LTFF

Maintaining Sailing Interest

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So I don't want to start another thread arguing and complaining that sailing is dying but there has to be a solution that's not "It's too expensive" or "millennials don't care"

I've worked at the junior level and seen plenty of young kids sign start at 8-10 but very few of them stick around until high school. I've also been on a land locked college team in the North East that has at least 60 members every year, many of which are first time sailors, and stick with the sport all 4 years but don't continue after graduation. So I believe the number of people interested in sailing is there. The real problem is how do we keep these sailors in the sport, especially since sailing can be a life long sport. Maybe we're burning kids out too fast at the junior level and not guiding them to finding a passion for the sport. At the college level I think there needs to be a better variety of racing, competing almost entirely on a boat that has no avenue after graduation won't inspire many young adults to continue after. Especially since I think may of them would love traveling to a few keelboat/offshore regattas (especially the ones with parties) a year with their friends. 

How can we get young sailors to invest in the sport for life?

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Couple things popped into my head.  Might help.  You're talking about racing kids.  What about introducing them to cruising or fun daysailing when they are competent. 

Give the young ones life jackets and a lunch and let em sail down to the park or wild area at the end of the lake with a couple buddies.  Let em mess around in boats, get in trouble and figure it out.  Kids love adventures.  Helicopter chase boat with binoculars can check in on them every so often if desired.  This is what I and my buddies did ages 6 or 7 to 14 or 15 and beyond.  I guess a problem is organizations are involved like YC classes/teams vs private family boats like I and my buddies had.  Liability fears, as always, rears its ugly head.   

You mention college teams.  Same thing.  U of Washington has a bunch of donated keel boats 20~35' for use of the UW yacht club members and the sailing team.  Have a race team multiboat cruise after the last regatta.  The boats are available after schools out (summer) for the local kids.  Fortunately Puget Sound has some great cruising destinations close by.

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Hi,

        Show them a future they can aspire to.

 Have a look through the posts in the "Pay to play", "Offshore racing costs" and "Fucking parasites" threads and read them from the perspective of a teenager who is facing massive college debts, a thin employment market, unreliable healthcare provision and minimal retirement prospects.

 Contrast this with the environment we grew up in, where the economy was booming, technology was making life easier, instead of automating people out of work, and the growing consumer market was creating a virtuous circle of demand and supply that seemed like a step change to a new future.

 The age when "kids" drop out of sailing is about the age they start to realise what the sport entails. There are a few that want one of the various sailing lifestyles on offer enough to press on and try to make it work- the ones we make fun of because they are ignorant (if they knew they wouldn't be doing it) or cheapskate ("if you can't afford the boat, you shouldn't have bought it").

 Sailing is perceived as for the elite- a "starter boat" is a forty-footer and an owner is expected to be able to foot all the bills for it. If you want to crew on it then you need to show that you know your place, respect the Big Guy that is graciously allowing you to take part (whatever you think of his politics, opinions and priorities) and serve your apprenticeship.

 Oh, and how comfortable does the aspiring sailor feel at the Yacht Club? Is that a nice spot to hang out and will it welcome their (non-sailing, at the moment) friends along, encourage them to join in the fun?  

 There will be many exceptions to this caricature, that's not the point.

What types of sailing will the coming generation want to enjoy? Cater to that, not what you did when you were their age, nor what you do now, but what they want to do now and in their foreseeable future... with the time and money they have and anticipate. If it's out of reach, they won't waste time trying... or at least not in enough numbers to reach a critical mass.

 Affordable, family friendly boats and clubs; low-maintenance requirements; accessibility; shared ownership; communication; welcoming, helpful volunteers... seem to me like possible enablers. I'm sure brighter minds than mine can propose much better options.

Cheers,

                W.

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5 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

 

 Affordable, family friendly boats and clubs; low-maintenance requirements; accessibility; shared ownership; communication; welcoming, helpful volunteers... seem to me like possible enablers. I'm sure brighter minds than mine can propose much better options.

This. Big ups to the 35 year old mid level employee racing his mid 80's racer/cruiser with 8 year old sails. They are the lifeblood of weekly beer can racing, and they probably have more fun doing it.

Edited by 'Bacco
Spelled like Snaggy
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I tend to agree that we put way too much effort into the Race and not enough into the reasons why we sail. I suspect juniors get pushed a bit much.  Left to thier own, I’ve seen them flip the boats to go for a quick swim or a bit of adventure.  It really is about fun.  

Collegiate sailing is nothing but racing, racing small boats on closed courses.  Just a competition nothing else.  I am not sure that many of those competitors never see sailing except as a means to compete. So, when college is over, they move on, just as most football players, Basketball players, gymnasts and other athletes.  It seems that in my little world, only cyclists and triathletes seem to continue to compete in later years.  (And of course sailors). 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-race.  Just the other day we proudly did a horizon job on a boat that had 8 more feet of waterline length and were proud of it.  Not an official race but just as much of a challenge.  We made sure our tacks were crisp, our sails were well trimmed and we closely watched the wind.  

Then the dolphins started swimming with us. (What sail trim??)

 

54172869-5640-4AE1-A24F-9FD5E2E28AFE.jpeg

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There are about 1,00 threads on what a piss-poor job junior racing does to create *SAILORS*, it seems to create Opti/420 technicians who have no concept of anything that isn't a race. How many junior programs include say stuffing picnic supplies in the boats and sailing to the island over there with the nice beach?

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Some of this is not sailing, just life. As we transition to young adults we get occupied by college, jobs, spouses and kids. Most importantly we have to learn to support ourselves in the real world. I used to sail small boats, ski 20 times a year, mountain bike etc. Then the realities of life kicked in and I spent a decade or 3 on a career, buying a house and all that other semi responsible adult stuff.

I did not loose interest in the fun activities, but had a lot less time for it. Now the hard work has paid off, I am sailing twice a week all summer, planning a ski season, and even dusted off the old mountain bike. 

I would ague that introducing sailing to kids in a fun way, racing, cruising or whatever, is valuable even if they don't stick with it. Some will have fond memories and will return when they have the time and funds to do so. Having a low hassle re-entry is problably important. Informal yacht clubs, available rental fleets, and an online/social media presence will help.

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Along with changing goals (racing/cruising/competition/cooperation, etc.) Demographics play a big role.  Anyone remember how, after the boomers went through, lots of schools closed because the numbers of kids dropped off a cliff? Those “kids” are now the ones who are old enough to buy boats. There aren’t enough of them to support maintaining fleet sizes, let alone growth.  Many of them find powerboats more rewarding for cruising and fishing, what with the time constraints they now have: dealing with scheduled activities for their children and 24/7 access to work.  Broadening the range of learn-to-sail activities beyond racing would be a good way to attract the next crop of young sailors, but it is going to take years to find out if it works.  

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Sailing clubs, not yacht clubs.  Club buys a dozen boats--maybe used Cal 20s, maybe Aeros, whatever.  Add on another dozen old but functional Lasers.  Offer sailing lessons.  Basic membership is $350 a year per person.  Once certified by the club, you can check out any club boat--$10 for a Laser, $25 for a Cal 20.  Run Sunday pm and Wednesday pm races--short triangles, informal, BBQ afterwards.  Add on corporate "team building" stuff, outreach to local programs for kids, etc.  Throw quarterly boat work parties--come on down, do a little sanding or polishing or whatever, have a drink and some ribs.

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

There are about 1,00 threads on what a piss-poor job junior racing does to create *SAILORS*, it seems to create Opti/420 technicians who have no concept of anything that isn't a race. How many junior programs include say stuffing picnic supplies in the boats and sailing to the island over there with the nice beach?

DING DING DING

winner winner chicken dinner

Instead of teaching kids to race, teach kids to sail. I've seen a shitload of racing-team kids who are not entirely certain how to rig up their boats, much less take care of them; are they trusted to be turned loose on their own to "just sail for fun?"

The junior sailing programs I have been involved with are completely different in this respect. Both teach sailing first, along with the skills that go into making a sailor. Teamwork is the first necessity, from toting the boats down to the beach to rigging up to coming to assistance of their fellow sailors. How many programs teach how to rescue a person in the water? I work in how to throw a rope into this, and the wrist-to-wrist rescue grip. We also teach them to use simple tools and do basic maintenance (no painting, no resin, etc), so there are some long term useful things going into their heads.

FB- Doug

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27 minutes ago, The great unwashed said:

Sailing clubs, not yacht clubs.  Club buys a dozen boats--maybe used Cal 20s, maybe Aeros, whatever.  Add on another dozen old but functional Lasers.  Offer sailing lessons.  Basic membership is $350 a year per person.  Once certified by the club, you can check out any club boat--$10 for a Laser, $25 for a Cal 20.  Run Sunday pm and Wednesday pm races--short triangles, informal, BBQ afterwards.  Add on corporate "team building" stuff, outreach to local programs for kids, etc.  Throw quarterly boat work parties--come on down, do a little sanding or polishing or whatever, have a drink and some ribs.

This is very, very close to what our local dinghy club does. It's a small club so not a dozen, but a couple of, Lasers and some easier to sail singlehanders (Oppies, Toppers, a Comet); a few Wayfarers instead of Cal-20s and our membership is cheaper. We race Sunday PM & Wednesday evenings, have work parties etc. 

 It's working OK, though more members would be good.

Cheers,

              W.

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Connecting the dots from the OP's two examples: What does college sailing have that teenagers regularly neglect recreational activities to focus more on? Alcohol is one thing. Should we party harder?

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There is something there in the party harder argument for college/ young adult crowd. That demographic has disappeared in the laser fleet in any case.  Masters fleets are strong and actually party pretty hard considering their ages:) and youth fleets have a huge support staff of coaches and parents which is a bit of a buzz kill for a 22 year old who wants to have fun on the water come in, drink beer and meet people of the opposite sex.  I'm not sure the answer.  Some have suggested having a "corinthian" fleet at masters regattas which are for non youth but also non olympic calibre sailors.  

I also think there should be more organized "adventure" activities at clubs, island hops, point to point racing, idunno, beach starts, youth regattas that don't allow on water coaches?  

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18 hours ago, LTFF said:

So I don't want to start another thread arguing and complaining that sailing is dying but there has to be a solution that's not "It's too expensive" or "millennials don't care"

I've worked at the junior level and seen plenty of young kids sign start at 8-10 but very few of them stick around until high school. I've also been on a land locked college team in the North East that has at least 60 members every year, many of which are first time sailors, and stick with the sport all 4 years but don't continue after graduation. So I believe the number of people interested in sailing is there. The real problem is how do we keep these sailors in the sport, especially since sailing can be a life long sport. Maybe we're burning kids out too fast at the junior level and not guiding them to finding a passion for the sport. At the college level I think there needs to be a better variety of racing, competing almost entirely on a boat that has no avenue after graduation won't inspire many young adults to continue after. Especially since I think may of them would love traveling to a few keelboat/offshore regattas (especially the ones with parties) a year with their friends. 

How can we get young sailors to invest in the sport for life?

It's over

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Well, winning races all the time gets a little booooring but taking the commodores  twin red haired granddaughters  out for a "sail"  now and then keeps my interest up

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If feasible, make your boat available to the local university sailing team and, if it suits your situation and you get buy in from the coach, set up a keelboat racing program. Storm Trysail's Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta has consistently grown over the past three years I've lent my boat. Showing these collegiate sailors the world outside of 420s has been hugely rewarding.

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Here's my take, as the dad of an 11 year old son  and someone who also sailed as a kid.  I guess it depends on your definition of sailing, as many people on seem to think of sailing as only racing.  I grew up sailing, not racing.  My parents gave me and my brother a used sunfish, and let us loose.  It was the nautical version of getting a new 10 speed bicycle.  I sailed across the bay, flipped it in the ship channel with tankers incoming, had cabbage head jellyfish wars with my friends.  So I learned to associate sailing with having fun and freedom.  Later on came beach cats, then windsurfing, kiteboarding and larger boats.  Now i own a trimaran and take my kids blasting across the bay while they sit on the front tramps getting firehosed by the spray.  

I let my son try the opti program.  He wasnt into it, he preferred taking the club sunfish and doing his own thing.  Cool with me.  Every other kid who is part of the opti program here has parents who do not sail and have no interest (probably just some bullshit college resume builder to them).  If you want your kids to grow up with an appreciation for sailing, that is on you as a parent.  Have fun with them sailing and they will see it for that.  Don't take them racing and get aggro and whiny about some pissy potential rules violation.  Pack a lunch and sail to an island, pull a them on a float behind the boat, anchor and swim, use a halyard and rig up a swing off the boat.  And let them be hands on.

UPS guy came and dropped off some sunfish parts for the sunfish my son and I are refurbishing...the old one I used as a kid.  My son was ecstatic that the parts are in and the boat will almost be his.  I consider that a win.

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Keep it fun. The guys at Wayzata Sailing (Formerly Wayzata Community Sailing Center) Do a great job. This summer alone hundreds of kids through there adventure sailing programs not to mention all the kids in the racing programs.

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The racing programs I see are just kids racing around bouys in little boats, kind of like hamsters on a wheel.

There needs to be an aspect of adventure, a future freedom that can be gained by sailing as a sport and by cruising (exploring) new coasts.

Boaters are dreamers and romantics, regardless of our sometimes competitive nature, but more adventure has to be introduced

As many of us have learned as we age, Sailing gives us endless adventure and possibilities, regardless of the race outcome.

Kids and new Sailors have to be shown this.

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1 hour ago, DLG said:

Pack a lunch and sail to an island, pull a them on a float behind the boat, anchor and swim, use a halyard and rig up a swing off the boat.

You mean people go sailing and don’t pack a lunch?  To Brenda Lea and I, packing a meal is all part of the sail,whether we be racing or just going out to enjoy the afternoon.  

Definition - Sailboat;  A conveyance designed to package and transport fun.  Nothing more, nothing less.   

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So here's a couple of a different angles on continuing with sailing.  Maybe we should be teaching the Corinthian spirit that we all grew up with.  That sort of independent responsibility for keeping it fair and I would extend that spirit to maintaining boats as well are ways of broadening sailing to more than banging the cans.  Get rid of the umpires and let the kids figure out who fouled who with the appropriate amount of guidance.  And teach the them to hang up a coiled mainsheet so it doesn't mildew, etc., etc.

Also, while at the University of Hawaii, several large boats were donated to the program including Moonshadow with space aged structural framing and all the go fasts to make any up and coming sailor salivate.  But I wasn't buying it and didn't want to sail with 8 to 10 other sailors with little to no experience on a flat out racer. It seemed like a recipe for disaster or at a minimum disastrous racing results neither of which had appeal.  So while sailing programs are great introductions of sailing, the kids really do want to seek out those of us that are established leaders at our clubs or on the racing circuit.  At 13 years old Pete Curran, a member at KYC, asked If I would sail with them on his Newport 41 Ricochet which was pretty much winning everything it raced in (actually, if truth were told I probably begged him).  By the next year I was the butt of every joke on the boat, but I racing the premier Hawaii Around the State Race with them and the hook was set - permanently.  It's now our turn to create adventures for the up and coming classes.  I would even suggest it's ok to tease millennials about their awkwardness.  They'll get over it.

Aloha.

 

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12 hours ago, 'Bacco said:

This. Big ups to the 35 year old mid level employee racing his mid 80's racer/cruiser with 8 year old sails. They are the lifeblood of weekly beer can racing, and they probably have more fun doing it.

Agree..  I have always thought that the best way to learn is to "just do it" and the best way in sailing to "just do it" is to "just do it" with shitty sails etc.  Once you fuck up enough, with your crew, you start to purchase new stuff(little by little).  By the time the boat is 1/2 way decent, you will find yourself moving up in the ranks, shit won't be breaking, then you can learn to actually sail the boat.  Now, by the time you figure that out, well, you have gone through every dime you have and after a couple rounds of new sails, maybe a nationals or 3, you  have probably done all you can on said boat, so you r eyes get big.   If OD(and remember, by this time you are probably making 5x the amount you were making when you took the plunge in the first place(hopefully)), so you get a tricked out OD and go kick ass without the hassle of fixing boat stuff every weekend. If PHRF, well(BTW, this stage can take up to 20 years)...  Then it starts all over again...  

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56 minutes ago, Santana20AE said:

Definition - Sailboat;  A conveyance designed to package and transport fun.  Nothing more, nothing less.   

This is a great line, I love it.

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1 hour ago, Headgorilla said:

The racing programs I see are just kids racing around bouys in little boats, kind of like hamsters on a wheel.

There needs to be an aspect of adventure, a future freedom that can be gained by sailing as a sport and by cruising (exploring) new coasts.

Boaters are dreamers and romantics, regardless of our sometimes competitive nature, but more adventure has to be introduced

As many of us have learned as we age, Sailing gives us endless adventure and possibilities, regardless of the race outcome.

Kids and new Sailors have to be shown this.

I am gonna go with lifejackets...  Outside of racing big boats, Race team and sailing class, I never ever wore a jacket.  Remember hiding under the flipped over canoe??  No way you can get under anything with an lj on and if you played that game today,  The whole frigging coastguard would be out in 3 minutes.  Just try and swim under docks in a public harbor nowdays, and how about just sailing out of site of anyone??  Somehow we survived, but I think that part is sadly slipping away.  

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The OP asks " How can we get young sailors to invest in the sport for life?"

I started sailing with my dear old dad from about 4yo. Not so much because I especially wanted to sail, but because I wanted to be with my dad.

He had a 26ft classic boat he used to race on Saturdays with his mates, I never missed a race! True, I could pack a spinnaker before I could spell my name! One Christmas he bought me my own Sabot, & he taught me and my brothers & sister how to sail. For all of us, it was about spending fun time with our dad... He made it FUN!!

I got the bug and progressed within the sport/field, the other siblings not so much.

I continued sailing with dad, when I was about 15 & the day I found out that people sailed "for a living" I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I went on to become a Shipwright, IOR BN, then super-yachts...it became a career path for me.

The old adage applies, "If you work in the field of your passion, you never work a day in your life." That's been pretty true for me over the past 35 years of my working life.

Kids racing programs wouldn't have worked for me, I'm not sure they're the answer as I wasn't that competitive as a kid. It had to be fun & family time more than anything else. YMMV

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As someone who's been teaching sailing on a volunteer basis for 25 years and introduced several hundreds to the sport, I absolutely agree with those who say getting them into 'serious' racing is a bad idea. Keep them away from opi's (and in Australia Sabots and may be even Flying 11's; probably 420's in the US). In short anything where the parents and high performance coaches give a damn about how well they sail. The numbers going in might be big, but in my experience, those coming out are beaten down and burnt out and ready to quit; except for the golden few. That sort of stuff destroys clubs by taking kids away from them and undermining the peer group fun of sailing. You build the club up and all the ambitious parents destroy it as they take their kids in search of glory without fun and without the slightest thought of giving back to the club that taught them.

 

But I stress 'serious' racing. Club level racing is good to help teach new sailors where they are going wrong and just learning to sail properly; especially if the committee have enough imagination to liven it up with funner activities.

 

But teaching kids is always something with a poor retention rate. There are numerous competing activities as (at least in middle class Australia) parents hothouse their kids with multiple sports and activities of which sailing is just another. And even if you do capture them, come their final years of school they give it all up to maximize the University entrance marks and, unless you're in a University town, go away and never come back.

 

As I've written elsewhere, I have found it easier to transform a club by targeting young adults (20 to 40) with a high performance (by which I mean fast and exciting, not Olympic aspiration) skiff. As noted in another thread, I use a twin wire high performance skiff (one step down from a 49er; in the US the Vanguard Vector might be the nearest equivalent, although ours is a more powerful boats than that) By then they've settled in place and might be ready to be truly challenged. And the excitement captures and inspires them like nothing else. It's one on one training and time consuming, and one person at a time expansion of the sport. But in a way the time is much more effectively used than any other training I've done and more fun (and better exercise) for me as the teacher . But I have one or two lending/ training boats in addition to my full race one which helps them through the 'not ready to pay' stage and which then can become a cheaper boat for them to buy if they want to. The training is free, but I do ask they join the club. For those remotely interested, the Facebook Page for the group is here https://www.facebook.com/SVs-Mr-Bond-The-Ballina-Skiff-Sail-Training-Group-110226546310465/?view_public_for=110226546310465

You don't need to log into FB, or even be a member, to view it 

 

Yes, there is still an attrition rate, but its a small fraction of any other approach and usually with good (life gets complicated) reasons. But they are often the ones who refer new trainees; so their underlying aspiration never dies. Having discovered skiffs, most stay there, but experience shows they still challenge themselves by wrangling themselves into crew spots for serious ocean racing like the Sydney Hobart race (which locals will know requires much more than just turning up and asking for a spot to qualify for; some serious training and courses have to be done even for less dedicated entrants).

 

At least in milder climates, I'd suggest dinghy clubs, not yacht clubs is where you maintain interest for the younger generation. Let their ambitions expand from there.

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They don't stick around because we're all wankers and the club's we're members of are shit and full of blue blazers. That's the problem. And the minute they can sail, we force them to race. Blow up marks, blow whistles. 

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It is really simple Watson.

40 years ago, junior sailing was done on week days, their regattas were on week days. What did they do on weekends? They sailed with adults on Lightnings, Blue Jays, Stars, Solings, Big Boats, etc. This was repeated weekend and weekend out.

This forged young sailors to understand that it is a lifetime experience.

Today, we have separated and segregated youth sailing into their own steel reinforced concrete silos, and adult sailing the same. Opti kids race on weekends and coached during the week, the same for high school and collegiate sailing.  The overlap between youth sailing and adult sailing is dead.

There are 350,000 kids in youth programs (sailing school thru collegiate) in the U.S.  By age 22, MORE THAN 95% of them quit sailing.

Some clubs do a day where the kids are invited on the adult boats, and they think this accomplishes something.  It accomplished nothing. What is the name of that law that says you must do something at least 5 times in order to make it a habit.

You and me are executives at Coca Cola. We show our bosses how we have 350,000 kids hooked on our product. Then we show them the next chart that more than 95% of kids stop drinking Coke by the time they turn 22.  We would be fired so damn fast the door wouldn't have a chance of hitting us in the arse.  But in sailing, losing highly trained and experienced sailors at a rapid pace is highly accepted, and normal.

 

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I wonder if part of the issue is a change in our culture and society.  Boats are all about tinkering and working on them just as much as sailing.  Maybe it's just me and the way I see sailing but I spend at least 2 or 3 days working on my boat for every one day I sail it.  I love working on boats, it's my moment of zen.  I'm not really sure if I work on my boat so I can sail or if I sail so I can work on my boat.  But I also grew up like a lot of you middle age and older guys probably did.  We grew up learning to fix our own cars, changing the brakes, oil, etc.  That was part of the culture we grew up with and there was a certain respect for a good craftsman and working with our hands.  Seems like that's gone today, it's all about IT and computers.  I just don't think our society places much respect on being a craftsman or someone who's good with their hands & fixing things any longer and that's really disappointing.  Maybe part of the problem is everything is so complicated and run with computers now.  Staying with the car example, there's not much that anyone can fix on a car themselves anymore and even the simple jobs like changing the oil or brakes is just easier to take to the 15 minute oil change place.   Maybe young people just don't want to own a boat because they don't want to deal with fixing them all the time.

Unfortunately the opinions we really need to hear from are not reading this because they don't sail.  Is there a "We Don't Want to Go Sailing Anarchy"  forum we can ask?

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2 hours ago, Psycho Tiller said:

That was part of the culture we grew up with and there was a certain respect for a good craftsman and working with our hands.  Seems like that's gone today, it's all about IT and computers.  I just don't think our society places much respect on being a craftsman or someone who's good with their hands & fixing things any longer....

 

You don't think IT work requires craftsmanship? Computers don't need fixing?   

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16 hours ago, Rambler said:

...

As I've written elsewhere, I have found it easier to transform a club by targeting young adults (20 to 40) with a high performance (by which I mean fast and exciting, not Olympic aspiration) skiff. As noted in another thread, I use a twin wire high performance skiff (one step down from a 49er; in the US the Vanguard Vector might be the nearest equivalent, although ours is a more powerful boats than that) By then they've settled in place and might be ready to be truly challenged. And the excitement captures and inspires them like nothing else. It's one on one training and time consuming, and one person at a time expansion of the sport. But in a way the time is much more effectively used than any other training I've done and more fun (and better exercise) for me as the teacher . But I have one or two lending/ training boats in addition to my full race one which helps them through the 'not ready to pay' stage and which then can become a cheaper boat for them to buy if they want to. The training is free, but I do ask they join the club. For those remotely interested, the Facebook Page for the group is here https://www.facebook.com/SVs-Mr-Bond-The-Ballina-Skiff-Sail-Training-Group-110226546310465/?view_public_for=110226546310465

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I LOVE those Ballina skiffs, are the plans available anywhere?

FB- Doug

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Hi Steam Flyer

We have found them a great class for exciting one design, every week (for 9 months of the year), racing in boats that require little maintenance and can be run on a budget once you have bought the boat. They are a step back from the 49er and the unrestricted Australian Skiffs (and the I14), but proper skiffs, unlike those from a lot of the Euro manufacturers. 

They come out of a mould from the designer/ builder.

But hey, he's a small manufacturer, and what's he got to lose by licencing in another country.

Here's his website  http://www.formulasailcraft.com.au/

The class site (not updated for news now as we use the class FB page instead) can be linked from there and you'll find the specifications through that.

Tell him the Ballina guy sent you

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someone may have already peed on the parade. there are so many comments i'm not gonna read them all. so, here it is. "the rent is too damn high". the fun of sailing takes place on the waterfront where property values are at their highest. all over the country boatyards marinas and clubs are being replaced by high rises or have to raise their dues and fees beyond the reach of mere mortals. the sport of sailing once belonged to the rich. now they are taking it back.

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A thought...Noticed that some people take to sailing like they were born to it and have to be Sailing. 

And others think it is the most boring, useless activity ever invented by mankind.

What’s the difference?  I do not have the slightest idea.  My Brenda Lea, was raised on a farm, the farm her family worked since before the Civil War. The closest thing she had to water was a small seasonal creek that flowed through the property.  Took her out on a J-22 in Mobile Bay, on a windy day, scared her senseless and Now, she Can’t STAND to be WITHOUT a Sailboat.  I believe she would prefer to go sailing than eat, or sleep or anything else.  Strange, she does not care to drive, but will gladly trim sails, sit on the rail, go below and make a sandwich, or just about any other task that needs doing. And,when the weather pipes up, she relates that she still gets scared,still wants me to drop the jib, but she loves it. 

I have known others, women who always remind thier friends to take thier needlepoint with them so they won’t be bored.  Men,who would rather sit on a couch and watch the New Orleans Saints loose another game than enjoy a brisk sail on an ILYA E-Scow.  Men who can’t be forced onto a sailboat. 

Its almost as if some of us have “sailing genes” and the rest don’t.  Problem is, the ones that don’t have that gene continue to breed at a higher rate than those who do (have the gene). Evolution is phasing us out.

Now, I realize that some of the above borders on silliness. But consider, that those who do sail for a lifetime are few and those who ride couches are many.  

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On 11/13/2019 at 9:11 PM, LTFF said:

How can we get young sailors to invest in the sport for life?

I don’t know, and don’t really care.

Adults are free to spend their time and money on whatever recreational activities take their fancy. As Rambler noted, the attrition rate is very high across most sports (how many kids playing organized football/baseball/hockey will continue those sports throughout their adult lives?). The pattern is neither unique to sailing, nor especially problematic.

If someone - young, old or middle-aged, it makes no difference to me - is interested in sailing, that’s great and I am happy to guide them; but I don’t consider that I have any obligation to prosthelytize.

On 11/15/2019 at 1:22 AM, Rambler said:

I'd suggest dinghy clubs, not yacht clubs is where you maintain interest for the younger generation. Let their ambitions expand from there.

I am probably reading too much into the above, but FWIW: if the implication was that any reasonably ambitious sailor will/should eventuallly ‘graduate’ from dinghies into keelboats and yachts, I disagree. Many of the most talented and passionate sailors spend their entire sailing ‘careers’ in dinghies, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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5 minutes ago, Svanen said:

 

I am probably reading too much into the above, but FWIW: if the implication was that any reasonably ambitious sailor will/should eventuallly ‘graduate’ from dinghies into keelboats and yachts, I disagree. Many of the most talented and passionate sailors spend their entire sailing ‘careers’ in dinghies, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Yes you're reading way too much into it.

I'm one of the ones who's spent my whole like in dinghies (skiffs actually)

I've dabbled with yachts, but keep coming back to skiffs. Thus the training I do. 

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