and keep on keeping on.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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