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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-01-2013 12:55 PM
Re: Where are the younger people?

Originally Posted by Sal Paradise View Post
Man, I am in Newport right now, if you could see the hundreds (or thousands) of sailboats in the harbor and watch the crews, you wouldn't think sailing is dying, because it isn't. They are buying into it with amounts of money that I can't imagine.

But its a niche sport for sure.
I just spent a few hours with a couple that have sailed to Maine from the UK. They've spent 18 months aboard and sailed around 10,000 NM to get here.

To hear them talk, there's a cruising community everywhere they've been along the way. In fact, cruiser word of mouth is their main source of info for their itinerary as they go. They only have wifi when they're near a source.

I asked him are they the young people amongst those they meet? He said pretty much(he's 38).

This makes sense to me just as it did 20 years ago when I was off for a year(then in our 30's we were the younger people we met on the east coast).

It took them a couple of decades of careers to make themselves financially solvent enough to go cruising. Cruising, if you're traveling long distance, isn't cheap. It's not the same as living aboard.

Along the way, they each earned their own homes, each of which is now rented which is supplying what they need to cruise on a 34' boat around the Atlantic. They've well experienced, frugal, and smart with their choice of boat and gear.

This thread often feels like it exists in a vacuum when I read about the lack of young people out cruising. Sailing has always been a niche recreation, but seems alive and well on my coast, as does a smaller fraction that are off cruising.

08-01-2013 08:30 AM
Sal Paradise
Re: Where are the younger people?

Man, I am in Newport right now, if you could see the hundreds (or thousands) of sailboats in the harbor and watch the crews, you wouldn't think sailing is dying, because it isn't. They are buying into it with amounts of money that I can't imagine.

But its a niche sport for sure.
08-01-2013 06:41 AM
Re: Where are the younger people?

I think you folks have ALL hit on the reasons there are few people cruising (which is really what the OP is asking).
A) Cost, yes some junkers can be had for free, but due to time constraints and/or lack of skill, it's not practical to take on that kind of project.
B) Cost again! It costs money to tow a trailerable (gas), and most POS Prius type cars get great MPG (cause gas is stupid expensive) can't tow! Forget that if you go bigger, you need to pay for marinas, and insurance, and or luxury tax, registration, etc.
C) Skill - sailing is a sport, and requires time to learn (you see in A?) people don't have time
D) Kids learn today about instantaneous gratification (flip a switch and live in a new realm) the XBox 360 experience.
D) Speed - most people who DON'T sail don't realize that sailing can be FAST! It CAN be an extreme sport... In fact I'd argue MOST of the people on this site don't think of Sailing that way either (not a knock please don't mistake that - cruising is ALSO extreme, but NOT what we are talking about).
E) I am going to say it... SAILING IS DYING! It's a dying sport. It's dying because of A-D. Less and Less people are buying into it. Therefore less and less people are passing it along to their children (as a skill). It WON'T EVER go away, but it will certainly become a margins only sport (you know unless owning a power boat becomes too expensive for anyone - ie $7/gallon gas).

I submit that if young people think you have to spend $12mill to go fast (see AC-72), apparently they've never seen a foiling moth!

But you know for under $10k, you can still have a lot of fun:
08-01-2013 12:39 AM
Re: Where are the younger people?


The lifestyle of cruising sailboats contrasts with that of most young professionals who can afford them.

I'm 37 years old and I own a Hunter 410. I'm a bit of a contrast in my sailing club. I'm lucky enough that I can stay out of the office for extended periods of times, but with a compromise, I needed to equip my boat with KVH V3 for broadband internet cause of work obligations. When I want to go anchor at some remote Islands or a zone without phone signal, like I did last week, I went to Alacranes Reef north of Mexican coast, I need to be able to receive calls from employees and check my emails at least twice a day. Not everyone can do that. So, it's much more practical to have a motor yatch, with more space, more accomodations, get somewhere fast, spend week-end, come back quick cause they can't afford to stay there for a week. People have jobs, families, obligations, and time restraints. You also don't have to find a friend that can share shifts with you to sail the boat. Wife factor also, a lot of sailing guys I know have wives who hates it. Mine just starting to enjoy it after 4 years of sailing.

There's also a learning curve associated to it, security instructions to be explained to your guests, have to ask them to move around because you have to do a tack, explain that the boat will now heel and that it's normal, looking at the sheer fear of someone when an unexpected gust heels the boat to 30 degrees for a few second . So if you like to entertain guests, a sailboat is not an ideal choice. Regarding fishing, you can't also go fish at 50 miles of the coast in 2 hours. The draft impose restrictions to where you can anchor and how near from the beach you need to be to anchor. More restrictions.

My reason for sailing over motoring even though I like a good fast plane on friend's boats? My sailboat is the only thing I've that I can't go fast. It's the only place I disconnect my brain from the stress, except when I need to do quick checks of my work emails on the sat internet. But I can see why a lot of guy interested in recreational boating would not look at sailboats.

With that said, I know a lot of young sailors and also live boards in their 30's, but they are a minority I believe.

My 2 cents.
07-09-2013 09:24 AM
Re: Where are the younger people?

Thats a nice boat. I would only be concerned about the size and subsequent cost of maintenance slash repairs.
are you planning on solo sailing? A boat the big is very hard to maneuver into tight moorings or dockages and the force needed to crank the winches while holding the traveler line and maintaining heading can be tiresome quickly.
A two man crew would probably be needed but its not impossible to go it alone. Very cool what your doing. Refitting is fun but expensive. Learn a lot however and it feels good to say you own your own boat, dinghy or otherwise (veiled refrence).
07-09-2013 09:03 AM
Re: Where are the younger people?

Hi Everyone,
There are many younger people out there doing it. Being 26 I have scoured the net looking for blogs featuring younger people that are doing cool things in sailboats. Personally, I am sailing and refitting a Tayana 37 out of Baltimore. With a timeline to begin a world cruise in spring 2015. I think the market is amazing out there for finding classic plastic is very useable condition. Most refitting skills can be learned and there are still DIY yards out there that will let you do pretty much any job you want to on your own boat. I keep my blog at S/V Satori |S/V Satori[/url]. Some other examples of the sub 30 crowd are: Yacht Teleport, S/V Robin, Ben and Teresa over at sailing simplicity. If anyone knows of more that I don't have listed on my site, please message me.

I agree that the younger sector of cruising is not large, but that makes advocacy and awareness of just how accessible the lifestyle can be all the more important.
07-09-2013 01:54 AM
Re: Where are the younger people?

I'm more glad everyday that I chose seattle over Florida. The heat! I can't sleep in the heat.

Nah bflorida has better cruising in a way. It's just that its the rest of the year. But still glad I'm here

I know it gets cramped. Believe me I feel it but its not bad. I don't think I even want a boat over 30 feet. Too much maintenance. My friend has a ranger 33. Great boat. Lots more room than mine, but I sail way more. It's so easy to get everything put up and taken down. And if I here one more story about inboard engine problems I don't think I'll ever be able to get one.

I'm hooked. For me this is just the beginning. I will do this on and off for life. I'm not going to be a diehard live aboard. But a lifelong cruiser. It's the best way to live for me. Life is better and easier. I can live anywhere anyone would want to live and for less. San Diego? 1 million+ for an ocean view and fighting traffic or swinging on a mooring ball with 360 degree ocean views and no traffic. No bad neighbors. No trash cans and kitchen remodeling. No flat screen tvs to rot my brain.
07-09-2013 12:13 AM
Re: Where are the younger people?

Well im laying my my V berth right now with a fan blowing on me direct and the forward hatch and both ports open and its still pretty warm. My 80 watt solar panal never seems to make battery voltage green and no seems are trying to invade my privy space.
Cruising and liveaboard two different things imo. Of course my boat is not fancy with AC refrigeration satellite tv shower ect ect.
ill stick it out two or three years. Then im selling this boat and moving back on land fo eva.
prolly will buy a sunfish or something for sailing. Will never live aboard again ever. Its not my passion. Yet ive done it, built the boat, started ocean sailing, and will do a summer or two in the Bahamas. That will be enough for me.
Why dont young people cruise? Bc we cant afford island packets. Living aboard for us is like living out of a pop up. It aint grand.
07-08-2013 02:32 PM
Re: Where are the younger people?

24 here and recently bought a Vic 18. By no means will I be cruising, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
07-05-2013 10:59 PM
Brent Swain
Re: Where are the younger people?

I am meeting an increasing numer of people in their 20s and 30s living aboard and getting into the cruising lifestyle. The cost of housing has caused some to clue into the fact that the ony way they can ever hope to own a home, is if the home is a boat.
I have owned my own home debt free since my early 20s, something which would have been impossible for me on land.
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