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  #421  
Old 01-16-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Good points all, but based upon what I've seen up and down the East coast over the past 35 years, I'd have to disagree with your last sentence... If we're talking about young people heading south in modest boats for a winter sabbatical - which so often represents for East coast sailors the beginnings of more extended cruising - IMHO there are definitely fewer people under 30 doing so now, than there were back when I started out in the delivery business...



I'd liken it to the sort of changes that have taken place since I was young... For example, during my college years, I hitch-hiked virtually everywhere I travelled, many trips cross-country, and all over the West with a pair of skis... These days, it's simply a different world, virtually no one travels like that anymore... I'm not "blaming" today's young people for their apparent unwillingness to travel in such a fashion anymore, the world has simply changed, is all, doing so is no longer practical...
Hi Jon, it's fascinating to hear how some have seen a drop in young sailors, especially on the East coast. We've only been down a couple times but both trips were in our 30's, 20 years ago.

I only recall one boat of 20 somethings on both those trips. A great group of young guys on a college sabatical on one of their dads boats. By and large, we met casually, tons of boats(it's like a wagon train,...), and we were on the younger side.

Then I recalled, my friend Charlie Wing wrote a funky little book, "The Liveaboard Report" based on interviews of "Snowbirds" traveling on the east coast and Bahamas.

Charlie interviewed near a hundred boats on the east coast(he loves doing interviews), over a few years, and I looked up his age percentages for the late 80's.

Of males, he found less than 2% were 20-29 yrs(twenty somethings). The bulk of males were between 40 and 70 year olds.

Females were a little different. 5% were "twenty somethings", and the bulk were 30 to 39 and the percent declined from there. Still, the average was around 50.

Oh, and the average length on deck 30 years ago of the boats he interviewed, was 37 feet.
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  #422  
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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 LauderBoy View Post
Most people's dream and goals are what society has told them should be their dreams and goals since they were toddlers. In the 70's those dreams didn't come attached to large monthly payments. This meant people could skip out and go on a cruise from time to time.

Today a 20 something that wants to raise a family: you're a bad parent if you don't send your kids to pre-school(that's $$). Houses in good school districts are big $$. Health insurance so you don't bankrupt the family if you get sick is big $$(and even then you're not safe). That college education so you have a decent job comes attached with big loans.

The average "trying to be responsible" adult is getting hit with a lot more of their take home pay just to stay afloat than people were 30 years ago.

Now that doesn't mean that are being more responsible. It's just that everyone has told them "this is the route you need to take". I think at some point we might see another generation come along that ends up bucking the trend.
I guess I'm not very good at getting my point across, sorry about that.

Every generation has been told to do all the things you mention. 99.9% of the people around the world follow those directions, that advice. But a tiny amount of people do not and that group includes people sailing all over the world to far of places. If you bite for that lousy excuse about "being more responsible" or "This is the route you need to take" then why would you want to think you have much of a chance of world cruising in your 20's and 30's. Remember cruising is not for those 99.9 %. But you may need to play the game the 99.9% live by in order to cruise. I didn't rob banks to do it I used the system right from the begining like most world cruisers do. Just don't ever let the system overwhelm you, always be alert and make the needed corrections, focus on your desire 1st everything else is 2nd.

Also you don't just go cruising from time to time. You can go sailing from time to time, take a month off once in a while but that is sailing. And the OP wanted to know why few younger people were not cruising. To cruise takes huge amounts of time to get ready for the adventure. You just don't get up and go for as little as 6 months or one year or more which is my definition of cruising compared to sailing.

There is nothing wrong with just enjoying sailing. Sailing on weekends with the family or wife or partner all of that is wonderful. More folks on the internet should worry about getting the time to do just that. They should also understand if they are all tied up in a normal life they are best to try and enjoy that and not make excuses about what the world tells me I need to be like or the economy is bad and why they are not out world cruising because of it.

It is really hard to do what I and others are trying to get across. I am spending 4 to 6 hours a day trying to get ready for our next adventure of 5 to 6 years. We will have little oppertunity to watch the grand kids grow up, that is not easy, we own a beautiful house we just built we will not be in it again for all those years. Many of my elder family will die in the time we are gone, should I stay home and help take care of them and go to their funerals. I guess I could but hell life is not a practice run it is the real thing, I'd rather go to hell if it means that I was able to go cruising instead. If your 20 something or 30 something in some ways its harder for you to do but in some ways its easier, figure it out if you really want to go cruising.
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  #423  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I've enjoyed your posts Hannah2. People like you are pretty rare. I agree, cruising and sailing are not necessarily the same thing and I think the definition means different things to different people.

For me, it's a lifestyle change, away from all that is not cruising really. It's a big commitment in how I would approach it. The leaders of the cruising trend that became more popular in the 60's, 70's, seemed closely linked the the Nearing exodus that many took moving "back to the land".

One of the more amazing things I remember about simply taking a winter off and heading down the coast, was the number of people we met that had taken the "sell up and and sail" route. Quite a few! They had traded in real estate equity to follow the dream nicely set out at the time by the cruising media like Cruising World(good magazine in it's day). These were people in their 40's and up. Some even had families!

Cruising as many have done, and you are doing right now, is a wonderful way of life. But it's not for everyone, it's a lifestyle very few experience.

I learned to love to travel by sailboat, for short term, and now do that quite happily here in Maine. I'm not a big fan of living aboard(one winter was fine), at least not on the boats we like to sail in. But we so enjoy the sailing life on the water, sailing is a passion for me. And we like to snowboard here and travel(and we're working full time with 2 in college!).

My favorite way to travel is with a carry on bag. I love our boat, but it's a bit too much baggage for how we travel these days.

I'm not sure our kids will want to follow a cruising lifestye(who knows?), but they've traveled far already and have studied abroad.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm thick in college kids right now(our two in now), and we're just in mid winter break with 3 to 5(friends) staying with us.

These are the lucky kids(most of us in the US are), the ones able to find some way to be in college. But most of us are not wealthy(you find a way(cruising, college, we always have), yet, I can't think of many of these kids I've gotten to know, that haven't traveled abroad.

Semesters abroad are the rule now, woofing trips(our daughter studies in Scotland and travels widely for peanuts, woofing, youth hostels) semesters at sea(our son just finished one). Gap years, between years, they take right off and go places around the world. In fact, compared to my age, I would speculate, kids are traveling more today(there I've done it...).

Thanks for your input, it's nice to hear what you're seeing. I knew sailing was alive and well, I'm glad cruising will continue as well.
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  #424  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Tom, I've enjoyed your posts also. You have a positive out look toward the young and you really do enjoy sailing from what I can tell. I love your Alberg, my favorite boat that I've owned up until recently was my Rhodes Chesapeake. 32 ft made in Denmark in 1962. I had always kept her even when we owned the Mason44. She was our coastal and weekend cruiser.

What you say about cruising is correct, everyone has different ideas.

Just this week I had a visit from an old friend who just gave up cruising after 25 years strait and he sailed everywhere in the world. His Knees gave out and now he is flying planes to keep himself busy. I was talking to him about our plans for cruising for the next 5 or 6 years and his first comment was "Oh your going sailing for 5 or 6 years." I knew what he was saying I didn't have to have go into detail. But as you can guess cruising meant something different to him from us.

What I have been saying here is that if you are happy sailing like you do or like Wolfe does in Port Townsend that is great. Sailing is such a great rush of Freedom no matter when or how you do it.

But also for those I see on this site that torment over big ideas of sailing all over the place and are so far away from ever living that dream. They would be much happier coming to terms like you have to do the stuff that is more important to you, kids in college etc. and still enjoy sailing. You can always go back and pick up on the idea later. But to always have it on your mind and in your dreams can't be good for you if you except the responsibility of other things in life. Remember, sailing all over the world is a total and complete life change and very hard to do for most because of other commitments. At the age of 20 something and 57 to 62 something is the two best times to do world cruising for most who really have the desire to do so.

These types of discussions never come up when your out there sailing do they.

Cheers all.




Cheers

Last edited by hannah2; 01-16-2013 at 08:05 PM.
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  #425  
Old 01-19-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I don't know about the number of sailors in general, but I think the number of young cruisers is going up. We've been out for five months now and we have met plenty of people in the 40 or under crowd out there who have up and left everything behind to go out cruising.

Just going down the ICW so far we've met:

Brian and Stephanie (30 & 29) of s/v Rode Trip, a Westsail 32 who left from Portsmouth, NH in July.

Scott & Kim (41 & 35) of s/v Anthyllide, a 38 ft aluminum origami boat, who left from Detroit, MI in 2005.

Ryan and Tasha (40 & 35) of s/v Hideaway, a Catalina 34 that left from Manhattan, NY, NY in October.

Frank and Yu (30-35? & 30) of s/v Moitessier, a Hans Christian 41 that is being prepped in St. Augustine, FL and will hopefully be leaving in late 2013.


There have been more out there, those are only the ones we've taken time to get to know on a friends basis. We also know another handful of young cruisers that plan on leaving in the next year or two. I think the number of young cruisers/sailors are on the rise, we just have to keep getting the word out there that it can be done, no matter your age bracket or income!
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  #426  
Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Part of my plan is to find a "young person" who would otherwise not be able to cruise and sign him on as crew, with everything taken care of from my end. Not only would it make my cruising possible, I can give something special to someone...the chance to sail the tropics, with no worries.
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Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

one of the things I am intending on doing is trying to invest a love of the sea and boats in my niece. For reasons I will not go into, I am the "father figure" to a lovely 12 year old.. who, while doing decent in school, has no true "loves" beyond playing on her computer.

I think if I can get her into boats and even cruising, it will be a boon for everyone.. (hopefully her eventual "one")
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

The love of the sea is one of the most important things I picked up from the people I respected most growing up.
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Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Do the twenty somethings have to be cruising to far off lands ? Do they get any credit for unloading a sunfish of the top of the car? Some of the youth do not want to be married in the teen years. They want to finish school and have a degree. Good Ideas. If we live longer do you think they might wait longer to have children and sail off to the islands ?
Then the same folks say the young want it all right now. How can they win ? You rig the game. The young are smarter faster stronger. When they get old the young will be smarter faster stronger. Thats the way it is. Our job is to be wize Wisdom can not help when you have contempt. The great blessing is most of us reconize the trap and then remember when we were smarter, faster, stronger so we help the young to build wisdom. That is why so many of the postings have been positve. Kind Regards, Lou
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

It is our society stressing "getting the corner office" and all the other trappings of modern day life, house in the burbs etc....that have changed the priorities of a whole generation....the ones that can't afford to aim that high are just barely squeaking from pay check to pay check in menial jobs....they are too busy surviving to think about "sailing off into the tropical sunset".
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