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  #781  
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 unimacs View Post
...
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.
For boats that size, what would you suggest that they change in order to survive another 40-50 years?
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  #782  
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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
For boats that size, what would you suggest that they change in order to survive another 40-50 years?
I'll list a a few ideas at the end of the post. But really what I think is needed is for the industry or someone outside the industry to ask people who might be interested in sailing why they've never taken it up. And they should ask people new to the activity what is was that they found the most difficult about getting started. In other words, what are the barriers to sailing?

To me it's just very interesting and maybe telling that the nearest place to me that teaches ASA 101 uses Pearson Ensigns. Further, kids are often taught in Optis which were designed in 1947 or 1960 depending on how you look at it. I think it's fair to say that part of the design goal was simply ease of building as opposed to something that sails well.

Do you think ski schools are using 50 year old designs for their skis? Of course not. Now there are some inherent differences, - skis get beat up and need to be replaced far more frequently than boats do. So naturally ski schools are going to have newer equipment. Still, for something that is essentially two boards strapped to your feet, skis have evolved quite a bit and in ways that actually make skiing easier. Why haven't sailboats?

Here's something else: There's a whole thread devoted to the topic of whether sailing is sexist or not. Without getting into that discussion lets assume for the moment that it's true. For whatever reason sailing is something that men participate in more than women. Women have a lot more buying power than they did 50 years ago. Other industries have figured this out and adapted. Has sailing?



A few ideas:

As I mentioned in earlier an earlier, one approach would be to make the boats smarter. For example. Instead of having the new sailer trying to remember how to tell which direction the wind is coming from, put clear indicators on the boat in plain view. Those kinds of electronics are available on big boats, but not day sailers. And I would say the designs could be better/easier to read and use.

Another would be to make boats lighter and easier to handle both on and off the water. Laptops are continually getting lighter. Bikes are continually getting lighter. And I know some sailboats are as well but we seem to be stuck with these old designs.

Make the rigging easier. I know, you'd think sticking a mast in a hole is about the simplest type of rigging possible, but muscling a Laser mast into the boat isn't always the easiest task. Anyway, it takes too much time to get a sailboat ready to go.

Last edited by unimacs; 11-19-2013 at 05:50 PM.
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  #783  
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 christian.hess View Post
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
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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 unimacs View Post
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.
dude. you are right in what you say. 100%. not that i agree with your solution; just your appraisal.

sailing shouldn't be made idiot friendly. i teach medieval combat. all true combat is actually simple. complex moves look good on TV but, in the crisis of combat, they are ineffective. from my experience, there are some people that can not learn to be good martial artists. no matter how they try, they are lacking something it takes to do it. not everyone is cut out for every activity. honestly, some people should not sail. they are a risk to themselves and anyone on their boat. just like some people should not ride motorcycles. that's life.

most of my time sailing has been on lakes. yes, the wind can be tricky, shifty, and hard to read. but, if you honestly can't learn to read the wind, you should not sail. i never put a telltale on either of my boats til this summer...and that's just because i had a piece of yarn that belonged to someone special, to me, so i tied it to my jib stay. and i learned to read the wind like a pro. it can be done. you don't need a machine to do it for you. when people have machines to do stuff for them, they never bother to learn how to dop it for themselves.

i will agree with you, i am sure some of us don't want sailing to be idiot friendly. it's not a badge of honor ( although learning to sail well is an accomplishment that people should be proud of ). it's that, as the above post points out, when you open something beautiful up to those who are not worthy of it, you lessen it and ruin it. yes. i said worthy. i taught myself to sail from books and just going out to try it. i am sure lots of other people can say similar things. if you have not the initiative or the dedication to stick with it to learn, then sailing doesn't need you. if you are just one of those people that can't learn to sail ( as previously noted ), it's not safe for you to sail.

and, for the record, machines are a big part of the problem with the world. what ws it you said?

" 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. "

is that a good thing? what if these people who only know the computerized way of doing it were in a situation where there wasn't a computer to think for them? they'd be screwed. it's just like calculators. many schools don't even teach the times tables anymore because of machines to do math for us. but i bet you can guess what happens when one of these kids needs to do math and a machine isn't available. personally, i use math all the time, to fabricate, and i refuse to use a calculator. they turn your brain to mush. what about GPS? how many people, in the GPS generations, would be able to find their own butts without their GPS? none of them can even read a bloody map, for pete's sake.

yeah, at face value the idea of 'simplifying' something by making machines, that can think for you, might sound like a great idea. and it might, as you say, bring in the younger generations. but at what cost? these machines and our dependency on them is turning a species that set sail in open longships, over uncharted oceans, into pathetic helpless weaklings and idiots. that's not a good thing.

i know we live in the era of spreading the wealth, 'fairness', and schools that train for mediocrity ( better to pull down the hard workers and the intelligent than to make the lazy or stupid feel bad about themselves ), but you have to ask what kind of people we are sending into the future? our forefathers, who learned to sail the seas before us, would be ashamed of what we are becoming.

now, you don't have to have a teacher or read books to learn to sail. you can just surf through youtube. there are tons of instructional videos, there. there is plenty of ways for people to learn to sail.

trying to gat machines to think for yung sailors, so they don't have to learn to be good sailors is actually not thinking outside of the box. it's firmly in the box of modern thought. thinking that people should actually larn to sail, as generations before them did, is outside of the modern box.

i wonder, how many cruisers that have GPS actually learned tyo navigate, the real way, and how many just rely on the GPS? has GPS actually created any skilled navigators or just people dependent on GPS?
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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 christian.hess View Post
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
yeah. i can't swim. good thing i can sail. being in sailboats might be risky, otherwise.

i couldn't agree with you,more. some people are born to be sailors and some are born for land...or at least power boats.
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Last edited by captain jack; 11-19-2013 at 06:15 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 DRFerron View Post
For boats that size, what would you suggest that they change in order to survive another 40-50 years?
one thing might be to make a simple, safe, fun to sail family dinghy that isn't just anothder race dinghy. i think the sailing industry is too race oriented. there is more to sailing than getting around the boeys fast.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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and, for the record, machines are a big part of the problem with the world. what ws it you said?

" 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. "

is that a good thing? what if these people who only know the computerized way of doing it were in a situation where there wasn't a computer to think for them? they'd be screwed.
I guess I have a different philosophy but I understand where you are coming from. Part of the enjoyment of sailing for me comes from being able to harness the power of the wind and use it to move the boat where I want it to go. The more the boat does and the less the sailor does, the farther you are away from that feeling.

At the same time I think a lot more people could enjoy sailing than actually do and I think part of the reason is the time it takes to learn how. Some may end up quitting who could have ended up being very good sailers. I'd really prefer it if less people used power boats or personal watercraft and took up sailing instead.

As for dive computers, if one quits working, you head back to the surface and you are done for the day. At least that's the recommended thing to do. It would suck. It does't matter if you remember how to use tables or not. The information about how long you spent at a particular depth and when is now gone and that is critical information for you to know for any consecutive dives.

So given that risk, why use a computer and not a dive table or wheel? The short answer is that because a dive computer can record the time you spend at a given depth and perform calculations in real time so you can stay underwater longer without having to follow a rigid plan.

The point of diving is to enjoy the underwater world (or do your job), not to spend time reading tables and doing calculations. I'm sure there were people who enjoyed that aspect of it and took pride in being good at it. For most people it was just a PITA.

So what is the point of sailing? It's probably not the same for everybody and I think there's room for more people to enjoy it.
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Last edited by unimacs; 11-19-2013 at 08:30 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 unimacs View Post
I'll list a a few ideas at the end of the post. But really what I think is needed is for the industry or someone outside the industry to ask people who might be interested in sailing why they've never taken it up. And they should ask people new to the activity what is was that they found the most difficult about getting started. In other words, what are the barriers to sailing?

To me it's just very interesting and maybe telling that the nearest place to me that teaches ASA 101 uses Pearson Ensigns. Further, kids are often taught in Optis which were designed in 1947 or 1960 depending on how you look at it. I think it's fair to say that part of the design goal was simply ease of building as opposed to something that sails well.

Do you think ski schools are using 50 year old designs for their skis? Of course not. Now there are some inherent differences, - skis get beat up and need to be replaced far more frequently than boats do. So naturally ski schools are going to have newer equipment. Still, for something that is essentially two boards strapped to your feet, skis have evolved quite a bit and in ways that actually make skiing easier. Why haven't sailboats?

Here's something else: There's a whole thread devoted to the topic of whether sailing is sexist or not. Without getting into that discussion lets assume for the moment that it's true. For whatever reason sailing is something that men participate in more than women. Women have a lot more buying power than they did 50 years ago. Other industries have figured this out and adapted. Has sailing?



A few ideas:

As I mentioned in earlier an earlier, one approach would be to make the boats smarter. For example. Instead of having the new sailer trying to remember how to tell which direction the wind is coming from, put clear indicators on the boat in plain view. Those kinds of electronics are available on big boats, but not day sailers. And I would say the designs could be better/easier to read and use.

Another would be to make boats lighter and easier to handle both on and off the water. Laptops are continually getting lighter. Bikes are continually getting lighter. And I know some sailboats are as well but we seem to be stuck with these old designs.

Make the rigging easier. I know, you'd think sticking a mast in a hole is about the simplest type of rigging possible, but muscling a Laser mast into the boat isn't always the easiest task. Anyway, it takes too much time to get a sailboat ready to go.

here here to this

I too sailed lasers as a kid and as a sailing instructor down here

LASERS are NOT easy to rig correctly per isaf when you are new to sailing...

for example which end of the mainsheet goes first and simple stuff like the vang can be daunting at times..its not as easy say a vanguard or hobie etc...

optis in my opinion are still the best for kids...racing them is a whole nother planet...its BIG time in europe and south america, el toros in the states are the marcomi version as we all 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 christian.hess View Post
here here to this

I too sailed lasers as a kid and as a sailing instructor down here

LASERS are NOT easy to rig correctly per isaf when you are new to sailing...

for example which end of the mainsheet goes first and simple stuff like the vang can be daunting at times..its not as easy say a vanguard or hobie etc...

optis in my opinion are still the best for kids...racing them is a whole nother planet...its BIG time in europe and south america, el toros in the states are the marcomi version as we all know
I guess one obvious thing would be for the sailing industry to talk to instructors. What do people have the most difficulty with? What takes them the longest to grasp? Why do people give up?

There are always going to be people who take to something quicker than others. There will also be people that learn very quickly that sailing is not for them. I'm not suggesting that it is for everybody.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

i still think sailing doesn't need robo-sailboats.

it needs boats aimed at average income novices. simple, safe, fun sailboats. sailboats you comfortably sit in, not on. more tech doesn't make for lower prices, just the opposite. the cost of a new laser will already buy you a really nice used car. imagine what one would cost once it gets all star wars'd up. that is not going to encourage average people to buy a sailboat and learn the art of sailing. i think the boat manufactures spend way too much time focusing on the race crowd and the high dollar cruisers.

the premise towards robo-sailboats is that learning to sailo is too daunting. what is more daunting? a ton of computer crap to learn to use or one rope and a tiller? if you want to make sailing less daunting, wouldn't simpler be better?

adverise in non-sailing enthusiast media. there are some awesome sailing videos on youtube; videos that really make sailing look exciting and fun, not like a bunch of old dudes with money sitting in slow boats. manufactures and sailing schools and clubs need to use footage like that, or footage showing families out enjoying a fn day of sailing, in ads in the mass media. if you only advetise sailing and sailboats in sailing publications, how do you suppose you are going to get the word out to people who don't sail. those people don't buy sailing publications.

go to youtube. look up 'europe sailing in heavy wind', then tell me if that isn't the perfect ad for sailing. if you had a tv ad, using that video, you'd make sailing look more exciting than sex. well, maybe not that exciting, but you know what i mean. that would draw all those skateboarders and snow boarders and others that are into extreme sports and looking for some excitement.

Last edited by captain jack; 11-19-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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