Is Sailing an Elitist Sport? - Page 7 - SailNet Community
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post #61 of 67 Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
As soon as you tack the word "sport" to it, it is. Sailing was my solution for an afforadable, rent free, long haul travel, life style. It was really the only way I could afford to live in my 20's. Calling it a sport indicates that it is an extracaricular activity done in the time of ones leisure. For me it has been a way of life, calling it a sport sums up someones attitude towards sailing.
Sport is a sport and that is about that we are talking about, not cruising or living in a boat as a life style.

Why expensive? You don't need to have a boat you can race in a sailing club with the boats owned by the sailing community. Most, regarding this discussion will be thinking in racing big boats but you can have as much fun racing a dingy, a kite surf or a windsurf board. That is all sailing and if you compete or take it in a sportive way, it is a sport and a demanding one.

If you are really good at club sailing you will make it to the major league championships and will find sponsors that will pay your sport sailing passion. If you are really good and if that is what you want, you will become a professional and will be paid to make the sport you like as a life style. If you become real good among the professionals there will be sponsors and teams that will be interested in paying you for racing big boats and if you are the cream of the cream they will pay you for skippering big boats, or race alone in them.

Why is this expensive?

It seems to me that you don't like sports, particularly sailing (as a sport) but that is another story

Regards

Paulo


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Last edited by PCP; 04-04-2013 at 08:36 AM.
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post #62 of 67 Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

From my point of view it is elitist as you wish to make it. I see all sorts of sizes of boats on the Great Lakes, as well as inland lakes. Yes bigger is more money, and more headaches, but plenty of people trailor their 20 footers that they paid next to nothing, or nothing for. My tastes run the gamut, but for us blue collar guys, any boat is better than no boat at all. How many of you recall their first boat with longing, whether it was a sunfish, or whatever, and remember how it was, simple, and fun.....
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post #63 of 67 Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Sport is a sport and that is about that we are talking about, not cruising or living in a boat as a life style.

Why expensive? You don't need to have a boat you can race in a sailing club with the boats owned by the sailing community. Most, regarding this discussion will be thinking in racing big boats but you can have as much fun racing a dingy, a kite surf or a windsurf board. That is all sailing and if you compete or take it in a sportive way, it is a sport and a demanding one.

If you are really good at club sailing you will make it to the major league championships and will find sponsors that will pay your sport sailing passion. If you are really good and if that is what you want, you will become a professional and will be paid to make the sport you like as a life style. If you become real good among the professionals there will be sponsors and teams that will be interested in paying you for racing big boats and if you are the cream of the cream they will pay you for skippering big boats, or race alone in them.

Why is this expensive?

It seems to me that you don't like sports, particularly sailing (as a sport) but that is another story

Regards

Paulo
You got me, I don't care for organized sports. Team sports etc. I was the kid who would rather canoe out to the back country by my self or climb a tree, hike to the top of the hill etc., than run around the city park chasing a ball. I did play American Football in J.R high thru High school, and learned dicsipline there. The sport of sailing is indeed elitist, all though my community has free sailing programs for kids. I'd rather teach kids how to sail safely across the bay on a heavy keel boat to explore the other side, than just sail around in a patteren as fast as they can on a light boat for what? to do it faster than the other kid. I compete, with the elements not the dude on the other boat. Actually, I don't really compete the elements, I move with them in Harmony, using them to propell me and my craft across the water to explore the planet....safely.

" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"

Last edited by Capt.aaron; 04-04-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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post #64 of 67 Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

Rather watch the posts from Paulo and others of the single handed ocean sailors. Those guys are
1. nuts
2. real sailors dealing with real weather
3.have my never ending respect given their skill set and self reliance.

See the rigid sail multi hull crowd are very athletic, dealing with cutting edge technologies and fun to watch briefly. Unfortunately, it leaves me cold. Kind of like basketball now that the professional game is so unlike any we used to play in the pick up games of my youth.

s/v Hippocampus
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post #65 of 67 Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

Most sailboats and sailors I have seen on the water are far from elitist. Very nice, warm and friendly, down to earth people.
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post #66 of 67 Old 12-06-2016
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Interesting thread, I have been thinking some what about where the perception of sailing being an elitist activity comes from.

The concept of sailing and cruising being the domain of the wealthy and select seems to be a fairly new phenomenon and seems to be influenced to some degree both by regional geography and culture.

In Europe and the UK, there are certainly enclaves of large expensive yachts on the Mediterranean, but at the same time, in much of Europe sailing and cruising, particularly in small boats is regarded as a family activity any person with a moderate income can fully expect to enjoy. In Europe, not only are small cruising boats popular with families, but Europeans in general don't seem to suffer from the same excesses as in the Americas. Not only are boats smaller, but houses and cars are smaller too. Material wealth takes a back seat to leisure time, as evidenced by the much more generous vacation laws in Europe.

We know that early sail boats, for thousands of years were primarily conveyances for people and goods and tools for harvesting from the sea. Seaman were often poor, in ancient times the wealthy seem to have been more occupied with other material goods like acquiring slaves and exotic cats to be concerned with boating for the most part, sailing was a poor-middle class activity.

Fast forward to one of the first broadly recognized modern recreational sailors, Joshua Slocum. Slocum was a poor unemployed seaman who built up a simple boat and used his skill as a seaman and determination to over come challenges that some now would have you believe can only be overcome with chart plotters and powerful winches. If you sailed at any time after Slocum, you will never be the first recreational sailor to have sailed around the world, a poor man in a simple boat will always have done it before you.

Fast forward again to the 60's, the start of the golden age of recreational sailing, brought on by strong CHEAP fiberglass boats that were accessible to nearly any person with a job.

The golden age is dead, but the same fundamental rules that have always applied, still apply today. Money does not a sailor make. Any person with $1000 to spend on a dinghy can cruise extensively, at least within the confines of their home continent, which for me is the Americas, and there is a lifetime of exploring that can be done between Canada in the North and Tierra Del Fuego in the South.

Although some may deeply desire that sailing be an elitist sport, and try to convince you that it is, it certainly doesn't need to be. Whether you sail to travel, for exercise, for freedom, adventure, excitement or just the desire to feel unique or special, you can go out and get a boat big or small, complex or simple and sail it, just like poor, wealthy and the somewhere in between have been for thousands of years.

Last edited by Arcb; 12-07-2016 at 06:49 AM.
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post #67 of 67 Old 12-06-2016
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

I agree, I always say I sail because I know how, not because I can afford it. I CAN afford it but without the ability and knowledge then I wont use the Boat if I had one or do it at all. The golden age might be dying but for the price of a good used car anyone can get into the pastime. My Grandkids sail with me a lot and their friends think its elitist but its just their perception. So maybe it is.
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