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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there I have be sailing for the past 2 month toke off from Jacksonville, Fl my first stop Was Bermuda Second was Flores Azores Portugal third was Horta, Azores Portugal now in Sao Miguel Island Azores Portugal so far I did not seeing any boat with American flag on this places so what is going on Americans do not like cruising they sailboat?
 

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I’m ared blooded American. Most of my close cruising friends are as well. Some Americans are foreign flag to escape tax or liability issues. So don’t fly old glory. Still other than the SDR fleet there’s a relative paucity of Americans. Cruising the eastern Caribbean seems it goes French, Canadians, British, rest of Europe, Americans, Aussies and kiwis.
Hate to say it but seems my countrymen are less adventurous as regards sailing. Especially those of child bearing and rearing age. Most of the families I’ve had contact with aren’t US borne nor passported.
 

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Old soul
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If this is actually true, then I expect it has more to do with basic economics and (as a corollary) time off work.

Americans work harder and longer than just about any other developed country. They get far fewer days off and vacation time, and they have far weaker social safety nets to fall back on. Add to this the increasingly precarious nature of employment, and the stagnation of wages, and it all adds up to far fewer (proportionally speaking) who have the ability to get into cruising.
 

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For us, it's all about Schengen. I did numerous transAts before Schengen, but I'll be damned if I'll do a transAt for 90 days in the EU and 90 days out!
 

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When we think cruising it's primarily the Caribbean or SoPac. Sailing across the Atlantic to enjoy the wonderfull weather and short season of northern Europe just isn't all that attractive. The Med. is better but still not a wonderful place for year around shirt sleeve cruising. Americans do sail to Europe but not nearly in the numbers that sail to warm climates. Of course there is also the government tourist restrictions that aren't enticing to spending a lot of time there. I know even when I was on the East Coast my thoughts of cruising were always south and/or west.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I did the most craziest thing on my life I purchased an 57' 1989 Bruce Robert in Florida last September I did work on the boat all the way to May this year then I try to find crew to go with me and no one was craze lime me so I decide to go solo and I did my first stop was Bermuda toke me 10 day to get there after get hit by 2 big storm scared a lot, then to Flores Island Azores Portugal this leg toke me 22 days and 6 storm and 5 days with no wind at all was not to bad the I rest for 4 days then I start my next leg to Faia Island toke me 4 days with no wind motor sail 80% then here to Sao Miguel Island Azores resting now to go next leg will be Canary Island Spain after that will be Cabo Verde Africa then last one crossing the South Atlantic to Brazil this picture is from Flores Island Azores Portugal
keeping looking on my page https://www.patreon.com/user?u=21791703
 

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...... my first stop was Bermuda toke me 10 day to get there after get hit by 2 big storm scared a lot, then to Flores Island Azores Portugal this leg toke me 22 days and 6 storm and 5 days with no wind at all was not to bad the I rest for 4 days then I start my next leg to Faia Island toke me 4 days with no wind motor sail 80%......
Did you get an answer to your question?
:)
 

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An answer to the OP might be that oceans are often the means to an end. Sailors who cross them do so because they are interested in the destinations that lay "at the other side"... Interest usually means they seek the climate and the culture which is usually very different from their origin.

I've been to Europe and there is still much to see and experience even destinations I have been to. We all return to our favorite restaurants to repeat visits to countries outside your own is not unusual. I wouldn't sail to Europe because flying is easier. And being on a boat would kind of limit my experience to what's close to the coast. But it's great to take your home with you and not stay in hotels.

Many north Americans choose to cross the ocean to get to the tropics, explore them and perhaps continue on or return back north. Did it several times. If I could "magically" get my boat to distant shores without sailing it I would do it. (I know i can pay for transport or delivery crew). Having sailing many thousands of miles in the ocean...I can say it's not my favorite thing about sailing.


I suppose some people might want to ocean sail for the experience the way some take the boat out for a day sail. For sure a different and expanded set of skills and gear are required. My sense is that crossing the ocean is a hurdle to get to a destination... with your boat.
 

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Old soul
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Interesting discussion really. I’d still love to see actual data on this question. Personal, anecdotal observation is almost the worst kind of data. But IF it is a real phenomenal, and IF my theory is correct, then we should also see proportionally few(er) American boats everywhere outside of the immediate continental reach, not just across the Atlantic.

I recall in Cornell’s latest iteration of global cruising boat populations he included a comment about more boats staying closer to home in general. The stagnation of average workers’ wages isn’t just an American phenomena, although it’s been more extreme in the USA than any other developed country.

I also think demographics, which are linked to wealth, are playing into this as well. The baby boom generation is slowly sailing off into its final sunset, and with them goes the golden age of good pensions, continual wealth growth, stable employment, and expansion of the welfare state (which is now in reverse in many countries).

As BBers age out, fewer young people and families are able to take their place. This (I postulate) is why cruising level sailboat sales have been declining for a while now, and why there is such a good supply of used boats for sale.
 

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I don't agree with the "America is not socialist enough/Americans are too poor" perspective. Plenty of Americans have enough discretionary money for travel. Restaurants are packed - particularly the mid-priced chain restaurants where people go just to avoid cooking at home. Americans have plenty of money to buy late model luxury cars, nice clothes, smartphones, the latest electronics, and nice houses. No, it's not that the money isn't there. I was in Venice, Italy recently, and there was no shortage of American accents.

I think it's partly related to social media connectivity and virtual lives. People are so stuck on their phones and social media that they don't see the need to leave their house. I mean, they can just watch a video of someone ELSE having a world adventure.

Also, you don't really have to do the heavy lifting of cruising yourself in order to participate in the social media travel experience. Now you can get your travel selfies by flying somewhere inexpensively, or taking a cruise. The number of cruise passengers goes up every year, and travel is more accessible for a relatively low cost than it has ever been, while carrying a sailboat (parking in a marina, taxes, professional maintenance) is more expensive than ever, and how do you make those monthly payments with no job?

The number of people who have the ability/patience to fix up and maintain an older boat may be declining, though. And the effort to go on an adventure seems too much for some. There are plenty of people who travel on a shoestring, but it's not without effort.

Then you have the style of news reporting that we've become accustomed to. The way disasters get reported emphasizes the risks with the least likelihood. People are scared to go to the beach because of shark attacks or flesh-eating bacteria because those stories are the ones on the front pages, when they are much more likely to meet their demise though poor diet or lack of exercise. And they're more likely to hear about how inadequate American health care is than about how lifestyle (diet, exercise, not smoking) is really the bigger factor in longevity.

You just have to cut those lines and social media news sources...
 

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Newsailorbr….why in the world are you traveling so fast? Maybe when you are new to ocean sailing there is the "romance of the sea, and the wide open space, endless to the horizons" but that horizon eventually gets to be a search for the end of the darn passage and adventures ashore. We see tourists from all over the world visiting places we are at for only a week or two. Living on our sailboat, we can stay for many months and really get to know the people and place, and then, when the feeling comes, it is time to move on. No rush, no pressures. Slow down Newsailorbr and do some safaris inland.
 

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Old soul
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I don't agree with the "America is not socialist enough/Americans are too poor" perspective. Plenty of Americans have enough discretionary money for travel. Restaurants are packed - particularly the mid-priced chain restaurants where people go just to avoid cooking at home. Americans have plenty of money to buy late model luxury cars, nice clothes, smartphones, the latest electronics, and nice houses. No, it's not that the money isn't there. I was in Venice, Italy recently, and there was no shortage of American accents..
Not sure who you’re quoting. I certainly did not say anything about being socialist. I said the social safety nets in most developed countries were built over the last 50 years (during the baby boom years) and are in reverse now in many countries. I also stated facts about wage stagnation and the change towards more precarious, i.e. less stable, employment.

I doubt there are proportionally more “late model luxury cars” being sold today than 30 years ago, but if you have the data I’d be happy to see it. The other items you mention are relatively cheap doodads that don’t really compare to buying, maintaining and travelling in a cruising level boat. The final example of housing is one of the reasons cruising is declining. The cost of a home has gone through the roof (;)), while wages have stagnated. So families today have a harder time just keeping a home, let alone buying an expensive boat.

I think it's partly related to social media connectivity and virtual lives. People are so stuck on their phones and social media that they don't see the need to leave their house. I mean, they can just watch a video of someone ELSE having a world adventure. .
I hear this explanation, but it really doesn’t ring true. We’ve always had distractions and ways to escape reality. I bet the same was said about books, films, radio, TV and early desktop computers.

Also, you don't really have to do the heavy lifting of cruising yourself in order to participate in the social media travel experience. Now you can get your travel selfies by flying somewhere inexpensively, or taking a cruise. The number of cruise passengers goes up every year, and travel is more accessible for a relatively low cost than it has ever been, while carrying a sailboat (parking in a marina, taxes, professional maintenance) is more expensive than ever, and how do you make those monthly payments with no job? .
Yes, I agree. This is kinda what I was saying. It also ties into the fact that Americans don’t get much holiday time, so short 1-3 week packaged cruises fit will with this reality.

The number of people who have the ability/patience to fix up and maintain an older boat may be declining, though. And the effort to go on an adventure seems too much for some. There are plenty of people who travel on a shoestring, but it's not without effort. You just have to cut those lines...
I think you may be right about this as well. While I don’t think “kids today” are any less capable of learning how to fix and maintain older boats, I do think it is a decreasing part of their cultural experience.

There are lots of people travelling on a shoestring budget, but you’re right, it does take effort. I actually expect to see a resurgence in shoestring cruising due to the wealth/demographics I mention.
 

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Not sure who you’re quoting. I certainly did not say anything about being socialist. I said the social safety nets in most developed countries were built over the last 50 years (during the baby boom years) and are in reverse now in many countries. I also stated facts about wage stagnation and the change towards more precarious, i.e. less stable, employment.
No, you didn't mention socialism by name, but the idea that the social safety net in the U.S. is to blame for fewer world cruisers in faraway places is a gigantic, unsupported stretch.

Even the basic premise that there are fewer American world cruisers is a bit of a stretch.

But if such a phenomenon did exist, I'd suggest that it's not because of the economics, which are actually better for more Americans than they have ever been, and more due the social and cultural influences I mentioned.
 

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Wonder about the statement concerning ocean sailing.

90% of my sailing is mom and pop. Passage means I get to hang out with other ocean sailors as I take crew. Passage means I don’t much care if I’m 10-50m off the rhumb line as there’s nothing to hit so navigating is much more laid back. Ocean means glorious nights and wonderful sailing with a bone in the teeth of the boat. Ocean means I can put everything else aside for the duration of the passage. Ocean means long conversations as people really open up lazing in the cockpit and just chatting and passing the day. Ocean means flying fish, porpoise and the occasional whale or bird. Ocean at the beginning and end means mahi mahi or an occasional yellow,fin on the Cuban yo-yo for dinner.

I know it sounds nuts but I like passage. I don’t like the prep work for it, nor lining up crew, nor the wear and tear, nor dealing with weather nor the increased difficulties of basic activities of daily living. But I prefer the actual sailing part over coastal.
 

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MikeOReilly; I also think demographics said:
I think this is an interesting post.
I have noticed over the last 10 years that there are many fewer young people from anywhere sailing in the Caribbean. In the '70s and '80s, the term charter boat crews were mainly young and attractive, on what we consider today a good but reasonably priced "offshore cruising boat", whereas these days they are older retired folks with expensive boats. This made some pretty riotous parties for the charter boat crews. Of course, you can't start a term charter with opened liquor bottles so we'd raft up in Honeymoon Bay on Water Island interspacing the boats with generators and do "blender sports", mixing all the leftovers into pretty interesting and sometimes undrinkable concoctions. Then we'd all head back to Yachthaven Marina (this probably made for some interesting viewing from the upstairs bar there) and up to Sib's Ribs for dinner and a viewing of last weekend's football game. ''Those were the days", lol.
Even on my circumnavigation in the '70s, there were many others our age (20s) doing the same and the older retired people were in the minority.
 

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I’ve tried to get family involved. They’ll come for a week but then miss no WiFi so no internet. They no like having to move something to get to something. They don’t like having no 20minute hot showers back to back.
We aren’t camping. Like most cruisers have the comforts of home. But if you’re on a boat you’re on a boat. They like the time off the boat more than on. Beaches, shopping, restaurants etc.
left to my own devices I’m happier on the boat or in the water. Different mindset. A sailor is ruined for life on land but the contrapositive seems also to be true. Think it’s neither economics nor social media as the French, British, and other first world countries have the same issues. Rather think it’s cultural. The average American doesn’t even know the name of any of the ocean races. The Frenchman can give you the names and who won it last.
 
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