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  #501  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I have zero desire to learn downhill skiing. I hate the cold. I hate being cold and wet. I hate wearing 40 layers of clothes. I'll deal with the cold, I'll put on the layers. But not to participate in a sport that I just don't care about.

I wonder if, when I was in my twenties and thirties, some skiing forum was labeling me as lazy and uninspired despite the fact that I was taking unpaid leave from my job to go across the country to volunteer for disaster relief, I was a SAR volunteer and swift water rescue instructor and a mentor for deliquent teens.

It could very well be the case that, shockingly, there aren't a lot of young people who even WANT to sail. Just because it's my passion does not make it anyone else's. For me to judge you based on my lifestyle is a waste of time.
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  #502  
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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
It could very well be the case that, shockingly, there aren't a lot of young people who even WANT to sail.
I don't know what the statistics are but I think its safe to say that overall sailing isn't as popular as it once was, maybe it is even the least popular now that it has been in modern history ? I don't know. It sure seems like there were smaller more accessible boats in the 1970's when the baby boomers were young and sailing, but maybe that isn't really true, I don't know.
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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
I have zero desire to learn downhill skiing. I hate the cold. I hate being cold and wet. I hate wearing 40 layers of clothes. I'll deal with the cold, I'll put on the layers. But not to participate in a sport that I just don't care about.

I wonder if, when I was in my twenties and thirties, some skiing forum was labeling me as lazy and uninspired despite the fact that I was taking unpaid leave from my job to go across the country to volunteer for disaster relief, I was a SAR volunteer and swift water rescue instructor and a mentor for deliquent teens.

It could very well be the case that, shockingly, there aren't a lot of young people who even WANT to sail. Just because it's my passion does not make it anyone else's. For me to judge you based on my lifestyle is a waste of time.
Ive been snowboarding and that was fun but not the kind of thing I would want to do normally either.

There was a time once upon a time where I had less than ZERO desire to be out on the ocean. Ive learned better and its a place I love being now but perception of a thing can guide ones opinion in a lot of cases too.

I do know that some of the post resounds with me because I always feel ever so slighly out of place. I dont really fit in with people my own age but I am always around people 10-20 years older than myself. This is an issue both inside and outside of sailing, a problem I have had most of my life. I know it would be nice to know a couple more people my own age with the same interests
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Maybe the challenge is a lack of touchstones.
Back in the 60s you had a whole whack of folks setting off and circling the world, in the late 60s and early 70s you had a DIY culture growing...
...and you had "dove".
I think that "Dove" was a touchstone that inspired a generation or two.

The story of "Dove" inspired millions of sailors, including me. It demonstrated that you didn't have to be rich, you didn't have to be old you didn't have to be educated, you didn't have to own a VW bus to simply tune in, turn on, drop out and go out and just freakin' do it. It demonstrated attainability. "Dove" lit the fuse for a whole lot of us.

I don't think there is a 21st generation "Dove." Yeah, I know somebody is going to nominate the "Hold Fast" crew, but the comparison is invalid. Graham sailed around the world for FIVE YEARS. the "hold fast" jibsters lasted less than five months. it wasn't a lifestyle for them it was a checkbox on their punchlist. The bumfuzzles come closer, but again, they left the water, having been there, done that, but there was an underlying theme of upper middle class privilege.
The sunderland siblings and jessica watson and their ilk are hopefully the harbingers of a renaissance of youthful cruising and globe trotting.
We need it.
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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The bumfuzzles come closer, but again, they left the water, having been there, done that, but there was an underlying theme of upper middle class privilege...
Actually, they're still on the water. I'm reading Pat's new book. Interesting thus far.
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  #506  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Actually, actually, they are back on the water,(after touring by VW bus and Porsche) not still on the water, but still, back to you, smack.
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  #507  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

"Still", "back", whatever. My point is that they only left the water for a while (after having been on it for a few years)...and are now living squarely on it again.

I follow their blog pretty regularly. I like them a lot. I like the way they've done what they've done. That's why I bought their book. Just started it - so we'll see where it goes.

But they're doing it. I respect that.
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  #508  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

i don't disagree with you, smack, i respect them following their dreams. i simply corrected your inaccurate correction because i respect what they do enough to get it right.

Actually, my respect grew on this second foray, since they are doing it with spawn on a tighter budget.
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I wonder if it's perception more than anything. As in it's less that there's fewer young people sailing and more that we have a much larger quantity of older people cruising than ever before.

People are living longer and are in better health in old age these days. Maybe the surge in popularity of sailing in the 60's/70's created a boom population of sailors that are still with us today. The younger sailors are there, it's just that they aren't the entire crowd anymore.
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I'll give my nickel's worth (I am in Canada and we just jettisoned the penny, so my thoughts' values have increased five-fold...).
I got into sailing when I was in my 40s. Prior to that it was a combination of career, kids, and building the kitty. So those folks who got into sailing in their teens or twenties are just plain fortunate and (always) in the minority.
Cost is always a factor, and not just when buying a boat. The annual costs can be considerable and two items, in particular, may well contribute disproportionately. In spite of growing populations everywhere, the rules and regulations involved in constructing a new marina to accomodate any growing demand are such that it takes deep pockets to even consider buildiing a new one. I don't think a new marina has been started on the Canadian Great Lakes in the last 20 years, and expansion of existing ones has been marginal. We all know what happens when you limit supply... it becomes a sellers' market and prices rise accordingly.

Add to that the increasing minimum requirements to insure a boat merely for sitting in a dock somewhere and you have just raised the bar a little again.

Some of the comments here also point to the increased complexity of contemporary vessels, and the expectations of their owners. My first boat, though a fine Tayana 37 which I still regret selling had (1) no fridge, (2) no self-tailing winches, (3) no Loran-C (in those days, precursor of GPS for the younger crowd) (4) only a manual windlass... You get the point. Perhaps boat dealers have a sense of what "younger" purchasers consider minimum requirements when buying and judge to what extent expectations may be limiting our supply of new sailors (if, indeed, there is a decline in numbers...)

I am not a handyman and curse myself for that shortcoming which only adds to my costs when I have to pay my (well-appreciated) marina technicians, but is it also possible that in this day of everything-computer our kids have less desire or skill to fix things - something that a young sailor most definitely would benefit from?

Over to you all...
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