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  #671  
Old 10-30-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

In my area there is an 5-15 year waiting list to join a salt water yacht club. The better clubs for young sailors (more frequent group sailing, better sailing facilities, less high cost amenities like pools/monthly bar minimums) are the longer waits. Perhaps the more uncertainty in life when starting out and the length of the wait list are factors?
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  #672  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Interesting thread, I think that this generation will not sail like the baby boomer generation . It is a generation of plug and play. Chartering in destinations will continue but boat ownership and all the maintanance will be avoided.... Cant say I blame them . The days of familys working on the boat in spring getting it ready. Or cruising long distances in frail boats is going the way of he square rigger it will be a few romantic souls and the rest will jet to the Caribbean jump on a charter do the islands get the tee shirt ,the tan and enjoy the best parts. Im jealous kidding there is nothing so good as getting there on your own but some will not get that.
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  #673  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

The few younger sailors that I know (myself included) have pretty flexible work arrangements. I don't know that I could do a normal 9-5 job with a typical commute then pack everything up to go sailing every weekends & provision & keep the boat clean & do laundry at home & ...

I work from home and so does the other young couple on my dock. The sailing couples that are young and both work or have small kids have trailer sailors and talk about "someday" having a 25-30 footer. If we weren't planning some extended cruising we'd still probably be sailing Hobies and saying we'll get a cruising boat when we're tired of getting soaked. Last time I ran the numbers, 3 weeks of chartering was cheaper than ownership.

I wouldn't be surprised if the demographics in marinas & yacht clubs haven't changed that much over the last 20 years. Were the boomers really buying cruising boats in their early 30s?
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  #674  
Old 11-02-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Hey - could it be a combination of all these things? Yes it could!!!
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  #675  
Old 11-02-2013
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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 ChristinaM View Post

I wouldn't be surprised if the demographics in marinas & yacht clubs haven't changed that much over the last 20 years. Were the boomers really buying cruising boats in their early 30s?

Also consider that to get a decent job...well, a job that would pay the equivalent to one that a high school grad could get 20-30 years ago, requires a college degree. State school tuition can run up towards 45K for a degree.

20 years ago, not as many people in their early 30's started their lives with 40-50K of school debt.
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Old 11-03-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Also consider that to get a decent job...well, a job that would pay the equivalent to one that a high school grad could get 20-30 years ago, requires a college degree. State school tuition can run up towards 45K for a degree.

20 years ago, not as many people in their early 30's started their lives with 40-50K of school debt.
That is a killer to new grads these days. I got out of undergraduate school with only 2500 in student loans and only added another 10,000 going to law school. It didn't take me that long to pay it off.

But, starting salaries haven't increased at anywhere near the rate tuition prices have. I often wonder how many of these kids who go to college, would be much better off, to learn a skill or trade, and take that same amount of tuition money, and use it to start a small business.

Undoubtedly, a lot of them would be better off doing that.
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  #677  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

No young people are sailing because its a expensive hobby.
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  #678  
Old 11-04-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Totally agree with that. If you look at any Sail Mag. it appears that 'starter' boats are 40ft. and costing a minor fortune.

The same plunge in youth participation happened in skiing. A full 'outfit' would cost well over $2000 for top quality stuff. And then, SnoBoarding arrived, was 1/5 -1/10th the price for the equipment and the dying 'snowsports' industry made a dramatic comeback ... until the price of a lift ticket met the resurgent enthusiasm and the snowsports industry is going through another decline simply because its too damn expensive for 'young-uns' to afford.

So who makes a reasonably priced modest entry level sailboat? ... virtually no one, simply because the ROI for the manufacturers is too slim. Even a 14ft. rowing dink far exceeds the cost of my first reasonably equipped '30 footer' of 40 years ago.
personally, I think that's a huge part of it. $5000 for a small dinghy is a big hurtle for a lot of people. and, like everyone says, cruising boats, like houses, have gotten bigger and bigger with a matching growth in price. the 50s was the time of the fiberglass boat, which took sailing out of the realm of the rich and affluent and put it in the realm of the average guy. now, sailing is back in the hands of the well to do, at least on the surface. I think that's a big part but I think there are other elements to the issue.

technology is another big one. we have become a technology society. everything is technology, I-phones, I-pads, lap tops, video games....all of it indoors and inactive. sailboats aren't about modern technology. they are sophisticated ancient technology. it's not as glamorous and flash like the latest version of Assassin's creed. that's a big thing. if you want to attract a younger crowd, you need to have computer chips involved. which leads to the next point.

the new generations aren't outdoorsy, physical people. everything they have always done has been passive entertainment. TV, video games, the internet, facebook, tweeter; all of these things are inactive entertainment. the young people of today just don't DO things. it's all passive and inactive. sailing is an outdoor, unplugged, active thing. that's a huge culture difference. as kids, we all went outside to play we were active all the time.

another thing is the entertainment industry. when I was a kid ( i'm only 40 ), there were plenty of swashbuckler movies on TV. Erol Flynn and other dashing heroes fighting with swords and cannons on the sailing ships of the golden age of sail. they just don't make many movies about that, now, except Pirates of the Caribbean. So, in a decade, we have three movies featuring the excitement of the sailor's world. before that, I can only think of Dead Calm, as far as movies featuring sailboats. before that? it was maybe the 70s since any movies featuring sailing were made and got wide public attention. so, while sailing was on our minds as children, and we were pirate captains fighting with swords made of sticks and ships that were the pick nick table in the back yard, it's not on the minds of the modern generation.

but I don't think all is lost. it's like choppers and cruising motorcycles. they became the toys of rich yuppies and those of us who were real bikers, and a part of the blue collar world, could barely afford parts and bikes. plus, the yuppies wanted rolling antiques, and HD has been giving them that. the kids want fast, exciting, and affordable. 20,000 dollars for a relatively slow, high maintenance isn't really attractive to today's kids. but...

there is a growing underground chopper movement with younger generations. it's not big but it's growing. they are building cutting edge, old school choppers and they are doing it with any bikes they can get, not just high dollar HDs. before that, it looked as if the "biker' culture would die with us 'old' folks, leaving only race bikes on the roads. but the tide is changing.

if you go on youtube, you will see that a growing number of younger people are sick of the materialistic rat race. they are going simpler and less materialistic. building relatively tiny houses out of adobe or what construction materials they can get from construction site dumpsters ( incredible waste in the construction field ). they are also trying out the live aboard lifestyle. a cruising sailboat is like a tiny house that floats. you have no choice but simplify your life.

like with the young trend in the biker world, these kids are going 'old school' and they are doing it on older, smaller boats. like with the motorcycle world, the trend is still small but it's growing. I agree with one poster. as costs go up, free locomotion is going to get more attractive. that's one thing about sailing that's pretty cool. I can put my boat on the water, sail for an entire day, and it costs me nothing more than the price of gas to drive to the water. that's a big bang for your buck.

anyhow, I don't think all is lost, just yet. I think there is a new kind of young people that will take up the reins when we kick off.
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  #679  
Old 11-04-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
I really don't understand the title of this thread. probably it is an American thing. around here the problem is TOO MANY PEOPLE CRUISING. In many nice places It is hard to find a place to anchor, marinas are crowded and take advantage to charge huge prices.


Regards

Paulo
I am going to agree with this, despite the stats. up at lake Marburg, you see a lot of people from all ages sailing. a lot of the people sailing cruising boats are between the early twenties and their thirties. and, I don't know the ages of the average sailor but the marinas on the Chesapeake are bristling with masts, like a porcupine.

it's far from a dying lifestyle. but numbers don't lie, although they can be misinterpreted, so it may be that there is a reduction in younger sailors.
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I am young. I sail in fact i cruise. Learned sailing dinghies when i was really young sold everything and bought my boat, that being said I never go out my family has loaned me quite a bit of money and my only expenses are boat expenses and college, also i'm not doing college all at once which gives me the time to work and work on my boat on the semesters that I take off. i have found however that we are a dying breed. The funny thing is as a young sailor i think I actually use and want less technology on my boat than many of my middle aged counterparts do. I do not have or want radar, night vision scopes, satellite internet or phones, i have ais, a chartplotter and 2 vhf radios, one dsc one not oh and an electric autopilot for the great lakes. i have found that it is very ard for me to find people to sail with me and a lot of the people i have sailed with that are my age have been almost astounded with how simple my boat was, as they were expecting electric toilets water heaters, lavish luxury and I have a simple 30 foot sloop from the 70's with a manual head, brass galley hand pumps, etc. i think the desire to discover to cultivate one's own comprehension of the great knowledge of the world is dying. I don't identify with many of my peers. I'm doing the college things slowly because I have to but i am not content just learning these lists of info so I can get a god paying job. I prefer to develop an accurate perception of reality by discovering. Sailing is one of the last great unknowns. Before I bought my sailboat, I had crewed on others but i had spent time hiking, biking and kayaking. I think all of that is dying out, long voyages just don't happen by young people in the same fashion anymore its awful. There has always been something to me thats enchanting enlightening and romantic about the great explorers, i was heavily influenced by Tania Aebi, Laura Dekker, Jessica Watson and most of all Jarle Andhoy and the crew of berserk. My biggest sailing goal is to go to antarctica not on my own boat of course I am not as insane as Jarle Andhoy. But young explorers still do exist.
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