Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick) - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

Many good points. I don't really understand how many poor or working class people can buy a $60,000 pickup and just use it as a car, but I see it all the time here. Imagine the boat they could have. Imagine the charters, the vacations, the adventures ... by the time they pay the truck off, $60k becomes $75k. And people claim they have no money. Lots of them " rolling coal" with a $3000 set of wheels/tires.

The two income thing really kills your free time. When my wife only worked part time we would spend many more days playing hooky on the boat. And I think there is a cultural thing too, short attention spans, go fast addiction, general stupidity. "Idiocracy".

And maybe its just me, but I have a hard time getting non sailing friends to come sailing. They would rather do yard work.
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post #32 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Your observation is correct in my experience. It will come back when gas gets expensive again.
Surveys and studies in the Chesapeake Bay region do not support this.
Believe it or not, people simply keep buying power boats but merely limit their range of travel in reaction to fuel prices.

The bottom line is that powerboats do not require any skill to operate. In Maryland, you take a silly little safety course online and print out your Completion Certificate and that's it.

Sailing is a skill that takes a little time to cultivate and to many, it looks like too much effort expended for too little reward regardless of the fuel savings.

Alacrity, 1981 Tartan 33 #168
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post #33 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

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A great example of this was seen just today while I was sitting in the waiting room of my cardiologist. Nearly everyone under age 50 had a phone in their hands, both thumbs popping the keys as fast as possible, this despite three relatively large signs that said "POSITIVELY NO CELL PHONES USE ALLOWED IN THIS OFFICE!" I guess the geniuses that texting didn't count.
50 is the new 20?

I can't understand why people texting on a phone would upset anyone (in a *waiting* room of all places).
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post #34 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

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I doubt you are doing much sailing with that flat water.
Not on that day, but no complaints when there is not a person within miles in any direction.
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post #35 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

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Originally Posted by caberg View Post
If sailboat ownership is dying, I say great!

More and cheaper boats on the second hand market, cheaper slip and mooring rates, and less crowded waters. What's so distressing about that?

I'm lucky to sail in an area that sees very little boat traffic and I'd like to keep it that way!

Except that marinas will fail and parts suppliers will go out of business.

You'll have nowhere to keep your boat because all the marinas and yards will have been snapped up by developers and turned into waterfront condos.

No one will sell you parts to maintain your cheaply bought sailboat.

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post #36 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

ownership maybe down but the sailing school in our marina is booming but do they buy or can they buy sailing is expensive very expensive
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post #37 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

We're all here on this and other sailing forums because we own sailboats otherwise we wouldn't be here. Most of us either sailed early in our lives or were introduced by our parents, friends, vacation charter with friends, etc. This to me is how many of us started in this sailing hobby, adventure, business, etc. The problem is the new generation are not being introduced properly to sailing, or by design younger people are just not attuned to this part of life and would prefer other venues of entertainment mostly internet, music, cellphones, gaming, etc.

The life of hanging out on 30+ year old sailboats that means 'work' just doesn't appeal to younger crowds... I can't get my son interested at all in the sailboat anymore... at first he liked sailing with us but lost interest doing other more interesting (to him) adventures with his friends. The idea of sailing with 53 year old mom and 60 year old dad just wasn't in the cards for him... he'd rather be with his friends gaming/hanging out... even though we introduced him at an early age sailing/boating with us. Same with my daughter... just not interested at all... sad but this is the plight of our sailing future.

The young kids (25-35 yr olds) in our sailing club are sailors whose parents introduced them very early in their lives and it stuck with them... most young kids today will go on an outing for several days and eager to be out sailing but then they lose interest. I have to wonder how many of the kids in the Sea Scouts program actually continue to sail in their later years actually buying a sailboat and continuing this sailing life.

Here are some of the priority for the Sea Scouts this year:

Quote:
What are the strategic plan priority areas for 2016?

There are five main priorities for 2016:
•Grow New Ships.
•Grow Membership.
•Retain Existing Ships and Members.
•Recruit New Adult Leaders.
•Communications.
Telling how the future is heading for our younger sailors.
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post #38 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

I agree with the poster who said that the type of sailing that is affordable is not being promoted. Even learning to sail has become a very expensive proposition. In my area a basic keelboat class runs $700. If you want to take the whole series of classes you can expect to rack up a bill in the $thousands$.

When we first start sailing there were sailing clubs around where you could go and take a Red Cross basic sailing class on little daysailers (we learned on Lido and Capri 14s) for very little money. In our case with a nominal fee to join the club we also had use of those boats either free or for a very nominal daily fee. It was affordable for most anybody and you really learned how to sail in a boat that was going to quickly deposit your butt in the drink if you didn't do it right. No engines, so we learned to sail them onto and off of the dock, and do everything else under sail. It was a wonderful time and we really learned the nuances of wind and sail.

I'll bet a lot of the older folks out there sailing now learned on Optimists, Sunfish, El Toros, or other sailing dinghys, and they probably had their own boats and the freedom to go out piddling around in it alone and figure it all out. They learned very young what an adventure conquering the wind in your own boat could be. Parents today and in the recent past are reluctant to turn their kids loose alone in their own front yard, let alone in a small boat.

Now people either take the ASAs at considerable cost, learning on keelboats with engines (and probably couldn't conceive of doing it on anything else) or their idea of the way to investigate whether they might like sailing is to go to the BVI and charter with a hired captain to show them what to do. Good grief, no wonder people have come to view it as a rich man's sport and think they need a fortune to get into it.

The financing situation makes it difficult too. Banks will no longer finance a sailboat that is over 20 years old even though there are plenty of boats out there much older than that that are still very fine and capable boats, until they aren't. I am convinced, because we have been in this situation, that if you could finance these older boats there would be a lot less derelicts around. An older 30-35' boat in really good condition is going to cost at least $25K, likely much more if it is well maintained and equipped, but for the average young person coming up with $25K+ is darned near impossible. But coming up with a couple hundred a month for a boat payment would be do-able. So you've got a really nice older (over 20 years) 35' boat and you put it up for sale because you can no longer use it, have health issues, inherited it, whatever the case, and it doesn't sell because no one comes along that has cash for it and it's not eligible for financing. It sits, it deteriorates. The owner has lost interest, or maybe whatever condition is compelling him to sell is also preventing him from using and maintaining the boat. But it can't pass into the hands of someone who could use it because those young people who might want to have that nice old boat as a family boat (because they sure can't afford a new one at $150K+ for the average 30 footer) don't have the funds to pay cash and can't get a loan. The boat is pretty much doomed at that point, and even if it started out in good condition it will become a derelict in short order. If only boat lending was based strictly on boat condition, equipment, and survey value rather than on age....

We were in this situation a couple of times. We had found a couple of 25+ year old solidly built, immaculate, and wonderfully maintained older boats, world cruiser type boats, that passed surveys with flying colors, but could find no one willing to finance them. So, we ended up doing what we always seem to do....finding one that was in such a state of neglect that we could pay cash for it and fixing it up on a "as funds become available" basis.

No doubt at least some of those old boats sat long enough that they became sad victims of neglect instead of the beautiful and functional boats they were when we looked at them, simply because the means and money to buy them were not available to the people who would have put them to good use.

To me those are some of the reasons more young people are not getting into the sport.
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post #39 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

The train maybe leaving the station, but IMHO we could all contribute to turning this situation for the better. Here's some ideas:

1. Don't make it elitist, because it isn't. Don't show off that you know the name of every line from the barber hauler to the cunningham. Make it sound easy, because it mostly is. Many of us, including myself need to get off the "my boat is better than yours train." Who cares, go sailing.

2. Don't always lead with how expensive it is. Draw others into it gradually. A frog will sit in gradually warming water till it cooks!

3. Teach, but a little at a time. Explain one thing, like how to steer to keep the telltales straight back, and put your new sailer on the helm and shut up when they mess up. Don't start with what every string does.

4. Post pictures on Facebook for your young relatives and friends to see everyone having a great time and invite them to come along. Tweet em pictures when you are out there. Work in their media.

5. Start em on a calm day, with moderate winds. Don't scare them away.

6. Don't minimize any sailing experience. Cape horn in force 10 isn't required to be an accomplished sailer. Make it around the lake in 10kts, and lather on the praise.

7. Take young people sailing.


You can buy a small sailboat, or join a sailing club for less than the annual cost of your smart phone and cable TV. It's a matter of choice. It's hard to compete with the apple, android, xfinity, Fios, advertisements, but reality always beats virtual reality.

Yea, I know, I'm old and don't get it.
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post #40 of 230 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Is sailboat ownership dying ( or at least sick)

The amount of fogeys complaining about kids and their short attention spans/instant gratification desires here is really disappointing. If you care about getting young people in boats, you might want to do some reading based on actual research. For example: https://hcexchange.conference-board.....cfm?post=5173
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