The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising?? - Page 32 - SailNet Community
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post #311 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, 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.
That's funny... Most of the 40-60 yr olds I hang out with on the lake couldn't understand why I bought a sailboat instead of a ski boat. I'm 25 and not a fan of the loud and mindless. I would guess about half of the sailors on my lake are under 35. Most of them sail racing dinghies here though, so it's not the same comparison. Just something to contrast your generalization.

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post #312 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??

Notice that I didn't say ALL! I do see some youngsters on Hobie-Cats (they go fast), sailboards (they go faster), Lightnings, and similar sailboats that tend to go much faster than their larger, cruising counterparts that are sailed by old codgers such as myself. They sail for a few hours on Thursday nights at the Havre de Grace races, dock the boat, and pull their I-Pads out of their waterproof cases when the last line is tied. Their next stop is usually at McGregor's for some loud, head-banging rock music with 8-word lyrics.

I know this stuff can be addictive. When I'm in range of an open internet connection, and anchored or moored for the night, I check the sailnet each night. However, it was damned well relaxing when I was out of range for two weeks while coming down the ICW. I took some neat sunset photos, saw some incredible wildlife, and slept like a baby when the weather was relatively calm. It was really nice.

Good Luck,

Gary
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post #313 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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I think it is a primarily relative wealth and job security. During the peak of the sailing boom in the early 80s households older than sixty five were ten times wealthier than younger people. Now they are forty seven times wealthier. Jobs are less secure and heavy college debt loads forces many into jobs with relatively poor working conditions and minimal time off (the unions have been marginalised). Young people simply have less time and money to sail. I am forty one, and the only one of seven sailing children fortunate enough to afford (money and time) a cruising sailboat.

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post #314 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 am forty one,....
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And apparently a member of travlin's 45-or-less, texting-right-off-the-end-of-the-dock demographic.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #315 of 909 Old 01-04-2013
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And apparently a member of travlin's 45-or-less, texting-right-off-the-end-of-the-dock demographic.
I wish... our boat is hibernating right now.

My parents and grandparents always seemed to have their heads stuck in books and/or newspapers. The static nature of printed material seems a little shallow to younger people with full time high speed internet access. Kind of like comparing AM radio with color TV.
But sailing will always be timeless and I am glad for that.

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post #316 of 909 Old 01-05-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Economics and opportunity are huge hurdles here in the North East.

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post #317 of 909 Old 01-05-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Kind of like comparing AM radio with color TV.
You're right, reading for pleasure is sadly disappearing, along with the quiet wonder of hearing a staticky Cubs game broadcast on AM radio 500 miles from Chicago.
I'm too young to be nostalgic, aren't I?

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #318 of 909 Old 01-05-2013
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Nostalgia is nice but think it sometimes obscures reality.

I grew up in Port Moresby in the 70s and 80s. Watched as thousands transition from a stone age existence to modernity in one generation. No TV stations or even FM radio for me.

Later lived with my maternal grandparents in Brisbane. They were both born to dusty homesteads in outback Australia in 1909 and 1912. They also witnessed enormous change during their long lives.

Don't get me wrong, I empathise with our friend travellin's nostalgia. Just think his concerns are misplaced. I just think more older people are sailing in the US because older people in the US, have most of this country's wealth.

This, like all other things will change. It is no accident Obama got a record youth vote again. Taxes on wealth will continue to go up. Entitlements will be trimmed or means tested. When the wealth is more equally shared with younger generations we will see more of them sailing.

Humans have been sailing since the beginning of time and I don't think we are going to stop now.
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post #319 of 909 Old 01-05-2013
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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 travlineasy View Post
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
I love this honest review.... Bravo!!! Of course others will rationalize why it is OK to walk off of a pier while looking at your "smart phone"... or why it is OK to tune out the real world when your smart phone vibrates.

Too many times, while dining with my wife in the famous North End of Boston, we see couples who disregard their "date" because their phone rang, and start up an entire conversation with the entity who called them, OR, text them repeatedly, again, DURING their dinner DATE.

So, imagine what a conflict it would be for one of these texting maniacs if they were tacking and their phone vibrated! If they would disregard their beautiful date during dinner, it isn't much of a leap to see them also taking their focus off of the helm to text someone.....

Sure, we are sounding like your grandfather(s) did, so what. Perhaps they and we are correct. Not everyone eschews the wisdom of their elders. And the more we do that, the less we will advance CONSTRUCTIVELY. If you think texting 10000 times a day is an advancement of our society, you are part of the problem.

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

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I wish... our boat is hibernating right now.

My parents and grandparents always seemed to have their heads stuck in books and/or newspapers. The static nature of printed material seems a little shallow to younger people with full time high speed internet access. Kind of like comparing AM radio with color TV.
But sailing will always be timeless and I am glad for that.

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Their heads weren't stuck in newspapers while they were on a dinner date.

Debating the value or differences between printed materials and on-line content is not the question. It is the FOCUS of the human being which is being (off topic) discussed.

No argument, there are huge improvements in transmitting data today.
However, it should also be no argument that there are a lot of people who are steering cars into trees, driving the "T" into the next one, and walking into the oncoming cars, because their minds and focus are into that little device in their hand, to an unhealthy level.

Perhaps it is just a side effect of having a new toy. And, maybe we can hope that the children will eventually get tired of their toy(s)....
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