The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising?? - SailNet Community

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Old 06-30-2012
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The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I'm curious on opinions on this one. When Baby boomers were in their 20's there were lots of them in small capable sailboats (some they made themselves) cruising across oceans; but now-a-days the majority of twenty-year olds appear to be utterly useless. I just don't get it, and I'm in my twenties, and cruising.


I'm also curious as to where people think the future of the sailing industry is going if there are so few young people involved?

Any thoughts?
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Economy sucks the young are being hit the hardest and in any form sailing is a luxury even in a smaller cheaper boat.

On the flip side young people want to go faster in everything they do and sailing will never fit that bill.

Sailing going noware reduced maybe but the allure of sailing will always be around and as full prices go up since we all know they will just a fact of things i think the fuel advantage will increase numbers.

I kind of wonder if there won't be innovations that come from it things that make sailing even easier and more accessible and more motor sail boats.

My 2 cents
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Old 06-30-2012
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

College debt...

Last generation graduated with virtually none...this generation has a too much.
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Old 06-30-2012
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

You didn't see lots of people in their 20s cruising before, or since, that generation. The baby boomers had the world given to them on a plate so they took advantage. And of course screwed everything for generations to come but that's for a different forum
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

One must also consider that since the 'baby boom' generation the level of prosperity and the growth level of 'prosperity' has declined thus producing less 'disposable income', especially for those 'younger'.

With the purposeful pursuit of (by whatever reason) a decreased 'industrialization' and its accompanying lessening of 'profits' producing 'disposable income' in forced decline ... no one should really be surprised.

Id opt that those global areas where industrialization is rapidly growing, that those 'young' people have a greater and increasing measure or percent of 'disposable income' .... ie. sailing, skiing, ... 'leisure time', etc. etc. etc. are on the increase. The 'western world' is now essentially a service (servant) economy or is essentially 'flipping cash', while many other regions of the globe are rapidly expanding industrially and with its accompanying prosperity. The economic equilibrium of 'prosperity' has begun to rapidly shift away from the 'western' world to the 'developing' world. I wouldnt want to be a 'young person' in today's 'western world' with its apparently forced or self imposed reduction of 'opportunity'. From my narrow perspective, 'authoritarianism' and 'mob-rule democracy' usually and historically results in a declining level of the overall/average standard of living ... .
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Old 06-30-2012
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I moved on to my Grand fathers old sail boat when I was 18 because it was affordable housing. It was free. I had it out on the hook and worked in town. It was all I could afford. He had taught me how to use it so I started sailing around to places with a decent anchorage and little town to work in. That was 23 years ago. still have the boat on the hook and I live on when I'm not at sea on other boats. I see a lot of 20 somethings doing the same thing and hope more and more realize there is a surplus of baby boomer boats up for grabs. It's buyers market, look at that 16 year old kid from the other thead, he got one for free.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Agreed that standards of living are going down, BUt I can afford a way better life here in Panama and can scratch by with some work online.

I'm thinking it has a lot to do with inflated expectations for a higher than deserved standard of living, hence people who are almost thirty living with their parents, growing up in a zero failure world (which is not a good way to encourage hard work), and the expectation that the world owes them something (careers, high standards of living, education)

It really isn't a financial thing (I've been on both sides of the fence: student debt, long term unemployment, lacked a real job) and cruising, you have no money either way.

AMEX came out with a survey showing that young people spend tons of money on travel and luxury goods. It must be a mental thing. The ocean is pretty intimidating, not big snowboard jump intimidating, but kill you if it decides to intimidating. I'm guessing backpacking and all-inclusives are just easier to do.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I'll Argus that Boats have Become bigger and more complex.

The 20 something's of yore might have sailed a Lido 14 with other young couples. When they were in their 30s, they bought a "cruising" boat - perhaps a Schock 25 ftr. Just enough to weekend. By the time they were in their 50s, they had made the big plunge and moved up to a huge boat - a Santana 30.


These days, a 30 ftr is sold as a 'tiny' boat.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDS123 View Post
I'll Argus that Boats have Become bigger and more complex.

The 20 something's of yore might have sailed a Lido 14 with other young couples. When they were in their 30s, they bought a "cruising" boat - perhaps a Schock 25 ftr. Just enough to weekend. By the time they were in their 50s, they had made the big plunge and moved up to a huge boat - a Santana 30.


These days, a 30 ftr is sold as a 'tiny' boat.
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.
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Don't underestimate the young folks. One of them will develop a sailing "app" for their smart phones and all will be right with the world..................
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