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  #771  
Old 11-19-2013
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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 captain jack View Post
you know, i think there is a point of misunderstanding between us. i agree, basically, with your message; that you have to work to make your life what you want it to be and amazing things are possible if you are willing to strive. i have lived my life by that idea.

but i think that there has to be some measure of reality, too. not all ends are achievable for any given starting place. and, many ends that seem impossible may be achievable, but it's possibly going to take a lot more time and effort than those standing on the outside looking in might realize.

the original post that started this side discussion, into which you entered, implied that, if anyone who wanted to go blue water cruising hadn't been able to do that, because of the realities of life, it was just that they were whiney losers that really didn't want it bad enough. i wasn't the only person to take exception to that, just, perhaps, the most verbose.

my point to that poster, the point that started all this off, was simply that you can't make that judgement. that, depending on the obstacles, the goal of blue water cruising might be impossible for some and that many, who wish to do so but haven't yet, are still working towards that goal. they still might never reach it, due the the course of life.

you can't know what is going to come your way. many people are laid low by unforseen circumstances. i mean it figuratively and litterally when i say 'laid low'.

but you can't judge those people harshly. some of us climb out of really deep pits, sometimes more than once, and overcome obstacles that many would see as impossible. many others fight hard and fall on the field of battle. you get my drift?

i agree with you. if you want something, you need to set that as your goal and do all you can to work towards it. impossible things can be possible. but, at the same time, everyone needs to be aware that they may not make it. things happen, in life. you may train hard in your martial art, arm yourself well, and step forth on the field of honor with might and vigor, only to be slain by an untrained peasant with a lucky blow. that's life. i am not saying you should not strive for the things you really want. you should. it's the striving that makes us human. it shapes our characters and teaches us. it makes us worthy. to never strive is to never be anything...to never become.

i get the impression that you think i am saying it is impossible so you shouldn't try. i'm not saying that at all. i have done a lot of 'impossible' things, in my life. i'd be the very last person to say something like that.

however, no one is right when they look at another person and deem his or her reasons for not achieving their dreams to be bogus. you can't judge another person like that. you don't know where they have been or what they may have faced.

i get upset about it because, if you look at the material evidence, i have done nothing in all my life of hard struggling.

i own no house. i rent my mom's basement. i pay more than i should for it. i could rent cheeper, where i am keeping this cal27. a lot cheaper. plus, my mom is....i hate to say it but she's a bit greedy. she overcharges me, even if i wasn't family and wasn't taking care of her and constantly doing things for her ( like rebuilding her front porch just recently ). i could move but then there would be no one to take care of my mother. she leans heavily on me. being completely honest, she has also been a very harmful element throughout my life. but she is my mother. it is the duty of a child to care for their parents. so, i do. it started out as a temporary stop over during the last crash my life had and i, now, stay because my mom needs me. she makes me crazy. it costs me too much in rent. i have to have storage for much of my belongings due to space, which also costs me. but i can not abandon her, either.

i drive a beat up pick up that was going to be junked from the work site, where i was the assisstant to the superintendent ( highly underpaid for what i was doing but glad, in this economy, just to have a job that was secure ). they saw an opportunity to get a charity deduction, instead of a loss, and have a back up work truck for the site. i only had my chopper, at the time. i was climbing out of a huge financial cave-in. they offered me the truck, for free, with the stipulation that, should the need arise, i would use the truck as the site truck. there was a lot of paperwork so they could get their charitable deduction. so, i did what i am getting ready to do with this boat, for that truck. i put a lot of hours into it, and parts money, and i got it going.

i am, generally, broke and living hand to mouth, as it were. my shoes are worn out. i never have money to do anything. after working my butt off since i was 13, and i am now 43, i am no better off than when i was just leaving home, at 18. worse, actually. now, i am haunted by the time. at this stage of life i am 'supposed' to have a house, a nice car, a wife and 2.5 children, a growing retirement fund. i have none of these. i have a number of people depending on me to save their bacon, on a regular basis, and i have a nice chopper that i built. and i am running out of time.

oh, and i now have 3 old boats. only the holiday20 is worth anything, at this point. the dinghy is worth something to me, personally, but it has no monetary value. and the 'new' boat needs a lot of work. but, in a effort to be honest, i have to list the boats as something i have to show for my efforts.

you could look at my life and judge me to be one of these losers that just didn't try hard enough. but then, unlike my friends who know me, you wouldn't really have any idea what i have achieved. while struggling to pull my butt out of the hole, i have always given to others. i have been a priest, to many. i have taught college kids medieval combat. i have put my time and effort to helping countless orther people. i built that chopper on a 4X4 table in a stone driveway while i was living in an unheated garage. i have worked my way to the most depended on and valuable employee over and over again; constantly having to prove my worth. i have won the respect and admiration of those that have known me, professionally and personally , despite my, often terrible, financial situation. and i have overcome outrageous hurdles to get to the nowhere i have gotten to. life keeps kicking me in the face and i keep getting back up and saying F you to life and starting back up again. and along the way, i never forget to strive and work for higher purpose; to do what i can to advance my fellow man.

one of my oldest friends has said that if i were to publish a book of my life, i'd have to catagorize it as fiction because no one would believe it. he's right. the stories i could tell...

and, through it all, i am still an optimistic person. i smile and joke around constantly. as the Havamal says," glad and wholesome should the hero be, until his dying day."

and, yeah, over the years, i have had a lot of people that have had lives that went their way, at every step, throw the words " life is what you make it" at me. people who know nothing about what i have faced and overcome. people who did not know what it means to really struggle. who don't know what it is like to have all of your achievements ripped from you time and again, through no fault or doing of your own. i may not have the material things that they have but my actual achievements far surpass anything those people have ever done, in their lives. not all achievements are readily visible to a passing glance.

but i had obviously not tried hard enough because life is what you make it and if you really want something you will get it, if you work hard enough. i must have liked to live in such poverty and didn't really want to have more in my life.

so, yeah, i have come to hate that phrase as it is usually wielded by those with their heads up their butts; judgemental jerks that wish to dengrade others to make themselves seem better.

and that is what riled me up about that one poster's attitude towards people who hadn't been able to go blue water cruising, because of their life's path. no one has the right to judge the achievements of another. you don't know the path they have walked.

you just entered the conversation because you thought my statement was defeatist. but it was nothing of the sort. it was just an attempt at adding a bit of reality...perspective, to the discussion.

i thought long and hard before i posted all of this and i deleted much of what i wrote, keeping much to myself. it's my personal business and i am not used to broadcasting it around. however, since you seem to be someone who, like myself, has struggled hard to overcome the odds, i wanted you to understand where i am coming from and what i am trying to actually say. hopefully, i have achieved that end.
Get the book "boundaries".
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  #772  
Old 11-19-2013
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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 captain jack View Post
i believe the thought that less younger people are cruising comes from statistcs. i will have to reread the original post, to be sure. one thing about statistcs, though, is that they can be interpreted to mean pretty much anything. plus, how did they accrue the inforation that was used to make these statistics? where was the data collected. all of that comes into play. you can never truly be sure of the accuracy of statistics. it could be much ado over nothing.

even if less are cruising now, what about as these generations age; as they get more disposable wealth, get more time, or have just fulfilled the expectations of society and are free to do their own thing? even if less are cruising now, it does not mean that they may not go cruising later in life.
I havent read the whole thread but I feel the need to quote this....

there are positively 100 percent sure less young people cruising now than say in the 60s or 70s (or before the advent of the internet...)when the solo sailing and around the world boom started becoming a sport that inspired many to set sail.

not to mention the hippie notion of travel...good or bad or whatever you may call them hippies actually did travel and sail, and live and work on boats in a frugal yet inspiring way...

when I was starting to cruise I did so after graduating early from high school, I was 17 and left california to go "home" that was el salvador,on my leaking but restored h28...my first vehicle was a sailboat, not a car!

the looks from teachers, students etc was baffling...the internet and all its associated hooplah had them so tied up that they had no freaking idea that you could do this, nor that there were people that had already done this at a young age generations ago...

I clearly remember dove being my first sailing book, gifted by my grandfather, then came tania aebi, then other books of renowned sailors, I read them all, from chichester to motissier to knox johnston...the roths, the pardeys later on, etc...

I still beleive to this day that the internet has stupified the masses WHILE improving and encouraging those that already had the feel or BUG to learn more...

I know its a very high up kind of remark but its true

there is absolutely no interest today in reading about other peoples adventures, finding unchartered lands, etc...in young people, those young sailors are for the most part racers, in clubs...the ones that sail and cruise are less than 1%.

the amount of times I laugh and cry at the same time nowadays when I see my generation go out to dinner, all on the iphone or stupid blackberries texting eachother, AT THE TABLE like they are in some sort of alterior stupid land blabbing away tweets about what they have done(which is nothing btw) makes me cringe!

im 32, and I have a 5 year old cracked cellphone that barely rings...thats considered stupid now, whereas reading and travelling are considered weird and dumb things to do now...

I dont speak for all of modern society but a huge percentage of it...

in any case I PREFER that less people cruise and travel and that sailing or cruising is not mainstream or as mainstream as it should be...why because the masses always always take away joy and the pristine beauty of the lands and places I want to see( abit egotistical I know, BUT think aout it) masses kill nature...its a fact.

if the pyramids in egypt for example had less people I would of been fascinated when I saw them...in fact the best part of the pyramids was the sunrise drive to them in a cab...I rememeber it being so impressive and serene to look at...as soon as I got to the base I cried inside.

same would apply to cruising and sailing destinations...


thats just me though...jajaja

peace guys

Last edited by christian.hess; 11-19-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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  #773  
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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 Sal Paradise View Post
Ha.. sailing is pretty instinctive. My sunfish is way better at teaching sailing than your smart phone will ever be.
Clearly my genius is lost on you people, but that's what I get for thinking outside the box.

Sailing seems instinctive to you and to a certain extent to me since I learned how at a young age and have been doing it off and on for awhile.

It isn't instinctive to everybody. I spent some time sitting in sailboats this summer with people who had little or no sailing experience. Something as simple and as critical to sailing as knowing which way the wind is coming from isn't always obvious, - especially on a small lake where the wind shifts on a regular basis. Lots of big boats already have this, but something that clearly showed the newbie the orientation of the boat to the wind would be a tremendous help. Yes, telltales will show apparent wind which is arguably more important but actual vs apparent takes awhile to get a feel for. Something that shows both is helpful, especially if it could do it at the same time without having to fumble to change modes.

A "sailing by the lee" or accidental gybe warning indicator wouldn't be hard to add to the electronics that are available on lots of boats. Most of what's needed is already there. It might already exist. Like all technology, it can trickle down over time.

I don't have time to make a hugely long post but if any of you are divers and have been doing it for awhile, you probably know how dive computers have tremendously simplified dive planning and instruction. There are all kinds of alarms built in to them that people can turn off as they gain experience. The use of dive tables is barely taught anymore and has been replaced by dive computer instruction.

And to be clear, I'm not talking about smart phone apps.

This will probably ruffle some feathers, but I think there is a certain contingent that don't want sailing to be easy. The ability to sail is like a badge of honor for them.
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Last edited by unimacs; 11-19-2013 at 11:17 AM.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I was a sailing instructor for a brief period of time before getting married have a kid etc...and the above is simply true.

sailing is not a manistream activity, never will be...not only is it genetic(for the most part) and passed on from generations to generations..some poeple just cant learn the basics...

that doesnt mean they are dumb or cant eventually learn but they dont have the gene

by gene I mean stuff like can you feel the wind, do you instinctively move the tiller to get a better angle

stuff like that

here in el salvador there is a huge lack of knowledge about what even a sailbaot is...some people still cant grasp why sailboats dont constantly tip over(keel counterweight)

they are so afraid of going on a boat that they are paralyzed with fear, why? cause people drown all the time down here in pangas that get full of people on vacation...that fear gene is passed along generation to generation as well

the non swim gene is passed along too

anyone who denies this really hasnt had a chance to really see other humans in action! jajaja

we all like to see the world from our point of view...thing is its reciprocal...mountaineers and people who live in high elevation look at beach people like thet are aliens...city people cant accept that there is another lifestyle besides the tram, underground and tall buildings until they take the decision to travel...

people out in the country cant imagine what city life is REALLY like until they try it...

it is what it is...same for sailing
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

You are right unimacs. There is a place for some kind of sensor/computer to optimize sailing performance and make recommendations based on conditions. We use our GPS like this sometimes, making adjustments to sails and then seeing the increase on the GPS. We couldn't tell by eye or feel if we were really doing any good.

I just thought of it as a more advanced thing to help you get better perfomance, rather than as a tool to teach a total noob to sail. .
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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 JonEisberg View Post

So? What's the problem? The water is already covered with boaters who have no clue what they're doing... :-)

That's the fundamental problem I always have with these 'Saving Sailing' discussions... Learning to sail has NEVER been easier than it is today, with the plethora of books, videos, sailing schools, internet discussion forums, and so on...

Seriously, if learning to sail today is still too difficult, or just too much work for some, should we really be trying harder to get such people out on the water?
That's a valid question. Maybe the right answer is we just have to accept that fewer people are going to be sailing as time goes on and live with the consequences, -both good and bad.

Sailing can remain more or less as it is and fewer people will take it up because there are other activities that take less time commitment.

Or the industry could take a hard look at the whole process of becoming a sailor and ask, "How can we make this easier ?" And my guess is that in order to really do that effectively, you need non-sailors involved. Then the industry needs to be prepared to be scoffed at by traditionalists for what they are attempting to do.

Sure, there are plenty of resources available to help the newbie sailer compared to years passed, but sailing itself, and the skills one needs to master (and the tools that help them get there) haven't really changed at all, - except for navigation.

Last edited by unimacs; 11-19-2013 at 01:25 PM.
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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 christian.hess View Post
peace guys
Great post Christian, I feel the same way.

I also feel alienated from the other people my age (late 20s), as it's like we're from different planets. I don't follow news, celebrities, or sports and have never heard of the stuff they care about... and conversely they've never heard of the ancient mariners and rigging skills I spend my time learning about.

The only people I can usually relate to are engineers and mariners twice my age or older.

I do however also appreciate that since these things are so unpopular, it's a way to experience something other than the endless crowds, lines, and rules of Southern California. The population density here is really out of control, but just sailing out to an offshore island escapes all of that.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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The only people I can usually relate to are engineers and mariners twice my age or older.
This is completely unscientific but something I noticed about the folks in my sailing club is that a good percentage of them work in technical fields.

Maybe that's a coincidence but I think there might be more to it than that. Perhaps there is a clue there as to why not as many people are taking up sailing as have in years past.

Last edited by unimacs; 11-19-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

in general my best friends are all older than me...my biggest friends and heartfelt companions will always be the spanish couple that took me halfway round the world on their boat...

the debt I have to older generations that inspired me will hopefully make me do the same to whatever younger generation that comes..or for now my newborn I guess!

funny how life is huh?

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

I know this a thread focused on cruising, but most of my sailing as a kid was done on a Laser. After going from that to windsurfers I took an all too long break from regular sailing.

One of the things that I have been surprised at since my recent return is the fact that the same small boats that were being sailed 30 or 40 years ago are still being made today. Whether it's Lasers or Sunfish or the MC scows that my club sails.

On the one hand I find that very cool. In our throwaway society I can find an old boat and go out there and race it against the brand new ones and they are fundamentally the same.

On the other hand it seems like small boat design has stagnated. Did we really reach the pinnacle of small boat design 40 or 50 years ago? I know Hobie has created new family oriented small boats, and I'm sure there are others. But it's almost as if small boat manufacturers are afraid to do anything new and instead count on the repeat business of one-design racers to survive. I don't think that's going to be a successful strategy in the long run.
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