Why don't more young people get into cruising?...

accnick

Super Anarchist
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I made a conscious decision in my early 20s that boats and sailing were going to be central to my life. That meant turning down law school, and pursuing a different graduate degree that I thought would get me closer to my goal.

Even that proved not to be a direct-enough route, and I ended taking yet another path when offered a job as an editor of a sailing magazine.

That was the functional equivalent of mainlining sailing heroin for me, giving me the opportunity to live and breathe nothing but boats and sailing, in one form or another, and in one professional capacity or another, for the next 40+ years.

The hard part of this was maintaining some balance and perspective on the rest of life. I was a pretty miserable failure at that.

Some people can have it all, but most of us can't. Choose wisely, and don't second-guess yourself. If you really love it, you will find a way to do it.
 

pironiero

Anarchist
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Been there and done that.

Buy a basically sound old racer cheap and customize it over time to what you want.

Trust me on this - I learned through building and restoring several boats that will be the quickest and most effective way of getting what you want.

And keep it as small as you can - get the smallest boat that will meet your needs, not the biggest you think you can afford.
i get what you are saying but im going to build it cus for me its like 50% of fun
im actually interested in working with composite materials
 

TBW

Member
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Made me think of a present 'fad' amongst kids around here; spending tons of $$ on special ski gear, so they can walk up the freaking ski mountains. Skin skies, splitting snowboards, wtf?

Often, they can afford the pass, they have regular equipment and still ride up. But they like to walk 'one or two runs' up the mountain.
Telemark skiing has always been there, it was how people skied prior to mechanized ski lifts, but it has always appealed to the fitter demographic of skiers.

I would say telemark skiing could be compared to dinghy sailing, while riding ski lifts could e compared to sail cruising with an auxillary engine.
 
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Ajax

Super Anarchist
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Edgewater, MD
If you really love it, you will find a way to do it.
I really think that in spite of the economic challenges that the middle class faces today, your statement is the crux of it.

People simply don't know what their passion is. The public is ADHD and won't pick something they enjoy, and then excel at it. It doesn't even have to be "for life." @estarzinger threw himself into sailing. Then he stopped and focused exclusively on cycling.
 

robtoujours

Communist
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Undercover
my father has already buit boats, 11 and 16 meters, both are cold moulded plywod construction, i think i can manage building 950 in fg samwich
The traditional St. Petersberg way is to acquire the wreck of an old racer (e.g. a wooden Dragon) for free and rebuild it into a 30 foot cruiser racer. Don't forget to make all the fittings yourself after your shift in the factory (no chandleries in the Soviet Union, comrade!)

 

pironiero

Anarchist
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The traditional St. Petersberg way is to acquire the wreck of an old racer (e.g. a wooden Dragon) for free and rebuild it into a 30 foot cruiser racer. Don't forget to make all the fittings yourself after your shift in the factory (no chandleries in the Soviet Union, comrade!)


Dude, i was literally in the same yacht club with this man(actually my faster was, he just took me there while he wasbuilding his first boat), he is my fathers friend, cool guy, right now re refurbishing a new bat for yet another adventure
 
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Kiwi Clipper

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The recruitment of young people to our sport has become difficult because we no longer have the robust club programs in which new people can be drawn into sailing. It's a sport which takes some learning, followed by young people getting their own boat and participating. In the beginning young people would start as crew, and then maybe get their own boat. But the boats were used in a program that also provided family social interactions. If your club had lightnings, you got a lightning. It was comparatively modest so you could afford it; you dryvstored it at the club for a very low cost; the club provided your social interactions at the parties after the races .... the boats were newer and cleaner, so the wives enjoyed them. Ideal for young families.
On the side of the handicap fleets, through the 70's the individual boat types were similar enough that they could be reasonably handicapped; but after the Ultra light boats that plane came along, handicapping has never figured out how to make each race reasonably fair and the politics of ratings became heavy duty, so the small boat fleets and weekend events fell apart ... and were partly replaced by weeknight "beer can" races but they don't provide the family involvement that used to hold club racing together. So by now there are far more cruisers than racers, and individual cruising doesn't provide a program for recruitment of new sailors.
And cost is an issue. Jumping from a crew spot on a Thursday race to owner of a 25-35 foot competitor is a much bigger step than buying a dry sailed lightning. Slip fees, we paid a dollar a foot a month for many years; now $20 a foot in many clubs and harbors. And maintenance work and cost is much greater, Moreover, cruising is not a "program" activity, provides no organized entry vehicle and much less social interaction with other boats and crews.
I would also point to the new boats available for sale and I would point out that the level of expense involved in an ocean boat makes it a family decision. In the 60's and 70's we used to buy "racer-cruisers" which had a good life as a racing boat on Saturday and a Sunday afternoon cruising and picnic boat for a family. Maybe even as an occasional weekender. I remember in the mid 70's, counting 20 Ranger 33's among the 55 boats that came to our Yacht Club in an annual event. That boat had longevity for years as a cruiser. There are other good 1960's and 70's boats still being so used. By the early 80's if you wanted to race you had to have a light racing-only boat that has no value as a family cruiser. Most families opted out.
So the point is, we have allowed our sport to devolve into a collection of individual cruisers, too expensive, and with no group program that can satisfy the social needs of families. There are a few individual spots where it is surviving, even thriving. Handicapping is dying; folks are returning to a few great classes; J105's, Beneteau 36.7's, and 40.7's...There are a lot of smaller boat fleets also -- J 24's Santa Cruz 27's, Moore 24's...Cal 20's.
 
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Crash

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By the early 80's if you wanted to race you had to have a light racing-only boat that has no value as a family cruiser.
I agree with most of what you said but not this particular sentence. There were some great late 70s/early-mid 80s racer cruisers. The C&C 27Mk V, 29Mk 2, and 33 Mk II. J-30, J-33, J-35 and J-36. S2 7.9, 9.1 and 10.3, Olson 911s and 34, even the Tartan 10 and Pearson Flyer would count. Countless Beneteau Firsts like the 30E, 32 and 34. Express 34. Peterson 34. X-Yachts 95, 99 and 102. Dehler 34 and Optima 101. Express 30. Santana 30/30 and 35. Just to name a few.
 

Bryanjb

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We've met a fair number of young sailors out cruising. Some are on a tight budget, some are taking a work sabbatical, some are late 30's retired military, some are solo, some are couples with children, some have you tube channels.... They all have one thing in common, they seem to be having fun.

Those that want to go cruising find a way.
 

Kiwi Clipper

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I agree with most of what you said but not this particular sentence. There were some great late 70s/early-mid 80s racer cruisers. The C&C 27Mk V, 29Mk 2, and 33 Mk II. J-30, J-33, J-35 and J-36. S2 7.9, 9.1 and 10.3, Olson 911s and 34, even the Tartan 10 and Pearson Flyer would count. Countless Beneteau Firsts like the 30E, 32 and 34. Express 34. Peterson 34. X-Yachts 95, 99 and 102. Dehler 34 and Optima 101. Express 30. Santana 30/30 and 35. Just to name a few.
You make a good point. I am not familiar with many of these, perhaps because they never made it to Hawaii.
 

Kris Cringle

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So the point is, we have allowed our sport to devolve into a collection of individual cruisers, too expensive, and with no group program that can satisfy the social needs of families. There are a few individual spots where it is surviving, even thriving. Handicapping is dying; folks are returning to a few great classes; J105's, Beneteau 36.7's, and 40.7's...There are a lot of smaller boat fleets also -- J 24's Santa Cruz 27's, Moore 24's...Cal 20's.
I take your point, at least in the light of sailboat racing. It makes me think there are 3 segments of the sport or lifestyle; Racing, Cruising, Sailing, when the subject of young people and sailing come up.

I think you're right, sailboat racing has been fairly dead in the last few decades. Sure there is some vibrant media coverage of around-the-world races that provide good footage of mayhem under sail. But handicap, one design, PHRF activity that used to involve young people is at a low at least in my area. The bright spots are very small groups with specialized boats that don't involve the general populace.

And cruising, the lifestyle that was most popular in the last century, does not appear to have popularity with younger people in my sailing world.

But I still think clubs are having a large effect on young people getting into sailing. And the ultimate entry tunnel is still family sailing, as it's always been, that leads to filling the pool of the future of sailing.

The new twist around here is the availability of cheap boats.

Sailing IMO - however you describe it - is alive and well with young people, and still as obscure in the general population as it ever was.

Promote sailing.jpg
 

Alaris

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And cruising, the lifestyle that was most popular in the last century, does not appear to have popularity with younger people in my sailing world.

When I was a younger person, I dreamt of going cruising. I used family boats whenever possible. I was not able to afford my own (40 year old, 5-figure purchase price) cruising boat until last week, at nearly 38 years old. Everything is really expensive and wages haven’t kept up.
 

Israel Hands

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coastal NC
When I was a younger person, I dreamt of going cruising. I used family boats whenever possible. I was not able to afford my own (40 year old, 5-figure purchase price) cruising boat until last week, at nearly 38 years old. Everything is really expensive and wages haven’t kept up.
Let me get this right...you are 38 and single, and you just bought that beautiful, cushy Little Harbor 44??

You are gonna have a Hell of a time next summer entertaining on that boat...better than Tinder!! :D
 

Alaris

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Annapolis
Let me get this right...you are 38 and single, and you just bought that beautiful, cushy Little Harbor 44??

You are gonna have a Hell of a time next summer entertaining on that boat...better than Tinder!! :D
Guilty, although I’ve had plenty of success entertaining over the years on the family sailboats and powerboat as well. I’m not sure the new boat is all that different to a layperson.
 

slug zitski

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In this photo, the mast seems quite tall for the size of boat. Not sure if this is a trick of the lens or what.

Even though I have a 33 footer, I'd love to toss a sleeping bag and a Jet-Boil into my Dyer 9' and do this sort of thing. There are just no places where I'm allowed to land for the night within reach of my starting point. I think it's too heavy to car-top by myself.
Yah

everything is private property

you get limited to marshlands or other unsuitable landings
 

wpatch

New member
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Maryland
For years sailing was my thing, that my wife wasnt really into. Finally got her hooked. (Got some lessons from an amazing teacher in Baltimore that effectively activated the sail bug better than I was able to!). That was 6 months ago, and now we are the proud owners of a 36 foot sailboat. We have made a lot of friends and have made it a point to try and introduce people to sailing, here are some observations. While we have had some great times, we have also been surprised by folks who weren't interested.

1) Fear: My wife had it, about 1/2 the people I talk to find either water scary, or are happy to go out on a single engine power boat because they think they are safer. (Funny aside...we ran into them out in the bay aboard their powerboat....they were getting knocked aroud by some rough water, while we were having appetizers and listening to tunes while chilled out. Afraid of how sailboats heel without understanding the physics).

2) Hard work: A 28 year old we had on the boat loved it, but moving the ropes and working the winches was too hard.

3) Time/Excitement: We had a 29 year old on the boat, picked up the concepts and found it interesting, but was surprised at how slow it was.

The funny thing...these are some of the things that I love most about it..that pinch of fear when the wind gusts and you have to fight weather helm, the relaxing sunsets, and getting sweaty brining up the main are the things I actually enjoy....Maybe we are all just a weird ass bunch.
 

Kiwi Clipper

Member
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The new twist around here is the availability of cheap boats.
Big time.
When fiberglass happened there was an avalanche of new boats; by now the harbors are filled with boats that are owned but not used any more; no market for many of them...but not as cheap as they might seem. Start going through the list of stuff that has to be replaced or upgraded to return the boat to being an attractive sea worthy vessel. The better designs of the older boats can be worth the cost and work of restoring because what you can end up with is an excellent nearly new boat at a much lower price. But there are many boats not worthy of that effort. Guys with knowledge should help newbies pick worthy boats for restoration.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
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Big time.
When fiberglass happened there was an avalanche of new boats; by now the harbors are filled with boats that are owned but not used any more; no market for many of them...but not as cheap as they might seem. Start going through the list of stuff that has to be replaced or upgraded to return the boat to being an attractive sea worthy vessel. The better designs of the older boats can be worth the cost and work of restoring because what you can end up with is an excellent nearly new boat at a much lower price. But there are many boats not worthy of that effort. Guys with knowledge should help newbies pick worthy boats for restoration.

That's a great idea. Maybe we could start a thread about that!
:rolleyes:
 




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