Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??
When I first came to the BC coast, at age 18, wages were around $2 an hour and a Haida 26 cost around $9K. Now I have seen them for sale for around $3500 and wages are much higher, $30 an hour for me.Even minimum wages are over six times what they were back then, while boats are being practicaly given away. Back then it cost a years wages for a radar, now it costs a week and a halfs wages. It cost more hours wages for a depth sounder back then than it costs for a radar today. With boats being given away, why are kids homeless? I still remember harassment of liveaboards, and the need to sneak aboard ones boat being quite common back then. Back then we dreamt of living aboard our own boats, and made great sacrifices to get there. I carried only bus tokens and only whatever money I needed to get what I went shopping for , no more. I remember working on my first boat at age 20, and having a friend come visit. He said "You are going to have a terrible summer." I said "Yes, but worth it for the endless summer comming. " I had no interest in the dating or party scene, nor booze nor drugs, nor owning a car , expensive clothes etc etc. As a result, I was on my way to New Zealand in my own boat at age 23. I wouldn't trade the choices I made back then, for all the drunken parties, cars , girlfriends, cars , etc, my friends had. The lives they ended up living were a complete, unimaginitive bore, compared to what I have done. I went to a few of those parties in New Zealand . Boy I sure wasn't missing much!
A big part of the problem is those who spread the myth that one should only buy new equipment at ship swindlers grossly inflated prices, and that only spending lots of money will get one into the cruising life. They spread the myth that if you try cruising without supporting the industry, you are somehow morally irresponsible. If the industry wants welfare, they should apply at the welfare office .When I try to tell people of affordable alternatives, like used gear and salvaged gear ,or how to build your own, extremely cowardly moderators on other sites, close the debate, before I get a chance to respond to their myths, and disinformation. Their goal seems to be to keep the cruising alternative reserved for the rich advocates of the predominant religion of our time, squanderism ( consumerism). Their attitude towards ones moral obligation to support squanderism is downright, religious extremist
Sadly, too many of our youth get suckered into their myth that, if you dont have a huge amount of money ,you can forget about the cruising lifestyle. The elitist myth makers cost them their dreams, and leave them eventually living the squanderism lifestyle, which, in the long run, will drastically increase their environmental foot print, as ones environmental foot print is directly measureable by how much money one goes thru.
When youth connect to the fact that they have been suckered into the myth that only the rich can cruise, and that the consumer treadmill is not the only lifestyle option available to them, its like a light going on, and their enthusiasm suddenly springs to life. Then their resourcefullness in getting into the cruising lifestyle is a wonderful thing to observe ( to the chagrin of those who had planned to exploit them for the rest of their lives).
I remember once , while building a boat in Duncan, a friend sticking his head over the rail and saying. "You didn't want to go to university Brent , so work."
I replied "If I had gone to university and got a degree, I'd be driving taxi right now."
He said "Yes, you are probably right. "
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
Last edited by Brent Swain; 07-03-2012 at 09:09 PM.