The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising?? - Page 31 - SailNet Community
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post #301 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??

I think a lot of you guys are missing one of the greatest reasons why young people aren't sailing - Lack of exposure. First you have to look at the price of real estate on the water. As it continues to climb, owning property on/near water is becoming more and more prohibitive for families. And when families don't live on/near, then their kids will have less exposure to the water and the experiences that come along with it. When these people who live further from the water do make it out they use "go-fast" boats for three reasons: they are easier to care for, easier to operate, and because of their speed they require less time to "get where you are going", thus they require less time.
So I cruised for a bit a couple of years ago and more often than not when I talk about cruising with my friends (typically in their 20's) they are surprised because they never even thought that it is feasible/safe/affordable to live on a sailboat. Most people only hear about sailing from the media, and these stories are virtually always about circumnavigations or ship wrecks, neither of which appeal to the vast majority of people.
The only pro I can see to the declining interest in sailing is that it means that over time the value of sailboats will fall, thus making larger boats more affordable to me.
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post #302 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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I think a lot of you guys are missing one of the greatest reasons why young people aren't sailing - Lack of exposure.
I grew up in a lake house and most every vacation I went on was to the ocean. However, my father wasn't interested in the least (and still isn't) in sailing. Boy Scouts is actually where I first learned to sail, and later fell in love with it through their Sea Base program.

If lack of exposure is the problem, I think there is a lot that can be done to encourage sailing though youth organizations, schools, and community programs. Talk to your local boy scout troops, boys and girls clubs, and schools. Host an event and invite them to come sail!

Who else is going to expose others to sailing if the seasoned sailers aren't doing it?

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post #303 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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When we were kids, we went outside every day after school.
Did you also walk uphill both ways?

I do think you're partly correct about some kids playing too many video games, etc. (Although isn't that the fault of today's parents who used to be those wonderfully wholesome kids you talk about?) It's wrong to lump all of "today's youth" into one giant category, and compare them unfavorably against the "we kids" of yesteryear. Fact is, there are many amazing young folks out in the world doing unbelievable things.
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post #304 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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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....
As long as a sailboat is seen as a luxury instead of simply an alternative choice, it will be pushed aside by many people on a budget.

We have liveaboard neighbors who pay less per year than a standard apartment costs in Boston.

And they all have jobs.

I know of a place that sells repossessed / salvaged boats for whatever you bid for them: Certified Sales Inc - Liquidation Sales
You can get a nice boat for less than 6 months rent, as long as you're willing to put some work into her.

Happy New Year!
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post #305 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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Did you also walk uphill both ways?

I do think you're partly correct about some kids playing too many video games, etc. (Although isn't that the fault of today's parents who used to be those wonderfully wholesome kids you talk about?) It's wrong to lump all of "today's youth" into one giant category, and compare them unfavorably against the "we kids" of yesteryear. Fact is, there are many amazing young folks out in the world doing unbelievable things.
I was providing a general average of the situation, not a case by case analysis.

Without any argument there are aberations to any general statements, on pretty much any subject.
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post #306 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"
I disagree about high school not teaching enough to start a career. I think we need to stop thinking college is for everyone. We have created an entire industry of colleges funded by people getting into huge amounts of debit based on the myth that we need to get a degree to do anything. I think many are going to be much better off becoming a plumber or electrician these days than a "mid level manager." The way corporations are structuring pay scales with 1 to3% raises every year, you are falling behind not getting ahead. I know of several friends who started businesses right out of high school and they are doing much better than many of my friends who went to college, including myself. This is also true of my children's friends (now in there 30s) as well. Very few jobs in the tech industry require a college degree. Scores of programmers out there with no degrees. Real money is really in owning your own company, and few colleges teach much that will help with this. Better off with a community college or adult education service taking classes on what you need.

Now there are certain careers that require a degree and more. My youngest two are interested in such degrees. One wants to be an architect, and the other a doctor. Obviously they will need to go to college for that.

I know people who owe over 100,000 in college debit to be teachers, and that is an untenable situation.
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post #307 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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Kids today are introduced to sailing the same way their parents(me), were.

At least that's what I see here on the coast of Maine. Most everyone I know that sails, spent time on the water as young kids. They in turn, if they have kids, take those kids sailing.

And we have always taken friends from families that don't sail. Some of those kids do sail now.

The internet can't be that much of a demon, look how many of us baby boomer parents are online, even many that are off cruising are online for vast amounts of time.

Reminds me of my grandfather. He would lament my generation(boomers) that were raised on tv. He'd do his complaining from my driveway as he listened to the Yankees on his car radio all day long.

The more things change, they more the look the same to me.
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post #308 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??

I'm not so sure about the statement that there are not many young folks cruising. We have met many in their 20's and 30's with and without kids everywhere we have sailed in the world. But I must say there are less cruising in North American waters. But in the S. Pacific, Europe, and in high lats there are plenty enjoying the adventure as only the young can enjoy. And most are New Zealanders, Aussy and European. Some of the young are out looking for surfing adventures in distant lands, others are out cruising enjoying different cultures, playing musical instruments with the many talented cruisers and locals. Seems like most young cruisers love to play music.

I couldn't tell you the percent of young cruisers out there, a guess would be 30 %. When I sailed in the early 70's as a 21 year old there were more of us young sailors in distant lands but there were far fewer people living the dream.

We love to invite young cruisers aboard and share our food and beer be it in a port or at anchor, they don't always have a lot. They are so full of adventure and great conversation and most important they seem to always to be happy and content in what they are doing. Please invite the young aboard if you are out cruising long range you will enjoy doing so and they will love the invite.

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post #309 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??

I think, after reading most of the posts in this thread, there are several reasons that youngsters will never be sailors. First and foremost, the vast majority of young people I encounter daily want instant gratification. They seem to want everything immediately, and they think it should not only be fast, but also it should be loud and mindless, somewhat like the music they listen to on their I-Pods and smart phones.

Here in Paradise, with beautiful, turquoise blue waters, incredible sailing opportunities, wonderful, warm weather, palm trees, sugar white sand, etc..., the vast majority of individuals aged 45 or less seem to have their minds stuffed into a tiny electronic device in their hand. I've watched them nearly walk off the end of the pier while texting, they ignore then entire world when that phone vibrates and makes some weird sound, they can no longer have an intelligent conversation with anyone using their vocal chords and minds. Google and Yahoo is their new parents.

If they had a sailboat, or a powerboat, they would be looking for an app that would take control of the boat and steer it through a minefield of other boats, crab pot markers, buoys, etc..., thereby allowing them to text their friends while boating. I see parents completely ignoring their screaming children because they can't get away from their I-Pads, I-Pods and smart phones. Thousands of people are killed every year due to texting while driving. Youngsters can no longer perform simple mathematics without the aid of a calculator, let alone pick up a chart and plot a course to a destination just over the horizon. And, if it takes more than 5 minutes to learn, forget it - to them it's not worth the effort.

The cost of boating, of course, has risen to levels that limit this pastime to those that either have a significant amount of disposable income, or are willing to put forth the time and effort to fix up an old boat and make it sailable. Youngsters, those under 50 years of age, don't usually have a significant amount of discretionary income, and if they do, more often than not they don't have sufficient free time to enjoy the sport of boating.

Just my .02 cents worth.

Cheers from an old man living the dream,

Gary
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post #310 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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Here in Paradise, with beautiful, turquoise blue waters, incredible sailing opportunities, wonderful, warm weather, palm trees, sugar white sand, etc

Gary
just got stuck in a day dream here in 29 degree virginia..........
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