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  #471  
Old 02-19-2013
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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 DRFerron View Post
A bit harsh I think.

My "real freedom" may not be your "real freedom." I kind of think it's relative to each of our personal experiences. And unless someone is actually in a position in which he or she has to test their "intestinal fortitude" who am I to say that anyone can't do it? Everyone has their own bar at which their envelope is pushed.

I have plenty ex and current military in my family and circle of friends and I thank them for helping to create a society that allows me the opportunities that in turn allow me to hire a captain to sail my pathetic drunken ass in the BVIs with in-mast furling*.

*Just an example. I captain my own boat, never sail drunk and in-mast furling isn't on my wish list.

* yes, just an example... and honestly, I have roller furling, not hank-ons at the headsail so I can't really make any headway with that arguement either. But I can distill my rather caustic argument regarding people in my age bracket, call it 25-35 - people older and younger down to:

A) sailing is bit too inconvenient for most
B) weather is too frequently present, as in- there is "weather" outside
C) seriously misplaced values, instilled by a society that has faded to a shadow of it self- lest we forget, once we (USA) were a nation of independent, westward expanding, rebellious adventurers...
Being more than 3 blocks from 2 starbucks outlets- as seemingly impossible as it might be- is a bit more adventure than most of us can handle these days.

If one charters a 50' Cat with all the conveniences of home, and someone to drive it- more power to them, at least they are out in the wind- that's really the point, isn't it?

Racing LAsers, sailing Hobie cats off the beach, Cruising and potluck dinners, sundowners with the yachties, teaching 7 year olds to feel the helm on an optimist, circumnavigating solo on a 20 footer- theres something for everyone out there- why in God's name aren't more folks picking it up sooner? probably lack of awareness of just how versatile and multifaceted sailing is. It is truly the answer for whatever is ailing you.

There is also an idea that sailing is cost prohibitive- which it is, as is boat ownership- however, it too is misplaced. Most people, in my experience, are totally unaware that there are hundreds of awesome sailboats (keelboats) ready to sail away for under 5000 dollars- the assumption is that "yachts" cost 10's of thousands. Further assumptions are that Bermuda is in the Caribbean, and that the Bahamas are hundreds of Miles out there, etc.

It all appears quite daunting, if you never investigate the realities. How often do we see "it's a buyers market."

People also tend to dramaticize boat ownership. For young people, couples or individuals, as has been pointed out in previous posts, a 26-32 footer is plenty- but there aren't exactly tons of brokers out there , parents out there, college councelors out there, saying "go buy a brand x 29, and sail your ass off for 6 months and flip it" IT's a dirty little secret that you can fly to Seattle, buy a boat for 3500- or less, do a 2500 dollar refit, and sail to SAn Diego, and sell the boat for 5000. The real answer- from a young(ish) person who does it- is that theres' no need to saddle yourself with storage fees, etc- buy the boat, sail it, sell it. Want to go again? fine, do it all over again. If you find your dream boat along the way- keep it and maybe (maybe) get a real job to help support the thing.

NOw- in my experience, what you do see a good bit of is people who are in there late teens, to mid / late 20's who have figured out that owning a boat is more of a hassle than its usually worth, and chartering is pricey- so they just get a job that involves sailing, IE Crewing on big square riggers, or Dive boats, or charter boats, or deliveries. As a "sailor" deliveries are my favorite- gunkholing is alright- but it certainly isnt my social scene- I'm in it for the sailing, and if you need your 1st 456 in the grenadines, or what have you, theres alot of folks like myself out there who are A) skippers, or B) crew. WHy pay for a boat when you can get paid to do all the sailing.

that's at the crux for lots of young folks- who wants to hang out in anchorage, sipping rum with everyones grandparents? Let's get out and get heeled over.
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Last edited by c. breeze; 02-19-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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  #472  
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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 smackdaddy View Post
It's this. Nothing but this.

If you're a person, whether young or old, that hungers for adventure - a sailboat, whether luxurious or spartan, is pretty much the best way in the world to go find it.

That is why getting my boat is only part of my dream, sailing to the tropics another part...the most important part for me is to share it.

Marketing makes people think we need a new 6 figure yacht, but according to a sailnet poll...82% of boats are 20+years old while 4% are 1-5

Last edited by wolfenzee; 02-19-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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  #473  
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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 c. breeze View Post
*.......

There is also an idea that sailing is cost prohibitive- which it is, as is boat ownership- however, it too is misplaced. ........
What is expensive about boat ownership is paying someone else to do the work for you and buying equipment, materiels and supplies from a "yachtie" source.
Example: I replaced all the standing rigging on my 30' boat by buying a 300'spool of 1/4" 7x19 316ss from a commercial source for $225 (75cent/ft).....through a rigger it would be as much as $3.35/ft ....I saved $7000 by doing the work myself (total cost was $250mat + $30lab) and getting materials from cheap source.
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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 c. breeze View Post
...

that's at the crux for lots of young folks- who wants to hang out in anchorage, sipping rum with everyones grandparents? Let's get out and get heeled over.
Nice response. To the young people who agree with that last bit, I wouldn't totally rule out spending the odd day or two with someone's grandparents and at anchor is the perfect environment. At least it means that you both left the dock. I learned a lot, and continue to learn, from the older sailors who have traveled the same roads and beyond and made the same mistakes. We have jobs that help our boat float. I'd rather spend a few hours (sometimes it only takes minutes) listening to someone help me do things right than spend that time equivalent of my paycheck fixing something that could easily have been avoided.

Last summer we rafted up with a pair of older gentlemen who kindly gave us lots of good information about our boat and how to get better sail performance from it. One had previously owned the same type and while we sipped their very generous drinks, he came aboard and helped fix a problem we were having. It surely saved us a major headache and having to haul our boat, leaving us less time for sailing.
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  #475  
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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 hannah2 View Post
Majority is not always right. That is why we have elected officials. But who cares and who cares about the inter coastal waterway. Maybe too many folks took their freedom a little too far and now you have cops everywhere.

Actually no, you are incorrect. I say this with all the respect in the world and only an earnest attempt to educate you.

While majority is not always right it is NOT the reason we have elected officials. The purpose of an elected official is to be a representative 'of the people' it is their job to support and defend OUR views not their own. This country is supposed to be a Republic that uses Democracy in its election and law passing process. Not a Dictatorship (such as some of the countries in the Middle East) or a Monarchy such in England. Unfortunately No the politicians have mostly not been doing their jobs but this is a different topic and at most maybe one small reason that steers some away from boat ownership

I am not typically a fan of political angles But I have plenty of friends on the E coast who roll their eyes every time the topic of the FL laws come up. One of them now lives here full time in part to that problem. Someone with a 1.5 million dollar boat.

I think there are plenty of 'youngsters' on the water still. I am in my late 20's my sailing student is in her mid 20's but there are certainly 'more' things for youngsters to do these days.

video games, cell phones, app games, sleeping a lot. The economy is also poor. Between my main girl and I we make a good living and that is one of the few reasons we are able to afford a boat. Not everyone wants to leave the land life completely behind in order to sail so a good percentage of those people are unable to own.

I also understand the point of those who have been in the military. I am a formerly active duty Marine myself. Freedom and quiet is among the reasons I have learned to love the sea. plying my skills against the ocean who has been kind enough not to end my life is another reason. The challenge of doing something meaningful.

Before the topic turns to that. I saw my share of nasty stuff overseas and sure that absolutely plays a part in why I go away on my boat once in awhile, and the allure of being away from people occasionally is not lost on me.

Just my 2 cents
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  #476  
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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 c. Breeze View Post
* yes, just an example... And honestly, i have roller furling, not hank-ons at the headsail so i can't really make any headway with that arguement either. But i can distill my rather caustic argument regarding people in my age bracket, call it 25-35 - people older and younger down to:

A) sailing is bit too inconvenient for most
b) weather is too frequently present, as in- there is "weather" outside
c) seriously misplaced values, instilled by a society that has faded to a shadow of it self- lest we forget, once we (usa) were a nation of independent, westward expanding, rebellious adventurers...
Being more than 3 blocks from 2 starbucks outlets- as seemingly impossible as it might be- is a bit more adventure than most of us can handle these days.

If one charters a 50' cat with all the conveniences of home, and someone to drive it- more power to them, at least they are out in the wind- that's really the point, isn't it?

Racing lasers, sailing hobie cats off the beach, cruising and potluck dinners, sundowners with the yachties, teaching 7 year olds to feel the helm on an optimist, circumnavigating solo on a 20 footer- theres something for everyone out there- why in god's name aren't more folks picking it up sooner? Probably lack of awareness of just how versatile and multifaceted sailing is. It is truly the answer for whatever is ailing you.

There is also an idea that sailing is cost prohibitive- which it is, as is boat ownership- however, it too is misplaced. Most people, in my experience, are totally unaware that there are hundreds of awesome sailboats (keelboats) ready to sail away for under 5000 dollars- the assumption is that "yachts" cost 10's of thousands. Further assumptions are that bermuda is in the caribbean, and that the bahamas are hundreds of miles out there, etc.

It all appears quite daunting, if you never investigate the realities. How often do we see "it's a buyers market."

people also tend to dramaticize boat ownership. For young people, couples or individuals, as has been pointed out in previous posts, a 26-32 footer is plenty- but there aren't exactly tons of brokers out there , parents out there, college councelors out there, saying "go buy a brand x 29, and sail your ass off for 6 months and flip it" it's a dirty little secret that you can fly to seattle, buy a boat for 3500- or less, do a 2500 dollar refit, and sail to san diego, and sell the boat for 5000. The real answer- from a young(ish) person who does it- is that theres' no need to saddle yourself with storage fees, etc- buy the boat, sail it, sell it. Want to go again? Fine, do it all over again. If you find your dream boat along the way- keep it and maybe (maybe) get a real job to help support the thing.

Now- in my experience, what you do see a good bit of is people who are in there late teens, to mid / late 20's who have figured out that owning a boat is more of a hassle than its usually worth, and chartering is pricey- so they just get a job that involves sailing, ie crewing on big square riggers, or dive boats, or charter boats, or deliveries. As a "sailor" deliveries are my favorite- gunkholing is alright- but it certainly isnt my social scene- i'm in it for the sailing, and if you need your 1st 456 in the grenadines, or what have you, theres alot of folks like myself out there who are a) skippers, or b) crew. Why pay for a boat when you can get paid to do all the sailing.

That's at the crux for lots of young folks- who wants to hang out in anchorage, sipping rum with everyones grandparents? Let's get out and get heeled over.
^^^this!!!
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Paying others to fix/ maintain your boat is definitely one facet of what is expensive about owning a boat.

Keeping your boat moored or docked for a year will totally crush the pittance that is redoing rigging however. My point being- buy it, do what needs doing- sail it - and get shed of it. Until you get the itch again. Buying and working on boats IS the cheap part of ownership.

As for the old folks at anchor etc-

Absolutely, I didn't teach myself to sail- my dad did, you needn't be a rocket scientist to recognize the value of others experience. Additionally- I'm just a service oriented guy. And now that I can't serve my country- it's all about the individuals I run across on a day to day basis- and the 60-70 something set, who can afford more boat than they can handle or fix are without a doubt the majority of who I run into on the hook. That said- it's about all that makes me feel like I'm still relavent when I can help them out- or even just hang out for a few and make them feel relavent. Like John prine said "hello in there"

I'm single handed about 90% of the time on my boat- so a little company is always welcome respite- and while I always shocked at the overall lack of seamanship I meet- I feel no need to be critical of others out there- like DR (initials right?) said- at least we are out there. It's important to be thankful for the experience and knowledge I have - and it's dead wrong to refrain from sharing it and learning from others.

It's often times however that ghastly handholding motor sailing mentality of the group that is a turn off. That and the idea that we can't cast off or pull anchor if there's more than 8 knots of wind. Oh- and the mentality that if you have to tack a couple times to get there the weather is "bad"
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Sailing is too expensive for a person of your average capabilities and boat storage space.

I don't need both hands to count the number of places within several hours drive that you could actually launch bigger than a tiny day sailor and that's assuming there was enough room to comfortably tack once its launched.

People who like sailing like sailboats, not people who like boating. For your average person riding in a sailboat means sitting in cramped cockpit composed of uncomfortable hard surfaces that is always tilted at an annoying angle with aluminum beams and ropes flailing around trying to kill you. Not exactly a relaxing day out.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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People who like sailing like sailboats, not people who like boating. For your average person riding in a sailboat means sitting in cramped cockpit composed of uncomfortable hard surfaces that is always tilted at an annoying angle with aluminum beams and ropes flailing around trying to kill you. Not exactly a relaxing day out.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Cruising requires being self-sufficient whether you are across the bay or on the other side of the world.

Our generation has been brought up in a world where there is no need for self-sufficiency. We have been taught to get a plumber to unclog the sink, call a tow truck to change a tire, and an electrician to install a light.

Our world is filled with products that have limited lifespans. These commodities aren't designed to be maintained or serviced. They are designed to be disposed of when they break.

It used to be that handling the daily problems of life on your own was part of being a competent adult. That mentality does not exist in my generation.

We have been told the only path in this world is to go to college so you can get a job that pays you enough to afford the products and services you need to have a comfortable life in this country. This is part of what is sinking the middle class.

Can we learn to be self-sufficient? Of course! But it's not easy. When nothing in my daily life requires these skills they become as obsolete as traditional rigging.
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