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  #531  
Old 06-19-2013
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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 wolfenzee View Post
Of the people who would be best suited for my crew, the mindset, they are either skiers, backpackers, surfers, rock climbers...not all of our youth is plugged into a video port.
I think you touched on one of the keys to this question. There are those kids who prefer to play outside with sticks and rocks, build forts, swing from trees... those are potential future sailors.

Kids that get bored on camping trips or insist on bringing their ipod/ipad everywhere, obsessively check their social media, or insist on 'checking out' when confronted with new challenges... likely won't be interested in sailing.
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  #532  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I wonder if that is it. The kids and electronics. I don't know enough about kids these days to comment myself although if that isn't the cause it has got to be a major factor. It seems like alot of you on here think that's te case so Ill believe you. Every post above does seem to agree.
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  #533  
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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 northoceanbeach View Post
I wonder if that is it. The kids and electronics. I don't know enough about kids these days to comment myself although if that isn't the cause it has got to be a major factor. It seems like alot of you on here think that's te case so Ill believe you. Every post above does seem to agree.
I'd hate to generalize this to all 'kids', which in this forum could easily be anyone younger than 35. There are certainly a lot of great young people out there to prove us wrong. I could post the blogs of a few that have already made an impression on me if you folks wish.
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  #534  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

It seems to me that it's not only younger wanna bees that are hesitant about taking on the activity ( if they've' given it any thought at all) When older, established wanna bees can't get their act together,dreaming of a new Benni, water maker, latest plotter and AIS etc, to cover a lack of skills,the hurdles to realization of ones desires starts simply by starting. Fortunately different dreams exist and most will remain unfulfilled regardless of age.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I have kids and I've been trying (with mixed success) to get them interested in sailing. I'm hoping my anecdotal experience can provide some (small) insight into why they aren't as interested today as they used to be.

Humans are (in general) wired to get the most amount of benefit for the least amount of effort. It's where almost all technological progress comes from (i.e. "This machine/design/invention makes the job easier &/or require less effort"). Personally, I'm not one who will walk ten kilometres to the store when I can drive (though I'd probably walk one or two). It's not a new aspect of humanity, it's just easier to indulge in today.

When I was a kid, there wasn't much in the way of instant entertainment, effort free socialisation, and/or thrills at the push of a button. Computer games were at the level of Pac-man requiring us going to the arcade to play them, socialising was done in person because the alternatives were snail-mail & one-to-one phone calls, and adventures were either lived personally or read about in a book.

Now, I can play games on my smartphone (the size of my wallet) that far exceed the complexity & entertainment value of the arcade games I could play as a kid. That smartphone makes my socialisation instant, always on, and connected to everyone I want to chat to. Finally, where I had to swing a stick around as my sword as a kid - I've got game controllers in my living room that will show me as a muscle-bound hero on a television the size of my dining table, swinging a sword exactly as I am whilst fighting monsters I can see.

Kids are still interested in the same things we are - fun, socialisation, and adventure. It's just that technology enables them to get it with far less effort. As such, my "successes" in getting the kids interested in sailing stem from elements of it they cannot get in the living room or from their phone or game console. Dolphins, the peace you get when you 'sync' with the wind & waves, how nice it is to actually be disconnected from everyone for a while, and being a pirate (the kids love that ).

As far as young adults are concerned, debt comes to mind as a big differentiator between twenty/thirty years back and now. It's real easy to get debt and far harder to drop the day-job for an adventure when you've got some already. Almost every adventurer I've come across either has money/parents behind them (alleviating them of needing to make money to cover the debt) or managed through luck or upbringing to avoid the debt-trap.
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  #536  
Old 06-19-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

If I had to pin point it I'd say the socioeconomics.....being stuck in one place to be able to sweak out a living and a culture that would rather people stay in one place (sort of a double barrel control thing)....add to that people can't grasp the concept that living in a nicer place place is actually easier. cheaper and takes less work.
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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 Capt Len View Post
It seems to me that it's not only younger wanna bees that are hesitant about taking on the activity ( if they've' given it any thought at all) When older, established wanna bees can't get their act together,dreaming of a new Benni, water maker, latest plotter and AIS etc, to cover a lack of skills,the hurdles to realization of ones desires starts simply by starting. Fortunately different dreams exist and most will remain unfulfilled regardless of age.
Is it wrong for a person to desire to take advantage of technology? No, it is just smart to equip your boat with the best technology that you are comfortable with, if you are not comfortable at all with technology then go with the minimum. If you are technically savvy and know how to use the technology then go with the best you can afford, but also make sure you have the ability to sail without it because from a generator to a roller furling sail system at some time all of it will be out of commission or need some work to get it up and working properly.

I personally would not want to sail without a watermaker, a chart plotter, radar, VHF radio, and a working toilet... If you like sailing thirsty, blind, deaf, and crapping in a five gallon bucket all I ask is that you do not tie up next to me and dump it over the side in a beautiful anchorage where I am tied up. I will gladly give you some fresh water from my system and spray you with my fresh water wash down. LOL

Seriously sailing with the best tech is not a sign of a lack of skill, and it cannot replace the knowledge it takes to sail without the tech. I learned to sail the easy way, I bought an O'day 27 and it had next to nothing on it, it was a real piece of crap that I bought very cheap. I got it, got on it, knew that wind blows sails and sails that are full of wind move boats, and I had owned large powerboats before. I motored out into the Gulf of Mexico where no one would be in the way, and no one would see me screwing up... and I learned to sail. I made a lot of mistakes, I got lost a few times, I faced the lions, tigers, and bears that everyone no matter if they went to some sailing school or they taught themselves or grew up on boat will face. I still know nothing, nothing at all compared to some people I know, but I learn every day. I have singlehanded in storms, I have sailed a few thousand miles on both powerboats and sailboats of various sizes. I have repaired the things I tore up while learning not to tear things up, and I have built and rebuilt a few boats. And I still know nothing at all other than when I am at sea I am at the mercy of God and His oceans, because I am but a small and pitifully frail creature in a sea full of danger and wondrous things.

If I have any passion, any dream, any goal it is to sail again. I will say that John Masefield said it best:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Mark
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  #538  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I think Mark/Capt Len you are onto something.

When the 20/30 somethings went sailing in the 70s/80s it was about your attitude, your courage, your ability to meet the challenge. It was a true adventure. They were doing it in small gadgetless boats.

Now we want it feel like an adventure, but we don't want it to be any riskier than watching an episode of Game of Thrones.

I like technology, hey I am a early thirty something. However it is difficult to find the balance between having an adventure, trying to buy your safety through gadgets(and yes there are older, wiser, and wealthier sailing folk that will tell you that NEED it all) and trying to use technology sensibly to assist you in your adventuring, without breaking the bank.
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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 chall03 View Post
I think Mark/Capt Len you are onto something.

When the 20/30 somethings went sailing in the 70s/80s it was about your attitude, your courage, your ability to meet the challenge. It was a true adventure. They were doing it in small gadgetless boats.

Now we want it feel like an adventure, but we don't want it to be any riskier than watching an episode of Game of Thrones.

I like technology, hey I am a early thirty something. However it is difficult to find the balance between having an adventure, trying to buy your safety through gadgets(and yes there are older, wiser, and wealthier sailing folk that will tell you that NEED it all) and trying to use technology sensibly to assist you in your adventuring, without breaking the bank.
We have to keep our priorities in line and our money too, and so we have to choose our toys cautiously. I would love to have a huge 80' boat with everything on it with a 22' boat for a tender, but I can only afford about half of that, so I will be in about a 40 footer with an 11 foot dinghy, and even that is going to be previously tested for about 35 years LOL.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Yeah.

Our boat is 35ft and 24 years old.

When we went cruising we spent money on new standing rigging, good sails, basic but what I considered important safeties, and then what was left went on the gadgets. As a result we had no AIS, no radar, and our chartplotter was a temperamental laptop( we got it for free).

Our dinghy is a Zodiac 2.3m inflatable that ummm has been patched ummmm more than once.
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